Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Clone Stamp Tool

The clone stamp tool provides a convenient way to remove flaws in a photograph, such as white spots or black spots. With enough practice even small objects or an accidentally included date stamp can be removed from the photograph. The way to use it is as follows

1 Access the Layers palette by going to the Windows menu and choosing Layers.
2 Make the Background the active layer by clicking on it. It should change color.
3 Go to the Layer menu and choose Duplicate Layer. A window will pop up titled Duplicate Layer. Click OK. The Layers palette should now show these 2 layers - Background and Background Copy with Background Copy being the active layer.
4 Go to the tool bar and click on the icon that looks like a rubber stamp. If the cursor is held over it without clicking a label will light up that says Clone Stamp Tool.
5 Hold the cursor over any part of the image area and a circle will have replaced the pointer arrow. This shows that the Clone Stamp Tool is ready to use.
6 Put the cursor over the area to be changed and adjust the size of the circle to a slightly larger size. To change the size of the circle, go to the 2 bracket keys to the right of the letter P on the keyboard. Clicking on { makes the circle smaller. Clicking on } makes the circle bigger.
7 On the top left there are several icons. The first shows the Clone Stamp and the next one to the right says Brush. The icon is a black circle. Click on the triangle to the right of the brush icon. When the window opens move the slider for Hardness to 0%. Click anywhere in the image and a message will appear saying, “Could not use the clone stamp because the area to clone has not been defined (option-click to define a source point). Click OK to remove the message.
8 Define the source point. The source point is an area to copy and paste over the area that needs to be changed. For instance, holding the circle over an adjacent area that does not have a spot can cover a white spot.
9 After being sure that the brush hardness is set to 0% and the circle size has been set to a slightly larger than the area to be edited, hold down the Option key. While holding down this key move the mouse close to the area to be edited. It is very important that none of the area to be edited is included in this circle. The cursor should no longer look like a circle. It should look like a target.
10 Click on the area to copy and release the Option key.
11 The cursor should now be a circle again. Hold the cursor over the area to be changed. Click over this area and it should change.
12 Repeat this process where needed.

© 2009 Paul Light all rights reserved


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