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Thread: Clone Stamp in Photoshop...some advice is needed...

  1. #1
    Forum Participant Jack Breakfast's Avatar
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    Default Clone Stamp in Photoshop...some advice is needed...

    Hello folks,

    This is something quite basic, I know, but I would love to know if anyone has some good resources for basic cloning work. I'm only interested in doing fairly easy cloning when I want to get rid of unwanted elements of a photograph - tree branches, bits of rock, etc. I'll include a sample image so that you can see what I'm talking about. In this particular photo, I would want to eliminate the bit of rock and metal in the bottom right, and as you can see, the piece of unwanted rock abuts against the piece of rock I want to keep. I get the gist of cloning, but would love to know more about how to set it up, whether I should use different layers, masks, and what levels of opacity and flow are best...I want the cloning to look seamless, obviously. Again, please forgive if this question is incredibly basic. I've been taking photographs for a long time, but am very new to the cloning business. Bear in mind that I use Photoshop CS (yes, the original...)
    Basically I'm just looking for a good resource guide, if anyone can point me in the right direction.
    I thank you so much in advance...

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    BPN Member Roger Clark's Avatar
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    Hi Jack,

    There are a couple of ways to approach your problem.

    1) select the area to be cloned out, along with some of the sky above it. Feather the boundary by about 2 (depends on how sharp the image is). Select the clone tool and choose a size that is not too small. Select the clone area (e.g. sky) that will be cloned over the rock. Then clone out the rock.

    2) No selection. Choose a fairly large brush size, hardness around 80% and start cloning. As you get to the edge of the the area to be cloned (up against the rock you don't want to remove), make the brush smaller and the hardness edge match the sharpness of the image. Then work the edge.

    Hints: If you want the clone job to be difficult to detect, set opacity to less than 100% and do multiple passes, changing the selected clone area. For example, select 83% (not something even like 50%) select the clone area then clone it over the area you want removed. Then select a slightly different clone area and repeat. If cloning sky, you can also smooth the sky to reduce noise and smooth out any cloning irregularities,

    Roger

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    Forum Participant John Chardine's Avatar
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    Jack- Good approach from Roger, and another one from me (there are always 10 ways to skin a cat with Ps). I routinely mask out the area I don't want to affect, then clone away.

    1. q for quick mask
    2. b for brush, choose 0 hardness and the right size. Note the smaller the brush the harder the edge will be. If you want a hard edge to the mask then harden up the brush.
    3. brush over the area you want to protect- masked area will be semi-transparent red like the old masking film we used to use. e for eraser to rub out the mask if you "colour over the lines"
    4. q again to leave quick mask
    5. s for clone tool and perform your cloning

    I tried it on your owl image and it was a 20s job.

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    Forum Participant Jack Breakfast's Avatar
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    Roger and John, I can't thank you enough. I really appreciate you helping me out here...

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    Either Robert O'Toole or Tim Grey, can't remember which, showed me a technique that is close to what John suggested. It might work well in this sample since you have such distinct edges. Select what you want to keep and put it in a new layer using a layer mask to hide what you don't want. Then on the lower layer you can work more freely to clean things up, knowing the good parts are safe. Lots of guidance in Artie's Digital Basics too.

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    Forum Participant Tom Graham's Avatar
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    With a non-detail background like here, the clone is easy to hide/blend.
    But if the background has detail, sharpness, the soft hardness clone brush (80% or whatever) likely will be obvious. Then try it "harder", and hard edges, and not a round brush/clone stamp but an irregular shape. Just takes practice, its a miracle tool .
    Tom

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    BPN Member Hazel Grant's Avatar
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    Many good suggestions above. I want to emphasize practice!

    Also, if the background is busy with bushes, etc. don't just clone from one spot. Choose several smaller areas away from the cloned-out area to create a non-duplicate spot. One sure sign of cloning is to have the same rock appear in several spots, etc.
    Clone a leaf from one spot, a branch from another, etc. to eliminate that tell tale duplication.

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    BPN Member Dan Brown's Avatar
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    Attached Images Attached Images
     
    Here's another method. With your image, I opted to use a Quick Mask, rather than cloning. Zero cloning in my repost of your Snowy. QM is much cleaner and really quick once you learn how to do it. I believe that a tutorial exists here in the archives but if not, Robert Otooles ebook APTATS1 will show you how and is a great guide. The one thing that I did a little different from the standard QM was, I made the mask at 0% hardness and then erased the left side of the red state of it with a 100% hardness eraser brush, creating a very hard edge on the left so that the rock edge is believable. This probably makes no sense at all to you but if you learn how, it might?

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