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ADOBE PHOTOSHOP TUTORIALS - Restore blemished images instantly


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Restore blemished images instantly

Do you have a collection of old photos in need of restoration or an image with a blemish or flaw? In the past, you probably used the clone stamp tool to correct imperfections, but the new healing brush and patch tools in Adobe Photoshop 7.0 provide seamless photo repair, blending your sampled color to match the texture and tone of the retouched area.


Sample an undamaged area.

Select the healing brush tool. Alt-click (Windows) or Option-click (Mac OS) to sample an area with the texture you wish to paint with. We sampled a smooth area of a man's forehead.

Paint the blemishes.

Paint over the blemished area using the healing brush tool. Don't worry about the shadowy preview you'll see as you paint. The healing brush blends the stroke to the repaired area.

It's a good idea to use the History palette to take snapshots during the retouching process, so you can review your progress or revert to a previous state of the image if necessary.

Use a selection to protect the healing area.

When there is a strong contrast at the edges of the area you want to heal, make a selection before applying the healing brush tool. The selection prevents any color from bleeding into the healed area as the healing brush does its blending.

Our selection prevented the man's dark eyebrow color from bleeding into the smooth forehead.

Blend the effects of the healing brush.

If the painted effect of the healing brush looks too smooth to be realistic, you can adjust the opacity of the effect. After painting a stroke with the healing brush tool, choose Edit > Fade Healing Brush. In the Fade dialog box, select Preview and drag the Opacity slider to see the fading effect.

While the healing brush tool is perfect for correcting small imperfections, the patch tool is ideal for restoring areas that can be easily selected. Like the healing brush, the patch tool also matches the texture, lighting, and shading of the sampled pixels to the area you're repairing.

Repair a selected area.

Select the patch tool and make sure the Source option is selected in the tool options bar. Draw a selection around the blemished area. Then drag the selection to the area you want to sample. The blemished area is instantly restored.

As an alternative, select Destination in the tool options bar. Then use the patch tool to select an undamaged area and drag the selection to a blemished area.

Create a natural-media brush

Adobe Photoshop 7.0 opens up a whole new range of possibilities for creating artistic effects. With the new painting engine, you can create imagery that looks as if it was painted using natural media. Follow along and learn a few of the ways you can customize the brush tool.


Choose a brush tip.

Select the brush tool and choose Window > Brushes to display the Brushes palette. Select Brush Tip Shape on the left side of the palette, and then select a brush tip.

When you're exploring the options in the Brushes palette, it's best to choose a simple tip, such as Hard Round or Soft Round, so you can clearly see the effects.

Fade the size of the brush.

Select Shape Dynamics on the left side of the Brushes palette. (Click on the words, rather than the check box, to view the Shape Dynamics options.) Choose Fade from the Control pop-up menu below the Size Jitter slider; then enter a number of steps. The more steps you enter, the longer the stroke. You can view results at the bottom of the Brushes palette.

Now try adjusting some of the other shape dynamics. Drag the sliders to add randomness to brush elements. (At 0%, an element does not change over the course of a stroke; at 100%, an element has the maximum amount of randomness.) Choose options from the Control pop-up menus to control the variance of brush elements.

Add scattering to the brush.

Select Scattering on the left side of the Brushes palette. The options in this section of the Brushes palette determine the number and placement of marks in a stroke. Adjust the Scatter percentage to specify the maximum percentage of scattering in a stroke. Adjust the Count value to specify the number of brush marks applied at each spacing interval. Adjust the Count Jitter percentage to add variance to the number of brush marks applied at each spacing interval.

Add texture to the brush.

Select Texture on the left side of the Brushes palette. The options in this section of the Brushes palette let you make strokes look like they are painted on textured canvas. First, click on the pattern sample at the top of the palette, and choose a pattern from the pop-up palette. (You can load additional patterns by clicking the triangle at the top right of the pop-up palette, and choosing a pattern library from the bottom of the palette menu.) Use the Scale slider to adjust the size of the pattern.

Now you're ready to use your brush.

Paint in the image.

Choose a color and paint freehand in an image. Alternately, you can apply the brush stroke to a path. (For more information on creating paths and using the Paths palette, see Photoshop online Help.) We used a work path to create brush strokes on a new layer. We then used the same method to create additional fireworks in different colors.

Experiment with other brush options.

Now that you know the basics, you can experiment with some of the other brush options. For example, we added color dynamics to our brush and painted freehand to create particle streaks falling from the fireworks.

New dimensions in optimization

Have you ever been frustrated by fuzzy type in a Web graphic? When optimizing an image, you need to reduce the file size-but compression can cause type quality to deteriorate. Adobe Photoshop 7.0 helps you achieve the perfect balance between image quality and file size with weighted optimization.


Create a slice for the type.

Select the slice tool, and drag in the image to create a slice. You'll use the slice to apply optimization settings, so make sure it encompasses the entire area you want to optimize.

Select the slice in the Save For Web dialog box.

Choose File > Save for Web, and click the slice that contains the type with the slice select tool.

Apply the weighted optimization.

Set the format for the slice. (Since this is a photo-quality image, we chose JPEG as the format.) To apply weighted optimization, click the mask button next to the Quality text box. This opens the Modify Quality Setting dialog box, where you can select the All Text Layers option to let Photoshop generate a mask to protect your type.

In addition to text layers, you can also select alpha channels and vector shape layers in the Modify Quality Setting dialog box to generate masks for weighted optimization.

Preview the optimization.

To set the level of dithering for the text, select the Preview option in the Modify Quality Setting dialog box, and then set the Minimum and Maximum settings you want.

It may take a bit of experimenting to settle on the dither settings. We set the Minimum quality to 0 and the Maximum quality to 60. With this quality range, the type stays crisp, and the background image gets stronger optimization.

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