The Clone Stamp Tool in Photoshop
some clever person here managed to get Photoshopped one working on a computer and back then there was one tool and one tool only. It was called the rubber stamp. And then in somewhere along the lines of Photoshopped history, they decide Call it the clone stamp tool. I gotta say, for months I was like, when used the river clone stamp tool Because, I mean, after years of calling, why would you change the name? It does the same thing. So every so often you can tell an old school photo shoot going. I'm just gonna rubber stamping like, Oh, you are? Are you telling me they've been at it for a long time? And, of course, back in photo shop won everything. There were no such thing as layers. So you did everything on one canvas at the really, really plan out. And that meant that most people discovered very quickly that when you're using the rubber stamp tool as it was called, then that you almost had your finger poised above undo because the other here's the other thing that people find this har...
d to imagine. Now, in photo shop one, there was one undo. So if he did like three things and they were wrong was like, revert and start over again. So the whole different world. But as a result, I got in his habit where I'm not kidding you. I'd be using now called the Clone Stamp Tool, and my other fingers were poised above undo because you know that every second time, like, nope, that didn't work. No, that didn't work. So life has changed along the way, but that it was not uncommon at all Toe be able to do it. So one things. I'm gonna suggest you with the tools we're gonna talk about. There's lots of different options and you could globally call this, I suppose fixing or retouching where we're trying to remove or move or add or delete take away things. As always, there's multiple ways to do this, And the one thing I would suggest to you is that you should at least consider doing this work on layers Now. It will depend a little bit because, let's say for the sake of argument that this shot was taken for someone and they said, Can you take out that box on the wall? And because of the way they worded it. It's very likely that they're never going to say, You know what? I've changed my mind. Put it back again then I suppose in that case I could do my work directly on this background layer. But this is maybe just me. But again, I've talked before about the little voice in my head that says, What if there's that one case where the new owner says, Well, actually, that's the way it looks in person, so that box should be there. And if the only photo you have doesn't have anymore cause you removed it directly on the background layer, I just personally don't want to take that chance. The other thing that it does is if let me to show you the difference. If I took a tool like the Clone stamp tool and said, I'm just gonna clone here, let me get this back to normal settings here brush little bigger. The way the clone stamp tool works is that you option are all click on the area you want to clone from, and then you move on top and you can actually see a little preview in here, and then you can start cloning, and before you know what, you've got something and has gone and all matches in really nicely. The problem is just like we talked about making adjustments directly the background. If I now save this, I now afforded Web without that box on it, and that might be fine. But again, on that potentially rare instance where they changed their mind or they want to do something different Now I've got nothing there. It's been These tools are very good. So if you use the middle really looked like it was never there. So I just have this feeling that most the time I want to do things on a layer by layer basis. Now, the mistake some people may cause they don't know that there's an other option is they then duplicate the entire background layer and clone directly on that layer, which works. But now that's still too much work because part of the reason I want it might do it on separate layers. I might need to move its position a little bit, and I've got a whole layer with a clone area that doesn't help very much so one of the functions you could do in almost every of these retouching tools we talk about is you add a blank layer and then up in the options bar, and this varies a little bit with each tool, and we look at each one. You'll see they have slayed, different wording. But it basically says something like all layers or use all layers or sample all layers or some setting. And that's a fancy way of saying Sample it from the background layer. Put the results on to the blank layer. So when I first do it, when you're looking at the image, it look exactly the same. At first it looked like I'm cloning right on top of that box, but the difference is as you'll see when I do it, the results are a little different because at first glance it looks the same. But if I hide the background, you'll see that little patches on a layer by itself. So that way I still have preserved the original background layer. It's still the same. I've made it look the way that I want. But now if someone comes back and says I changed my mind, or whatever the reason, at least I know I haven't permanently altered the background now again. To be fair, if it's a situation where it's your photograph and you're absolutely convinced you never want that to see that thing again ever again, then you could do a direct on the background personally. One of the reasons I still use a layer is because of accuracy. I may still end up using the word that I hardly ever say a lot of which is merging these. Once I'm finished, I might say, You know what? I don't I never changed my mind. I might worsen together, but I still gonna use the layer to get to that end because if I'm a little off Aiken, go nudge, nudge, nudge there that looks better. Where's my directly on the background layer? Your only option is undo, undo, undo or step backwards and try it again. So as you're looking through, all the various retouching type tools will be talking about. I would suggest look for the ones that have some function that's called sample all layers or use all layers or some wording like that. Usually it's towards the end of all the options in the options bar. There's a couple of exceptions where you can't do that and that for me personally, as a reason why I wouldn't use that tool as much because I really want to have the option of putting the results onto a separate layer like that. Once you have that setting on, then I can go through anywhere else on the image in any work I do. I know without even looking that the results are being put on that separate layer each time I'm holding down Option or Ault to set the reference point to, say, clone from here and put the result over there now. It's not only about removing things if you really want to. I suppose you could say I want another plant over here so I'll just see where it meaning about the little preview. Now I can see that it's lining up to be around the same height. One of the ways to gauge success with the clone stamp tool, by the way, is to train your eyeballs to look two different places at the same time. So my right eyeball is looking at the existing plant on my left eyeball is looking is really, but that's almost what you have to think, because a lot of people are looking at the thing there. Cloning from where you really should be looking where you're cloning two. Because that's the important one in this case, because the background is pretty much the same. Let me see. I went well, too far there. I got part of the doorway. So here's another important tip. See what just happened there, Right at the very end, I'm going to say I did that deliberately. Let's just go with that story that the doorway snuck in when I hit. Undo, the entire thing disappears. I did all in one motion. So tip you learned pretty early on with the clone stamp tool is do it like this option. Click. Do a little bit of painting. Stop. Do little more. Stop because that way, if your undoing on doing the last little thing, not the entire thing. I've seen people that have cloned around the whole outline of something, and then they could mess up. They go undo, and it's all gone so you can stop and start because the relationship between where you're cloning from and where you're calling to will always stay the same. You can stop and start as many times as you want, and you'll never have to worry about. Will things line up because it will always keep being the same? This is where the when I get to this edge. Now I'm actually looking at that little plus sign on the existing plant to see. Am I getting too close because the size of my brush? That's why I'm getting part of that doorway in there because my brush is too big, so I would undo that last part. Make my brush a little small. I'm using the bracket keys to do that. And now, as I continue painting along with this is still even though it's called the clone stamp tool, it's still effectively is a painting tool because we're using brushes to get the result that you want, except for the fact that it literally is an exact clone of the 1st 1 I don't think anyone walking in right now would say, Well, I can tell you pasted that artificially on there because it's matching in very well with the environment because it's the same now, what you could also do if you wanted to, for example, someone says we really need another plant there, but it looks too obvious. There is a panel that comes along with the clone tool called the Clone Source panel on a day to day basis. You might never open this because we were just saying Clone from here to there that that's a felony to really do. But if I wanted to clone and say, change the angle slightly so didn't look exactly like an exact duplicate. That's what a lot of these settings are. You can say. I want you to clone. So you cloning this plant is gonna clone at a slight angle or reverse or something else personally. At that point, I would probably use some other tool and put the entire plan on layer by itself and flip it. But since we're time but the clone stamp tool that is an option as you're working on it, the best advice I can give you about anything to do with the clone stamp tool is don't try and do too much before you set a new reference point because, as I mentioned, when you hold down that option all key and click once you've set your reference point. So now if I went to clone, I'd be cloning from that arrow that's up in the top there. And if I went too far over the color scheme between the wall there on the wall over here might not be quite the same. So as soon as you start to a little bit, you find things aren't matching pause. Click a new reference point and clone again. The mistake I think most people make is they try to do too much from one reference point often, if especially if there is a more random pattern. Not like a brick wall, but say, like sand or something like that, where it's all random. I'm gonna be constantly creating a new reference point, so I'm random izing and as much as I possibly can now, I deliberately started with the clone stamp tool because again, it's historically it was the tool. I really don't use the clone stamp tool anywhere near us, much as I used to. I used to be like I use the rubber stamp tool. When I was called that so much that it was like I was sniffing glue, I just because they had so much rubber stamping in my head, but I got to be really good at it because that was the tool used. And then along the way, other tools came along like the healing brush and other ones that are, frankly, even better. Here's the main difference we need to understand. The clone stamp tool is literally like, you're saying, copied. These pixels paced him over there. It ignores completely any existing color, texture or anything else. So the onus is on you to make sure you're picking on area that matches well. This happens to work pretty well because the color is the same all the way across. If it got much darker on one side, you'd very quickly go. If I'm cloning from this side to that side, it just doesn't match up it all. So anything you're doing with differences of tone and texture, the rubber right now, they said Roberts, I'm gonna keep saying that the clone stamp tool may not be the best one for the job, because it doesn't do any blending at all. It just says, Copy these pixels paste over here in effect, but it's like copying and pasting by painting right here is the other reason, though wise stressed, the fact of doing any of this work on a separate layer is now that I look at all that Okay, never mind that's not working at all. I can just delete the layer, and I'm ready to start again because I'm not having to delete and revert and undo multiple times. All my content was on a separate layer. We'll see other reasons why putting your retouching type tools on its own. Their own layer is a good idea for other reasons as well, particularly when you're doing things like we touching people. It makes really good sense. Okay, so that's the clone stamp tool. I'll revisit the fact that you can make tool presets for these. So if you were, find yourself switching between different tool settings for the clone stamp to make it work a certain way than that one be one of things you could consider doing. The presets can help you. Okay, so the one thing that this example probably better off when I show you with a person's face. But one thing you can do to make life a little simpler if you're working with any one of these tools, but particularly the clone stamp tool. And you're finding that whole problem where the color tone or texture isn't quite matching in is you can look at it and say, What is the problem I'm trying to fix? And that might be that, for example, there's a little speck of white on your photo. If you want to get rid of well, you only want to clone over things that you can darken. Okay, so let me artificially do this. Since I don't really have an example here, we'll just get a little white dot on there and we'll say, Okay, I wanted to remove that. Well, the clone stamp tool is going to just say, I'll just clone any pixels you tell me to. But over here on the layer itself, there's all these blend moats and blend modes determine how this layer interacts with layer below. So if I know that I'm going to create a cloning layer where its purpose is to get rid of all these little specks of white that I r light colors that I have. If I change the blend mode of the layer to darken. Years ago, in Photoshop. This blend mode used to be called dark and on Lee, and that I thought was a pretty good name for it because it reminded us. You're saying whatever you do next in this case, cloning Onley affect pixels that you can make darker. So therefore, if there was a lot of texture, you want to get on. Leigh read of the White Dark and Onley means if I sample a color like this with my clone stamp tool, then it'll Onley. Even though I've got a giant size brush. It's gonna on Lee really affect the area that it can make lighter, so I don't have to worry about. I've gone over the grout line in the wall or something, because it'll Onley effect. So you have to think of the relationship, the color you're cloning and the problem you're fixing. So if I'm looking at someone's face, if they have really bright highlights on their face that I want to tone down a bit, I might change the blend mode of that layer to darken so that when I'm doing a subtle bit of cloning, it's not going affect the areas that already look fine. It's only in effect, like a little hot spot on their nose or something of that nature. The part that's worth noting is there was a mistaken belief among many people, including myself at first when I tried this, because I'm so used to using dark and mode that it would still work when you have sample all layers turned on. But it doesn't so. That's why I didn't bother coming over here to change the mode to darken. That only works if you're working directly on the layer, the entire layer like the background. That's why change the blend mode of the layer to darken to give the equivalent of cloning in dark and moat. So what a clever person and me would do might name this layer darkened and make another layer and call it lightened and change the blend mode of that one. So now, if they're looked at a photograph, they said, need to fix a light problem. All clone onto the darken layer. If I want to clone a problem, it's over. Problem. It's too dark. I'm going to switch to the lighten layer again. Sounds much more complicated than it is. Once you start putting into action. It starts to make better sense to go look at the image and treated that way. I think the mistake I know I used to make was just think, get rid of that thing right there. Think of it in terms of objects in terms of brightness and darkness values because to make it look more realistic, I had to think about color tones and things that would match better. Now this again is a fairly longer discussion. Probably need because the importance of the clone stamp tool has decreased. I still use it Ah lot, but usually to do what I would consider almost like finishing touches where I've already done a whole bunch of other retouching using other tools. I just want to randomize it a bit. So I put the clone stamp tool really low setting and just clone a few random areas because sometimes if you start seeing almost like a repeating pattern of something that can help kind of blend things in a bit