Skip to main content

Healing Brush for Retouching

Lesson 21 from: Adobe Camera Raw

Jack Davis

Healing Brush for Retouching

Lesson 21 from: Adobe Camera Raw

Jack Davis

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2200+ more >

Lesson Info

21. Healing Brush for Retouching


Class Trailer

Day 1


Introduction and Overview Part 1


Introduction and Overview Part 2


Adobe Bridge Integration: Workspace


Adobe Bridge Integration: Preferences


Metadata Templates


Adobe Camera Raw Interface Insights


Adobe Camera Raw Tools and Panels


Five Step Tango Part 1


Five Step Tango Part 2


White Balance and Vignettes


HSL Global Adjustments and Effects


HSL Effects and Faux Infrared


Adobe Camera Raw Dust Removal


Enhanced Curves, Cross Processing, and Solarizing


Day 2


Five Step Tango Review


Radial Filter


Sharpening in Adobe Camera Raw


PPI and Printing


Targeted Adjustments


Graduated Filter


Healing Brush for Retouching


Adobe Camera Raw Auto Mask Feature


Adjustment Brush and Recoloring


Glamour Retouching Part 1


Glamour Retouching Part 2


Targeted Skin Color Unifying


Dust and Scratches Filter


Portrait Retouching Part 1


Portrait Retouching Part 2


Day 3


Targeted Coloring


Hand Tinting


Smart Filter Painting in Adobe Photoshop


Masking and Recoloring


Radial Filter Retouching


DeSharpening and Healing Brush


Adobe Photoshop Integration: Diffused Glow


Adobe Photoshop Integration: Panoramas Part 1


Adobe Photoshop Integration: Panoramas Part 2


Adobe Photoshop Integration: Combining Images


Adobe Photoshop Integration: HDR


Adobe Photoshop Integration: Background Eraser


Adobe Photoshop Integration: Liquify Filter


Adobe Photoshop Integration: Content Aware Scale


Input and Output Sharpening


Split Toning


Soft Proofing and Printing


Lesson Info

Healing Brush for Retouching

Where is that that's on the nepali coast of quiet? I used to live on quiet and I did finally invest when I lived there back in the seventies had no money for anything like this lift off top ramen in the a day old salad that I got from working at the restaurant I worked at um but have gone back since and now I highly recommend the helicopter tours they're awesome but make sure you get a helicopter with no doors on it actually strap you in and you can lean out with your camera and they're just made for psychotic photographers and it's awesome but this is a good example here of if you are renting a helicopter and leaning out of it you cannot wait for the light to be good, right? You got a bunch of other people I mean, I if you had enough money, you can hire them for several days and keep coming back and if you were national geographic, you'd do exactly that you keep coming back until the light was right I couldn't so I'm gonna have to make the light right? Yes, I know I'm a cheater, I got...

it so there's a couple things here one we've got the helicopter prop is in the shot so this is going to be the first time we're going to take avenge of this new I'm healing brush which is just great so let's start off that and again I typical philosophy and fixing an image as you fix the biggest problems first okay in this case if I can't make that prop out of there I know I'm gonna have to do some really creative cropping or something else like that so I need to get be able to get the props out of the picture before I know whether it's a usable length I've obviously got other pictures that don't have the proper in it but this one happened to have the river and everything else going through it so fix the biggest problem first and then go into subtleties okay? So we'll come up here and for this we're going to jump over to this old tool right here one of our targeted adjustments and this one is a retouching tool it's still known as thie spot removal tool even though now it's adobe it likes to refer to it as the advanced healing brush in adobe cameron like room but it's still technically the spot removal tool as you can see over here and um the great thing about this tool and again I mentioned that you always want to make sure and update your software this is a, um new feature for the healing option within here um it is great to be able to have this as an option because in the past clone would take advantage of an automatic feathering hell would not, neither one of them did you have an ability to change it. So that's actually very nice. These two options work completely different and, um, so let's go over that. But even if you're using an older version of, uh, adobe came a raw that doesn't have feather as an option, or the ability to draw a line with it healing clone are still there, and opacity is still there, and the three of those two combined he'll clone and opacity mean that this has been a amazing retouching tool even before the current version. Much more so now, because of this fact that you can draw with it and you also have a feather option. Hell is going to try and match the color and tone and use a section of the image and cover another image and blended into the original it's, going to use the inherent texture from a source area and blended in with the tone of the destination. So texture over destination blending in clone is actually going to take physically, pick up everything color, tone, texture and tone, and just move it over. It is a clone it's a stamp it's gonna move that over hell because it's going to try and match this area to this area doesn't really had really needed feather it was a hard edge that it did it, but it did such a great job of matching you could get away with it. So the feather option is muchmore um, minimal in the heel and because he'll is going to try and match the tone. It's actually, the default setting it's the better of the two from most cases clone because it actually takes a chunk and moves it over one place. The only thing that you do tohave the cover that transition between one area and another is feather. So it's always done feather built into it. Now you have the ability to find tune that feather so those what the two things do they default setting of hell is fine, and I actually leave the feather off on hell to begin with. And then I'll find tune it afterward remember, this is a procedural adjustment, which means that not only can you go back and find tune it later, um, but anything that you do can be changed. You know, as long as this little pin is active, you're gonna have the ability to fine tune it, okay? And what we're gonna do is we're going to use our square bracket case looks, I'm gonna hide that green circle, so hopefully you guys can see this. I'm going to use a nice big brush if you think you are going to be using feathering, remember that you need to be significantly larger than the area you're gonna work in because that feather works both ways inside and out. So you are going to have to compensate by making it a bigger adjustment, especially if you're going to use clone you're gonna have to come way outside your image. Um and I'm going to come up here and this is the new feature, the fact that I could drag an irregular shape in the past it was strictly limited to circles, and that obviously has a limited value. And there it does now it immediately hid what I just did because I had been tapping that wiki right, that hide down here that show overlay agencies turned off. So this is what it did. It immediately win over here and picked an area and blended it in. And in this case let's take a look at it because even with zero feather you can see that soft transition in there and it's not really a soft transitions it's actually razor sharp. Itjust is invisible because it does such a great job of matching the tone from one area to another that's the benefit of hell if we wanted to, we can come over here and if if we take that feather all the way up, you can see that now it's starting to encroach into the blades okay? So just as a reminder you really need very little if any when you do he'll also one thing to consider is that these are proceed procedural adjustments meaning they're being done on the fly meaning there's a lot of calculations going on this isn't pixel processing so it's needing to remember where I started and the path that I drew and the size and the parameter and the destination and the blending and the matching and the texture and it's doing a heck of a lot of work it's doing it really, really quickly before computers were fast enough to do this? This was impossible the only reason why you can do this sort of elaborate stuff especially procedurally not destructively because computers air so bloody fast now, but because it's procedural using a lot of these target adjustments will start to slow down your work. The images when you click on him there will take a while for it to generate that effect. If you're especially if you're working in light room where you have ten billion images open at one time in your catalog, all of these using procedural adjustments being done on the fly things can start slowing down, so if you don't need a feature in this case something like feather they're not using it is just dramatically simplifies the process that is actually an elaborate the reason why that hadn't been in there before is computers were fast enough and he just said okay, we think it's fast enough hopefully you got a fast computer don't blame us if it started slowing down until heckle of a lot of work you're asking for us it's actually in some ways better in adobe camera than in light room because you're typically working on a small number of images that time you're not having a ton of images open I just opened up what I was going to work on that's typically how you work, everything that is in this folder is still in the bridge and I just select a range of images that I'm ready to work on. So in some ways these procedural adjustments are a little bit more elegant in the day I became a rock just because you don't have this large catalog that's open but anyway so let me back off so that actually works out good I am seeing that area being replicated, so if I want I can move around if if that pattern replicated over here was a little bit distracting, I can just move it over here and go okay and I can see that I want a little bit more feather if I'm going to use that area there that same one can you change the shape of it, or would you just start over you? Well, you can start over, you could add to it's actually is a very good question. Um, you can't if we come up here and click on this area here, if we come over here and click within that area it's going to have me move it, but it's not adding to it if I click over here, it makes a secondary pin, so once I lift up, I'm can't add to that area there's nothing stopping me from continuing to paint and make his many of those areas as they like, but you can't necessarily add to it. You can move these around, um, both the source and the destination, which we're gonna do in a second, because this means that not only can you remove stuff, but you can also move stuff, okay? You don't know how cool that is, what I just said, but you're going to see her that in the second, so we've gotten that back. I can see I can retouch that well, I love the brush it's fantastic shift click between two points if you're doing like wires you know, trying to get rid of wires and the street scene, you can shift, click and it'll draw a perfectly straight line. Just make sure that you're bigger than what you're gonna do hell is your great default you're only going to be using clone where you definitely need that to replicate some but even hell can be used to to clone things. Okay, so let's go back and do the rest of this scene in this case I probably should come up here and do a little bit of the tango that's a little bit over much so let's undo that remember I told you that tango if you hit auto and it's too much you have my permission to undo with a smiley face undo and then I'm gonna come up here and I'm just going to bring in some areas that I want I want that shadow detail I maybe want that clarity on brian often do will do clarity before shadow detail I love that it's hitting all these points on the cliff faces here on the nepali these wonderful velvet green mountains um once you know the tango and you completely got that done as you noticed there I did shadows then I did clarity and it's a little bit out of order I also haven't done white balance that could be that I come up here and I find to my white balance a little bit after the fact now that I can see the detail remember if you add the opposite of what you have to much of you're going to start getting rid of it if I'm getting a little bit too much green that I'm actually going to take out green batting a little magenta it's gonna add a little bit of coolness purple into the clouds, which are kind of like, okay and let's, go ahead and we'll do a little bit of vibrance here just because I can and we'll find it so we'll say that that is my little, many tango there. Still, I've removed my, um, props from the helicopter, and if I wanted to, I can also do that little post crofton yet, which is my last part of the tango, so I'm going to take that up and just, you know, tag down those corners so the I doesn't go off my compositions just a little bit of one color priority. A doubt amount down minus twenty. I took the midpoint up a little bit so it's just the corners and I increase that feather to make sure there's a smooth transition. Okay, that's all review again. Let's do one more target adjustment and what I want to do is make it look like there's a break in the clouds hitting down the center of this valley. Because right now there's no set focal point in this image it's beautiful it's got great texture we can take a look at it it's got a lot of going on in the forest we can see the stream but I want it I'm going to exaggerate I'm going to cheat and I'm going to come up here to my radio filter this time I'm going to check to make sure that it is on the inside I'm gonna come up here and maybe start off with just that exposure up and I'm gonna come up here and I'm gonna click down in the floor of the valley and I can't if I move outside of the image I can come up here and change that value I can also rotate the oval if I moved outside of the oval I don't click right on one of those anchor points well come up here and then we'll experiment with what I want to do and oftentimes again I'll take that maybe exaggerate that clarity as if the light is coming up they're really don't often use exposure will use that just to see the area and in this case I wouldn't use that shadow up ok, so I'll take my exposure a little bit it's mainly shadow I can remember I can take my highlights up if I really want to make it look like the sun is hitting on it then that highlight is just going to affect thes clarity is exaggerating that contrast along areas that didn't have it that already have inherent contrast. So I'm exaggerating that I'm actually seeing that I probably I don't want I don't want this valley it's really the son is hitting this portion of the valley right here is what I'm kind of I'm feeling with story right now, maybe coming up this ridge, okay? And again, I can tap that wiki, and now you can see what that's doing in terms of the story if I was there in the helicopter and the clouds opened up, which they were constantly doing so it's, not like I'm cheating like this would never happen like this would happen all the time if you're on a hour helicopter thing, that light is changing. So rather than wait for that light to change in the clouds to open, yes, I'm cheating and I'm getting this kind of effect going on here and again, you can see what's going on in here, okay? I am pulling out a lot of light if we look at the before and after and so when any time you're pulling out a lot of shattered detail, what are you going to want to do you remember that it doesn't want to come it's coming, kicking and screaming that's seriously, if we come back over here to our little snapshot come over here we'll do that'll trick of one and camera defaults there's my image right there's my exposure on my cheating yes totally recommend shooting under exposed if you don't need to no, why is that? So when you're exposed I had one shot I'm hanging out of a helicopter, I'm goingto under exposed to not blow out my highlights those clouds were going bright white, then they'd go gray and so I purposely did under explosive shots knowing that I'm a cheater, I could pull it out. So again, all things being equal, this was a question yesterday, okay, I'm going to save myself because I don't want to blow out those highlights, so I purposely did under exposed because the light was so radical as we'd go from one valley into another above the clouds below the clouds so that right there is the true exposure I'm taking it to that point am I going to get noise? Yes. So remember going backto our detailed tab? We did this detail here we really didn't talk much about the noise reduction aspect of it so that's what I wanted to do with this image knowing we did so much to it and that is, as I mentioned yesterday, the color noise it's actually quite easy to get rid of those what are typically known is the christmas tree lights the little magenta is and greens basically the red green and blue are what the christmas tree lights are the components that make up your image and when they don't the red green and blue have different dot patterns, different noise structures so where they don't perfectly overlap that's why you get the christmas tree lights so by simply doing a little softening of that color you can get rid of color noise very, very easily on a file by just adding just a little bit of color noise reduction to it the trickier thing is your luminosity noise and you're gonna have to be a little judicious because that will start removing details in the file and um for that using a little bit is great. The defaults in terms of your luminous detail in the luminous contrast is a good one just using a few clicks is going to soften that inherent noise if you're doing a landscape you can get away with adding back in some detail or the contrast within that detail. This contrast is kind of like that the details setting up in the sharpening where you're coming up here and you're saying okay, I want you to soften some parts of it but I don't want you to soften it too much I want to add back in contrast in that area well you're doing some softening which works in something like a landscape where you don't have to sit in here in texture you're trying to separate keeping texture from getting rid of noise digital noise so that's where you may want to start using the somewhat if you aren't working with a landscape we're trying to exaggerate texture, then you can leave these at their default settings and just use your luminosity and that's going to soften up the image a lot soften up just enough this also looking here I haven't even done any sharpening to it, so this is the actual they're all filed to begin with so again, this is where I may want to come up here and be a little judicious in my softening in my sharpening so here I'm going to take that up they'll notice that even this is a landscape I could get away with that detail I just don't like the crunchiness of it, so I'm adding a little bit of sharpening I'm not getting carried away because I'm pulling out so much detail a little color in noise and here is my noise reduction and sharpening subtle okay, so here is our before and after this really this is my after right, but I made that before he did the sharpening I don't want to make another snapshot they don't just want before and after with all of it another little tip right click on any of these you can update with current settings so you don't need to add a second one you can rename it or updated or delete it by right clicking on it you also have a trash can down here, but update with current settings means that now this is my before and after. Okay, jack, we've got a quick question. Sure, great from dpt cam wondering, is there a way to set up es cierto automatically take a snapshot when you open the file? No, when that'd be great, yeah, you're get then you you know they're actually and there are some times where does it? Um and I haven't figured it out it's like an old versions, there are certain things with certain cameras maybe that was opened with a different device like light room, where you'll go into snapshots and you'll find a snapshot that's already there waiting for you called has opened or something like that and that I haven't seen that for a couple of years, so there was some little thing it would be a nice feature to set that up for being excellent feature a cz I mentioned the one thing that when you reset it, it does not reset the crop, so even if it had that feature, it would be nice it would be an all on all off but that would include the crop, so I actually what I'll do is before I take that for a snapshot is I will crop the image, so now when I do it, I'm not jumping between a cropped and earn cropped image I'm just all my adjustments to it, so actually I don't mind the fact of coming up here and saying camera default because it's really not the default it's the cropped version, right? So I don't mind that, but it would be certainly nice to do it there's also no shortcut as there is in light room to make a snapshot, so you're having to go over to the pan, right? Make it so there's no shortcut unless the people from adobe who are watching, you know, the secret easter egg that I don't know for making a shortcut. Okay, fantastic and one of your loyal fans louise are who watches very carefully apparently want wanted to no notice that you were using clarity in a cr before shadow and notice that in light room you use clarity and then shadow um actually using both the exact same way and you're right and the tango I'm always going to do I'm clarity before shadow because clarity and get carried away and start darkening up too much having too much contrast to the edges, so I'll always do clarity and then shadow but here specifically in this project and I mention it's a very good eye, I mentioned that once you get used to those sliders and what they do, I did shadow first because I wanted to see what detail was in there. I was more interested in the detail in the file but pulling out shadow detail more than the edge contract so I did a shadow and then I did clarity and then I'll find tune the shadow if I need to and the same thing as I did white balance after I did everything else I did white balance is the last step and that's because you fix the biggest problem first so I did in this case shadow was what I was concerned with clarity then was the edges fine tuning how that light was going off to play and then I played with white balance because I wanted to see if I could get rid of some of the I'm green, bringing back in a little bit more neutral colors and then adding a little bit of coldness of the clouds. So it's a very good point even though the tango is something I came up with the kind of solidify what order you would do things once you're comfortable those sliders it's like a person playing a piano right there's a set way to play the scales and to do certain things a good pianist breaks every rule that there is they know what they're going to do and they're going to do stuff that another pianist is it going to dio when you understand those set parameters and how powerful they are you're going to do stuff I've never done and you may do in in order that I've never done because that's how you work and that's what artists to artists are unique artists are a little tweet sometimes you don't do things logically right sometimes you cut off your ear because you're trying to impress a girl you know we do we're an odd lot so I'm giving you the under the hoods how things work and what things go do I think that you're going to do the same things that I d'oh or should you even do the things I do know I want to give you a whole set of bat utility belt you know gadgets that you can pull out and do amazing stuff with that's my point last thing I want you to do is going to photo shop and go ok adjustment later twenty seven and layer mask and find later master that's all left brain stuff the wonderful thing about the elegance of a doe became a raws once you get to know these notes you're actually tweaking your images and you're staying in right brain you're in his expressive intuitive creative playing rather than the left brain logical analytical you know mathematical things so once you get used to these tools it actually becomes this dance of working with your images which gives me chicken skin or goose bumps as we say chicken skin in hawaii but goose bumps you guys call it that is so cool the fact that you have these sorts of parameters where you can do this tell this story I was there I'm who knows the next time I'm going to get up a hit on a helicopter and quiet in the nepali coast you know so for me and to be able to tell that story and be able to share that is awesome fantastic it's huge and the fact that I get to share it with you guys and um have you guys learned some tips and tricks how to do it yourselves is also huge it's pretty awesome I'm having a little bit of ah dsp moment if you could try control shift ass did you you got that from somebody on that control shift as just for you jack from dpt cam awesome thank you dpt cam way have okay global audience command shift s control control or or control on the pc command shift as new snapshot that's awesome off say that I came up with that I actually program that during the break now that is awesome that is one of those things you know who's who's famous for these nebula shortcuts has been wilmore ben, especially before he was married, would sit in a darkened room and or bus for hours trying every bloody keyboard combination in the world and you know, so command shift s is one that I obviously had not tried, it does not surprise me that it's there that's why actually requested? Because I knew there's a good chance that I don't do it, so that is it and again, I'm going to use things like my numeric values, so that is awesome command shift s or control shift s to make a new snapshot thank you. We'll do a little bit of shadow here and we don't want to add that contrast here and I am going to pull in some shadow detail. I don't want contrast. I am gonna soften it up with some clarity and, uh, I do want to take that exposure up. Fine tune it with blacks. Um, this idea of a balancing out an exposure by and I really am not a cz this is not the best shot for that, but using that graduated india effect coming in here and balancing out an exposure by dragging out when you've got a directional light source, so being able to balance it out or exaggerate you can actually dark in an area, but in this case, you know, you could lighten it up by dragging it out also, if you have mixed lighting where you have warm lighting from here and cool lighting from here, the fact that you can come up here and cool or warm the light coming from a particular area is also really need. So regardless of the landscape, it's actually can be very nice for doing would be portrait worker inside work um, something like this in terms of a targeted adjustment going back to our radio filter taking this up, making sure that we're on the inside now could be something got a just a not a great shot in terms of the overall tone of the image it's not exciting me though it is pretty cool to have a nice side view of a of ah be so in this case using this radio filter to come up here and again find tune it maybe use our clarity to make it pop. Now I can see that I'm going to use that and see now there I did use clarity beforehand to make it pop and then I'm using sharpening to pull out that detail after the fact and we'll use a little bit of our exposure here I can tell that I want that feather to be really nice and big I don't want to see that transition between what I'm affecting on the b and what I'm not affecting what that to be a subtle transition and again hide that so there is one little transition that I'm using for our friend be here and this also maybe a case where I could come up here and say knew and I want to sharpen that that is the story and you could see that probably the pistols pistol in steinman in the center is where the focus was and he's not quite as focused, so because we're dealing with individual hairs on something like the bee hit new I'm going to come over here and do that sharpening we haven't done a targeted sharpening this maybe a situation where I would do a targeted sharpening okay, so I've added out this little option here and now I am getting a targeted sharpening inside this effect actually that is the same effect here that's my there is my secondary one here couldn't see it and because it is sharpening and I'm really only wanting it to be on the be coming over here here's my sharpening I'm going to take that feather dance I really want it just to be on that be okay, so here is for those of you who are wanting to do targeted storytelling terms of sharpening here it is we'll take it all the way down just so you can see the blur and you can also see where the transition is okay, so you can see that the wings are being affected okay, so now you can kind of see where that transition is in terms of what's being affected so there is my sharpening on there and there is the two steps one to brighten it up and brighten it up at clarity do all that little popping and then using a secondary one for targeted and I could get away with it because it is paul in on the b it's hairs you expect to see that kind of individual pixel sharpening on it so they're again would be a little effect going on their terms of barbie again I mean it's just so many things that you can do with that radio filter which I just love and here take that exposure down do our shift double click making sure that it's on the outside okay doing that in here in terms of not our highlights but our exposure how do you duplicate one of these selections command option or control all drag it over then we'll switch it around to the inside now it's still set to what it was below which was a negative exposure they will take it to the inside had our clarity to it a little bit of shadow a little bit of saturation to draw that I into the center of it maybe even on the outside we could come up here I don't want to blur it even though I could you could take that clarity down. What is that? Clarity that's, kind of a softening. So something as simple as that could be. You know, those two clicks where we've minimized the outside, brought in the inside, add just a little saturation. Mohr, subtle adjustment. I wanted to go back out to that. Outside here. It could be that I take those highlights up so again, aiken dark in the middle tones, which is the exposure, but in the sense, like that regular vignette, where you had that highlight protection, you can say, I'm giving you permission to change the middle tones, but not the highlights. Okay, so that the fact that you confined tune that is, I think, just fantastic.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Adobe® Camera Raw Follow Along Images
Adobe® Camera Raw 8 Presets

Ratings and Reviews

a Creativelive Student

Jack Davis is my favorite Creative Live instructor, and this 3-day Camera RAW series is just amazing. I learned so much that I can apply to my own work. I shoot photos for field ID guides, and conditions are not always optimal, and the things I learned about working with RAW images really made a difference when I'm working on processing images. Thanks, Jack (and thanks, Creative Live for offering these great classes)!

a Creativelive Student

This was the most comprehensive class on ACR that I've taken. Jack is a great teacher as well as entertaining. His approach was thorough, going through not only tools and their associated panels in ACR but touching on organization in Bridge and in the last few sessions, going through some things in Photoshop that ACR can't do. My mind is blown and I have a much better understanding of everything that can be done in ACR. I was pretty excited to get Jack's presets for ACR as well as most of his images with the purchase of this class. When you open up snapshots of Jack's images, all the settings are there so you get a real feel for where you can take your own images. Thoroughly enjoyed this class and consider it money well spent.

a Creativelive Student

This class is wonderful. It is amazing how much more you can do in camera raw than photoshop. I highly recommend this class!

Student Work