Photoshop CC 2015: Healing brush problem

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  • Problem
  • Updated 2 years ago
  • Solved
  • (Edited)
Healing brush is not working as good as in the past. It creates much more smudges. I also get an little white border around my retouches when retouching on an other layer.
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Bram Declercq

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Posted 3 years ago

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Stefano Brunesci

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Hi Chris, I've just emailed Joel a PSD with an action etc. that clearly shows that the healing in CC 2015 doesn't work as well as that the 'legacy' tool under some circumstances.

(By the way, you guys also need to sort out some of the bugs with recording/playing back actions too, as use of the stylus-zoom function or changing the brush size with the [] keys doesn't replay properly and I had to re-heal and re-record this action at least 5 times before I got an action that was properly replayable. In fact the recorded zoom actually crashed PS during playback it appeared to be trying to zoom to an infinitely small magnification!)

Looking forward to a speedy resolution of this unfortunate situation.
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Chris Cox

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Thanks. We'll also look into the actions recording issues.
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Florian Hofbauer

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To make it short: I can confirm that the new tool does NOT work as good as the old tool in several situations.

The new tool might work well for NEWBIES.
But if you know how the old tool works (especially how to handle edges in the image), it definately gave better results in most situations.

I thouroughly tested the diffusion slider - it sometimes helps a bit but doesn't solve the problem at all (and makes it just more non-intuitive, when you always have to try changing this slider...).

I'm an experienced user (already having programmed scientific image manipulation algorithems myself).

I'm now falling back to (additional) longish cloning in CC 2015 because the new healing tool is simply not giving the high quality results I and my customers need.

As the healing brush is a very important tool to me I will cancel my CC abonement if Adobe doesn't improve the healing tool and use my CC 6 version for the time being.

I'm really puzzled why Adobe seems to try really hard to lose it's (current) monopoly and customer satisfaction....
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Chris Cox

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As explained previously in this topic: we aren't seeing that. We are seeing the new tool work as well as the original healing brush. But some users are seeing something different, and we don't yet know why. That is why we have been repeatedly asking for examples -- so we can see what you are seeing, and try to figure out why a tool that works for most is failing for a few users.
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Jack

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Haven't a ton more users come forward and are still giving you examples? With all of your repeated asking you've been repeatedly given what you need and still don't believe anyone
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Jack

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And clearly it's not failing for a "few" users. It's failing for quite a large amount of users, but you keep trying to convince yourself (and us) that isn't the case because you don't want to admit that.
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Stefano Brunesci

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I honestly think it's a waste of development and testing time trying to track down every last tiny inconsistency (aka. "issue") between the behaviour of the new tool and the old.

As has been said many times here (and I've read the whole thread) the tools are NOT the same (and probably never will be) and as some people just prefer the legacy tool, the obvious answer is to simply give users a way to go back to the legacy tool if they prefer it.

If it's difficult for technical reasons to switch between the tools at runtime then I'm sure a "use legacy healing brush" checkbox in one of the preferences tabs would satisfy most people (including me) even if it didn't take effect until next time PS was started.
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Sohrab Amirghodsi, Employee

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Hi Jack,
I have received two examples that have functional actions [1 yesterday and one today]. We are working with the customers and investigating them. I also received a video which had a simple solution which also pointed out to some potential UI improvement that has come up in this forum.

I want to be clear that the two healing tools will behave differently to same inputs. For example, I can record an action that may produce a good result for CC 2015 healing but not for the legacy of vice versa. I think at this point the best way you can help us and the community is to send your examples and mark which area you feel the new algorithm falls short using a pen toll or circle tool on a separate layer and we will work with you to get this sorted out and put this behind us. We don't need a complete retouched images just a real life example that focuses on one area to get the point across will suffice.

Thanks
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Darius1989

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From a while I was wondering... when you get these examples and the result will be that in fact legacy works better... Will you:

A. Improve new tool to work in those cases better
B. Give us legacy tick box?

I wonder.... :- ))))
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Sohrab Amirghodsi, Employee

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Hi Darius,
We will be open to various solution. The legacy option is not removed. From what I understand many people in this forum are asking for it be placed in UI. This has been noted.
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Jamie Avera

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I would be happy to provide an example of the different results the two tools give, except that I cannot roll back to an earlier version of Photoshop. The ability to THAT with a Cc subscription would truly be a useful option for professional users who are forking out tons of $ a year to use your software.
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Sohrab Amirghodsi, Employee

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Hi Jamie,
Please send your psd example file that includes the original and the healed region in a separate layer. Please mark the 1-3 areas that does not meet your expectation in a separate layer using pencil or similar tool. I am not sure if people are aware of this or not but you probably want "Pen Pressure" or "Stylus" off; The new tool also does not heal the area under the brush where the brush transparency is too low. There is no need to make your brush too transparent for the new healing tool. My email address is tamirgho@adobe.com if you like to send your example [it would be greatly appreciated]. We will include the some form of UI to use the legacy healing tool in the next version of PS.
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Patrick Philippot

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Hi All,

Now that this thread has reached the top of insanity, I think that we should focus on the right questions. I can't access the source code of PS but I guess that ***implementing the switch requested by many users here would take much less time than trying to convince us that we are not seeing all the beauties of the new brush***. We all know that the new brush will never behave like the old one. Other code, other behavior. That's OK. It's like Co.a and Pep.i . Drink Co.a, try Pep.i, don't like Pep.i, back to Co.a. Or reversely, I don't want to upset anyone.

So Adobe, just do it (as promised months ago - remember?), everyone will calm down, you'll spare a lot of time and you'll have enough time to think about how to enhance the new brush. As a software/project manager, this is clearly what I would do. Time is money and in this case, sparing time clearly means "implement the dam.ed switch and enough with this".

So the right question is : ***why are Adobe refusing to put an easy end to this dispute ?*** Why are they voluntarily losing time and making many of their users angry? I can't believe that this is because their representatives be so stubborn and arrogant. Are they really or are they commissioned to sell us this new tool because there is no other solution to an internal problem that we are not aware of? I have already asked 3 times here whether there's a legal issue involved. No answer. Just a guess but it would be nice if Adobe representatives could answer this simple question.

Otherwise, I don't see why Adobe are shooting themselves repeatedly in the foot. Lightroom 6 has not been very good for their reputation, they don't need to make things worse with what could rapidly become a non-issue if they just consented to write a small piece of code.
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Chris Cox

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All of that has already been answered in this topic.
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Steve Brown

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So are you categorically saying there is NO licensing issue with the 'legacy' code Chris?

I haven't seen you say that yet - only that the code was (allegedly) so bad that it needed to be replaced....
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Chris Cox

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Yeah, that is just FUD that someone came up with in this topic....

Having to test and maintain multiple code paths is a huge issue.
And when the new healing brush works as well as the old healing brush for most users.... yeah - we need to find and fix the bug that a few users are seeing.
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Darius1989

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whats FUD ? o.O
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Chris Cox

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Fear. Uncertainty. Doubt. - a common acronym in the tech industry.
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Steve Brown

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"the new healing brush works as well as the old healing brush for most users"

The average user (hobbyist, low-level portrait/glamour/wedding photographer etc.) probably only uses the healing brush to remove birds from skies or marks from backgrounds... for which the new tool is perfectly good enough, so obviously they're not going to notice subtle differences.

But most of the people who used the old tool most heavily (photographers and retouchers) for really high end, critical work, haven't even upgraded to 2015 (or have reverted to 2014 or are using the config file workaround) because of the problems with the new tool...

So yeah, out of 100k users (made up number) possibly 99k are going to be happy enough - but those people who demand the most out of the product and who *depend for their livelihoods* on it working consistently are largely NOT happy with the new tool and many of them are simply avoiding it because it costs them too much money to spend time trying to get it to produce the results they're used to from the legacy tool.

As I've said many times, the obvious answer is to give people an easy way to choose the old tool (either in the UI or the Preferences dialog) so that those who wish to stick with it can carry on using it. We don't want you to find and fix all the bugs in the new tool; we just want the old too back alongside it.
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Darius1989

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I'm fairly positive that Adobe will hear of this issue a lot more when 2016 will get released... 3 ou of 5 CGI/Retouching studios stay 1 release behind on their products. So atm they have just upgraded to 2014. This topic will get a lot more attention when PS 2016 will get release and most of studios move to 2015. As well they stay behind because they expect that initial release bugs will be fixed... so 1 release behind sadly by the look of this topic we wont get legacy back :- )
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Chris Cox

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no, professional retouchers are generally getting good results with the new healing brush. Only a small subset of users are seeing problems that others don't see - and that is what we are trying to get to the bottom of. Remember that just because you see something does not mean that everyone else is seeing the same thing.
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Andre Schneider

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Chris, I don't have ONE SINGLE retoucher that I know that is happy with the new healing tool. Either they wen't back to 2014 or went with the config file option to get back to the legacy tool. I honestly don't believe what you say, I have to say that I don't know one single person that is happy with the new healing (some get happy for the first 15 min and then start to realize how bad results it gives).
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Gregory Katsoulis

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Andre, I don't know ONE SINGLE retoucher that is unhappy with the new healing tool. What does that mean? Anecdotal pronouncements aren't useful.

Fortunately, there is nothing left to complain about — Sohrab has announced the next release will include a simple way to revert to the legacy healing brush.
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Erich Saide

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I agree with Andre. All the pro photographers I know including myself do not use CC 2015 and have reverted to using CC2014 because they are not getting better results from 2015
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Patrick Philippot

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>>Yeah, that is just FUD that someone came up with in this topic.... <<

No FUD ever intended. Just an unanswered guess/question trying to explain an incomprehensible attitude. I'm glad I was wrong. Also glad to see that promises made about 6-7 months ago will eventually be kept one of these days.
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Sohrab Amirghodsi, Employee

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Official Response
We would like to thank everyone for voicing your opinions and sharing your feedbacks' with us. We’ll provide a simple way [via some sort of UI mechanism] to revert to the legacy healing brush behavior in the next release.
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Darius1989

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Wow. xxx. Tanks!
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Gregory Katsoulis

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Great news! This sounds like an excellent solution for everybody.
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Steve Brown

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Thanks Sohrab, great news!
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Dave Barcs

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Thanks Sohrab. The only sensible solution.
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JoeS

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Finally good news.
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jefunne gimpel

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Fantastic.
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Jeremy Voldrich

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Thank you! Can you also make sure to do the same thing with the patch tool? I use the healing brush and patch tool and would like them both to work the way they did in CC2014 without having to use a diffusion slider.
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Florian Hofbauer

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Hasn't a new release come out since your post? I don't see any way to turn on the "old" healing brush.. *confused*
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Sohrab Amirghodsi, Employee

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It will be included in Photoshop 17 which will be released around May/June.
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eartho

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oh gosh, not again! Please tell your marketing department to fix this versioning insanity! You're releasing Photoshop CC2016v17??? Just call it CC2016 and be done with it. Do they know how confusing it is when you're trying to figure out what version someone is using? 

"Hi Sohrab, i'm using Ps16 and i have a question..." Wait eartho, is that v16 or CC2016???
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Sohrab Amirghodsi, Employee

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Hi Eartho, I will pass on your comment to our product management team. The Photoshop 16.x is CC 2015.x.
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Kay Bradford

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I second that request! The patch tool is my go-to tool for smoothing skin texture. PLEASE include that one too. Thanks!
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Sohrab Amirghodsi, Employee

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We are not planning to include the legacy option for patch tool or spot healing brush. It helps if you can send us some examples that include the original and few marked area where the current patch tool falls short [i gave instructions for this in my previous posts]. Alternatively you can send us a video to show us what you doing and include the original high resolution image. I think part of the problem is there are no good video that demonstrate how to use the diffusion slider to achieve similar or better results than the legacy option. For retouching to get the best result few values needs to be employed. For detailed texture/skin, I will use value of 2-3 where as for softer/smooth skin area values of 4-5 may work better. You need to develop a feel for it. The other issue is what I have seen from these actions is that people tend to sample for legacy tool where in many cases it may not be the best sampling region for the new tool.
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Jack

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So basically, it's a completely different tool, and technique that everyone has used for years now has to be thrown out the window and started from scratch to use this version
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Sohrab Amirghodsi, Employee

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Hi Jack,
Because of these differences we never fully dropped legacy healing brush and we will have some form of UI for it in the next version based on your inputs. I think this is the best solution at this point.

We are committed to improving the new healing tool and any constructive inputs will be highly appreciated. There are two others factors that can help the results:

1. No need to make the healing brush too transparent (I use 85-95 percent in most cases).

2. I turn off "pen pressure" or "stylus" for size in the brush panel. This will reduce the number of needed strokes; otherwise you end up with very skinny strokes. This setting is not noted during action recording.
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grauenwölfe

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Why does it still do this? I'm not understanding how and why this is acceptable to you?

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Chris Cox

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Again, we don't see it doing that: you are seeing results that we have not seen in our testing (and most other users are not seeing). That is why we kept asking for example results so we could figure out what you were seeing, and then try to figure out why you see such different results from everyone else.
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eartho

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I'm able to produce a similar result if i make the white brush stroke on an empty layer and then use the healing brush on the same layer. This has always been an issue with the healing too and transparency tho. If you make the white stroke on your background layer with no transparency, you will get the results you expect.
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Sohrab Amirghodsi, Employee

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Hi Michael,
I am sorry, I can't figure out the issue from the posted image. My email is tamirgho@adobe.com if you want to reach out directly to me or our QE Yuko at ykagita@adobe.com.

Thank you
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grauenwölfe

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Again, we don't see it doing that: you are seeing results that we have not seen in our testing (and most other users are not seeing). That is why we kept asking for example results so we could figure out what you were seeing, and then try to figure out why you see such different results from everyone else.


Ok, that's fine, I understand that but the point in this demo was to make it a bare bones as can be and extremely easy to replicate.

I made a single brush stroke then dragged the Healing Tool through it. That's it.

--

Background: R=51, G=51, B=51
Brush: R=255, G=255, B=255

I'll include screenshots of Brush Tool settings and Healing Tool brush setting







For comparison, here is same exact demo with Legacy:



EDIT:

Just set different prefs under Performance > GPU and got this:



Ok, I have to go, this made me late for a dinner reservation and I have an upset lady to deal with.
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Chris Cox

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OK, and here is the healing brush with approximately the same setup in Photoshop CC 2015.1.1, using diffusion values of 1, 5, and 7. Both healing in place, and onto another layer.
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eartho

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Out of curiosity, are the artifacts to be expected when running the healing brush over transparent areas? This has always been an issue with healing and doesn't appear any different with the current tool.

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Chris Cox

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No, that is not an expected problem.  There was a problem in 2015.0.0 with transparency and the healing brush, but that was fixed in a dot release.
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eartho

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Bummer! It'd be fantastic if i could heal on top of transparency without artifacts. All too often i want to use a healing brush over transparent cloning areas and i can't due to all the issues. 

Here's a quick video of this problem in action.
https://youtu.be/bJzCZ4k0_mM

OSX.10.5 / Nvidia 780 / PS2015.1.2
(Edited)
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Andre Schneider

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Still regarding the healing tool, why is it that now every time we open Photoshop it goes to the spot healing brush instead of the one we used the last time? It used to be that it would always stay on whichever was the one we used last and now it reverts to the spot healing (which I never use) always. Very annoying...
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Andre Schneider

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No response? And then Adobe wants to tell us that they are very much reading everything and are always on top of things... But then takes two weeks to answer a question...
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eartho

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yeah, they decided to change this behavior for no apparent reason. To get around it, i've used the toolbar mod to put my most used tools at the top of the stack.
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Søren Christian Staun Petersen

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This is so frustrating to be working with every day!!! Since i upgraded to the 2015.1.2 version i haven't been able to make the config file work? (https://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/kb/enable-non-realtime-healing-brush.html)  Anybody else still have this problem? I feel like I've literally  tried everything... 
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Justin Coolidge

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I am having the issue. it just creates smudges. in previous versions of Photoshop 2015, I would get clean results trying to remove some grass over a tiger's foot using the spot healing tool. 2015.1.2 just totally trashes the foot on a Cheetah. I can see clearly that the spot healing tool was used. there are circles with each click that I make. 2015.1.2 is the most broken Photoshop to date, unfortunately
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aloisio silva

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled healing brush problem.

PhotoShop, healing brush is acting like clone stamp in PS latest CC 2015 version.
Before cc 2015 i never had any problem. Today i start to use the CC 2014 version because i cant work properly in 2015 version! Can you solve this?
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joshua withers

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After some time working with the diffusion slider, it is MUCH better then without it, but still not as accurate as the legacy healing tool from 2 years ago and prior.   Can Adobe please add in a 'Use Legacy' button to bring back the old healing tool?  Finding the best 'diffusion' and the real time healing adds too much time and unsatisfied healing.     It often takes 2-3 strokes of the brush when in the past, i could do it in 1 stroke. In the past, the healing was predictable and did a better job at blending the texture and tones together. 
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Sohrab Amirghodsi, Employee

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Hi Josh and Aloisio,
There will be a preference/tools check box in the upcoming Photoshop release to use the legacy healing brush.
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aloisio silva

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When exactly? In the next month?
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Sven Kovac

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Whoever coded this "new" (its almost been a full YEAR) tool should be ashamed of themselves.  Its ridiculous. 
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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Official Response
There is a preference to select the legacy healing mode in in theCC 2015.5 upgrade released today: https://blogs.adobe.com/photoshop/2016/06/adobe-releases-major-photoshop-cc-update-today-and-announces-more-digital-imaging-product-features-coming-soon.html

Preferences > Tools > Use Legacy Healing Algorithm for the Healing Brush
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joshua withers

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Thanks Jeff!!!