Figure 21.11

On the left, cleaned up with the Clone Stamp. On the right, the same skin, cleaned with the Healing Brush and Spot Healing Brush.

The Spot Healing Brush is like a quick-and-dirty version of the Healing Brush—or maybe that should be quick-and-clean. Instead of defining a point from which to copy new pixels, then painting, all you do with the Spot Healing Brush is click on the spot you want to eliminate. Photoshop looks at the area around the spot, averages the colors it finds, covers the spot with the average color, and blends the repair in with its surroundings—all in about half a second. For slightly larger spots, you can click and drag, but make sure that the spot you're trying to eliminate is located in the middle of a relatively uniform area so that the tool doesn't pull in different-colored pixels from an adjacent area.

For larger areas, there's the Patch tool. Like the Healing Brush tool, it matches the texture, lighting, and shading of the sampled pixels to the source pixels. It's not completely opaque, so it blends the new pixels with the old ones, rather than copying and pasting. To use it, you must first decide whether the piece you select is the source or the destination. Click the appropriate button on the Tool Options bar. The tool pointer for the Patch Tool is a lasso. In source mode, select the area you want to replace. Drag the shape you've lassoed over the stuff you want to replace it with, and Photoshop does the rest. In Figure 21.12, you can see how I am using the Patch tool in Destination mode to remove the power lines in the sky. I've already done a piece on the top. I have just dragged the lassoed piece of clean blue sky over the power line on the left side. When I release the mouse button, the patch will fill in.

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