Page #200 (Chapter 21. Improving a Photograph s Visual Impact)

162. Remove Unwanted Objects from an Image

Before You Begin

111 About Tool Options

See Also

125 Repair Minor Tears, Scratches, Spots, and Stains

131 Remove Wrinkles, Freckles, and Minor Blemishes

134 Remove Glare from Eyeglasses

164 Replace a Background with Something Else

Using the Clone Stamp tool, you can easily remove unwanted objects from an imagesuch as telephone poles, wires, trash cans, a thumb that wandered in front of the lens, or a few stray hairs blown in the windsimply by copying over these distractions with pixels located somewhere else in the image (or in another image). To use the Clone Stamp, you first indicate the source area, and then you click or drag to paint with pixels copied from the source. Be sure to "cover your tracks" and avoid creating a noticeable pattern as you copy. The best way to do that is to lower the Opacity of the tool or select a blend mode so that the pixels you clone blend with existing pixels, paint with single clicks or very short strokes, use a large brush to avoid copying multiple times to the same area (but a small-enough brush that you don't copy things you don't want), and vary the source area from which you're copying by re-establishing a new source point every so often.

The source you select for the Clone Stamp can be located within a different image, on a different layer, or on the same layer. For example, you might clone some hair from one side of a photo to repair a small rip or a bad hair day. Or, you might clone a squirrel from one photo onto the head of your brother in another photo to create a comic image.

The most important option that affects how the Clone Stamp works is its Aligned option. With the Aligned option enabled, the relationship between the source point and the place where you begin cloning is maintained throughout the entire cloning procedure, regardless of how many times you stop and start. For example, if you establish a source and begin cloning one inch to the right of the source, when you begin another stroke, data is copied from the image one inch to the right of where you began that stroke. This enables you to clone data in a manner that maintains the way pixels were originally aligned with each other. If you use the Aligned option to clone a squirrel onto your brother's head, the squirrel would be reassembled properly in the new location, no matter how many strokes you took or in which direction you brushed the toolbecause the relationship between the source and where you first started cloning would be maintained. With Aligned disabled, pixels are always copied beginning at the original source point, and moving in the same direction that you drag. If you begin a new stroke, the pixels are copied beginning at the original source. If you cloned a squirrel with the Aligned option off, it might be reassembled with its nose on its belly, unless you place each stroke precisely.

The Healing Brush tool can also be used to copy pixels from one area to another, but it works differently than the Clone Stamp tool. The Healing Brush samples pixels from the source and blends them into the existing pixels (unless you use Replace mode, which copies the sampled pixels instead of blending them). You can only control this blending a little, by choosing a different blend Mode and reducing the Hardness of your brush. Use the Healing Brush when your main purpose is to blend data into existing image data (rather than covering it up) to remove some distraction or small imperfection, for example. The Healing Brush is especially useful if the image data you want to blend into is irregularly patterned, such as a street, sky, carpet, or grass. Use the Clone Stamp tool as described here when your main goal is to copy over image data (rather than blend it with other data) and to control the amount of coverage with each stroke through the Opacity setting. See 122 About Removing Scratches, Specks, and Holes for help with the Healing Brush.


You might also be able to remove objects from an image in the same way you repair tears and holes. See 126 Repair Large Holes, Tears, and Missing Portions of a Photo.

You can remove small objects with the Spot Healing Brush by covering them up with pixels copied from the surrounding area. See 122 About Removing Scratches, Specks, and Holes.


Select Clone Stamp Tool

Open an image in the Editor in Standard Edit mode, and save it in Photoshop (*.psd) format. Click the Clone Stamp tool on the Toolbox.


Set Options


If you're cloning data from one image into another, it might be easier if you tile the images so that you can see them both at the same time, but you don't have to. The source point is maintained as you clone, even if you can't see the source image. To tile all the open images, choose Window, Images, Tile from the menu.

To hide your clone tracks, change the source often by pressing Alt and clicking a different source point (if you're cloning a texture such as skin rather than a specific object such as a nose).

When establishing your source point, be careful that you don't place it too close to objects you don't want to copy to the new area.

On the Options bar, select a brush tip and enable the Aligned check box. Set other options as desired. For example, to copy visible pixels from a multilayered image, enable the Use All Layers check box; to enable more subtle and less obvious corrections, such as borrowing the general skin tone from one swatch to hide a blemish in another, lower the Opacity value. You can also blend the cloned pixels with the existing pixels you brush over by selecting a blend mode from the Mode list. See 111 About Tool Options.


Establish a Source

If you're cloning a region from another image, open that image in the Editor.

On the Layers palette, choose the layer containing the data you want to copy. If the image has multiple layers, enable the Use All Layers option to make sure it's set the way you want (see step 2).

Finally, press Alt and click on the image layer to establish the source point.


Paint with Brush

If needed, change to the image to which you want to copy. On the Layers palette, change to the layer on which you want to copy the data.

To begin copying pixels, click on the layer or drag with short strokes to sample pixels from the source and paint them under the brush tip. Note that a crosshatch pointer shows you the location of the source point, and that it moves as your painting point moves. Don't confuse one point with the other. Repeat until the repair has been made or until the undesirable object has been painted over.


View the Result

After you're satisfied with the result, make any other changes you want and save the PSD file. Then resave the file in JPEG or TIFF format, leaving your PSD image with its layers (if any) intact so that you can return at a later time and make different adjustments if you want.

I liked this photo of my daughter's seventh birthday, but the more I looked at it, the more distracting the large white napkin in the foreground became. And no matter how I cropped the photo, that napkin still seemed to draw attention to itself. So, I cloned a bit of the same table from another photo taken at that same time and with the same lighting conditions, over top of the napkin, essentially removing the napkin from the photo. I didn't use the Healing Brush, even though it does a very nice job of cloning, because it also blends the cloned pixels with the existing pixels. If I had used the Healing Brush, it would have blended the table pixels with the white napkin pixels, creating a "ghostly napkin" effect.

Adobe Photoshop Elements 3 in a Snap
Adobe Photoshop Elements 3 in a Snap
ISBN: 067232668X
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2006
Pages: 263 © 2008-2017.
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