Even Better ‘Healing’ Without the Magic Tool

Healing Example
This is an update to the old method I showed you.

This method is faster, less complicated, and is better at dealing with edges. You still get good results, and you can see what is happening in real time.

10 July 07 – Edited step number 3 so that the whole thing works now!

The setup

I used this image in my example (about 182kb): creation_of_adam.png

1. Duplicate the layer. Call this (top) layer ‘Shape’. Select this layer.

2. Open the Despeckle Dialog ( Filters -> Enhance -> Despeckle). Uncheck the ‘Adaptive’ and ‘Recursive’ check boxes. Set the Black Point to -1 and the White point to 256. Adjust the radius until the blemish that you want to heal disappears. In Gimp 2.2 make sure that radius is odd (there is a bug in 2.2 that is fixed in 2.3)
The despeckle dialog

3. Change the layer mode to ‘Grain Extract’. Select ‘Copy Visible’ from the Edit menu. Paste this and convert it into a new layer. Name this layer ‘Texture’. Change the Mode to ‘Grain merge’. Change the ‘Shape’ Layer’s mode to ‘Normal’.

The layer setup

4. Show only the Texture layer. Select a hard brush and clone over the blemish. Make both the ‘Texture’ and ‘Shape’ layers visible to see the result. You can clone the texture layer while both layers are visible to see the results as you do it if you like.

Texture clone

5. You’re done.

Healing Example

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15 responses to “Even Better ‘Healing’ Without the Magic Tool

  1. brilliant thankyou will be using this technique a lot

  2. 4. Show only the Texture layer. Select a hard brush and clone over the blemish. Make both the ‘Texture’ and ‘Shape’ layers visible to see the result. You can clone the texture layer while both layers are visible to see the results as you do it if you like.

    On this step what exactly are you cloning? Because when I try to clone on the texture layer what I see is the original image and the clone tool will not activate.

  3. Capnhud, You are cloning the texture layer.
    Perhaps you have the texture layer visible but it is not the active layer. You will need to make sure it is active by clicking on it in the layer window.
    Perhaps you are not using the clone tool properly, see

    Gimp documentation

    or

    A cloning tutorial

    Hope this helps.

  4. LOL:
    Perhaps you are not using the clone tool properly, see
    Gimp documentation
    or
    A cloning tutorial

    It helps if you do not have your clone tool set to registered

  5. How are you applying Despeckle function ? Are you applying to the whole image or just to certain areas

    When I applied these steps to the same image, I am able to get rid of the blemish, but the image is distorted

  6. Apply the Despeckle to the top layer. That layer should become distorted and lose its fine detail. The image in step number 2 shows the result of the despeckle in the lower left side of the preview, the upper right shows the original.

    When you set that layer to Grain Extract, you should see, only the fine detail (including the blemishes).

  7. sorry, I found out what I did wrong. In step 3, I set the layer mode to grain extract instead of grain merge… thanks for your help

  8. Ok, I did everything step by step, I remain with 3 layers and the layer that has the clone wk on it is so blurry. Am I suppossed to only select with the selection tool when we do the despeckle? And after you are done with the cloning, do you merge all the layers ? Im confussed. Help. Trying to get rid of wrinkles in a pic.

  9. Taunya – I’m not sure exactly what you have done. Do not use the selection tool for the despeckle; despeckle the whole layer. Once you have done the cloning make all the layers visible, you can merge the texture and shape layers if you like.

  10. How do you even get layers in GIMP?
    When I start it, all I get is a toolbar thing on the right with different types of brushes and stuff.
    I’m so confused!! =(

  11. Try –
    open Gimp
    File – Area code – Management windows and rebuild location – then restart Gimp. Then you wil have a layers panel.
    Sorry my english.
    Ahoj

  12. Holy cow, I can’t believe how that worked! I wish I knew what I was doing instead of just following directions but…

    Thank you very much.

  13. I’m not sure if anyone is still responding to this but I’ll try anyway.

    The photo I’m using is trying to get rid of a huge deep crease in a swim models side. She’s turned and it doesn’t look attractive.

    I tried this method and the radius does not go up far enough to get rid of blemish so I used multiple multiple times.

    Still Unclear:
    1. Is this method only for small creases?
    2. When you are cloning the texture layer Cloning usually has a source and then you clone. What are you saying the source should be and where should you paint? (i thought i knew how to use this tool)

    Thank you if you happen to answer.

    D

  14. @Tiiz

    This technique is more suited to small to medium blemishes.

    When you are cloning, the source of the clone is an area of the texture layer that does not have the blemish.

  15. Pingback: Splitting an Image | All about Photography

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