View Full Version : Expert clone tutorials

09 September 2003, 10:34 PM
I find myself using the clone tool for many projects now. I would like to think im fairly decent, though I do know I could do with some improvement with certain incidences. Is there a good tutorial for ADVANCED use?

09 September 2003, 01:50 AM
There are a few tutes around specifically on that tool. But in general, only basics are covered because one only gets better with that tool by actually using it.

What is it exactly that you feel you need work on with it?
Perhaps i can fill in some cracks. ;)


09 September 2003, 02:08 AM
Well.. the goal is to use a fuzzy brush.. to make the blends better.. of course this does not always work well.. such as where you want to have a cloned sky match in great with a mountain (no haze). There are ways around it... layers and selections I guess.. I was just hoping for maybe.. a chapter from a book or something on all kinds of tweaks for this. I know some people never use clone without use of burn/dodge tools, etc.

Ian Jones
09 September 2003, 09:16 AM
Your stepping into the realms of photo-retouching and digital painting. Which basically means any and every technique can and does get used. So tehre is really no definitive answer to your question.

visit for some interesting tutes.

09 September 2003, 09:16 AM
Ok well... as Ian has also stated, because of the specialized use for this tool, i don't imagine there to be a whole lot written specifically about its use. Generally it's just a matter of 'tweaking' its application in manners like the ones you stated.

It's quite common to apply this tool only using 2 brush type - hard/soft - but you can also get a bit more specific by varying the softness of your brush too.

In the scenario you outlined, it would be best to put your cloned data onto its own layer. Then use a Layer Mask to add/remove more/less data to suit the specific situation. Once the cloned data has been cleaned up and finalized, the layer can then be merged into any other layers to create a single newly composited layer.

By applying cloned data to its own layer(s), it also allows you to create a more realistic and detailed effect. You have more freedom to be spontaneous and loose in your cloning process (which then makes it a lot like painting), by using multiple layers to contain separate cloned data. Layers can always be merged afterward if that's preferrable.

If you choose to apply the cloning process directly to the original source image you're altering, you'll be asking for trouble and quite often run the risk of having to start over from scratch.

It would be wise to remember that Photoshop is fully capable of "non-destructive" editing. So use it as much as possible, whenever possible.

Another part of the cloning process that is very often overlooked, is the use of the Blend Modes, and Opacity settings. I'd highly recommend people to experiment with these functions using a portait photo.
Try cloning an eye onto a cheek while setting the tool on Screen blend mode, for example.
The better clone jobs will usually be performed at between 50-70% Opacity. Using 100% Opacity is only good for specific situations, like having to completely/bluntly fill a given area of an image. But subtle cloning requirements are best performed using a reduced Opacity and repeated applications of the tool.

Although this info would not cover an entire chapter in a book... i hope it has at least given you something further to consider/learn when using the Clone tool. :wip:


CGTalk Moderation
01 January 2006, 02:00 AM
This thread has been automatically closed as it remained inactive for 12 months. If you wish to continue the discussion, please create a new thread in the appropriate forum.