Working with the Spot & Patch Controls

You use the Spot & Patch adjustment controls when you need to modify Spot & Patch parameter settings that were applied using previous versions of Aperture. When using the Spot & Patch adjustment to spot or patch your images, you can modify the appearance of the pixels within the target overlays. You can also adjust the size of Spot & Patch target overlays.

Which Retouching Adjustment Should You Use?

Aperture provides two sets of controls that you can use to retouch your image: Retouch and Spot & Patch.

In the vast majority of cases, Retouch provides the controls that will best serve your image-repair needs. The Spot & Patch controls have been included in Aperture 3 in order to retain the integrity of images that were adjusted with earlier versions of Aperture. In many cases, image repairs might even be improved by removing an existing Spot & Patch repair and replacing it with a Repair or Clone adjustment performed with the Retouch tool. For more information about the Retouch tool, see Working with the Retouch Controls.

There are certain situations in which Spot & Patch is the adjustment of choice. For example, an artifact on or very near a curved edge in an image may be more effectively removed using the Angle parameter.

Spotting Your Images

When the area around the blemish is continuous (such as a solid color) and doesn’t contain a distinct texture, you can use the spotting method to obscure the blemish by integrating the pixels that surround it. You fix a blemish by placing the Spot & Patch target overlay over the blemish in the image and then adjusting the size of the target overlay so that it just barely covers the blemish. By keeping the target overlay small, you minimize the chance of a visual aberration in the final image. Aperture provides additional parameter controls to allow you to adjust the softness, opacity, and amount of detail in the cloned pixels, so that the corrected area looks as natural as possible.

Figure. Image before and after a Spot adjustment.
To spot an image
  1. Select an image.

  2. It’s a good idea to set the image to appear at full size (100 percent) to prevent image scaling from obscuring details. To display an image at full size, click the Zoom Viewer button in the tool strip or the Full Screen view toolbar (or press Z).

  3. Choose Spot & Patch from the Adjustments pop-up menu in the Adjustments inspector or the Adjustments pane of the Inspector HUD.

    The pointer changes to a target, and the Spot & Patch HUD appears.

    Figure. Controls in the Spot & Patch HUD.
  4. Click the blemish area to place the Spot & Patch target overlay on it.

    The yellow Spot & Patch target overlay is placed over the blemish, and the blemish disappears.

    Figure. Image showing a yellow Spot & Patch target overlay placed over the blemish in the image to fix it.

    Note: You can always adjust the size of the target overlay and other parameters. For more information, see Adjusting the Size of Spot & Patch Target Overlays.

  5. Repeat step 4 until all of the blemishes in your image are removed.

Patching Your Images

When you need to clone pixels from a different area of an image to fix the area where the blemish is, you use the “patching” method. Patching is similar to spotting, except that there are some additional steps. You first place a Spot & Patch target overlay (yellow) over the blemish, and then you place a source target overlay (white) over the area you want to clone. The pixels in the Spot & Patch target overlay are replaced by the pixels copied from the source target overlay. Aperture provides additional parameter controls to allow you to adjust the size of target overlays and the softness, opacity, and amount of detail in cloned pixels, so that the patched area looks as natural as possible.

Figure. Image before and after a Patch adjustment.
To patch a blemish in an image
  1. Select an image.

  2. It’s a good idea to set the image to appear at full size (100 percent) to prevent image scaling from obscuring details. To display an image at full size, click the Zoom Viewer button in the tool strip or the Full Screen view toolbar (or press Z).

  3. Choose Spot & Patch from the Adjustments pop-up menu in the Adjustments inspector or the Adjustments pane of the Inspector HUD.

    The pointer changes to a target, and the Spot & Patch HUD appears.

    Figure. Controls in the Spot & Patch HUD.
  4. Click the blemish area to place a Spot & Patch target overlay on it.

    A yellow target overlay is placed over the blemish, and the blemish is replaced by the pixels that surround it. This yellow target overlay is the destination target overlay.

    Figure. Image showing a yellow Spot & Patch target overlay placed over the blemish in the image.
  5. Do one of the following:

    • Select the Patch checkbox in the Spot & Patch area of the Adjustments inspector or the Adjustments pane of the Inspector HUD, then drag the white source target overlay to the area you want to clone (the source area).

    • Option-click the area you want to clone.

      A white source target overlay appears and is placed over the source area.

      Figure. Image showing a white source target overlay placed over the portion of the image that the pixels are cloned from.

    The pixels within the source target overlay are copied and replace the pixels within the destination target overlay. The blemish is patched.

    Note: You can always adjust the size of the target overlay and other parameters. For more information, see Adjusting the Size of Spot & Patch Target Overlays.

  6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 until all blemishes are removed from your image.

You can adjust the angle of the cloned pixels within the destination target overlay. Adjusting the angle rotates the cloned pixels over the destination area. This is particularly useful if you’re cloning an area that has a visual element, such as a pattern or line, that is at a different angle from elements in the destination area. The Angle controls allow you to match the angle of the pixels within the destination target overlay.

Figure. Image showing a yellow Spot & Patch target overlay placed over an area of the image containing cloned pixels that need an Angle adjustment.
To adjust the angle of the cloned pixels within a destination target overlay
  • In the Spot & Patch area of the Adjustments inspector or the Adjustments pane of the Inspector HUD, adjust the Angle parameter by doing one of the following:

    • Drag the Angle slider to the left to rotate the cloned pixels counterclockwise, or drag the Angle slider to the right to rotate the cloned pixels clockwise.

    • Click the left or right arrow in the Angle value slider, or drag in the value field.

    • Double-click the number in the Angle value slider, then enter a value from –180.00 to 180.00 and press Return.

      Figure. Angle controls in the Spot & Patch area of the Adjustments inspector.

A negative value rotates the cloned pixels counterclockwise, and a positive value rotates the cloned pixels clockwise.

Adjusting the Size of Spot & Patch Target Overlays

You can change the size of a Spot & Patch target overlay before and after it’s placed on an image. It’s best to adjust the size of the target overlay so it fits the area around the blemish as tightly as possible. A tight fit ensures that any visual aberrations are minimal.

To change the size of the Spot & Patch target before placing it on the image
Do one of the following:
  • Drag the Radius slider in the Spot & Patch HUD.

    Figure. Circular overlay appearing over the Radius slider in the Spot & Patch HUD to indicate the size of the Spot & Patch target overlay.
  • Click the left or right arrow in the Radius value slider, or drag in the value field.

  • Double-click the number in the Radius value slider, then enter a value from 3 to 400 and press Return.

  • If you have a mouse with a scroll wheel, rotate the scroll wheel.

The size of the Spot & Patch target changes.

You can also change the size of any Spot & Patch target overlay that you’ve already placed on an image.

To change the size of an existing Spot & Patch target overlay
  1. Display the image at full size (100 percent) by clicking the Zoom Viewer button in the tool strip or the Full Screen view toolbar (or pressing Z).

  2. Click a Spot & Patch target overlay to select it.

    A hand icon appears to indicate that you can select the Spot & Patch target overlay rather than place a new one.

    Figure. Image showing a hand icon appearing over the Spot & Patch target overlay to indicate that you can select it.
  3. In the Spot & Patch area of the Adjustments inspector or the Adjustments pane of the Inspector HUD, adjust the Radius parameter by doing one of the following:

    • Drag the Radius slider.

    • Click the left or right arrow in the Radius value slider to change the radius of the Spot & Patch target overlay by single-pixel increments, or drag in the value field.

    • Double-click the number in the Radius value slider, then enter a value from 3 to 400 and press Return.

      Figure. Radius controls in the Spot & Patch area of the Adjustments inspector.

The size of the Spot & Patch target overlay increases as the parameter value increases.

Adjusting the Softness Within Spot & Patch Target Overlays

You can also change the “softness” of cloned pixels within Spot & Patch target overlays. Softness describes how well the area within the target overlay blends in with the surrounding image area. The Softness parameter controls the blending of pixels between the center of the Spot & Patch target overlay and the circumference. The higher the Softness parameter value, the closer to the center the pixel blending occurs. The lower the parameter value, the less pixel blending occurs, resulting in a “hard edge.”

Figure. Image showing a Softness adjustment to pixels within the Spot & Patch target overlay.
To adjust the softness of pixels within a Spot & Patch target overlay
  • In the Spot & Patch area of the Adjustments inspector or the Adjustments pane of the Inspector HUD, adjust the Softness parameter by doing one of the following:

    • Drag the Softness slider.

    • Click the left or right arrow in the Softness value slider, or drag in the value field.

    • Double-click the number in the Softness value slider, then enter a value from 3 to 400 and press Return.

      Figure. Softness controls in the Spot & Patch area of the Adjustments inspector.

A low value decreases the softness of pixels within the Spot & Patch target overlay, and a high value increases the softness.

Adjusting the Opacity Within Spot & Patch Target Overlays

Another method of modifying Spot & Patch target overlays to make cloned pixels blend in better with surrounding pixels is to adjust the opacity of pixels in the target overlay. The higher the Opacity parameter value, the more the cloned pixels obscure the original pixels they cover.

Figure. Image showing an Opacity adjustment to pixels within a Spot & Patch target overlay.
To adjust the opacity of cloned pixels in a Spot & Patch target overlay
  • In the Spot & Patch area of the Adjustments inspector or the Adjustments pane of the Inspector HUD, adjust the Opacity parameter by doing one of the following:

    • Drag the Opacity slider.

    • Click the left or right arrow in the Opacity value slider, or drag in the value field.

    • Double-click the number in the Opacity value slider, then enter a value from 0 to 100 and press Return.

      Figure. Opacity controls in the Spot & Patch area of the Adjustments inspector.

A low value decreases the opacity of the cloned pixels in the Spot & Patch target overlay, and a high value increases the opacity.

Adjusting the Detail Within Spot & Patch Target Overlays

In addition to adjusting softness and opacity in Spot & Patch target overlays, you can adjust the amount of detail, such as texture or grain, that is preserved in the cloned pixels.

Figure. Image showing a Detail adjustment to pixels within a Spot & Patch target overlay.
To adjust the amount of detail in cloned pixels in a Spot & Patch target overlay
  • In the Spot & Patch area of the Adjustments inspector or the Adjustments pane of the Inspector HUD, adjust the Detail parameter by doing one of the following:

    • Drag the Detail slider.

    • Click the left or right arrow in the Detail value slider, or drag in the value field.

    • Double-click the number in the Detail value slider, then enter a value from 0 to 100 and press Return.

      Figure. Detail controls in the Spot & Patch area of the Adjustments inspector.

A low value decreases the amount of detail, such as texture or grain, preserved in the cloned pixels, and a high value increases the amount of detail.

Viewing the Corrected Image Without Spot & Patch Target Overlays

After retouching the blemishes in your image, you can view the corrected image with the Spot & Patch target overlays turned off.

To view the corrected image with the Spot & Patch target overlays turned off
  • Select the Selection tool in the tool strip or the Full Screen view toolbar (or press A).

The Spot & Patch target overlays disappear, but the effects of the Spot & Patch adjustment remain visible.

To turn the Spot & Patch target overlays on again
  • Click the Spot & Patch Tool button (with a patch icon) in the Spot & Patch area of the Adjustments inspector or the Adjustments pane of the Inspector HUD.

The Spot & Patch target overlays reappear.

Moving Spot & Patch Target Overlays

Once placed, a Spot & Patch target overlay can always be moved.

To move a Spot & Patch target overlay
  1. Make sure the Spot & Patch HUD is shown, then place the Spot & Patch target over the Spot & Patch target overlay you want to move until a hand icon appears.

    The hand icon indicates that you can drag the target overlay rather than place a new one.

    Figure. Image showing a hand icon appearing over the Spot & Patch target overlay to indicate that you can move it.
  2. Drag the Spot & Patch target overlay to the appropriate position on the image.

Deleting Spot & Patch Target Overlays

You can delete a Spot & Patch target overlay at any time.

To delete a Spot & Patch target overlay
Do one of the following:
  • Select a Spot & Patch target overlay in the image, then click the Delete button in the Spot & Patch area of the Adjustments inspector or the Adjustments pane of the Inspector HUD.

    Figure. Delete button in the Spot & Patch area of the Adjustments inspector.
  • Command-click the Spot & Patch target overlay.

    Figure. Image showing a white X appearing over the Spot & Patch target overlay to indicate that you can delete it.

The Spot & Patch target overlay disappears.