Removing Objects in Photoshop

Removing Objects in Photoshop

September 21, 2019 1 By Peter Engel


– Hey, guys, what’s up? My name is Chris Daniels. I’m a photographer and writer. And I’m here today in
the Mastin Labs Office in Ballard, in Seattle. And we’re gonna be going through some Photoshop cloning tricks today. And we’re not gonna get
into anything too serious, nothing that goes as far
as compositing imagery or anything like that. But I’ll be going over some of the basic tools used for that, which are the Healing
Brush, the Clone Stamp Tool. And we’ll also probably be using layers, and I’m gonna try not to
venture too far outside of that. What you see on the screen here is just some photos that
I pulled from my archives, and we’ve already put an
edit onto these images. And we’ll bring them from
Lightroom into Photoshop. One quick note, if you’re
doing this workflow, is that before you bring your
images into Photoshop, you wanna make sure to
apply your preset first, but not the grain. So, do all your adjustments,
your preset pack, your tonality, lens corrections, white
balance, all of that. And leave the grain if
you’re going to add it off. Bring it into Photoshop. Do your Photoshop adjustments, and then bring it back over
to add the grain to export. So that being said, we’re gonna start with this image here. And like I said, it’s already been edited in Lightroom with Portra 160 Pushed. And what we’re gonna focus on removing is this unsightly obstruction here, which should be pretty
straightforward and easy. And, so, I’m gonna right-click the image, go to Edit In, and Photoshop should be there. And there it is. All right, so first things first. When editing in Photoshop, before you do anything else, take your background
layer and make a copy. This is just for file safety’s sake. If you’re using a Mac, you can hit Command + J,
while the layer is selected. You immediately get a duplicate of it. So, the tools that we’re gonna be using. Again, the Clone Stamp Tool,
which is this guy here, and then the Healing Brush
Tool, which is this one. There’s a couple of
different Healing Brushes. We’ll get into those as well. The quick keys for those,
I like to use them. S is for your Clone Stamp Tool. J brings up the Healing Brush Tool. Every time Photoshop does an update, they usually update their Healing Brush and that technology for
their Smart Healing Brushes. And it honestly gets better
and better every time. We got into this before we had technical
difficulties earlier, and I was really surprised
at how well that did. So, I’m just gonna show that to you again with the Smart Healing Brush. I’ve hit my J key. And like I said, there’s
a couple of brushes. I’m gonna right-click on it, so there’s the Spot Healing Brush and the Healing Brush Tool. The Spot Healing Brush is the one with the smart technology in it, and that’s the one we’re gonna start with. Generally, for these, as far as your brush size and softness, the size is just dependent
upon what you’re editing. So, we want something a little larger than what we’re taking away. Softness or hardness as it’s labeled here. You want it on the softer side. In this case around 50%. And for this one you don’t
have to, for the Smart Brush you don’t have to tell
it where to pull from. It just evaluates the image itself, and does the best job it can. So, all you do is paint over
what you’re trying to remove. And, again, it did a killer job. There’s a few things to fix, but, overall. So, I’ll do a before and
after, so you can see. And let me zoom in just a tad. All right, so that’s before. Zoom in even more. And what you want to pay attention to is not just what you’re trying to remove, but everything in the background. So, what I’m looking at are
the lines in the mountain range in the background, as well as the lines of
the field in front of it. The lines of this fence, the shadows, all of that needs to line up once this is gone, or if it doesn’t that’s gonna be the tell to someone viewing the image
that something was removed. And, so, again, going
back to where we were. So, that’s the after, and overall it did a pretty good job. There’s a few things to clean up, but it did a good enough job that we’re just gonna
clean up behind it a bit. And, so, what I need to fix let’s see let me do a Paintbrush Tool here. So, this area where that line is out of sync, especially if I flick this on-and-off, there’s a few things like this line here
needs to be cleaned up. And then I have this shadow that runs all the way down from where the pole was. And we’ll clean that up as well. So, for that, I could probably use
the Smart Brush again, but, instead, we’re gonna go back to our Healing Brush Tool, and I’m gonna use the Healing Brush, as opposed to the Spot Healing Brush. The biggest difference
is that with this tool you tell it where to
pull information from, which is really good
for lines and patterns. Zooming in, I’m gonna tell it by clicking the Option key. It brings up a crosshair, and I tell it I want to pull from right here, from this spot. I go over to where my discrepancy is, fill it in a little bit. I might have to pull some more information from this side just to even it out. And, really, you’ll just go back-and-forth until you get things smooth. A lot of healing, it’s not that it’s difficult to do. It’s sometimes time consuming. But that’s generally Photoshop. All right, now, we’re gonna
clean up these lines up here. If we go back to the before, you can see that once Photoshop put that information back in, it was just a little bit wrong here. And it’s so subtle that you could probably deliver this image
and no one would ever know. But it’s also so easy to fix. Again, we’re doing a soft brush. This one is on 20% softness, which is pretty good. Let’s see, it’s well enough now, that I’m having to go back. Or it’s done well enough that I’m having to go back to my original
to see what I need to fix. I don’t love this, what it did here. So, on the before and after kind of pay attention to that spot. Texture-wise, it looks fine,
but it’s a color difference. And, so, what I wanna do to fix that is I wanna pull information
from the left here that is more matched with the original. This color information
that it pulled is more to the right of the image, and so we have a variation there. And, so, because this
is in the background, it’s pretty out of focus. We’ll just use that same brush. I can even go a bit larger with my brush. Select information from over here. I’m just gonna paint over that area. That looks much better to me. It did change some of the
top of the range here, but it did good job with it,
so I’m not worried about it. And the last thing we need to clean up is the shadow that was left behind. Let’s try the Smart Healing
Brush Tool for that, again. So, right-click Spot Healing Brush Tool. Again, you’ll just brush across what you want to take away, and Photoshop will evaluate
the rest of the image and try to do a good job, and it did. So, that’s that one. If you guys have questions anytime, please don’t hesitate to ask. I’ll answer them the best that I can. We’re gonna find another
image in Lightroom. Let’s see. Let’s tackle this one. What I’m seeing here is
this guy in the background. He came around the corner
right as the shot was fired. And I don’t know that guy. He doesn’t contribute to my image. So, I’m gonna take him away. So, again, this has already been edited. I’m gonna go to Edit in Photoshop. There it is. All right, so, again, we’re gonna copy the background layer. Command + J to do that. And this one, what we’re really looking at here is the pattern behind the
man that we’re removing. So, we wanna make sure that we implement that pattern into what we’re cloning. And, so, it gets a little more tricky. There are a few different
ways to go about this. The first way that I would go about it would be to use the Lasso Tool. And, so, we’ll try that first. I’m just gonna use the regular Lasso Tool. And I’m gonna feather it just a tiny bit. And this doesn’t have to be super precise. The reason I’m using this
Lasso Tool is because of the line of the escalator here, ’cause I don’t wanna
disrupt that line while I clone him out of there. So, I’m just gonna do a
rough selection of this line, and I might clean it up a little bit. Again, it doesn’t have to be perfect. And, then, I’m just gonna
swoop way outside of him, because that selection doesn’t
have to be refined at all. Again, I’m just worried
about this line right here. So, what this allows me to do is work within this area without affecting anything
outside of the Lasso selection. And I think for this I’m
gonna use the Clone Stamp, so that’s S for the quick key. It’s this stamp right here. The stamp is not a Smart Tool at all. It take exactly what you tell it to and paints it wherever you tell it to. That’s all it does, which is great for when you need that. So, with the pattern,
you wanna find a point, like a corner or something recognizable that looks close to what
you’re trying to cover up, and move it from that point to the other. And this one looks good. Actually, I’m gonna use
this one right above him, ’cause the light’s more similar. So, you’ll do the same
thing, you’ll use Option to select the area you
want with the crosshairs. And it’s the soft brush, again. The flow is currently on 100%. I’m gonna knock it down just
a little bit, maybe to 60. And, then, you line up. When doing a pattern, you line up right where you want
that pattern to continue. And with the Clone Stamp Tool, once you start it doesn’t
reset, so I click here, and see because I was a little off, if I keep painting, it
just keeps painting it off. So, I have to back up, select my point again, and make sure that it’s lined up well
on that first click. All right, that’ll work. So, from that first click, it’s taking information
from this area here, and pasting it down here, and because I’m working
with this Lasso Tool, I can come right up to the edge and not affect the escalator. And he’s gone. You could spend some time to clean up this little shadow here. Again, no one would ever see that. If you wanted to clean it up a little bit, you can use the same Stamp Tool. Move the flow down pretty low, and grab the information
from just behind it, and just slowly paint it in. All right, so that’s before, after. – [Staff Member] I have a question. Yes.
– Yeah, Troy wants to know your thought process behind when is the best time to use each of the tools. So, what do you think about when you’re using the Healing Brush why would you choose that
versus the Stamp Tool, or the Spot Healer? – All right, so Troy is asking what are my thoughts in when to use each to where. A lot of that comes with practice, and a lot of it is trial and error. With practice, you’re more often right the first time, but, even then, it’s like sometimes you try the Smart Healing Brush and it works great like
in that last image. I was really surprised at how well it did, just for me to swoop
over it, and it go boom, and it lines everything up. It doesn’t always work that well. The reason that I didn’t
use that same tool here, and I went with something
a bit more manual is because of the pattern and
the background of the image. So, the Smart Tool does get better and better at recognizing patterns. But it might have been worth trying. Let’s just see what it does. I’ll turn that off, make another copy. Using the Smart Healing Brush, let’s just see how well
Photoshop does with the pattern. So, that’s Spot Healing. So, this is the brush where
I don’t tell it anything other than I tell it
what I want to remove. So, no Lasso Selection, no nothing, just the Smart Brush. I’m gonna do a rough
selection over our guy, try to avoid the edge of the escalator as much as possible. Let go and see what it does. All right, so it did okay. But it left some rough areas there. The Smart Healing Brush doesn’t work as well with the Lasso Tool. And the reason I went with
the Clone Stamp to begin with is because I’ve had enough
experience with patterns to know that usually that’s
the outcome with patterns. It was just better to do it on my own. Any other questions? All right. We’ll move on. So, back to Lightroom. I know many of you are wedding
photographers, I am not. So, I don’t have any
wedding photos to show you, but I bet you guys run into something
like this all the time. You take a shot, look at it later, and your second shooter or videographer has found themselves in
the corner of the frame. So, we’re gonna tackle this. And what’s interesting
about this one in particular is that my videographer up here, Zach, is standing on top of this
structure in front of a tree, and so there’s quite a lot to consider if I wanna take him out of there. So, we’re gonna move
that over into Photoshop. All right. So, again, Command +
J to make a new layer. So, what I’m considering
in looking at this is I have enough information
within this image that I could pretty easily
cut him and the tree out and leave sky, and that would be fine. It might, again, no one
would probably notice it might throw the balance of
the image off a little bit. We could do it either way, but let’s say we wanna leave
that tree texture there. And I’m not gonna completely try to just remove him and leave the trees. I will to an extent, but, basically, I’ll take him out of there, and then I will use texture
from around where he is, and these other trees in the image, to put that texture
back in the photograph. I have my hard lines here, so that means I’m probably
gonna use the Lasso Tool, again. There’s a rail going up. I might just remove that. It’s not a crucial part of the
image up here where Zach is, so I’m not too worried about it. All right. So, I’ll use the Lasso Tool again. I’m actually gonna use a different one, the Polygonal Lasso Tool. I’m gonna put another slight feather on it of just one pixel. A reason for that is it helps on the edging just to stay away from a really hard edge. I chose this Lasso Tool
because it does this. You create straight lines with it. And because I have a straight line here, that was that choice. So, I’ll just start kind of far out of where I need to be. Pull outside the entire frame, below Zach’s legs, and just a really coarse lasso around him. Double-click to finish it,
and there’s my selection. So, that just keeps me from doing anything to the stairs, which I wanna retain that
information just as it is. So, let’s try. I’m really interested to see
how smart Photoshop’s gotten. So, we’re gonna try the Spot
Healing Smart Brush, again. Actually, let’s try this. So, when you have a selection like this, you can right-click, well, let’s see, within the selection tool. No. There we go. So, within the Marquee Tool. You have the selection, go into the Marquee Tool, right-click. You can go down to Fill. So, Fill uses the same
technology as the Smart Brush when you have it on Content Aware. So, basically, it does the same thing. You’re telling Photoshop you wanna fill this selection with information that it decides looks like it should go there. And just like that brush sometimes it does a really
great job, sometimes not. We’re gonna see how it does. Click OK. All right, so it did okay. It did basically something close
to what I might have done, just with a brush. So, we’re gonna start there, even though there’s a lot to clean up. I’m gonna keep that selection. And the first thing I’m gonna do is use my Clone Stamp Tool. I’m gonna pull from this tree over here. And as long as I’m just below that line, that’s all it will add. All right, so I removed my selection. I have a hard line from
where that selection was. A lot of this stuff
really is trial and error. With Photoshop there’s
almost a way to do it. Sometimes, it just takes a long time. But this is not bad. So, I’m back on my Smart Brush. I’m actually gonna change that to the Healing Brush where I
tell it where to pull from. I’m first just gonna
clean up this area here. Clean up these lines. This bit of tree left over. We still got some stuff to
do, but that’s where we were. This is where we are. What I’m seeing now is kind
of a shade discrepancy. In this corner it’s a bit lighter and a bit more blue over here. So, I’m just pulling from this information with a large, soft brush
just to even that out. I’m back to my Lasso Tool. I’m gonna make that same
basic selection, again. A little wider. And, now, I’m just gonna start kind of stacking some texture. So, with the Stamp Tool pulling from the tree
group right on the right. I’m gonna pull from the one over here. All right, so you get the idea. It’s one of those things
you can toy with it for quite a long time. It just takes time. The pattern here is starting
to look a little repetitive, so you just work with it
until it looks natural. But that’s the basics on that. The Lasso Tool is a big thing. It keeps me away from
messing up my steps here. But Zach is now gone. All right, so back over to Lightroom. Let’s see. I got a couple of golf course ones. Kirk’s worst nightmare: a golf course at noon. All right, let’s start with this one. This is my bonehead mistake of being too close and this
is my shadow in the shot. I just wanna get rid of that. Waiting on Photoshop, there it is. Copy the background layer, Command + J. So, what I really have to consider in this is this is shot with a wide-angle lens, and so the perception of the grass at the bottom of the
image towards the center where the top of the shadow
is is a bit different. And if I just pulled from
any grass in the image, it’s probably gonna create
something odd in that spot. So, this might be a good one to try the Content Aware Fill again. We’ll start there and see how it does. Let’s go back to a Lasso Tool. And I’m gonna go to the regular one, but I’m gonna add a larger
feather to it of about 10% or 10 pixels. And the reason for that is so that when Photoshop fills,
it has a feathered edge, so it has a greater chance
of being incorporated. A rough selection around the shadow. I’m gonna right-click, hit Fill. The contents are on Content Aware. Click OK. That’s not bad. But you can kind of see what happened is it pulled information
from all over the image, and it pulled grass from somewhere that gave it this very different texture. But it is decent and enough to work with. We’re just gonna clean this one up. First thing I’m gonna do is remove these two leaves here. I’m gonna hit J to go to
my Healing Brush Tool. I’m using the regular Healing Brush, where I tell it where to
pull information from. And I wanna stay pretty lateral here. So, this grass in this area should look about the same texture as what’s directly to
the left and right of it. So, that’s where I’m gonna pull from. I’m gonna up the hardness
on the brush just a bit. Even this takes some trial and error. You’ll notice that I’m going back and sampling again and again. And that’s just because if I don’t, it samples from the same spot every time. Zoom out every once and a while just to kind of get a view
of where you’re going. That’s our before, after. And it still needs a bit of cleanup. All right, so if you look
at the before and after. Uh-oh. Oh, there we go. There we go. All right, so looking
at the before and after, you can see in this area
the grass looks really nice. So, I’m gonna use a layer mask to actually add some of that back in. So, you hit this little icon down here. It looks kind of like
just a square with a hole. That puts a layer mask on there. And with that selected, and just a regular paint brush, I can paint black onto that area and it
erases what I’ve added, or erases part of that. So, if I do that with a soft brush, that can help me clean
up part of the selection. And I can do that until
I get into my shadow and then back off a little bit. So, that’s not bad. It could use a little more work. And like I said in the last image, some of it is just tedious. To finish it off it’s
literally more of the same, until it looks good to your eye. I guess we’re gonna call
that one done for now. And we have time for one more. So, let’s see what we got here. Let’s go with this one. Reason being I wanna remove these three people, well, four people, a little
boy right there as well. He’s a person. I’m gonna remove this
people from the background leaving just the subject
in the foreground here. We’ll have to pay attention
to a few things to do that. So, Edit in Photoshop. Let’s try again. There it is. All right, Command + J to
copy the background as always. There’s a lot of texture, a lot of grass, but really this shouldn’t
be that difficult. This is mostly about paying
attention to the lines again. So, I’m gonna start with the Smart Brush. No, I’m not. I’m gonna start with the
regular Healing Brush, so I can tell it where to pull from. So, we’ll start with
this person back here. And what I’m looking at are the lines of the tops of the lavender, as well as this line of
green going into beige. And those are what I’m gonna
be paying attention to, as well as the overall texture in removing this person from the image. So, Healing Brush selected, I’m looking for a lavender top that matches this one pretty close. This one right next to it is pretty good, so we’ll start there. I’m gonna start just about here. And then with the preview
that’s in my brush, I’ll make it larger so
you can kind of see. It has a preview of the
area that I selected. I’m just gonna try to
match those lavender tops and start painting. And before taking my hand off the brush, I’m just gonna go all the way up, and see how good of a job this does. It looks pretty good. This area up here needs a little clean up. I’m gonna select from over here. That didn’t really work. Command + J to go back. And I think I’ll use the Stamp Tool to
clean that up instead. So, just to explain that. I pulled from here with the Healing Brush Tool. I stamped over here, and if I leave it, you can see it’s just a little
dark, a little discolored. And that’s just some of the
properties of the Healing Brush. If I kept going, it might clean it up, but I’m adding a lot of
texture in the top up here that I don’t want. So, instead of doing that, I’m gonna use the Stamp Tool,
which is completely manual. And it’s on a flow of 13% which is fine. Gonna add just a little bit at a time. There we go. All right, one person gone. This guy. I think I’ll also remove that fence post while we’re at it, too. So, J for the Healing Brush. Starting with the fence post, I’m gonna select the top
of the lavender right here, and just go up. Make a selection here, get the top. Clean that up and that’s done. All right, so for him this is a bit interesting
because he’s in the lavender. And you can see that the lavender itself
makes a kind of pattern. It’s almost like purple triangles. And he is disrupting that pattern, so I have to find where I
can recreate that pattern, and remove him at the same time. And, actually, this
area looks pretty good. So, I’m looking at the corner right here where the purple and the green meet. And I’m gonna select this
similar area over here, and just start painting that in. And I’m gonna go until it covers him up. I’m not letting off the brush. I’m just going, going, going. All right, that’s not bad. A little dark area there, which I can use another
area to clean that up. I don’t like that. Let’s try this one. All right, that’s not
bad, let’s move along. Another fence post,
let’s take care of that. Grab the top of the little, tiny flowers up here, put them there. Fence post gone. I’m gonna start with the top of her hat, looking at the line of the
green bushes back here. I’m gonna start with that line, pull it over on top of her hat, and just go down. I might have to start
again just a little bit, just see how it does. So, because I haven’t clicked, it’s pulling information
that’s still there, which is why I painted him,
the little boy, back in. So, now, I’ve let off. I’m gonna select some lavender over here, and kind of recreate that pattern. And I’ll select some over here. No, let’s see, let’s go
a little further down. All right. People, no people. Cool. What it really comes down to is time and attention to detail. And, generally, if you
can ask the question, can it be done in Photoshop, probably can. It make take five minutes,
it might take five hours. But practice these tools. Do it with new layers, so
you can always back up. But like anything else it’s
just time, practice, and that’s it, guys. Again, my name is Chris Daniels. You can always ask, reach
out to me personally. I’m on the Facebook group quite a lot. You can find me there. You can find me on
Instagram @chrisdanielsart. But asking myself or anyone
at the Mastin Labs Team questions is always a great thing, ’cause we like you guys
and we love to answer them. And that’s it guys,
we’ll see you next time. Laters.