When preparing a photo for your microstock portfolio, you want to identify and remove any flaws or distractions in your image. This might include dirt or dust spots, lint on clothing, blemishes on faces, or background distractions. Not only do these draw attention away from your main subject, but they can also be cause for your microstock agency to reject the photo during the inspection process.
Photoshop Spot Healing BrushAdobe Photoshop provides to help us do this, and for me, it’s the quickest and easiest tool for certain types of clean-up, like what I’ve covered in this video tutorial.
So you can see that the Spot Healing Brush tool can be a quick and easy option for some of the minor cleaning up that you need to do to prepare your microstock images.
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This is Leez Snow at Everything Microstock and we’re going to have a look at what you can do with the Spot Healing Brush Tool in Photoshop.
In this photo, there are a couple of dark spots in the sky that I want to get rid of, and also a wire that goes all across here. We’re going to remove that as well.
I’m going to get started by making a copy of the background layer so I don’t make any edits directly on the background. And I’m going to do that using the shortcut Command J on my Mac, or Control J on a PC. And I’m going to rename that layer Spot Healing.
And then I’m going to come over to the left-hand toolbar and select the Spot Healing Brush. It’s just above the Brush tool; it looks like a band-aid, and it’s the top item here. You can also get to it with the shortcut letter J. So now I’ve got the Spot Healing tool.
Let’s look at some of our options up here in the Options bar. Here’s where you can set your size and hardness of the brush. I’m going to go ahead and set my size to around 60, and leave the hardness at 50%. And I’ll leave the spacing and other information as it is.
Then over here you can select a type, whether you are using Proximity Match, a Texture, or the Content Aware setting that was added in CS5. I’m going to go ahead and use Proximity Match, and leave it set to sample all layers.
Now before I move on I’m going to increase the size of my image to 100%, which is really important because that’s the size that the microstock inspector who will be reviewing your image will be inspecting with, and we want to make sure that we leave no trace of the edits we make.
So, I’ll get to 100% using the shortcut Command or Control 1. And then I’ll press down my spacebar to temporarily get the hand tool, which allows me to drag the image up to the first thing I want to heal, which is the spot right here.
I’m going to put my brush over this and it looks like it’s around the right size. I just want it to be slightly larger than the area I want to heal, because Photoshop will use the area right around this to use to blend in and remove the item.
I’m just going to press my mouse key and I’m going to hold it a second so that you can see this dark grey mask that Photoshop shows to indicate the area that will be healed. And when I let go, it’s gone. It is that simple, just a quick click!
So I’ll press the space bar again and drag us up to that other spot. And I think I’m going to increase the size of my brush a little bit for this one, and I’m going to do that by pressing the right bracket key, just one time I think. And I click there, and that’s good – maybe another click here to totally get rid of it.
Now I want to take care of this wire, and for this, if you’ve got CS5 or later, you want to select the Content Aware type up here, because this is where the magic comes in.
I’m going to make the size of the brush smaller, so it’s just a little wider than the wire. I’ll press the left bracket key a few times, and this looks good to me.
As with all brush type tools, you can create a straight line by clicking your mouse key, holding down the shift key, and then moving your mouse and clicking again. Now I’m just holding down the mouse key to show you that it is a straight line, and that gray area is where the healing will take place. So when I let go, that wire is gone, which is great.
I’m going to drag again by holding down the space bar, and I’m going to click here, press down the Shift key and then click way up here. And lets see – it’s removed it beautifully. It didn’t bring in any of the roof either. I think if you use Proximity Match, you might find that it brings in a bit of the roof, and you have to do a little bit of extra cleanup.
Content Aware is amazing. I’ll do a little stroke here, and now I’ve got a straight line again so I’ll click here, hold the shift key, and click up here for the straight line. And one more time. Click here, then go to the edge and click. Now this left a little bit of a dark area here on the edge, so I’ll just do a quick heal.
Now I’ll press Command or Control minus sign, to bring the size back down so we can see how we did. Here is the before with the spots and the wire, and here is after with those removed.
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