History Brush Tools and Eraser Tools in Adobe Photoshop

History Brush Tool

History Brush Tool is right underneath the clone stamp tool and it can be identified as a brush which has a little-dashed arrow point behind it.

The keyboard shortcut for this brush is Y.

How it works

Let’s take an example, open a photo in Adobe Photoshop, duplicate the layer and desaturate it. Take a new layer, if you apply your history brush strokes over the image then it’s going to revert back to the original snapshot or state that you are in when you created or opened the document in Adobe Photoshop.

Brush options for this tool are same as our normal brush tool.


Art history brush Tool

Art history brush tool is used for making painting effects on your photographs.

It is usually the same as history brush but has some few extra options like “style” which decide how will our brush strokes look like. The default setting for this option is “tight short”.

How to use this brush

We have to take a brand new layer and then start painting over it. Art history brush selects the areas of colour and applies the strokes based on the brush that you’ve chosen and on the pixels it’s sampling.

You can change the “style” of brush strokes according to your artwork. You can choose the styles by holding the style option menu.

The tool mostly keeps the colours within the boundaries where the colours originally belong, and this is based on how much you set your range of tolerance.


Eraser Tool

Eraser tool erases the pixels of an image. If you have a jpeg image open in the background layer and it’s locked, it’s not going to erase the pixels rather it’s going to replace them with whatever the background color is. To change that you just have to double-click the background layer and click ok, and then when you apply eraser tool it will erase the pixels. But one thing to keep in mind is that this is a destructive way of editing as pixels will not come back, therefore professionals generally choose to mask the image.

You can change the tip of the eraser tool same as brush tool.

There are three modes in the eraser tool and that is ‘brush’, ‘pencil’, and ‘block’.

In brush and pencil you can change the opacity and behavior of brush but in block mode, you can’t change any behavior of brush.


Background Eraser Tool

This tool also has the brush options like the other ones but if you hover over the top panel you will see “sampling continuous” which means it will sample continuously rather than just once which is the second option. For the background swatch option, it’s going to erase the areas that set or match your background color.

There are three limits on background eraser and they are discontinuous which means it’s going to erase those pixels wherever they occur underneath the brush and in contiguous it has to be connected to the sampling area.

In finding edges, it’s going to erase those connected areas but it generally works well when there is an edge of the certain area.

At the right side of the top panel, there is an option called “Protect foreground color”. And it means if you select your foreground color then it should protect that foreground color depending on the tolerance.


Magic Eraser Tool

While selecting this tool, if you set the tolerance to zero then it will select the exact hue that you will click on. And if you set the tolerance to 100 then it will be very tolerant to other hues means it will erase every color.

By checking on the anti-alias option it will soften the edge a little bit.

In contiguous, it will only erase pixels that are connected withthe sampling area. It will not erase those that are on another side of the image.

Sampling all layers means it will sample all the layers on the file, not just a single layer that you are working on.

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