A new and powerful feature in Capture One Pro 8 is the Repair Layers.
The Repair Layers are designed to make it easy to remove unwanted objects in an image like for instance power cables or people walking into the frame.
Clone or Heal?
In a Repair Layer you can either Clone data from one part of the image to another part of the image or you can use the more advanced Heal layer to easily blend data from one part of an image into another part of the image.
When I was shooting the image above the light was just perfect and the clouds were nice positioned on both sides of the old lighthouse. The only problem was the many tourists walking in my frame.
Not the perfect shot
Knowing that Capture One Pro 8 has the Repair Layer feature and that it would be a simple task to remove the unwanted people in the frame, I decided to take the picture rather than hoping that the people would go away before the light and the sky had changed.
The image to the left is straight out of the camera. The image to the right is after removing the unwanted people in the scene and adding some basic corrections in the Exposure tool tab.
In the Local Adjustments Tool, which you find in the Local Adjustments tool tab, you now have the option to create two new kind of layers: Clone Layer and Heal Layer.
Create a Repair Layer:
In the Local Adjustments Tool simply press the “+” button to add a new layer. By default it gives you an Adjustments Layer, but by holding down the mouse on the “Adjustment” button in the Layer you will have the option to change the layer into a Clone or a Heal Layer.
You can also directly add a specific kind of Layer by holding down the “+” button in the Local Adjustments Tool. This will give you a drop down to select among the different kind of layers.
Set source and destination for you Repair Layer:
In a Repair Layer you need to select the source point from where to copy pixels and a destination point to where you want to paste the pixels. When this is established, you can brush in the needed area, which need to be fixed. For all the brush strokes you do in a single Repair Layer, it will keep the relative distance between the source and the destination point at all time. The success of a repair is very much depending on how clever you select the source and destination points.
I will start by removing the long shadow in the sand dune, so I add a new Heal Layer. I zoom into the image and adjust my brush size so it is about the size of the thickness of the shadow. For a Heal Layer I normally use a hardness around 50. If I use a Clone Layer, I often uses a hardness between 0 and 40.
The idea is now to set the source and destination points in such a way that as many of the structures in the source point fall naturally into the destination areas. To set the source point hold down the “Alt” key while clicking with the brush. Then click with the brush to set the destination point.
The white circle indicates the source point for the Repair layer and the orange circle shows the destination area.
I can always re-adjust the source and destination points by simply dragging the circles. Now with the source and destination points established, I can simply brush over the shadows in the sand dune. While brushing, the algorithm uses the simpler and faster Clone method, but when you let go of the brush, it optimizes the cloned data to blend it into the color and lightness of the background. After you have brushed your Repair Layer you still have the option to change you layer from a Clone to Heal layer or vise versa. This means that if you are in doubt about which method to use you can just start with one type of Repair Layer and then later change to the other kind of Repair Layer to see if it works better.
With two long brush strokes I remove the shadows in the sand dune. Here I used the option to show the mask strokes. The Heal Layer does a fantastic job in making the repaired area blend smoothly into the background layer so it is almost impossible to see what is the original image and what is repaired.
Now I would like to remove the remaining part of the two people climbing the dune.
In the first image I set the source and destination points. I do it so the source and destination points are parallel to the ridge of the dune. This will ensure that the ridge will be perfectly repaired. In the second image you can see my brush strokes and in the image to the right you can see the final result of moving the two people and their shadows.
Using similar ideas for setting the source and destination points in combination with an appropriate selection of brush size, I could easily remove the unwanted people in the image by applying only four Repair Layers.
I deliberately left one person in the image just add dimensions to the image.
Full freedom for editing an image with Repair layers
The Repair Layers in Capture One Pro 8 work on the raw images. This gives you full freedom to work with the image and to do whatever adjustments you would like to do with the image both before and after you have done a Repair Layer.
All the best,
The Image Quality Professor
The digital pioneer, Niels V. Knudsen, is Phase One’s Image Quality Professor and founder of the IQP blog. Moreover, he is responsible for breakthrough advancements in image quality both in Phase One’s medium format camera systems and in Capture One Pro.