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351 Messages


6.3K Points

Sun, Dec 10, 2017 6:22 AM


Spot removal in Heal mode doesn't work properly at a crop boundary edge

Removing a spot or object at the edge of a cropped image using the spot removal brush in the Heal mode makes a complete mess. This has been a problem for quite some time and I have reported it before, but the issue has been ignored, like so many others reported in this forum.

I have taken two images to demonstrate the problem. The first I will refer to as Image1 and is taken at 200mm, while the second, Image2, is taken zoomed out a little at 170mm. The two images are shown below side by side in LR Classic with Image1 on the left. Notice in Image1 there is a small part of a tree top visible in the lower left corner of the image. Since Image2 is taken zoomed out a little, more of the tree line is visible in this image. I will crop this second image so that it looks the same as Image1.

I want to remove the small tree top in both images from the bottom left corner using the spot removal brush, but first I apply Remove Chromatic Aberration and Enable Lens Profile to both images, then crop Image2 so that it is the same as Image1, i.e. a little bit of the tree top is visible in the bottom left corner. I then use the spot removal brush in Heal mode with settings Size 85, Feather 50 and Opacity 100 to remove the tree top in the corner of each image. The results are shown below and it is clear that the spot removal in the corner of Image2 on the right hasn't done a very good job at all.

Looking at the sampled areas for the spot removal in each image, shown below, in Image1 the sampled area is fine and achieves the desired result, whereas in Image2, the sampled area is way off the mark for the intended spot removal.

Even trying to correct the problem in Image2 by moving the sampled area to an appropriate part of the image does not produce a satisfactory result, as shown below.

Changing the brush to Clone mode does do a better job in this example only after moving the sampled area to a better part of the image for cloning. However, the first click in Clone mode still samples a darker part of the image giving a bad result that needs more action to correct.

The problem is very clear to me. LR is trying to heal the spot in the corner of Image2 while treating the image content outside the crop border as part of the image. Below is Image2 showing the badly removed spot outside the crop boundary. So LR is trying to heal the corner based on the dark parts of the tree line that is outside the crop area.

I believe this is completely the wrong approach. Any image data outside the crop boundary should be ignored when removing spots. After all, LR knows where the crop boundary is and takes this into account when building the Histogram of a cropped image - it doesn't look outside the crop boundary for the Histogram and shouldn't for spot removal either.

At the very least, there should be an option in the spot removal tool to choose whether to ignore the image data outside the crop boundary.

This conversation has been merged. Please refer the main conversation:

latest LR buggy - spot removal tool doesn't work right at edges of image


4 Messages


122 Points

3 years ago

What happens if you use clone instead of heal for your brush. I’ve run across this before too and usually switch to clone though it does take careful sampling.

351 Messages


6.3K Points

Hello Stephen,

I did mention changing to Clone mode and it does work better (sometimes), but requires moving the source point to an appropriate part of the image. The initial click on the destination point in Clone mode still selects a bad location for the source point, so it must be moved, adding an extra step. The Heal mode is suppose to be more 'intelligent' or 'content aware' at removing spots, but my argument here is that it shouldn't be using content outside the cropped boundary.

13 Messages


476 Points

Second that. This issue has been bugging me for years. They must be aware of it and either consider it 'intended behaviour' or too low-priority to care/fix. Lot's of times I had to do this in PS, which breaks my non-destructive-only workflow.