The Auto Retouch Brush is a nice addition in Capture NX2 for removing unwanted details such as dust spots, blemishes, or distracting objects. The tool is supposed to use a “unique blending algorithm that matches the surrounding structure, color, and tonality”. In practice, I found the tool isn’t performing as consistently as it should be. Different attempts are often needed to remove the unwanted objects based on the particular details of the photo.

The following example showed a thread of spider web in the photo. 

The thread of spider web is unwanted detail

The thread of spider web is unwanted detail

According to the Capture NX2 help file, I should use the Auto Retouch Brush like this:

Click and paint on top of the entire object that you would like to automatically replace. Ensure that all parts of the object that should be replaced are painted over before releasing the mouse button. Do not worry about being precise when painting out the object, as a small amount of painting outside of the object can yield better results.

Well, I tried that and it didn’t work well. The traces of the Auto Retouch Brush is clearly visible even though it removed the original blemish.

Trace of the Auto Retough Brush clearly visible

Trace of the Auto Retough Brush is clearly visible

I played with this for a while and found a different method that worked quite well: instead of trying to cover the whole defect with a single brush stroke as described in the help file, click and release the mouse, move down the defect slightly and repeat the click and release step again with some overlapping between the clicks. If the trace of the Auto Retouch Brush is still visible anywhere, use a larger brush size and click over it again. It would hide any signs of retouch. The following is the final result.

No sign of retouch with the new method.

No sign of retouch with the new method.


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