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Adobe Photoshop CC - Advanced Training

How to use the Patch tool for retouching in Photoshop

Daniel Walter Scott

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Hi there, welcome to the Patch Tool video. What does it do? It's really good at duplicating people, but that's not its main use, it's really good for getting rid of large objects all in one go. It keeps being used quite a lot in retouching, for removing things like bags under eyes, where there's just a lot of surface area to change. And my favorite use, shiny Dan, not so shiny Dan. Shiny, not shiny, shiny. It's great when you are stressed because you don't like getting photographed. And there's people watching that you don't know. Stressed Dan, calm Dan. Stressed Dan, calm Dan. I'm going to stop talking about myself in the third person, and let's get into the Patch Tool. 

From your 'Exercise Files', open up 'Patch Tool 1', '2', and '3'. I'm going to start with number 1. So the skinny version is Patch Tool, just removes things. It's like the Spot Healing Brush with the Clone Tool stamp, but it has its own purpose. Let's say I'm using the Spot Healing Brush, and in another tutorial in the Essentials course, we just kind of painted people out, that worked most of the time, but let's say this one here, because this person crosses background here, we're just leaving Photoshop, and it's done a pretty good job. There's some messing down here. If I undo it and do it again though, it's kind of one of those tools where you've just got to cross your fingers. Sometimes it's great, and then sometimes really bad. I'm going to go back again. 

The Patch Tool is hidden underneath the rest of these Spot Healing brushes. It's more about-- think of the Patch Tool as intentionality. Like I'm going to draw a box around the outside of him. I said box, a squiggly line. Click and drag around the outside. The cool thing about it is-- make sure you're set to 'Source', then just click, hold, and drag, and can you see what I'm doing here, I'm intentionally saying, I want you to kind of use this area here, then let go. It does a very similar job but gives it some kind of boundaries. So I'm going to 'Deselect'. There's a little bit work there that I might go into, with the Spot Healing Brush, but to be honest, if I showed you this image beforehand, I bet you wouldn't notice. 

Sometimes I get a bit too hung up on doing details that-- like, is that-- a detail, no, that's just probably an original image, I'm going to ignore it. Now the one thing, and what we've done in the previous tutorials, is we all went, "Okay, new layer, make sure it's selecting all the way up," doesn't work. You actually have to be on your original layer, so you should do it back up first, which I haven't done. The quick way to do it is either click and drag this down, or just hold 'Command J', or 'Ctrl J' on a PC, and it just, whatever layer you've got selected, or groups of layers, that makes a duplicate. I've already wrecked the bottom layer so let's just carry on. 

The other thing to know about the Patch Tool is, this thing here, you mean to drag it around, and I'm not very good with it. This is a rectangle, wish I could just use my Rectangle Tool, and then switch to the Patch Tool, and pull from there, please. So you can use the Lasso Tool, or the Quick Selection Tool. Whatever you want, you don't have to use this kind of built in Selection Tool. The other thing to do with the Patch Tool, there's a few things we're going to learn about it. The other thing to know about it though is, if I go to 'File', 'Revert'-- 'File', 'Revert' is just a handy one, nothing to do with the Patch Tool. Just get you back to when the document was last saved, instead of going undo for a million times. It's got a kind of another use, so I've got my Patch Tool here, I'm going to do the same thing, squiggly line. That's not bad. 

Most of the time you want to use it to Source, this one here you can use Destination. So we're doing a different thing now, we're saying, instead of you kind of removing, I'm going to drag them along here, and watch this. It's a new guy, I use that never. But it's there, we're getting advanced. You might have a really good use for it. Let's go to 'Patch Tool 2'. So in terms of retouching, often it's the Spot Healing brush, a little bit Clone Tool stamp. With the Patch Tool, there's kind of two places it gets used. If there's anything that's like a large part that needs to get updated. 

So we're actually going to 'Command J' this one, this time. I'm even going to call it 'Retouch'. And I grab my 'Lasso Tool', and I'm just going to grab everything kind of underneath here. And instead of Destination, make sure it's on 'Source'. Click, hold, and drag it to a nice bit of skin, let go. I'm going to 'Deselect', you can see there, it's just nice for doing larger chunks. If you've ever watched any YouTube channel on Patch Tool, basically this is the one thing it gets used for. To add a little bit of extra awesomeness to it, I'm going to undo before I've done it. So I'm back here, I've done my selection. What I'm going to do is, there's a little known feature in Photoshop. It's not just the Patch Tool, watch this, I do this, and it can get very fake very quickly, because we do have wrinkles under her eyes. 

So what we can do is, first of all-- so what I want to show you is under 'Edit', and this one here, says 'Fade Patch Selection'. Now this will say, fade whatever the last thing you did. That's really handy, it's like an undo but it's got an opacity slider. So that is-- I've done nothing, and I can kind of find just a happy medium, of like, instead of it being perfect just a little over here. A nice thing about that is, if I click 'OK', 'Deselect', like a little bit of the background through. I could do lowering the opacity of the layer, if you're like, "Why don't you just do that?", but that lets me do it per actual selection. So some of them, you don't want it to be completely unfaded, some of them, you want to be faded more than others. Going to grab this. We're ignoring the chain we saw in the background. And this one here, I want to fade, but I want it to be not as much as the first one. 

The other trick here is 'Command H'. And depending, if you're using a Mac or PC, if you're using a PC it will just work, it will remove the matching ends, just temporarily. On my Mac here, it's a shortcut that gets used both for Photoshop and for the Mac operating system. And Photoshop just says, "Hey, do you mean, like hiding Photoshop or hide the extras? We want to hide the extras. The selection is still there. So 'Command H' toggles it back on and off, and it just means when I do the Fade, because it's a little hard to see the edges, so if I go to 'Fade' now and I drag it back, without that selection there, just becomes a little bit handier. You find a happy medium, you can see you can kind of individually fade parts. You might find that useful. 

So it's great for large patches, hence the Patch Tool. What I find it super useful for is, here's me, shiny me, so the Patch Tool is really good at-- 'Command J', grab the 'Patch Tool', I'm going to draw this around here. Shiny bits of skin, it's really good for. Grab all of that. Get a bit more specific, grab this part. Goodbye, shiny Dan. Let's remove the forehead here. You, and a non shiny bit of forehead. Off. Let's turn that on and off. If you try and do it individually with the Spot Healing Brush, you can get lucky, for this, remember, intentionality, the Patch Tool. We'll say, "Go here, exactly." All right, Patch Tool, that is you done. Let's get into the next video.