Using the Spot Healing Brush

June 17, 2016

The Healing Tools in Photoshop can do amazing things!  Over the next few weeks, let’s take a look at them. Today we will start with the Spot Healing Brush.

For this tutorial, I am using CC2015; however, the Spot Healing Brush is available in both Photoshop and Photoshop Elements.

Where to find the Spot Healing Brush:

This brush is the default brush in the Healing Tool Section.

Screenshot from CC2015:

Spot Healing Brush Tutorial SnickerdoodleDesigns

Screenshot from Photoshop Elements 14:

Spot Healing Brush Tutorial SnickerdoodleDesigns

The Purpose of the Spot Healing Brush:

This brush can be used to seamlessly blend pixels, matching textures and colors; thereby removing unwanted pixels in your image.

Options with the Spot Healing Brush:

  1. Content Aware: This option allows Photoshop to determine how best to fix the areas you would like to retouch.
  2. Create Texture: Photoshop will look at the pixels surrounding the area you would like to fix and creates a textured pattern.
  3. Proximity Match: This mode looks at the pixels around the targeted area and uses that data to replace the area you would like to fix.

Some options work better than others, depending upon your image and what you are trying to replace. Experiment to find which option works best for your particular image.

Example #1:

I would like to remove the little brown spot on this baby’s nose and chin.

Once I selected the Spot Healing Brush, I clicked on the Brush icon in the top menu bar and selected a 20 px brush (just slightly larger than the chin blemish). I chose a mid-range Hardness (47%) because I am working on a face. A 100% Hardness would give too harsh of an edge, while 0% Hardness would create a little bit of a blur around the edges. For this image, I chose Content-Aware.

Spot Healing Brush Tutorial SnickerdoodleDesigns

To use the Spot Healing Brush, we just need to move the tool over the area we would like to remove, and left-click once.

Here is the amazing result!

Spot Healing Brush Tutorial SnickerdoodleDesigns

Example #2:

I use the Spot Healing Brush in many ways, not just on photographs.

Here is one of my brand new Artsy Textures (Artsy Texture 07, #1). I really like the bit of paper at the top left of the image; but I realize not everyone might.

Spot Healing Brush Tutorial SnickerdoodleDesigns

You can remove that using the Spot Healing Brush, as described above.

For this image, Content Aware worked best.  When removing larger areas like this, it is best to use a brush slightly smaller than the area you wish to remove and to drag the brush into the area you want to remove, orienting the beginning of the drag from the side of the area that has the best pixel data.  I dragged from the left to the right in this example.

Spot Healing Brush Tutorial SnickerdoodleDesigns

I find the Spot Healing Brush to be like “magic.”  I hope you do too!

I think we probably all have plenty of photos we can experiment with; but here is an Artsy Texture Sampler for you to experiment with,in case you don’t have one.

This gift is no longer available however you can always find some current gifts on the Digi Scrap Freebies Page.  

Spot Healing Brush Tutorial SnickerdoodleDesigns

I hope you have found this tutorial helpful!

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7 Comments

  1. Pam K

    I’ve used this tool a few times; mainly using Content Aware. Do you have examples of when one would use the other 2 options?

    Reply
  2. Peggy S

    Another great tutorial. I appreciated the suggestion about hardness of brush. I was using totally soft brush. I’m confused about the 2nd example. I thought the spot healing brush was a click type, not a drag type. You used the spot healing, not the regular healing brush for the 2nd example? If so, how are the two types different?

    Reply
    • Karen

      You are most welcome, Shirley! I hope you enjoy these tools!

      Reply

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