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How to Remove Power Lines in Photoshop

Published: 02/06/2021

One of the most common obstacles in making real estate photos look flawless is power lines. These lines can give the photo a messy view, causing even the most beautiful properties to look bad. Learning how to remove power lines in Photoshop can transform the look of exterior views easily.

How to Remove Power Lines in Photoshop Using Two Methods

The tangled mess of power lines is definitely a big no-no when you want to show an appealing and serene view. The feeling you wish to create in a real estate image can easily get ruined if power lines are clearly showing. They distract the viewer rather than letting them focus on the property’s positive aspects.

Thanks to the amazing developers at Adobe, Photoshop CC is your savior when it comes to making these unsightly power lines vanish. You can very easily remove these distractions without anyone noticing that your image is edited. 

In this post, we will display two methods to clear away power lines in Photoshop. We will explain how to use the Spot Healing Brush Tool and the Pen Tool to retouch the areas having these lines. The best thing about these techniques is that they are fairly simple to learn and don’t require advanced Photoshop skills.

Method 1: Remove Power Lines Using the Spot Healing Brush Tool

The Spot Healing Brush Tool is one among the several intuitive tools in Photoshop that help with the seamless editing of images. It is used to clean up spots, blemishes, and other targeted touch-ups on images. 

The Spot Healing Brush tool can help you remove power lines from images by cutting into the background that you intend to replace with the distracting lines. 

Open the Image And Make a Duplicate Layer

  1. The first step in this process is to open your image in Adobe Photoshop CC. 
Two-story house with a pool
  1. After that, you should ensure non-destructive editing to preserve your original image.
  2. From the layers palette, select the background layer. Right-click on it and select the Duplicate Layer option from the drop-down menu. Note that creating duplicate images and layers is a standard step while using Photoshop to keep original images intact.

Choose The Spot Healing Tool Settings

  1. From the left side of the Photoshop interface, grab the Spot Healing Brush tool in the toolbar. You can find it under the Eyedropper tool.
  2. Next, choose the tools settings from the Options bar at the top. Set a brush size that is close to the size of the power lines in the image. 
  3. As you need a medium soft brush for this task, choose a hardness level between 30 to 50.
  4. From the brush type options, choose Content Aware. The Content aware fill is one of the most intuitive features in Photoshop.
  5. Click on the Sample All Layers checkbox to let the brush clone from the blank layer.
Sample All Layers option in Photoshop

Apply the Brush on Lines

  1. After the selection of tools and settings, it’s time to let the Spot Healing Brush do its magic. 
  2. Zoom in on the areas of the image that have power lines. This will allow a precise brush application and better visibility.
  3. Now start painting over the lines. You will see a greyish overlay wherever you are applying the strokes. 
  4. Hold down the Shift key while applying the brush to make a straight line. This tip is very helpful when removing a large number of power lines that are straight. Holding down shift for straight lines works on any brush tool in Photoshop.
  5. Even if the lines are curved, the method is very easy as you can zoom in and apply the brush and reapply on leftover areas in the second attempt.
  6. As you release your mouse key after selection, Photoshop will remove the power lines.
Image without power lines

Method 2: Remove Power Lines Using the Pen Tool and Paths Panel

For the second method to remove power lines, we will be using a combination of the Pen Tool and the Paths panel. We will make use of the Spot Healing Brush in this method as well, but the difference is that you won’t have to apply the brush as we did in the first method.

Import the Image and Make its Duplicate Layer

  1. Once again, open the image in which there are distracting power lines in Adobe Photoshop CC. 
House with a curved pathway
  1. Create a duplicate of the background layer by selecting it in the layer panel and pressing CTRL + J on Windows and CMD + J on Mac.
  2. Making the duplicate layer will allow non-destructive editing, letting you revert your mistakes if you are not able to do the task perfectly on the first attempt.

Create a Path Using Pen Tool

  1. From the toolbar, select the Pen Tool. You can also press P on your keyboard to activate the pen tool.
  2. When the Pen Tool is selected, you will have to click on the start of one of the power lines. A little trick here is to click outside the image to make sure no part of the line is missed.
  3. Click on the endpoint of the line to make a straight line that connects both ends. 
  4. If the power line is curved, add an additional control point in the path that you selected. 
  5. Click on the Auto Add/Delete checkbox on the options bar of the Pen Tool to enable Add Control Point Tool. This step allows bending the selected path from the control point.
  6. Now hold down the CTRL key (on Windows) or Command key (on Mac) to convert your cursor into the Direct Selection tool. Drag the control point that you added to bend the path where needed.

Specify the Spot Healing Brush Settings

  1. Select the Spot Healing Brush Tool from the toolbar. You can also activate this tool by hitting the J key on your keyboard.
  2. Select a brush size for the Spot Healing tool from the options bar. You need to match the size which will precisely cover the lines. 
  3. Select the level of softness/hardness of the brush. Keep it medium to effectively work on the thick power lines.
  4. If you need to adjust the softness and brush size, press and hold the CTRL / CMD key and the right click of your mouse. Moving the mouse up or down will change the hardness of the brush, whereas moving it left, and right will change its size.

Stroke the Path

  1. Now go on to the Paths channel present on the left-hand side groups with the Layers and Channels panels. If you can’t see it, go to the Window menu and click on the Paths option to check it.
  2. Choose the Stroke Path with Brush option (the empty circle icon) from the bottom of the Paths panel. This action will put the spot healing brush to work, and the power line will be removed.
  3. Press the Delete button to clear the path line that you created. You can now see the final look with the power line removed.
Image with removed power lines

Repeat the Process for All Power Lines

Repeat the same process for all the power lines in the image by creating a path with the Pen Tool and then removing the lines by using the Stroke Path option using the Spot Healing Brush.

Conclusion

Distractions like transmission lines cause a drop in the appeal of real estate images. Removing them will give a clear view which will raise the visual appeal, especially if you intend to use the image for promotional purposes. The methods we have described above are highly effective to remove such lines from photos in a matter of minutes.

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