So far in Part II, we've looked at a host of editing disciplines — smearing and sponging, filling and stroking, and plain old painting. Although most of these tools perform as well as can be expected, they don't add up to a hill of beans compared with Photoshop's foremost retouchers — the rubber stamp, eraser, and history brush. These remarkable three permit you to repair damaged images, create and apply repeating patterns, erase away mistakes, and restore operations from your recent past. And with the art history brush, magic eraser, and background eraser, all added in Version 5.5, you get even more ways to restore and erase.
Together, these tools permit you to perform the sorts of miracles that simply weren't possible in the days before computer imaging, all without the slightest fear of damaging your image. Very briefly, here's how each tool works:
* Rubber stamp and pattern stamp: Use the rubber stamp to replicate pixels from one area in an image to another. This one feature makes the rubber stamp the perfect tool for removing dust and scratches, repairing defects, and eliminating distracting background elements. Alt-click the rubber stamp icon in the toolbox or press S to switch to the pattern stamp tool, which paints with a repeating image fragment defined using Edit ^ Define Pattern. (If you selected Use Shift for Key for Tool Switch in the Preferences dialog box, press Shift+S.)
In This Chapter
An overview of Photoshop's photo restoration tools
Touching up dust, hair, and other scanning artifacts
Restoring a damaged photograph
Eliminating background elements from an image
Painting a repeating pattern with the pattern stamp tool
A step-by-step guide to creating seamless patterns and textures
Using the Undo and Revert commands
Traveling through time with the History palette
Painting away mistakes with the erasers, history brush, and art history brush
♦ Erasers: When used in a single-layer image or on the background layer, the eraser paints in the background color. When applied to a layer, it erases pixels to reveal the layers below. The background eraser, as its name implies, erases the background from an image and leaves the foreground intact — or at least, that's what happens if you use the tool correctly. Otherwise, it just erases everything.
The final tool in the eraser triad, the magic eraser, works like the fill tool but in reverse. When you click the magic eraser, you delete a range of similarly colored pixels. Don't confuse this tool with the eraser you get when you Alt-drag with the standard eraser tool. Formerly known as the magic eraser, that tool now takes the name history eraser.
You can cycle through the erasers by Alt-clicking the eraser icon in the toolbox or by pressing E (or Shift+E).
♦ History brush and art history brush: The history brush selectively reverts to any of several previous states listed in the History palette. With the art history brush, you can recreate a past state using various artistic brushes.
To select the "source state" that you want to paint with, click in the first column of the History palette. A brush icon identifies the source state, as illustrated by the Diffuse Glow item in Figure 7-1. If Photoshop displays a little "not-allowed" cursor when you try to use the history brush, it means you can't paint from the selected state. Click another state in the History palette and try again.
Obviously, these are but the skimpiest of introductions, every bit as stingy with information as a 19th-century headmaster might have been with his Christmas gruel and treacle. But fear not, my hungry one. This chapter doles out so many courses of meaty facts, fibrous techniques, and sweet, buttery insights that you'll need a whole box of toothpicks to dislodge the excess tips from your incisors.
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