Try Advanced Cloning Techniques

1/1/2013 8:27:19 AM

Remove unwanted objects more quickly using Photoshop CS’s Patch tool or the Content-Aware Fill command

Photoshop CS’s Patch tool

Photoshop CS’s Patch tool

What you’ll need

Photoshop CS5 or above

What you’ll learn

How to use Photoshop CS’s more advanced cloned tools to make seamless adjustments to your shots

It only takes

5 minutes

You could use Photoshop CS’s Clone Stamp and Healing Brush tools follow our previous 12-step walkthrough and tidy up the landscape in exactly the same way. However, the full version of Photoshop boasts some extra powerful tools that enable you to select and replace unwanted objects much quickly.

In this quick, four-step walkthrough, we’ll show you how to lasso bits of driftwood using the Patch tool and then fill the selected area with rocks. We’ll also put the clever Content-Aware Fill command through its paces so that you can select and replace unwanted objects without the need to perform time-consuming sampling and cloning. Here’s how it’s done…

1.    Set up the Patch tool

Set up the Patch tool

Open cloning_before.jpg in Photoshop CS5 or 6. To remove the large pile of driftwood at the left of the frame without cloning, hold the mouse button down on the Spot Healing Brush’s toolbox compartment and choose the Patch tool. Tick the Source option and draw a patch around the wood.

2.    Make a patch

Make a patch

Click inside the patch and then drag it to a rocky area that is free from driftwood. The clear area will automatically be sampled and placed inside the original patch. The relocated rocks will automatically blend with their new neighbours, courtesy of the Patch tool’s healing properties.

3.    Try Content-Aware Fill

Try Content-Aware Fill

Here’s an alternative and effective way to remove distracting objects without cloning or patching. Choose the humble freehand Lasso tool from the Tools palette. Draw rough-and-ready selection around a piece of unwanted driftwood. Go to Edit>Fill and set the drop-down menu to Content-Aware

4.    Intelligent editing

Intelligent editing

The Content-Aware command will analyse the selected area and its surroundings. It should then automatically sample appropriate pixels and place them inside the selection. In our example, the command has understood that it needs to replace the wood with pebbles from the cliff base.

Expert tip

“To view your cloned or healed pixels more easily in the Layers palette’s thumbnail, click on the little fly-out icon at the top right of the palette. Go to Panel options and choose a larger thumbnail size. Tick the Layer Bounds box so that you can get a closer look at the actual content of a layer while ignoring any transparent sections”.


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