Photoshop Removing Stray Hairs

Lindsay Lewchuk Designers, How-Tos Leave a Comment

For Valentine’s Day this year I decided to update “Tugging My Heart Strings” with the modeled photos from last summer.  After the photo shoot I did a quick glance through to make sure I got a “hero” and several close up shots, got busy with current projects, and put them in a drawer (okay a folder on my computer) until my calendar dinged, Update Tugging My Heart String photos.

Working on the project this week my heart sank.  Could it be?  I called dad in to see if a man’s eye could see the issue.  “Looks like a great close up… too bad you have those hairs distracting you from seeing the knitting.”  ::head desk:: To Google I went looking for a tutorial.  Most featured the “surface blur” tool to fix, but it didn’t work for me with the location constraints.  When I surface blurred to remove the hairs, the knitting was blurred too.  Yes, I probably could have cut out each layer and fixed it that way, but it didn’t occur to me at the time.  Since Photoshop includes redundant facilities, I opted to use the patch tool.

Step by step directions (Oh, I’m using Photoshop CS5.5):

Step 1: Open up picture in Photoshop & see the horrors of hairs distracting from knitting!
step1 original

Step 2: Duplicate layer
step2 duplicate layer

Step 3: Select Patch Tool
step3 patch tool

Step 4: Make sure “source” is selected on the patch tool (this one gets me every time!)
step4 patch tool source

Step 5: Draw an area around the stray hair as tight to the hair as possible. Note: Make sure there is a “clean” spot to the right/ left or diagonal right/ diagonal left. I found it easiest working from the left of the picture to the right of the picture to always be ensured of a clear area.
step5 draw around area

Step 6: Click, hold, and drag to the clean area. Note: Drag to a spot as close as possible to the hair so that the matching will be realistic – an area with the same colors/ shadows/ highlights/ exposure.
step6 click hold and drag to clean area close by

Step 7: Let go of the click, hold & watch the hair disappear!
step7 hair is gone

Step 8: Deselect area.
step8 deselect area hair is gone

Step 9: Repeat Step 5 on the next hair – draw an area around the stray hair as tight to the hair as possible. Note: This one is longer, so in order to make the match closer, I broke it up into two sections by only selecting the upper left section of the stray hair and then repeating steps 5-8 on the lower right section of the stray hair.
step9 repeat step5

Step 10: Repeat Step 6 – click, hold, and drag to the clean area.
step10 repeat step6

Step 11: Repeat Step 7 – let go of the click, hold & watch the hair disappear!
step11 repeat step7

Step 12: Repeat Step 5 (on the lower right section of hair) – draw an area around the stray hair as tight to the hair as possible.
step12 repeat step5

Step 13: Repeat Step 6 – click, hold, and drag to the clean area.
step13 repeat step6

Step 14: Repeat Step 7 – let go of the click, hold & watch the hair disappear!
step14 repeat step7

Step 15: Repeat Step 8 – deselect area. The entire long stray hair is now gone by breaking the hair in half and repeating Steps 5-7 twice (once on each section).
step15 repeat step8longhairgone

Step 16: Repeat Steps 5-8 on each hair or portions of hair until all are gone.

Step 17: Finish with a quick clean up. Using the Quick Selection Tool, select any areas of slight color/ shadow/ highlight/ exposure discoloration and click edit and fill. In the pop up box select fill with content aware.
step16 clean up any areas of discoloration w quick selection tool n delete content aware

Before and After!
step17beforeandafter

Thanks for checking out this tutorial! Get your updated “Tugging My Heart Strings” pattern on Ravelry, Patternfish, Etsy, and Craftsy! I’ve updated the how-to video as well – it’s now on the Knit Eco Chic channel here.

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