The History palette represents the regimental way to revert images inside Photoshop. You can retreat, march forward, proceed in linear or non-linear formation, capture states, and retire them. Every state plays backward in the same way it played forward. It's precise, predictable, and positively by the book.
But what if you want to get free-form? What if you want to brush away the present and paint in the past? In that case, a palette isn't going to do you any good. What you need is a pliable, emancipated, free-wheeling tool.
As luck would have it, Photoshop offers five candidates — the eraser, magic eraser, background eraser, history brush, and art history brush. The eraser washes away pixels to reveal underlying pixels or exposed canvas. The magic eraser and background eraser, both added in Version 5.5, erase a range of similarly colored pixels and background pixels, respectively. The history brush takes you back to a kinder, simpler state; the art history brush does the same but enables you to paint using special artistic effects. Although the functions of these tools overlap slightly, they each have a very specific purpose, as becomes clear in the following sections.
As you work with any of these tools, remember that you can use the Edit ^ Fade command (formerly on the Filter menu) to blend the altered pixels with the originals, just as you can when applying a filter. You can adjust both the opacity and blend mode of the erased or painted pixels. Chapter 10 explores the Fade command in detail.
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Adobe Photoshop can be a complex tool only because you can do so much with it, however for in this video series, we're going to keep it as simple as possible. In fact, in this video you'll see an overview of the few tools and Adobe Photoshop features we will use. When you see this video, you'll see how you can do so much with so few features, but you'll learn how to use them in depth in the future videos.