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What’s up Photoshop fam. Today I’m going to show you three ways on how to remove  anything from your images in Photoshop. Stay tuned.

What’s up Photoshop fam, I’m Rick Navarro and this is the Pixel Laundry Photoshop Academy. One of the most basic things that you’re going to be in almost any image you do in Photoshop, is to be able to Remove anything in Photoshop from the image and that doesn’t matter whether it’s you know large stuff or small stuff. Sometimes there are situations where you can’t really help what’s going to be in the frame. You know you could be on location and there’s a trashcan in the background where there’s trash on the floor, maybe you catch a cabinet shot and you’re out with your family or you’re out with your friends and maybe there’s just something really distracting in the background and you want to get rid of it otherwise the picture would be amazing. So I’m going to show you three different tools and maybe a bonus tool maybe one more bonus tool to show you how to get rid of stuff in Photoshop.

Lets get Started

So I pulled up a couple of these images right here and this is from a fashion shoot. I did some time ago and I’m going to show you the first and probably my favorite and quickest way I think to get rid of things that you don’t want in your image okay. So this is a model in a pool obviously and we’ve got a few little things like spots in the pool, some creases in the concrete and some just random kind of paraphernalia in the back that we’re going to get rid of very easily.

Step 1 in how to Remove anything in Photoshop

So first thing you’re going to do is you’re going to do to Remove anything in Photoshop is duplicate the layer and what we’re going to do is grab the patch tool. Okay now patch tool doesn’t usually come up by default it’s usually under the Healing Brush tool which is also helpful but we’ll get back to that later my personal favorite is the patch tool and the way it works is you’re just going to make a selection like you normally would with anything else and if you hover over your selection, you’ll see this little arrow pop up and it basically is telling you to drag over to an area that is easily sample. So I’m going to go this way even though it’s going to say go to the right just means drag over and as you can see just like that it got rid of that crease. Now one thing you want to watch out for is stuff like this, this is what we call like a blow outlet. If I back it up a little bit if I, if I grab in my selection, if I grab just a little bit of that edge and I grab some of those black pixels and do the same thing, I’m going to get this kind of fading effect and what it’s doing is, it’s basically grabbing some of those pixels because it’s assuming that’s what you want and it’s averaged, averaging them out with the rest of the environment. The way that tool works is basically it’s going to grab the basic, the average of the pixels around it and I give you like an approximation in the middle.

So that works really great on textures that you know maybe aren’t as repetitive, like this one is a really great example of that camouflaging type texture so lace would be a good example of that was something where the the print isn’t so definite. Sand grass, tree bark, it’s certain types of clothing patterns even hair, a skin is a really good one where this works really well. I’m actually going to show you another sample here in a second that works actually on skin but that’s basically how this is going to work and as you can see it pulled it very nicely and I can move relatively quickly in here.

Clone Stamp to remove things in Photoshop

Now to fix this what you want to do is first of, you probably don’t want to grab it in the first place but that kind of moves us right on into our second tool, your clone stamp tool, is the next tool I’m going to show you. Clone stamping is probably the most famous technique in Photoshop to remove anything. You can use that in conjunction with these techniques. Actually all these techniques work really well together, it really just depends on the scenario, it depends on you know the environment what’s going on and what is going to be the best tool for the job. So you can use this in conjunction with the patch tool to get you a good result.

So let’s go, just go ahead and show you that now. So if you hit S on your keyboard, your shortcut for your stamp tool is, sit’s also right here you’re going to sample an area that’s close by holding down the ALT or CTRL. If you’re on a PC, hold the ALT, sample out an area that’s nearby, what you’re really looking for is similar light so you can sample anything on this area. In this area let’s say you know I’m out here, I want a sample from over here. The difference is, is that the concrete over here is much lighter than the concrete right here. So you want to be really careful about where you’re sampling and go ahead and sample somewhere close by where the light is very similar. Now I’ve got a soft brush here, I don’t want a super super hard edge because if I do that, that’s going to give me more problems. You can see now I got to fix this, so instead of doing that I’m going to soften down this brush just a pinch, I’ll sample out somewhere close by and I’m not lightly at ease in this area that I just messed up by using it improperly, there we go okay. So again, let’s do it again over here. I’m going to use my patch tool, drag it off same thing over here, I’m going to be careful of that black edge, pull it off and then as I need to fix it when a sample close by, where the area is light and paint my texture back on okay?

Now one thing, I just noticed I want to show you guys is, if you have a soft brush and you come to something like this where there’s a hardedge and you go in here and you get real tight to it and you paint that off, now you have this ghosting sort of effect, this hazy effect in some places that works really good because it could be like what we call a kicker light or an edge light that may be coming and that’s hazy from the background, but if that’s not the case, it just looks like poor Photoshop work.

So you want to be mindful of that, so if you’re getting super tight in here on something like this and you need that edge to be tight, tighten up your brush and by tightening it up I mean a harder edge brush. Now on the other side, I just said that could create problems so why is it different here. Well the difference is, because one of those edges needs to be a little bit firmer than the other and it’s okay if I clip off just a pinch of that edge right there to get it tight, now over here you can’t even see it but if I could see it, if for some reason I could see, in fact let’s just go ahead and go down and I’ll show you what to do if you run into that situation down here. I’ve got a hard brush and I want to fix an edge like this. See now I’ve created a good edge on the inside but now I’ve created a bad edge on the outside and if I had to fix it, it’s an easy fix. Go back to your patch tool, grab that outside edge and basically do the same thing that got you in the mess in the first place and you’re going to clear it up nice and quickly okay?

Content-Aware Fill to remove things in Photoshop

Now on this last one, this is probably I know I said the patch tool is my favorite to Remove anything in Photoshop, but this is probably my go-to 95 to 99% at a time and that’s content-aware fill okay, and content-aware fill is basically doing the exact same thing but it’s doing it in less keystrokes. So instead of sampling, painting, sampling, painting, sampling, painting, I’m going to basically do it like I would fill a fill there okay, and the way I do this is I hit shift and hold delete and this fill box comes up and in here sometimes its foreground background color that’s usually the default that it sets to, what I go is content aware and content aware fill will basically do the same thing that the patch tool is doing. It’s going to average the amount of pixels directly around that selection and it’s going to fill it with what Photoshop thinks is the result that you’re trying to get okay? If I just go okay there it is and you can see, you can move really really quickly through this to eliminate things in the background.

Camera Dust

Another use of this is in camera lens dust. I see this all the time, it’s actually not coming from your photo, it’s actually in your camera, so you’ll need to carefully remove your lens. If you’re using a DSLR that I should say and there’s tons of videos out there for that and I recommend that you watch them and you proceed really carefully because you can mess up your camera if you’re not careful while you’re cleaning that and you can’t just clean it with anything. Don’t get in there with Windex and start spraying  in there or your CMOS sensor, but there are, there are really great ways and great videos out there showing you how to clean your sensor or sensor dust off of your camera but if for some reason you don’t feel confident enough to do that or you’re you know you don’t want to risk messing up your camera, totally understandable. An easy way to fix that is use content aware fill. Content-aware fill is also great for stuff like this right, like there isn’t necessarily anything close by but Photoshop has done an incredible job with this particular tool in getting it to do stuff like that, that was you know amazing, super easy to fix okay? This is an interesting one that I’d probably come in here with a stamp tool and any time I’m going to use a stamp tool like let me show you why I wouldn’t use Content-aware fill here although it might actually work. You see these repeating patterns that are starting to happen here, that may it be a reason let’s see if content-aware fill works down here I’m right up against the edge of this chair so it may not and that’s the thing it’s kind of a guess and it’s in some certain perfect example and some circumstances. It’s not really the best tool for the job and this is why I’m showing you at least three okay? Now this has given me a good start, I can from here, I can come in here with my stamp tool and again stamp out again. I’ve got that hard that hard edge so I’m going to get rid of that, soften this up a little bit and then I’m going to just come maybe slowly build up and get rid of all of this nonsense over here. Okay to get a straight line too what I’ll do is, I’ll hold shift, what I’ll do is I’ll sample up here first, make my first click here and then if I hold shift and click down at the endpoint, it will draw a line for me so that I know that my shape is straight.

Watch out for repeating Patterns

Now you’re seeing a little jagged here is because this, this is the area that I sampled, hit the edge of this so instead of doing that lets just sample a little further back right about there, same thing, click first, hold shift, click all the way down and I make sure my line is straight. I’ve created an edge for myself. I’ve got a lot of repeating in there, this is like signature clone stamp on you know pros and cons. This would be a con to the clone stamp. There’s a very signature look that clone stamping when done improperly will give and it’ll give your photo away and make it look like you don’t know what you’re doing. So let’s not do that. There’s enough bad Photoshop out there in the world. Let’s make sure you’re a pro.

Combine your techniques

Alright, so now I’m basically just using a combination of those three techniques to remove anything in Photoshop, just to clean this up alright and just like that some of these problem areas are already taken care of. Now let’s go to a different sample. I’ve got here for you so this is another one you know sometimes you run into a situation where you’ve got all these signs in the background and again I’m going to go content-aware fill.

A Word to the Wise

Well let’s make sure I’m on the right layer; I am. Now, pro-tip, always work non-destructively all that basically means is always keep a copy of your original inside your document. Some people argue that it occupies more space and makes the file heavier but in my experience it’s always better to have that than to not. If you have worked directly on that layer and you destroy that layer for some reason or it gets corrupt or you’ve gone too far and you don’t have enough history states to go back and source on the layer that you’ve been working on you’re going to be stuck. So always copy that original layer, turn it off, put it in a folder somewhere where it’s not going to get messed up and if you need it later in the, in your workflow it’s there for you. Okay so that’s basically what working on-destructive me, non-destructively means. It means to work nondestructively on your original layer. So I’m going to turn that off, go to this layer here and then start my edits here. Content-aware fill and that this background is kind of nondescript enough and blurred out because of the depth of field that I don’t have to worry about so much of these details. Content-aware fill very good maybe right here I’m going to clone stamp some of this building down, just a pinch. Let’s soften up that edge a little bit, more and kind of follow the line of these other buildings in the background before it fades off content, where fill there goes.

Now I’ve got a little bit of ghosting action, so I’m going to blend that another cool technique I like to do with the stamp brush is, drop the opacity super low like twenty or thirty percent on my, on the stamp brush. There we go right there and you can build up the layer like if you don’t want to go a hundred percent right out the gate like now I’m going in brush strokes, I’m going to build this up, so I get the effect that I want and that’s a nice way to kind of ease into the effect that you’re trying to achieve a couple people in the background here. If you want to make it look like your set is completely void of other human beings, you’ve got this exclusive access, maybe you’re on a beach and there’s way too many people in the background you just want to make it look like there is just you and the person this is how you do it okay? Now I just want to keep an eye out for like smudgy repeating patterns because all of these are kind of susceptible to that.

Let’s bring the opacity back up there you go, here’s another way, this it looks like there’s trash or something on the floor, very quickly make light work of that gone, maybe there’s just you know one too many of these things, let’s get rid of this one right here. Now what do you do? It kind of blew out the backside. Now this one actually kind of works because it’s pulling in the green from over here from the top of this planter but if it didn’t right, if it didn’t again you’re going to use a combination of your tools, use your stamp brush and I’m going to sample from up here and just a very little bit at a time, build in that background. Now it helps that it’s blurred out and that it’s very nondescript and that you can’t really tell so visually it’s going to work really great but you’ll just want to be careful so that there aren’t any crazy repeating patterns that make it obvious.

Anything that’s too unnatural is going to draw attention, it’s going to draw visual attention or naturally kind of just draw the eye towards that side of the image. So again think like a camera or think like how a camera operates. I should say and slowly figure out is this in focus my view angle? Is it in my depth of field like you know where I’m where is this shot at in terms of aperture? and that’s going to determine what’s in focus and what’s in not. How much can I fudge it and get away with. This is looking pretty decent right about now so now I’m going to grab this and use a combination of my tools earlier like I said by making a selection being careful what pixels I’m pulling in and I’m just pulling in from other textures right around the area and now I’ve got it right where I want and I’ve got all these little pink spots and stuff like that on the ground and I’m getting a little bit of repeating so I’m going to kind of come in here, content-aware fill again, be sure to pull out when you’re looking at these images so that you can get an idea of what’s happening from a tonal value kind of place. When you’re super tight, you can get caught upon the real tight details and you don’t realize that there’s tonal values that are changing as you’re making these manipulations so you want to pull out so that you can look at the picture in its entirety and get a feel for whether me manipulating that corner is causing more problems.

Alright one more, this is from a Photoshoot I did some time ago where I was actually in the room with the model, there’s my head and I’ve got this flash on the floor, I’ve got reflections of my team in the background you know, light reflections. We had these things we wanted to take out and then the same way basically when I edited this photo, I’m just using the exact same techniques that I’m showing you okay? So I’m going to move real quick so you can see how quickly this can work for you once you get a feel for it. If this creates new problems like that just come over in sample areas where you’re cleaning that up again, I’m using a combination of all three of those techniques that I just showed you in fact on this door what we’re going to do is make super light work of this with the pen tool. I’m going to go ahead and make a selection because I already know that that entire section there is going to be painted out including the door, the door hinges and everything, all those little paint flecks and dust on the glass, it’s reflecting back into the shot. Make sure my selection is super tight and instead of painting with black which I could, there’s actually color variations in here that I want to keep.

So I’m going to sample from the shadows, the default like 255 black can sometimes be super rich, this is actually probably not even that and even though it looks that dark you want to be careful when you’re using that okay? I got a few little edges right there I’m not going to mess with that too much just for the sake of time but you get the idea now. This molding I’m going to line up those three lines and I’m going to paint now you know what before we do that let’s create a new selection, same thing pen tool p for pen tool grabber right here, come right down to that edge, I’m going to go right to the edge of this molding where the tile kind of meets that trim piece because I’m also going to get rid of these guys up here too. So again, I’m going to sample from right here with my stamp tool line that up and paint down now.

One thing I just noticed is that what I was telling you earlier, the light is to it already changes from here to here. so I’m going to get a little bit closer, maybe bring my brush size down and harden it up just a pinch, so I want to be close, by close I mean close in the approximation like the distance between where I am sourcing from and where I am going to paint. I’m using a Wacom Cintiq tablet to do this, I bought this a few years ago and it speedup my workflow like crazy, totally recommend. it is a bit of like a luxury purchase but I was doing so much work that I could justify it to kind of pay for itself but if you can you know if you got it like that and you’re looking for a piece of gear that’s going to take you to the next level, especially in retouching or anything photographic or photography related man, this thing is awesome. I’m used to working on Wacom tablets, looking at the screen and then working separately but when you merge those two worlds especially for me personally, when I came from like a drawing an illustrative background, this just makes it so much easier. what I’m doing is, I’m painting and then picking up the mouse or the stylus painting and picking it up with a mouse it would be a click, click, click, click, click to sample. I’m not holding it down and brushing all the way through or painting and keeping it in contact with the surface the entire way through, I’m actually painting in strokes and what that’s doing is sampling the new areas that I’ve just painted.

So instead of sampling the original area, every time I pick it up it resamples a new area and basically kind of works like this as opposed to clicking down and then scrubbing because as I’m painting, its sampling. So you want to paint, resample paints, resample, so sample from here, fix that, pick it up, paint, pick it up, paint, pick it up, paint okay? Got a little bit of painting issues, there is my patch tool fix going to make my selection here. This is a great surface, it’s kind of a marble sort of surface. Let’s see if content-aware fill will fill in the blank for us. Boom, did a pretty good job cleaning that up, look for repeating patterns going to be like a Photoshop ninja. No sign that I was anywhere close by all right and basically you go through and do the same thing over here, you basically repeat that process over and over again until you get it to where you like it and in this particular case this one finished up like this. I even brought a little bit of the molding down here in the corner, got rid of the speed light and brought in some of this edge and now I’m not in the photo anymore.

Bonus technique for removing things in Photoshop

Okay I want to show you one last thing, I promised you maybe one more those are three, so you’ve got your stamp tool, you got your clone excuse me your clone stamp tool, you’ve got your content-aware fill and you’ve got the patch tool. Now if you wanted to kind of combine the two patch and a stamp tool basically you want to use your healing brush again, duplicate your base layer. This is a an object, so I’m going to rasterize that and if you get your healing brush again, it’s really about the tool for the job but your healing brush is like a combination of your content-aware fill, your clone stamp and your patch tool and basically in the shape and form of a brush you’re going to be able to use those three different tools power, if you will to get the same effect the Spot Healing Brush tool, it’s under here the healing brush, it’s under the healing brush palette. If you hold, if you click down and hold down, you’ll be able to get a drop-down of additional tools, any tool in this palette in your tool palette that it’s got a little, tiny little arrow here in the corner that means that there’s more tools under that particular, that particular button. So you’ve got more options and in this particular case, Spot Healing Brush tool works just like that.

As you can see, I’m basically dragging instead of making a selection and then hitting content-aware fill. I can use it as a click or I can click and drag to paint like a brush. In this particular image, it’s destroying my texture so it wouldn’t be the greatest tool for the job here right? But if I use it as maybe just kind of like a spot like, just a click, I can move relatively quickly again. This is like a bonus one, I don’t use this one very often because I use a combination of those other three but earlier in my career I used to use a lot and it is pretty effective especially if you’re starting out for an image like this where there’s a lot of freckles and there’s a lot of texture that needs to be maintained. In this particular image, she’s got a ton of different colors in our face that need me to have to even out. I recommend you check out the frequency separation video that I have, that I just did recently and it shows you how to separate the texture in the tone, that way you can address the tonal issues and then address the texture issues and on your high pass layer you could use this or you could use any of those other techniques that I just showed you.

In Conclusion

Alright guys that’s How to Remove anything in Photoshop, I hope that really helps you out. Be sure to LIKE, subscribe and hit that notification bell so that you can get updates on our future videos. We love making these for you, if you’ve got any ideas for future episodes make sure you comment in the section below and let me know if this help, is helping you out okay? Thank you so much for watching and we’ll catch you next time.

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