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From the author of Final Tweaks: Masking Brush and Retouch Brush

Final Tweaks: Masking Brush and Retouch Brush

Once you’re close to achieving the look you want, zoom in and examine the boundaries of the mask. If the image or the mask need to be adjusted slightly, Perfect Layers 2 provides tools for accomplishing those tasks.

If you click on the Retouch Brush (just below the Masking Bug in the Toolbar), you can spot-correct any dust or items in the scene that you want to remove. It works much like the Spot Healing Brush in Photoshop. Just set your brush and feather sizes (again using standard Photoshop shortcuts), and make short brush strokes over the unwanted pixels (Figure 8). Perfect Layers will look at the surrounding textures, color and brightness, and create new pixels where you brushed, which blend in with the surroundings.

Figure 8 The Retouch Brush in Perfect Layers 2 works like the Spot Healing Brush in Photoshop; it’s great for removing dust spots and other unwanted pixels.

Similarly, if you find there are regions along the edge of the mask that are obscuring or partially obscuring important details in the image, click the Mask Brush icon (just above the Masking Bug in the Toolbar). Then, from the inspector choose Paint In under the Painting Mode pop-up, again set your brush size and feather, and simply brush over the areas of detail you want to reintroduce (Figure 9). In this example, I worked my way along the shoreline and base of the rainbow, to be sure those details were not obscured (it was a little difficult to tell because of the misty conditions, so this was a good “fail safe”).

Figure 9 You can reintroduce small areas of detail that are masked by using the Masking Brush and Paint In mode.

Once you’re finished, zoom back out to evaluate the whole shot, and when ready, click the Save button (bottom right). From this point, you will see a progress meter as the document saves. If you want, you can set up the Perfect Layers Preferences so that when you jump back to Lightroom afterward, you will see your brand new image stacked in with the original layer. If you select it and open the Develop module (Figure 10) you can continue working with it in Lightroom just like any other image!

Figure 10 The newly created composite, in PSD format, shown in Lightroom’s Develop module.

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