Note:

For Photoshop versions earlier than Photoshop CC, some functionality discussed in this article may be available only if you have Photoshop Extended. Photoshop CC does not have a separate Extended offering. All features in Photoshop Extended are part of Photoshop CC.

Using a variety of Photoshop tools, you can easily touch up blemishes, whiten teeth, correct red eye, and fix many other imperfections in your images.

About the Clone Source panel

The Clone Source panel (Window > Clone Source) has options for the Clone Stamp tools or Healing Brush tools. You can set up to five different sample sources and quickly select the one you need without resampling each time you change to a different source. You can view an overlay of your sample source to make it easier to clone the source in a specific location. You can also scale or rotate the sample source to better match the size and orientation of the cloning destination.

For timeline-based animations, the Clone Source panel also has options for specifying the frame relationship between the sample source video/animation frame and the target video/animation frame. See also Cloning content in video and animation frames.

Retouch with the Clone Stamp tool

The Clone Stamp tool  paints one part of an image over another part of the same image or over another part of any open document that has the same color mode. You can also paint part of one layer over another layer. The Clone Stamp tool is useful for duplicating objects or removing a defect in an image.

You can also use the Clone Stamp tool to paint content on video or animation frames. See also Cloning content in video and animation frames.

To use the Clone Stamp tool, you set a sampling point on the area you want to copy (clone) the pixels from and paint over another area. To paint with the most current sampling point whenever you stop and resume painting, select the Aligned option. Deselect the Aligned option to paint starting from the initial sampling point no matter how many times you stop and resume painting.

You can use any brush tip with the Clone Stamp tool, which gives you precise control over the size of the clone area. You can also use opacity and flow settings to control the paint application to the cloned area.

Photoshop Alter an image with the Clone Stamp tool
Altering an image with the Clone Stamp tool

  1. Select the Clone Stamp tool .
  2. Choose a brush tip and set brush options for the blending mode, opacity, and flow in the options bar.
  3. To specify how you want to align the sampled pixels and how to sample data from the layers in your document, set any of the following in the options bar:

    Aligned

    Samples pixels continuously, without losing the current sampling point, even if you release the mouse button. Deselect Aligned to continue to use the sampled pixels from the initial sampling point each time you stop and resume painting.

    Sample

    Samples data from the layers you specify. To sample from the active layer and visible layers below it, choose Current And Below. To sample only from the active layer, choose Current Layer. To sample from all visible layers, choose All Layers. To sample from all visible layers except adjustment layers, choose All Layers and click the Ignore Adjustment Layers icon to the right of the Sample pop‑up menu.

  4. Set the sampling point by positioning the pointer in any open image and Alt-clicking (Windows) or Option-clicking (Mac OS).

    Note:

    Make sure you are not working on an adjustment layer. The Clone Stamp tool does not work on adjustment layers.

  5. (Optional) In the Clone Source panel, click a clone source button  and set an additional sampling point.

    You can set up to five different sampling sources. The Clone Source panel saves the sampled sources until you close the document.

  6. (Optional) Do any of the following in the Clone Source panel:
    • To scale or rotate the source that you’re cloning, enter a value for W (width), H (height), or the rotation in degrees .
    • To reverse the direction of the source (good for mirroring features like eyes), click the Flip Horizontal or Flip Vertical buttons.
    • To show an overlay of the source that you’re cloning, select Show Overlay and specify the overlay options.

    Note:

    Select Clipped to clip the overlay to the brush size.

  7. Drag over the area of the image you want to correct.

Set sample sources for cloning and healing

Using the Clone Stamp or Healing Brush tool, you can sample sources in the current document or any open document in Photoshop.

When cloning video or animation, you can set sampling points in the current frame you’re painting or sample sources in a different frame, even if the frame is in a different video layer or in a different open document.

You can set up to five different sampling sources at a time in the Clone Source panel. The Clone Source panel saves the sampling sources until you close the document.

  1. To clone video or animation frames, open the Animation panel (if you’re not cloning video or animation frames, skip to step 2). Select the timeline animation option and move the current-time indicator to the frame with the source you want to sample.

  2. To set the sampling point, select the Clone Stamp tool and Alt-click (Windows) or Option-click (Mac OS) in any open document window.
  3. (Optional) To set another sampling point, click a different Clone Source button  in the Clone Source panel.

    You can change the sampling source for a Clone Source button by setting a different sampling point.

Scale or rotate the sample source

  1. Select the Clone Stamp or Healing Brush tool and set one or more source samples.
  2. In the Clone Source panel, select a clone source and then do any of the following:
    • To scale the sample source, enter a percentage value for W (width) or H (height) or scrub W or H. The default is to constrain proportions. To adjust the dimensions independently or restore the constrain option, click the Maintain Aspect Ratio button .
    • To rotate the sample source, enter a degree value or scrub the Rotate The Clone Source icon .
    • To reset the sample source to its original size and orientation, click the Reset Transform button .

Adjust the sample source overlay options

Adjust the sample source overlay options to see the overlay and underlying images better when painting with the Clone Stamp and Healing Brush tools.

Note:

To temporarily display the overlay while painting with the Clone Stamp tool, press Alt+Shift (Windows) or Option+Shift (Mac OS). The brush changes temporarily to the Move Source Overlay tool. Drag to move the overlay to another location.

  • In the Clone Source panel, select Show Overlay and do any of the following:
    • To hide the overlay while you apply the paint strokes, select Auto Hide.
    • To clip the overlay to the brush size, enable the Clipped option.
    • To set the opacity of the overlay, enter a percentage value in the Opacity text box.
    • To set the appearance of the overlay, choose either the Normal, Darken, Lighten, or Difference blending mode from the pop‑up menu at the bottom of the Clone Source panel.
    • To invert the colors in the overlay, select Invert.

    Note:

    To help align identical areas in the source overlay and underlying image, set Opacity to 50%, select Invert, and deselect Clipped. Matching image areas will appear solid gray when aligned.

Specify the clone source offset

When using the Clone Stamp tool or Healing Brush tool, you can paint with the sampled source anywhere in the target image. The overlay options help you visualize where you want to paint. However, if you paint in a specific location relative to the sampling point, you can specify the x and y pixel offset.

  • In the Clone Source panel, select the source you want to use and enter the x and y pixel values for the Offset option.

Retouch with the Healing Brush tool

Note: Beginning with the Photoshop CC 2015.5 release, you have an option to revert to the legacy Photoshop CC 2014 behavior for the Healing Brush tool. Select Preferences > Tools > Use Legacy Healing Algorithm For Healing Brush. For more information about Photoshop version history, see the New features summary.

The Healing Brush tool lets you correct imperfections, causing them to disappear into the surrounding image. Like the cloning tools, you use the Healing Brush tool to paint with sampled pixels from an image or pattern. However, the Healing Brush tool also matches the texture, lighting, transparency, and shading of the sampled pixels to the pixels being healed. As a result, the repaired pixels blend seamlessly into the rest of the image.

The Healing Brush tool can be applied to video or animation frames. See Examples for the Healing Brush in Photoshop for tips and samples of the Healing Brush in action.

Photoshop Sampled pixels and healed image
Sampled pixels and healed image

  1. Select the Healing Brush tool .
  2. Click the brush sample in the options bar and set brush options in the pop‑up panel:

    Note:

    If you’re using a pressure-sensitive digitizing tablet, choose an option from the Size menu to vary the size of the healing brush over the course of a stroke. Choose Pen Pressure to base the variation on the pen pressure. Choose Stylus Wheel to base the variation on the position of the pen thumbwheel. Choose Off if you don’t want to vary the size.

    Mode

    Specifies the blending mode. Choose Replace to preserve noise, film grain, and texture at the edges of the brush stroke when using a soft‑edge brush.

    Source

    Specifies the source to use for repairing pixels. Sampled to use pixels from the current image, or Pattern to use pixels from a pattern. If you chose Pattern, select a pattern from the Pattern pop‑up panel.

    Aligned

    Samples pixels continuously, without losing the current sampling point, even if you release the mouse button. Deselect Aligned to continue to use the sampled pixels from the initial sampling point each time you stop and resume painting.

    Sample

    Samples data from the layers you specify. To sample from the active layer and visible layers below it, choose Current And Below. To sample only from the active layer, choose Current Layer. To sample from all visible layers, choose All Layers. To sample from all visible layers except adjustment layers, choose All Layers and click the Ignore Adjustment Layers icon to the right of the Sample pop‑up menu.

    Diffusion

    Controls how quickly the pasted region adapts to the surrounding image. Select a lower value for images with grain or fine details, or a higher value for smooth images.

  3. Set the sampling point by positioning the pointer over an area of the image and Alt-clicking (Windows) or Option-clicking (Mac OS).

    Note:

    If you are sampling from one image and applying to another, both images must be in the same color mode unless one of the images is in Grayscale mode.

  4. (Optional) In the Clone Source panel, click a clone source button  and set an additional sampling point.

    You can set up to five different sampling sources. The Clone Source panel remembers the sampled sources until you close the document you’re editing.

  5. (Optional) In the Clone Source panel, click a clone source button to select the sampled source you want.
  6. (Optional) Do any of the following in the Clone Source panel:
    • To scale or rotate the source that you’re cloning, enter a value for W (width), H (height), or the rotation in degrees .
    • To show an overlay of the source that you’re cloning, select Show Overlay and specify the overlay options.
  7. Drag in the image.

    The sampled pixels are melded with the existing pixels each time you release the mouse button.

Note:

If there is a strong contrast at the edges of the area you want to heal, make a selection before you use the Healing Brush tool. The selection should be bigger than the area you want to heal and precisely follow the boundary of contrasting pixels. When you paint with the Healing Brush tool, the selection prevents colors from bleeding in from the outside.

Retouch with the Spot Healing Brush tool

The Spot Healing Brush tool quickly removes blemishes and other imperfections in your photos. The Spot Healing Brush works similarly to the Healing Brush: it paints with sampled pixels from an image or pattern and matches the texture, lighting, transparency, and shading of the sampled pixels to the pixels being healed. Unlike the Healing Brush, the Spot Healing Brush doesn’t require you to specify a sample spot. The Spot Healing Brush automatically samples from around the retouched area.

Photoshop Spot Healing Brush
Using the Spot Healing Brush to remove a blemish

Note:

For retouching a large area or for more control over the source sampling, you can use the Healing Brush instead of the Spot Healing Brush.

  1. Select the Spot Healing Brush tool  from the toolbox. If necessary, click either the Healing Brush tool, Patch tool, or Red Eye tool to show the hidden tools and make your selection.
  2. Choose a brush size in the options bar. A brush that is slightly larger than the area you want to fix works best so that you can cover the entire area with one click.
  3. (Optional) Choose a blending mode from the Mode menu in the options bar. Choose Replace to preserve noise, film grain, and texture at the edges of the brush stroke when using a soft‑edge brush.
  4. Choose a Type option in the options bar:

    Proximity Match

    Uses pixels around the edge of the selection to find an area to use as a patch.

    Create Texture

    Uses pixels in the selection to create a texture. If the texture doesn’t work, try dragging through the area a second time.

    Content-Aware

    Compares nearby image content to seamlessly fill the selection, realistically maintaining key details such as shadows and object edges.

    Note:

    The create a larger or more precise selection for the Content-Aware option, use the Edit > Fill command. (See Content-aware, pattern, or history fills.)

  5. Select Sample All Layers in the options bar to sample data from all visible layers. Deselect Sample All Layers to sample only from the active layer.
  6. Click the area you want to fix, or click and drag to smooth over imperfections in a larger area.

Video | Retouching cars in Photoshop

Video | Retouching cars in Photoshop
Learn how to retouch images of cars in Photoshop
Scott Kelby

Patch an area

The Patch tool lets you repair a selected area with pixels from another area or a pattern. Like the Healing Brush tool, the Patch tool matches the texture, lighting, and shading of the sampled pixels to the source pixels. You can also use the Patch tool to clone isolated areas of an image. The Patch tool works with 8‑bits or 16‑bits-per-channel images.

Note:

When repairing with pixels from the image, select a small area to produce the best result.

For information about using the Content-Aware Patch tool options, see  Content-Aware Patch and Move.

Photoshop Patch tool
Using the Patch tool to replace pixels

Photoshop Patched image
Patched image

Repair an area using sampled pixels

  1. Select the Patch tool .
  2. Do one of the following:
    • Drag in the image to select the area you want to repair, and select Source in the options bar.
    • Drag in the image to select the area from which you want to sample, and select Destination in the options bar.

    Note:

    You can also make a selection prior to selecting the Patch tool.

  3. To adjust the selection, do one of the following:
    • Shift-drag in the image to add to the existing selection.
    • Alt-drag (Windows) or Option-drag (Mac OS) in the image to subtract from the existing selection.
    • Alt+Shift-drag (Windows) or Option+Shift-drag (Mac OS) in the image to select an area intersected by the existing selection.
  4. To extract texture with a transparent background from the sampled area, select Transparent. Deselect this option if you want to fully replace the target area with the sampled area.

    Note:

    The Transparent option works best for solid or gradient backgrounds with clearly distinct textures (such as a bird in a blue sky).

  5. To control how quickly the pasted region adapts to the surrounding image, adjust the Diffusion slider. Select a lower value for images with grain or fine details, or a higher value for smooth images.

  6. Position the pointer inside the selection, and do one of the following:
    • If Source is selected in the options bar, drag the selection border to the area from which you want to sample. When you release the mouse button, the originally selected area is patched with the sampled pixels.
    • If Destination is selected in the options bar, drag the selection border to the area you want to patch. When you release the mouse button, the newly selected area is patched with the sampled pixels.

Repair an area using a pattern

  1. Select the Patch tool .
  2. Drag in the image to select the area you want to repair.

    Note:

    You can also make a selection prior to selecting the Patch tool.

  3. If desired, complete steps 3-4 above to adjust the selection and apply pattern texture with a transparent background.
  4. Select a pattern from the Pattern panel in the options bar, and click Use Pattern.

Remove red eye

Video | Removing red eye and whitening teeth

Video | Removing red eye and whitening teeth
Photoshop Principal Product Manager Bryan O'Neil Hughes shows how to remove red-eye and whiten teeth using Photoshop in this episode of the Photoshop Playbook.
Bryan O'Neil Hughes

The Red Eye tool removes red eye in flash photos of people or animals.

  1. In RGB Color mode, select the Red Eye tool . (The Red Eye tool is in the same group as the Spot Healing Brush tool . Hold down a tool to display additional tools in the group.)
  2. Click in the red eye. If you are not satisfied with the result, undo the correction, set one or more of the following options in the options bar, and click the red eye again:

    Pupil Size

    Increases or decreases the area affected by the Red Eye tool.

    Darken Amount

    Sets the darkness of the correction.

Note:

A reflection of the camera flash in the subject’s retina causes red eye. You’ll see it more often when taking pictures in a darkened room because the subject’s iris is wide open. To avoid red eye, use the camera’s red eye reduction feature. Or, better yet, use a separate flash unit that you can mount on the camera farther away from the camera’s lens.

Video | Light correction & removing unwanted objects

Video | Light correction & removing unwanted objects
Photoshop Principal Product Manager Bryan O'Neil Hughes explains how to remove unwanted objects and use brush-based color dodging to equalize the luminance and color temperature of subjects.
Adobe Photoshop

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