Photoshop Tutorial – Cloning Between two or More Photos.

Here are my before and after photos and after them is the tutorial.

I do not use the Lightroom clone tool. Its good enough for small uncomplicated areas, but it isn’t as effective as Photoshop for more complicated scenes. If you are using Lightroom then find the photos in the Library module select the images that you are going to use and then press Ctrl and E, and they will export into Photoshop. If you are only using Photoshop then open the files directly (for this tutorial I recommend using only two photos)

Next click on File at the top of the screen and then new. Your screen will look like this

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1- Select custom,

2- Change the width and height (check the dimensions of your prime photo – the one you are cloning into. Go back to the photo in Photoshop, click on image and image size) Input the height of your prime photo, BUT double the width – My image dimensions are W4000, H 6000, so I would input W 8000, H 6000),

3- Resolution, change to 240 (or whatever your raw or JPEG resolution is) then press create.

Press CTRL 0

In the Photoshop ribbon click on your prime photo so that you can now see that. Press Ctrl A and then Ctrl C, Next go back to your new blank document and press Ctrl V. Your prime image is now in the centre of the screen and has opened as a new layer  – see arrow 2 below.

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Use the move tool (arrow 1) and move your image to the right.

Then go back to the photo that you are going to clone from, press Ctrl A, then Ctrl C, then go back to the blank document (which now has one photo in it), press Ctrl C, and move the photo to the left. Next press the layers tab at the top of the screen and click on Flatten Image.

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Once you have done this you will have your two photos side by side, and only the one layer.

I am going to clone the man on the left of my source image into my prime image on the right. Zoom in tightly to the area that you want to clone from (Press Ctrl + as many times as you need to) and then select the clone stamp tool (see Below)

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Arrow 1 is the clone stamp tool, and arrow 2 is my reference point (source). My reference point is the area that is most important to get right to clone from your image. My reference point is the mans foot, as I want to move him into the arch. Hard areas are often good, such as the edge of a wall. It’s easier if you make the tool large enough so that it covers part of the hard edge and part of the surrounding area. That way you can line up the clone accurately. To increase your clone stamp tool size press ] and to decrease press [. If the size is too large then you will include too much background (which you will then need to re-clone, and too small will take too long, and can create streaks).

Press Alt and click on the reference point and you have now selected where you are going to clone from. Now hold down the space bar and drag your mouse to find the area that you want to clone into (having the space bar pressed means you have a move tool so you can scroll around your image).

When you are ready you can let go of the space bar, position the clone stamp tool so that the markings within the tool, line up with the surrounding area. Then left click and clone in the area or object that you wish to clone. Try and do the clone in one go by keeping the left click down, or you will have to return to the source and find the next area to line up with again. It takes practice because you are working from memory as you cannot see the area of the photo that you are cloning from. Try not to include too much unneccessary background or you will have to clone it out.

Here’s my effort.

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1- Clone source, 2- Clone target, 3- Blurred edges that I need to clone out.

Before cloning out the blurred edges, go to the Layers tab and click flatten image. Then go to the crop tool, and crop so that only your prime photo is in frame. You now have your prime photo and can tidy the edges. We are still going to use the Clone stamp tool, and we will also use the healing brush tool.

Press Ctrl + until you are close enough to have your background and blurred edges in view. I am going to select a source point that is close to the edges and blur that I want to delete. As you can see in my image, where I have cloned the man in, I also have part of the wall that he was walking past, and a fuzzy outline on his right side.

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The red dot is my source point so that I can line up the pavement and road. I have a medium size clone stamp tool. The reason is that if the tool is too large I would go over his clothing and legs and ruin the outline, and if the tool is too small, you create a halo effect around the area.

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I also have clone stamp tool settings that I have found are most effective in producing the correct tone and colour. If you have the Opacity at 100% and the Flow at 84% you get a fairly good tone and colour match (which can then be easily tidied with the healing brush tool). You can now clone in around the area.

I have finished cloning but am now left with a blur on the left hand side of the mans legs, so I will use the healing brush tool to smooth out the join.

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1- Blur, 2- Healing brush tool, Red dot – Source point.

Press Alt and click to select your source point, this needs to be to the side of where you are going to heal, close enough to create a colour match, then brush down the line where the colours don’t match.

And here is the final result.

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4 Replies to “Photoshop Tutorial – Cloning Between two or More Photos.”

  1. Thank you for this post and the completely new learning for me. I shall flag this for study and practice on another occasion when I have time to develop the skill thoroughly.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thankyou both. I have lost the colour in the castle wall. I believe this is an issue that has occurred because of how i have saved it. In photoshop if you press Ctrl S and save as a jpeg it changes the colour profile, where as “save for web” Ctrl alt shift so – embeds the colour profile. Exporting from lightroom to jpeg also embeds the colour profile. I know what I’m doing tomorrow.

    Like

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