Photoshop Basics: The Patch Tool
The patch tool is a great tool to use if you want to get rid of something in a picture. For example, if there is an unwanted person ruining your photograph, or if you want to make your face look blemish free, you could use the patch tool. It can erase numerous unappealing aspects of a photograph!
The patch tool can be found on the left-hand side of the tool panel in Photoshop. You might need to right click the healing brush tool in order to select the patch tool. It will be an option that pops up in a menu on the side after you right click. It should look something like this:
Once you have selected the patch tool, you should use the tool to encircle what you are trying to erase. Once you have completed the circle around the object, the circle you made will become a moving dotted line (similar to the picture below).
Just click on the inside of the circle and move it, so that the new image is consistent with the rest of the picture.
In the picture above, the original area encircled is on the left side. When you click on the inside the circle and move your mouse away, the one circle diverges into two circles – one that stays still on the original area and one that follows the mouse around the picture. Whatever part of the image the second circle is covering in the picture, that part of the image is displayed in the original circle. Like in the picture above, the circle on the right is mimicking the part of the picture that the circle on the left is covering. Therefore, the goal is to make the area in the original circle blend in with the surrounding picture and to not make it appear that there is nothing missing in the picture (even though there is).
As you can see, the skin tone of the man in the picture above in the circle on the right is different from the circle on the left. Therefore, you need to be careful of the image that is displayed in the original circle. For example, if you are trying to replace an area of the sky, it is not a good idea to put the second circle around an area that is obviously not part of the sky, like the grass.
However, do not worry if there is not an area in you picture that looks exactly like the background, because photoshop will blend the edges of the changed area and make it look as natural as possible.
Here are a few pictures that have been edited with the patch tool: