Anything Photoshop or Photography

Get Rid of Those Power Lines Fast – with Paths and Spot Healing Tool!

Since I like to shoot old buildings, and there always seems to be a never-ending batch of power lines in these images, here is the technique that works best to clean up those lines.This tip is from Bryan Hughes, Product Manager for Adobe Photoshop, called simply “Remove Power Lines.” Below is an example of an image of the State Capital Building in Jackson, Mississippi, that had some real problems with lines. Hover over the image to see the original power-lined shot. It was processed with Topaz’s Black and White Effects plug-in.

Most of the lines were removed following the steps below:

  1. Select the Pen Tool (P).
  2. Go to the Path Panel and click along the wire setting anchor points as you go.
  3. Next select the Spot Healing Brush (J) – in Options Bar be sure that the Content Aware box is checked and that the size of the brush is roughly twice the size of the wire you want to remove.
  4. In the Paths Panel, click the “Stroke Path with Brush” icon at bottom of panel (2nd over from left).
  5. Once the wire disappears, delete the Work Path by clicking on the Trash Can. If the wire did not completely disappear, just paint with the Spot Healing brush over the exposed area to clean up.

This technique works great as long as you are not in front of areas like the building columns or details. I found in this case, still use the Spot Healing Brush on these areas – but just click once and move along.  It will do an amazing job in most cases. Note: To get rid of the path line on the image, open Path Panel and press DEL to remove the work path.

In the image above, the only areas that caused a problem was where one line went through the large ornamental balls – these had to be copied onto another layer, transformed, and layer masked to line up. Otherwise, no major problems and very fast even though there were lots of power lines. The traffic light was cloned out, and street light was removed using Edit -> Fill – Content-Aware after selecting with Lasso Tool. The new Topaz Black and White Effects was used to create the color effect on this image.

Try using this tip – it is really fast and great to have in your arsenal of quick tricks…..Digital Lady Syd

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