Last week we learned about the Spot Healing Brush. (Using the Spot Healing Brush).  Today let’s look at the Healing Brush Tool.

With the Spot Healing Brush, you do not need to select a sampled area before using the brush. You just stamp down on the area you would like to repair.  With the Healing Brush, a sampled area is required.

Options for the Healing Brush:

  1. Choose a Brush Size. Photoshop looks at the sampled area you have chosen, and analyzes the pixels within a feathered radius of 10% of that area, taking into account texture, color, and luminosity. For this reason, using a soft-edged brush is not required, or even advised, when using the Healing Brush.
  2. You may choose a Blend Mode, but I typically keep this set to Normal.
  3. You have the option of “Sampled” or “Pattern Source”.  If you choose “Pattern Source,” you will be allowed to choose a Pattern from the Pattern picker. Typically, we would want to leave this option set to “Sampled.”

Using the Healing Brush:

  1. Choose the sampled area by Alt-clicking on the area of the image you would like to sample.
  2. Move your cursor over the area you would like to repair, then click and drag.

In the image below, I would like to remove the rust on this car fender.  The dark circle is the area that I will be sampling from.

After I have alt-clicked my sample area, I dragged my brush over the rusted area. In larger areas like this, you may need to complete the repair process in stages. In this image, I repaired half of the rust, then alt-clicked a second time, to choose another sample point, then completed the repair process.  Here is the final result.

You might now be wondering what the difference is between the Healing Brush and the Clone Stamp.  They work much in the same way, in that you must select a sampled area before using the tool.  The difference is that the clone stamp just clones, or copies, pixels from your sampled area, while the Healing Brush tool tries to blend the pixels from your sampled image with the pixels in the area you are repairing.

Sometimes the Clone Stamp works better than the Healing Brush, and sometimes the Healing Brush works best.  Experimentation is the key!

For today’s tutorial I used Photoshop CC2015.5.  The Healing Brush is available in Photoshop Elements as well.