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Image Editing Tutorial – The Patch Tool

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For this tutorial I'm using Adobe Photoshop CS3. The Patch tool is unique to Photoshop, although there is a tool in Corel Paint Shop Pro X2 called the Object Remover which has some similar functions.

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Last month I showed you how to use the Healing Brush to retouch portraits, removing spots, wrinkles and blemishes and to improve the appearance of your subject’s skin. Today I’m going to show you another method, using the under-used and under-appreciated Patch tool.

The Patch tool works in more or less the same way as the Healing Brush tool, except that instead of sampling a brush area as the healing patch, it uses a selection area, blending the selection in with the background to preserve texture and colour. Because of this it can be used to repair larger areas more quickly than the healing brush.

You’ll find the Patch tool on the tool palette, on the same button as the Healing Brush. Click and hold on the button to show the choices available. The tool itself works in the same way as the lasso selection tool in freehand mode. Unfortunately there is no option to use point-to-point with this tool, so you’ll need a steady hand, but we’ll come back to that later.

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