• M Team

4 Easy, Highly-Effective Tools On Photoshop

And how to use them correctly.

Photoshop can move mountains - literally - If you know how to use it. But you know that already, that’s why you’re here. So I’m not going to bother crafting an exciting intro that leaves you wanting more, because, well, that’s just wasting your time and you need to get editing! So here: 4 life-changingly awesome editing tools just like I promised.

1. Spot Healing Brush

The Spot Healing Brush is a crafty little tool, typically used to remove spots and blemishes on your photographs. Try it out quickly! Open your Photoshop and click on the icon like the one above. The one that looks like a plaster with tiny dots around it. Right. Now that you’ve got it selected, go ahead and click on a spot that you want removed from your shot. Did it disappear? Good! That’s exactly what it’s supposed to do.

Essentially this tool removes inconsistencies that you tell it to. It calculates what the spot’s supposed to look like, by sampling the immediate area surrounding the spot. We use this tool to remove blemishes from faces, dust particles that were on the lens or even specks of dirt from clothing. But a part from all this, there’s another great way to use this tool. If you hold your click in, and then drag your brush, you can paint a line over fine inconsistencies of the image too. We use this technique to remove finer strands of hair that are covering a persons face.

Before you get going with the Spot Healing brush, take a look at these guidelines for a little extra help when getting started:

1. This tool is most effective when used on spots and fine lines. For correcting larger areas you’ll want to check out the Layer Mask tool below.

2. The Spot Healing Brush works best when your blemish is on a fairly clean background. If the spot is surrounded by a lot of detail, it tends to smoosh that detail together in a strange way. For example, if you click on a pimple just below your subject’s lips, the spot healing brush might replace that blemish with pink lip detail instead of the smooth skin that you want it to. For problems like this, pay close attention when we discuss the Clone Stamp, or read on for the healing brush.

3. Lastly, don’t confuse the Spot Healing Brush tool with the Healing Brush tool. It also looks like a plaster except it doesn’t have the dotted lines around it. If you click and hold on the Spot Healing brush icon in the toolbar, the Healing brush tool will pop up - And vice versa. Because they’re kept in the same place in the toolbar they are often confused for the same tool. The healing brush tool requires you to tell Photoshop exactly where it should source a sample from. You can do this by holding alt. and clicking on the good skin that you want to replace the blemish with. A great solution to those tricky little edges.

2. Layer Mask

If you thought the Spot Healing brush was cool, the Layer Mask is going to add a devastating karate kick to your editing moves. You’ll find the icon for the Layer Mask at the bottom of your ‘Layers’ window. It looks like a block with a circle cut-out in the middle. Seeing as you’ve already got your Photoshop open, select one of your layers and then click on this Layer Mask icon. Great. Did you see how that added a white square next to the layer name? Good. That white square is really just acting as a mask to the layer it’s attached to. I don’t know if you saw this but the moment you clicked, your foreground/background colours in the left toolbar changed to black and white. Now! Select your brush tool (the icon that looks like a paint brush in your toolbar) and switch your foreground colour to black if it’s not already - And start painting! The areas you’re painting with black should disappear. If you switch your foreground colour back to white, you’ll notice you can paint those areas right back in and make them