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Advanced Photo Retouching in Adobe Photoshop

Lesson 5 of 7

Clone from Multiple Areas Using the Clone Source Panel

Ben Willmore

Advanced Photo Retouching in Adobe Photoshop

Ben Willmore

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Lesson Info

5. Clone from Multiple Areas Using the Clone Source Panel

Lesson Info

Clone from Multiple Areas Using the Clone Source Panel

In this image, if I turn off the top most layer you'll see on the right side of the picture that there was a bunch of people. But if you look at the contents that I would need to apply to this image in order to retouch things out, well we have these areas. I need to put one of them right here. And they're getting a little closer to the camera and a little further away from the camera. So I might need to scale them. And when I'm applying them I might not get it exactly right so I might need to move them up and down, left and right. Whatever it happens to be. And when I do things also like here, do you see this guy is completely blocking a window? Well there's not enough information in the surrounding area to copy from. I can't see the actual glass of the window except for a couple millimeters of it over here on the left side. Well if you zoom out on this image and you look at the opposite side though, right over here is another window. But if I were to copy from here and just put it ove...

r there I'm sure the size will be off slightly. I might need to rotate it slightly. Or it might be useful to flip it horizontally and we can do that as well. So if you wanna see how that kinda thing can be done then you need to go up to the window menu and there's a choice in here called clone source. The keyboard shortcuts that I've been using when I hold down shift and option they've actually been changing the settings that are found here. So watch the settings that are here. I'll do shift, option and then I'll use, first let me sample an area as if I'm about to retouch. Take me just a moment to make sure I'm in a tool that can retouch and I'm gonna create a new layer, 'cause that layer was hidden so I was getting the no symbol. All right, so let's say I wanna copy from one area. And I'm gonna apply it somewhere else. Then up here watch these settings when I use the keyboard shortcuts. I'm gonna do shift, option and then the arrow keys. This is the right arrow key. There is the left arrow key. And so it's changing the x number. X means how far horizontally have I moved from the area we were copying from. Then I'll use the up and down arrow keys and you'll see that changes the y setting. Y means how far up or down have I moved from where we were copying from. Then I'm gonna scale things by using the bracket keys. And so look at what number changes in here. I'm right now scaling up and if I use the opposite bracket I will scale down. But all it's doing is changing the width and height percentage, which is what you use to scale. Finally, if I use the greater than and less than keys that's gonna end up allowing me to rotate. And you can see how it is just changing the number in there. Unfortunately, there is no keyboard shortcut that I'm aware of that resets all those settings to their defaults. And so that means that if you've scaled and rotated and then you come back the next day you're still gonna be scaling and rotating. And so there is a icon in here, looks like a kinda u-turn icon, and that's the reset icon. If I click that, you'll see that all the numbers that in here will reset themselves to their default settings. And therefore we're no longer scaling, we're no longer rotating. Now there are a few other choices that are found in here. One of which is this little icon. This means flip horizontally and the one below it means flip vertically. So if you need a mirror image of something, because I need to copy from the left side of a building and use it on the right side of the building. For instance, with this particular image, what if I needed to copy this corner of the building and use it over here? Well I'd need to flip it in order to make it so it would be appropriate. Where it ends up having clouds on the right side of it. And I would do that with that little icon that allows you to flip. Now there are a bunch of other settings that are found within this area called clone source but the majority of the ones I use are found in this area here. The other things that you see in here have to do with some of the preview that you see. So if I tell it I wanna copy from one area and I move over you see that you can see an overlay of the image you're about to apply and it is clipped within your brush shape. Well if I come in here, there's a checkbox called clipped. It's no longer clipped within my brush shape now. Turn that back on. If I turn off show overlay, now my brush is empty. If you wanna mess with a coworker who does a lot of retouching, and you really don't like 'em, turn off show overlay. Then they'll copy from wherever they're trying to copy from and they won't be able to see how it lines up with things when they apply it. Or turn off the clip checkbox, it'll mess with their brain. You can also lower the opacity if you wanna be able to see through this preview. So you can possibly see better how it aligns with what's underneath, you could lower the opacity setting. Finally there is a blending mode. There are only a few of them in here, but these are useful. Let's say I need to copy from something and I need to make sure it perfectly lines up with where this original is. If I set this menu to the choice called difference then it's gonna show me where two layers are different. And wherever they're identical you're gonna see black. So if I move this over here, I'm gonna move it over until I see solid black. Gotta be solid black. There. Now I know it precisely aligns with what's found underneath. If I was copying from the left side of the building, flipping it and applying it to the right side of the building, then it would never turn completely black because it would never be absolutely identical to what's on the other side but I could move it around until it gets as dark as I possibly could and then I would know I'm as close to aligning as possible. So anyway this area called clone source can be your friend especially when you need to do extremely complex retouching. Now sometimes when I'm retouching I need to work from a bunch of areas. Let's say, for this particular person here, in order to get rid of them I need to copy from one of these over here. So I option, click there. And then I come over here to apply it, although I'd use a smaller brush. And I'm going to guesstimate where that should go. But until I have the rest of the retouching done I won't know if I'm really precise with where it needed to be. So I click and I apply it. But then to get rid of another area, like at the bottom there, I need to copy from a different portion of the picture. And maybe I need to scale it a different amount. Well do you see these icons that are found up here? These are your various clone sources. By clone source it simply means an area of the picture you're copying from plus the settings that are found in this panel. Like how far you've moved and if it's rotated or scaled. Well if I change over to the next one here, now I can copy from a different area. Let's say I'm gonna copy from this edge down here. Option clicking and I'm gonna go over here and apply it right there. Click and start applying it. That's my second source. But now I wish I could get back to the original area I was copying from when I was replacing this thing up here. Well I can do that because up here we have a total of five sources it could remember that you were copying from. And so if I click back on this what it does is it types in the numbers that were in here previously. And if I move my mouse to the area you see how this aligns with the contents that's there because it's remembering where it was copying from in the settings that were being used. So again let's just, to make it obvious, I'll copy from the statue's head. I didn't actually wanna do that, choose undo if I can. I might've messed that up. I wanna first switch to a different clone source. Then, say I wanna copy from the head and I'm gonna say I wanna flip it vertical so it's upside down. And, copy from there. And so I'm just gonna put an upside down head in here. I'm like, oh man I messed up, I really wanted to copy from over here. Well I switch back to the previous clone source. This one would be copying from this lower area. This one, if my undo was appropriate and I kinda doubt it was, undo usually applies to things that happen to your picture not settings for a tool. So I doubt this is gonna bring it back. No it didn't. So anyway if you need to copy from three or four different areas and go back and forth between them be sure to change your clone source, the setting up here, before you option click somewhere else within your picture. And then it will remember where was it that you option clicked to get your source from. And it'll remember, what was the scaling applied, the rotating applied and the offset applied. So if you click on that icon again you can very quickly start working from that same source location again. Then if you need to come back and work with a different area, click on a previously used clone source and it will again load in the settings for that. So the clone source panel I find to be great. I mainly use the settings found in here. And the majority of those settings are ones that I use my keyboard to do. The one thing I wish I had a keyboard shortcut but that is not is this little reset icon. And I need to hit that anytime I have used those keyboard shortcuts otherwise it will remember the rotation and the scaling. And so that might mess me up.

Class Description


  • Retouch in perspective using Vanishing Point
  • Separate fine detail from overall tone/color using Frequency Separation
  • Eliminate telephone lines that cross intricate trees
  • Swap heads, closed eyes, and smiles in group photos
  • Get rid of whiskers without affecting skin texture and tone
  • Remove stains from clothing while retaining fabric detail


  • Beginner, intermediate, and advanced users of Adobe Photoshop.
  • Those who want to gain confidence in Adobe Photoshop and learn new features to help edit photos.
  • Students who’d like to take ordinary images and make them look extraordinary with some image editing or Photoshop fixes.


Adobe Photoshop 2020 (V21)

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a Creativelive Student

Cannot recommend too strongly. Each lesson is filled with gems clearly and smoothly explained. Techniques I use frequently will become much more powerful using the expanded tools that Willmore illustrates. This is one of those courses that is worth full price, and more