Best Tools for Object Removal in Photoshop Automatic na d manual object removal tools in Photoshop

In these two video tutorials, Aaron Nace from Phlearn looks at different tools and techniques for object removal in Photoshop.

Automatic tools for object removal

In the first video, Nace takes a look at using automatic tools to remove text from a shirt in a way that will look realistic.

He starts by adding a new layer and selecting the text that he wants to remove using the lasso tool, Next, he uses the content-aware fill tool (edit>content aware fill) and uses the plus and minus to add or remove areas to base the correction on.

One of the issues with content-aware fill is repeating patterns. You can use the healing brush tool and sample current and below and go over the repeating textures.

When you have objects close or over edges things become more complex and Nace suggests using the spot healing brush tool. This works fine for some areas but for others, you might need to repeat the procedure a few times.

The result might look O.K. but in many situations, you will need to use other manual tools to refine your removal and this is the subject of the second video.

Manual tools for object removal

In the second video (see below), Nace demonstrates how he can remove a large number of distracting objects from backgrounds with complicated lines, edges, and details all using the clone stamp, healing brush, and even the brush tool.

Most of the video below is dedicated to using the clone stamp (one of our favorite object removal tools in Photoshop, but Nace also uses the heling brush and more interestingly the regular brush.

When you have an object against a uniform color background a simple way of removing it is by simply creating a new layer and painting it with the same color as the background color (just sample the background color), using a large soft edge brush at a flow of around 70% and with about 10% smoothing.

The problem is that you might also cover your subject in this way. This can be fixed by creating a mask and using a black color  (and if you go too far switch to white and fix it until you are pleased with the results).

To use the results might not always look realistic so you might want to choose the layer and add a low amount of noise to it.

Using manual tools to remove objects in an image

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One area which Nace did not cover in these two videos (but we discussed recently) are the new select subject tools which allow users to select subjects more quickly and precisely and using the aforementioned content-aware and other tools remove the objects more easily.

You can find many more Photoshop video tutorials on LensVid’s Photoshop section (you can also find a lot more Phlearn videos on our special Phlearn subsection).

Iddo Genuth
Iddo Genuth is the founder and chief editor of He has been a technology reporter working for international publications since the late 1990's and covering photography since 2009. Iddo is also a co-founder of a production company specializing in commercial food and product visual content.

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