Chances are, you’ll end up with a few unwanted objects in your panoramic photo. Perhaps it’s a power line that’s sagging in the frame. Or it’s an unwanted tourist walking through the shot. Fortunately, Photoshop offers a suite of tools for removing objects and hiding blemishes. In this second part we look at the Healing Brush tool.
The Healing Brush is designed to correct imperfections in a photo. Similar in handling to the Clone Stamp tool, it successfully hides blemishes by taking cloned pixels and matching the texture, lighting, and shading of the sampled to the original pixels. This can generally produce results in which the repaired pixels blend seamlessly together.
You can use all of the Clone Stamp tool shortcuts with The Healing Brush tool. Be sure to specify the tool alignment in the Options bar. If Aligned is selected, the sample point and painting point move parallel as you brush. If you click again and start over, the sample point picks up relative to the current brush position. If Aligned is deselected, the initial sample point is re-used. The second method ensures that you are always sampling from the same area but the first produces more visual variety if using a large textured area.
Here are a few tips to get better performance:
- Because the sampled pixels are drawn from before you click, it may be necessary to release and start over occasionally to avoid sampling the problem area.
- Release the mouse to merge the sampled pixels. The stroke will most-likely look strange until then.
- To get better results on an area with strong contrast, make a selection before using the Healing Brush Tool. The selection should be bigger than the area to be healed and should follow the boundary of high contrast pixels. This way, when painting with the Healing Brush, the selection will prevent color bleed-in from outside areas.
- You can clone from all visible layers by specifying Use All Layers. This is useful if you want to clone to an empty layer at the top of your document while sampling from the layers below.
This post is adapted from the book Motion Graphics with Adobe Creative Suite 5 Studio Techniques. If you want to learn how to mix panoramic photos with video (and much more) check out the book.