Cloning Basics

Photoshop Cloning

This tutorial will give you an idea of how to productively clone an object out of an image.

Some people might wonder why it is called cloning. This is because you are creating a part of the image
that was not there from other parts of the image. In this tutorial I will tell you some of the basics. Please bear with me, it is difficult to show you in detail every step without overbloating the post with images.

Level: Intermediate (can be useful for advanced Photoshop users)

Photoshop Version: CS4 (Can apply to Earlier versions up to Photoshop 6)

Tutorial:

In this image is a bug that we are going to remove. We are going to clone it out by placing pieces of the image over it until it is gone. Each person using Photoshop will have their own way of doing this — so take note: this is my way of doing this particular action.

The first thing we want to do is to clone out the major part of the image by using a piece of the image, here we select a square part of the petal.

Next, go to [Layer->New->Layer via Copy] to copy the selected square to a new layer above the background image.
Next, drag the copied layer over the part of the bug as shown here.
Select the eraser tool and select a brush with a very blurry edge.

Then erase a little bit all the way around the piece of the petal.

Next, while holding down the [Alt] key, drag the image piece to cover up different places of the bug as shown below. (Don’t worry if it goes over the edge of the petal — in the next step we will clean this up.

From the last step you will have made numerous layers when you were copying the piece to cover up the bug, now you will need to merge all of the layers above the background layer as shown here.

Once you have merged all of the layers, select the eraser tool. Select a brush with a slightly blurred edge. go around the edge of the shape with the brush, cleaning up any part where the color blured over the edge.
After that, using the clone tool, clone out the major parts of the bug that can be easilty cloned. Use a sensible brush size with a bit of blur when cloning.

Next, zoom up to the detailed part on the bottom side of the bug. Clone out the leftover parts of the bug with a small brush. You can be kind of sloppy here because we will be doing some cleanup work on this part later.

Then merge both layers as shown below.

Select the Polygonal Lasso Tool.

Select the area around the petal and the leaf.


Feather the selection with a 15 pixel radius.

Changing specific color regions in an image

 

Level: Intermediate (can be useful for advanced users)

Description:

This is a tutorial on changing specific colors in an image using the color range tool in Photoshop.

You can use this tutorial to easily change regions of color in an image to different colors. This can be very useful if you want to make a part of an image fit into the color scheme of the background or even just changing the color of someones dress or a clothing item.

Photoshop Version: CS2 (Can apply to Earlier versions up to Photoshop 7)

Tutorial:

The first step here is to go to the menu [Select->Color Range].

Then click on the area of color in the image that you want to change. Here we are clicking on a red part of the women’s dress.

The end goal for this tutorial is to change the color of her dress.

You can use the plus and minus eyedropper buttons to add more regions of color to the selection. Here we are just using one sampling of red. Adjust the fuzziness. (The amount of similar colors to the one you clicked to add to the range. If you go higher it will select any kind of red, if you go lower, it will only select a ceartain amount of reds similar the the area of her dress that you clicked)

Click ok to see the selected area of the image. As you can see here, we selected her dress but her lips are close to the same color so they were selected as well. The next step shows you how to remove those areas that you want to leave alone.

Click on the “Edit in quick mask mode button on the toolbox. This will bring you into the “Quick Mask” mode which will allow you to edit the selection by using the brush tool.

All of the areas that are pink are the areas that are not selected. Select the brush tool and make sure your foreground color is black. Paint out the area around her lips and head. This will remove the selection from those areas.

Once you have done this, click the “edit in standard mode” in the toolbox. This will return you to standard mode where you can see the dancing ants around what is selected. You will notice that the area that you painted out is no longer selected.

Now you can do whatever you want with her dress because you now have it selected. Here I show you how to change her dress color from red to purple. Go to the Menu [Image->Adjustments->Hue/Saturation] and set the settings shown here. You can also experiment with the sliders to see what colors you can get.

Here is the finished dress showing the color has been changed.

Creating a realistic Photoshop flare (or Solar Flare)

Photoshop solar flare image completed

Level: Intermediate (useful for advanced users)

Description:

This is a tutorial on creating a realistic Photoshop lens flare. I have noticed lens flares being used in many designs especially in the recent years. I have figured out how to do one myself. I am not sure if this is the technique that has been used — but I have found it to work quite well for creating this effect. You can use this tutorial for any kind of flare, solar flare or light explosion.

You can use this tutorial to create many kinds of flares or light effects — all you have to do is start out with a different white object (As gone over later).

Photoshop Version: CS2 (Can apply to Earlier versions up to Photoshop 7 or versions of Photoshop with Radial Blur)

Tutorial:

The first step is to create a new Photoshop document with a black background. It should be 5 inches by 5 inches at 300 dpi or a dpi that suits your needs.

The reason I suggest using this large of image size is so that you can reuse the flare as you need it. If your computers resources can not easily handle these steps with an image of the size I specified — reduce the DPI to 150 or even 72. I leave this up to you. (As a note though — you will have to slightly change the settings from what is shown below)

Next, create guides that show the center of the image. For an image that is 5 inches by 5 inches put a horizontal guide at 2.5 inches and then a vertical guide at 2.5 inches.

Blank black canvas

Next, create a new layer and using the eliptical marquee tool create a white circle in the center of the document as shown here.

For different flare effects you can make different shapes at this step.
Create a circle for the solar flare

Lock transparent pixels

Click on the layer with the circle you created and click the “Lock Transparent pixels” button which will allow edits only on the filled part of the layer.

The next step is to go to [Filter->Noise->Add Noise] and set the settings as shown here. (Amount: 400, Distribution: Gaussian, Monochromatic: selected)

Add noise to the circle

Next, click the “Lock transparent pixels” button again to unlock the layers transparent pixels.

Next go to [Filter->Blur->Radial Blur] and enter the settings as shown here. If your computer does not have a lot of RAM or is very slow — choose the “Good” option under “Quality”.

Next apply radial blur 10 more times by pressing [Control/Command + “F”] or by going to [Filter->Blur->Radial Blur] and applying the filter that many times.

You will start to get the looks of a flare here. After this there are still a few steps to get to the finish. Any steps from here can be altered to create your own style or color of flare.

Next, create a new layer and create a small circle of white using the elliptical marquee tool.

Then use [Filter->Blur->Gaussian Blur] and use the settings as shown here. This is what creates the bright light in the center of the flare.

Next, select the top layer and then at the bottom of the layers palette there is a button called “Create new fill or adjustment layer”. click this and then click “Hue/Saturation”.

This will add a new adjustment layer which will allow you to adjust the color of the flare without permanently affecting it.

Apply the settings as shown here (Hue: 211, Saturation: 52, Lightness: 0).

You can play with the settings to get a desired flare color or brightness.

The final file will look like this.

For the expert: You can put this flare into other images by deleting the background layer and doing a “Merge Visible Layers” which give give you an object to move to different photos.

I suggest you try different shapes at the beginning or try doing this effect with text.

I hope this tutorial is useful. Comment below if this tutorial has been helpful is or if you need additional help.

  Photoshop Solar Flare Layered File (3.3 MiB, 381 hits)

Preventing printer anomalies and banding

 

 

Level: Intermediate (useful for advanced users)

Description:

This is a tutorial on how to minimize printing anomalies like banding and odd color variations. Incidentaly, this tutorial covers some photo correction technique which can be very usefull for adding detail back to images.

Photoshop Version: CS2 (Can apply to Earlier versions up to Photoshop 7)

Tutorial:

I have come upon a technique for reducing printer anomalies (Banding, color patches and ghosting) that is really quite simple.

When I say “banding” I mean where you visibly see color changes in a gradient or image as you can see here:

When I say “ghosting” I mean areas of light color around dark color areas which shows up when printing but not on screen. An example is shown here:

The main technique is to add enough noise. Adding noise to a gradient will reduce printer banding. This is also true for areas of solid color — adding a bit of noise can make the color print very even.

When it comes to photos, this technique can be used to give the appearance of detail. I use this after I have resized and color corrected a photo. It is amazing how effective it is in making the print a much nicer print.

Realize when I am talking about printing here, I am specifically referring to large format printers. The technique can be used successfully with other printers as well.

When you add noise, you want to add just enough to where it is just past visible. I will show you some examples here:

Noise added to a gradient:

Noise added to a patch of color:

Noise added to an image:

Additionally you can reduce ghosting by adding noise. Ghosting is where you can see lighter areas around dark patches. An example of adding noise to an image that might ghost when printed is here:

Experiment with your printer and different noise settings to see what comes out the best.

I have found this technique to be very helpful on my job as a designer. Hopefully this tutorial will help you as well.

Quality Image Cutouts

Level: Intermediate (useful for advanced users)

Description:

Have you ever tried to cut an image out of it’s background using Photoshop only to be dissapointed in the fact that it does no look good in its new background?

This is one way to do photoshop masking.

Here I go over 3 simple steps to make your cutout more realistic. This lesson was created for lower level users as well as advanced users. The technique used here to make the first selection is only used to keep the learning gradient easy. Advanced users would replace the selection steps shown below with what they know of with regard to making a selection.

Photoshop Version: CS2 (Can apply to Earlier versions up to Photoshop 7)

How to:

First select the polygonal lasso tool. Click and drag around the outside of the image you want to cutout.

  

Next use the lasso tool to cutout the inside parts of the image. You do this by holding [Alt/Option] and click with the lasso, then continue until you have covered the part you want to cutout. For this image you will need to cutout 2 places — the hole for the top ring and the hole for the bottom ring.

Next go to [Select->Modify->Smooth] and enter in a radius of 2 pixels. The radius is how much to smooth the selection. If the selection you made earlier is very jagged you might want to experiment with higher radius levels to smooth out the selection.

Next go to [Select->Feather] and enter in a radius of 1. This will blur the edges of the selection a bit and give it a more real look.

  

Next go to [Select->Modify->Contract] and enter in an amount of one pixel. This makes the selection a little tighter which also helps in making a nice cutout.

  

After you have done these steps, just copy and paste the part of the image you have now cutout.

The final image cutout looks like this:
Note: The grid you see in the back is used to denote transparency (Or Seethroughness) in Photoshop.