How to use history brush tool in Photoshop tutorial

How to use the history brush tool in Photoshop CC 2018 2017 2015 2014 CS6 CS5. The tool allows you to apply effects etc to an image in only a particular portion of an image (instead of the entire image)

Use history brush tool in Photoshop

how to use history brush tool in Photoshop tutorial
  1. Open document in Photoshop

  2. Apply effects or brushes or gradients etc to an image

  3. Display history panel (HP) found in the window menu

  4. Go to an entry in the panel and you will see the current state such as 'open' 'apply effect' etc

  5. Click on the far left of the entry state (you will see a little brush icon appear)

  6. Go to the history brush tool (HB) in toolbar

  7. Set the size for the tool as well as blending mode to be applied

  8. Apply the tool to the region you want to restore to the selected state. You can use part of the image or all of the image with the tool

videoVideo tutorial on the subject by (youtube)


This is a really powerful feature of PS


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Adding effects : Things you can do with the tool ? Well, you can create tons and tons of effects and then select the last entry state (far left side) and then just go back to an earlier state (without clicking the far left side as that would then select that state). You can then apply the tool with the current size and blending mode and opacity etc and you will notice those strokes added to the panel. You can then repeat the same with a different state selected such as perhaps one of the strokes.


Adding effects to only part of image :

blurYou can use the tool to add any previously generated effects and adjustments etc to only certain parts of the image.


You can also use the blending modes and opacity with the tool so the blur effect can be added but perhaps in difference mode instead of just the default.


It does not matter if you continue to work on other effects etc, the state is still remembered and you can always just repeat the application of the stroke using the tool at any point.


In the image on the right, a blur was applied to image and then a snapshot was saved and then the effect was removed. The tool was then added to the glasses to mist the glasses only


Snapshots and effects : Note that this will use the image and the effect at the point of the snapshot.


Open an image and then go to the filter menu and apply a gaussian blur. Create a snapshot via the HP. Undo the effect via the edit menu. Go and create another effects such as poster edge and then go to the HP and create another snapshot. Edit menu and undo again.


You can repeat this and build up a whole snapshots of effects and then using the HB tool, set the preset to use and the blending mode etc (it does not need to be normal) and then select the select the effect you want to apply via the snapshots. Apply the HB in the localized area of the image or layer


The selected state can be something that is an earlier state or something that has been deleted. You can still use it as long as you have clicked the entry in the HP. A deleted entry will be grayed out but the actual result will still be available


Non-linear :

non linearThe HP has a whole range of options via the right side menu such a allow non-linear history.


It is off by default.


Cropping etc : spotsThings you cannot do with the tool ? Well, there are some commands that will cause an issue such as cropped images and image size changes as well as some rotation (actually most rotation).


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