I started a repair using CS3 and was making a lot of use of the smudge tool. The family are buying me PS CC for Xmas so I decided to finish the restoration using the demo version of CC and deleted CS3.
The smudge tool in CC works entirely differently and to my mind, no where near as well. I have been fiddling with different brushes and their settings but haven't reached a usable solution. :(
From comments online, I gather the changed behavior started with CS5 or CS6.
I would appreciate knowing the experience by others and if some brush customizing helped.
Athol, I use CS6 and the Smudge tool at default settings seems to behave more like the Liquify tool.
I'm not sure what effects you are looking for, if you like the colors to blend more you could try Brush Presets and in the Scattering panel check "both axes".
Thanks Hannie. Done a bit of looking and it seems a number of people believe the that the tool has changed compared with earlier versions. More like liquify was a common comment.
In CS3 I could select any round soft brush and use it to blend the space between two different luminosities. The blending only occured in between the two original areas unless I brushed from the area being repaired back on to the original. I always left the strength at 50%, going up to 100% meant that the material moved could leave a transparent spot.
I will probably try to get access to CS3 to look more closely at how smudge worked just in case the grey matter is lying to me.
So far using one of the brushes made up of a number of dots seems most promising and enabling both axes helps, I will let you know how I go