I just spotted a video on Lynda.com, a very reliable on line resource for learning. It describes using the “patch” tool as a useful tool for repairing scratches, tears and damage.
There is no doubt this tool is a great tool. In this case i feel that using something just because its there, is not always a good idea.
The video suggests you let the “content aware” algorithm do the work for you. Setting the parameters from “very loose” to “very strict.” I tried this with one of my images with damage and each and every parameter tested gave me a poor result, where the patched damage took a darker tone. See the first video below for how Bryan suggest it should work.
Fixing rips and creases by Bryan O’Neil Hughes
When i used the standard method of the patch it worked better in every case. Feel free to use the Lynda method but I would suggest using just the patch on its own. I am sure that Bryan O’Neil Hughes was just trying to show us that there are other methods to use but sometimes leaving it alone is just as good. Here is my quick test to explain why i have never use this option.
I am sure that content aware patch has its place but i could not get it to work on my image and never use it. Sure i use content aware occasionally but even then and more often than not i have to correct it. By trying out these methods you will find out what works best for you. it may be that “content aware patch” works in your images. If it does let me know and ill see if i can post an update here to show the example. Once you know what works you can increase your workflow and add this skill to your photo restoration toolbox.