Sunday, October 1, 2006

Retouching in Photoshop CS2: healing lines under the eyes


By Kevin Ames

Why clone when you can heal? The latest version of Photoshop CS includes an awesome tool, the Healing Brush, which is sure to save you time and frustration when you need to make your subjects look their best.

Take a giant step past the Cloning Stamp tool, and what you get is the new Healing Brush. More sophisticated and intelligent, the Healing Brush has the ability to automatically match the tone, texture and shading of the area you are correcting without having to match the pixels and color exactly from your sample area.

Why is this truly amazing? The result will be a totally seamless corrected image with your subject looking flawless in the most natural way!

In this article, we'll use the Healing Brush to remove wrinkles and dark circles under the eyes. Wrinkles, dark areas and bags under the eyes are very common problems and tend to rear their ugly head in most portraits.

To remedy this problem, while also keeping your subject looking like himself or herself, try this simple technique with the Healing Brush. This can also be used for eyelids, color correction and other areas of the face.

To begin, open the original file that needs correcting with the Healing Brush.

Note: Always be sure to keep a copy of the original photo in your files. You can do this by creating a new layer within the corrected image or saving it as a separate file.

Create a new layer by dragging your original image to the New Layer icon. This will copy your original image, creating two identical layers of the same image in the layers palette. To retouch this image, you will be working on the top layer.

Select the Healing Brush tool and adjust the brush size to suit the area you will be working on. Be sure you have the Sampled option (top of the menu) selected before you begin.

Select a "good" area of the skin on your subjects' face that you would like to imitate. Hold the Option or Alt key down, and click on that "good" part of the skin. This creates the skin sample used for the Healing Brush.

Be prepared to repeat this step to get the exact "sample skin" you want to use to correct the image. To do this, simply go back and select a new sample of the skin you would like to copy to "fix" the under eye problem.

As shown in Figure A, click and drag the healing brush over the wrinkles or dark areas under the eye, as shown. Continue this step until you have removed or "healed" all the wrinkles or dark areas under the eye.


Here, we're healing using a "good" area of the skin. (click for larger image)