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Cloning Elements with the Clone Stamp Tool in Photoshop Elements 9

3 of 12 in Series: The Essentials of Correcting Photos in Photoshop Elements 9

Photoshop Elements provides a Clone Stamp tool that takes sampled pixels from one area and copies, or clones, them onto another area. The advantage of cloning, rather than making a selection and copying and pasting, is that it’s easier to retain soft-edged elements, such as shadows. You can also use this tool for fixing flaws, such as scratches, bruises, and date/time stamp imprints.

1

Choose the Clone Stamp tool from the Tools panel in Edit Full mode.

Alternatively, press the S key to select this tool.

2

On the Options bar, choose a brush from the Brush Preset drop-down menu; adjust its size with the Size slider if necessary.

Keep in mind that the size of the brush you specify should be appropriate for what you’re trying to clone or retouch. Cloning with a soft-edged brush produces more natural results.

3

Choose your desired Blend Mode and Opacity percentage.

To make your cloned image appear ghosted, use an opacity percentage of less than 100 percent.

4

Select or deselect the Aligned option.

With Aligned selected, the clone source moves when you move your cursor to a different location. If you want to clone multiple times from the same location, leave the Aligned option deselected.

5

Select or deselect the Sample All Layers option.

This option enables you to sample pixels from all visible layers for the clone. If this option is deselected, the Clone Stamp tool clones from only the active layer.

6

Click the double rectangle icon if you want to display an overlay.

Displaying an overlay can be helpful when what you’re cloning needs to be in alignment with the underlying image. Adjust the opacity for your overlay. If you select Auto Hide, you will see a ghosted preview of how your cloned pixels will appear on the image. Select Clipped to have the overlay contained only within the boundaries of your brush. This usually makes it easier to more precisely clone what you want. Finally, select Invert to reverse the colors and tones in your overlay.

7

Alt-click (Option-click on the Macintosh) the area of your image that you want to clone.

This action defines the source of the clone.

8

Click or drag along the area where you want the clone to appear.

Elements displays a crosshair cursor and the Clone Stamp cursor. The crosshair is the source you’re cloning from, and the Clone Stamp cursor is where the clone is being applied. While you move the mouse, the crosshair moves, as well, so you have a continuous reference to the area of your image that you’re cloning. Watch the crosshair, or else you may clone something you don’t want.

When you’re retouching a flaw, try not to overdo it. One or two clicks on each flaw is usually plenty. If you’re heavy-handed with the Clone Stamp, you get a blotchy effect that’s a telltale sign something has been retouched.

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