Task 6 How to Use the Heal Brush

The new Heal Brush is built on the concept and functionality of the Clone tool, in that it paints using sampled data from a user-specified point. Instead of just moving the pixel info from one spot to the other as the Clone tool does, however, the Heal Brush actually blends the two data sets together, blurring information and smoothing the results. The Heal Brush does a great job of eliminating spots and scratches from scanned photographs, and is also superb at touching up blemishes and wrinkles on faces. If you work with portraiture or photo restoration, you'll use this new tool a lot.

  1. Open the Image

    Select File, Open to open the desired image.


  2. Select the Heal Brush Tool

    Select the Heal Brush tool from the toolbox. If necessary, click and hold the Patch tool and select the Heal Brush from the pop-out menu that appears.


  3. Set the Tool Parameters

    In the Options bar for the Heal Brush, set the brush size and blending mode. For the Source, choose either Sampled or a preset Pattern. If you want the source point to move as you move the cursor, enable the Align check box.


  4. Set the Sample Point

    Hold down the Option key (Mac users) or Alt key (Windows users) and click to set the source point for the brush. If your goal is to smooth a blemish or scratch, choose a source point that resembles the area you want to repair.


  5. Paint the Corrections

    Position the cursor over the area to be repaired, and click to paint the corrections. Photoshop briefly flashes the sampled data as it is being applied, and then it paints the correction.


How-To Hints

Using the Blending Modes

Remember to use the blending modes to your advantage whenever necessary. For example, if you're trying to clean up darker blotches on an otherwise solid background, use the Lighten mode and sample the same color and values as the background. These options will correct the dark spots without altering the background.