Deke’s Techniques 063: Healing One Eye onto Another

063 Healing one eye onto another

If you use Photoshop, I imagine you probably know all about the amazing healing brush, which lets you clone one area of an image (called the source) onto another area and seamlessly merge the results. (Or, at least, that’s the idea. Some results are more seamless than others.) But do you know about the healing brush’s partner in crime, the Clone Source panel? It lets you set the position of the source as well as scale it. Better yet, you can flip and rotate the source.

In this week’s free video, I show you how to flip and rotate the source to heal a good eye onto a bad one. If you’ve never seen this trick, you’re in for an eye-opening surprise.

Here’s the official description from my video publisher,

In this week’s free technique, Deke takes a good look at the healing brush, with a particular focus on healing one side of a face onto another. This technique is useful not only for repairing the damaged eye of Deke’s particular subject (shown below), but for any time you need to retouch a large area on one side of a face. What would make a better healing source than its mirror image on the other side?

The old man with his old eye before Photoshop's healing brush

Of course, faces are generally symmetrical, so if you need to use the right side as a source for the left side, you’re going to have to flip the information somewhere along the way. In Deke’s case, he needs to flip the eye on the right over, as well as angle it more appropriately to his subject’s face once it reaches its destination (because no one, except Cate Blanchett, is that symmetrical) . Enter the Clone Source panel, a handy device for changing the orientation and angle of your cloned pixels. The result (below) is simple but powerfully effective:

The old man with his new eye after Photoshop's healing brush

Of course, sometimes the character of a face should be left to its own natural beauty. But if your work or creative impulse requires the healing of large areas on a face, this week’s technique will show you how to exploit the symmetry of the human face to your advantage.

Join us next week for another free technique from Deke.

Between you and me, this old guy doesn’t deserve me healing his eye. But he’s a great sample file, and, well, that’s what you get for being a great sample file. Meanwhile, the above text inspired me to play around with Cate Blanchett. And I noticed that while Ms. Blanchett is indeed pretty dang symmetrical by design (below left), she gets a very skinny neck and third boob when flipped in Photoshop (right).

Cate Blanchett real and Photoshop

Those are my thoughts for the day. I hope you find them to be of value.

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  • what version of elements did you use in this

    jkwallis   Hello, I have a bad eye and I’m very interested in learning this technique to be able to fix my eye in my photos. However, I have Elements 6 and some of these instructions I couldn’t find….for example the clone source under the Windows tab. Could you please give me the step by step instructions for this using Elements 6?  I would really appreciate it.  thanks

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