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Image Editing Tutorial - The Healing Brush

The primary tools for portrait re-touching in recent versions of Photoshop are the Healing Brushes. The original Healing Brush tool was added with version CS1, and it great for removing lines and wrinkles, but CS2 added the Spot Healing Brush, a quicker and easier-to-use tool ideal for smaller blemishes and, as the name suggests, spots. You'll find both of them in the tool palette, at the top of the block containing the brushes and the Clone Stamp tool.

The Healing Brush works in much the same way as the Clone Stamp, but rather than just replacing the target area with the sampled pixels, the Healing Brush applies blending, preserving the tone, colour and texture of the target area.

The tool settings are much the same as the Clone Stamp also. You can set brush diameter, shape and hardness using the usual dialogue and sliders. For this portrait I'm going to use a small, very soft circular brush. Remember that you can quickly adjust brush size on the fly by using the square bracket keys ("{" and "}") to decrease and increase the size by small set increments.

As for the other tool settings, leave them in their default positions; Blend mode should be on Normal, Source should be set to Sampled and leave Aligned unchecked.

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