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In Photoshop Elements 6 for Mac Essential Training, Ted LoCascio teaches casual photographers how to organize, edit, and share their digital image libraries using this powerful software package from Adobe. He tours the included Adobe Bridge application, used for importing and organizing photographs, and explores every feature of Elements itself. He demonstrates how to navigate the Elements workspace, which is used to correct and improve images, combine them into projects, and produce slideshows, photo books, web galleries, and more. Ted also explains how to get the most out of each editing mode, and shares tips for correcting, retouching, and sharpening photographs. Example files accompany the course.
Now I would like to show you how to use the Clone Stamp tool to remove image contents. Now I'm currently in the Bridge application and I'm viewing my exercise files folders. I'm going to go ahead and scroll down in the Content panel and double-click on the Chapter 11 Retouching folder and then I'm going to double-click on the cloning folder and then double-click the retouching_4 image in order to open up this PSD here in the Elements' Editing workspace. We have a layered file, we have a Retouch layer. All of our retouching was done on this layer using the Healing Brush and the Spot Healing Brush. Go ahead and take a look at that, as before and the after. We also have a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer that has the areas of the whites of the eyes and the teeth masked out, which means that it's only affecting those areas and I use that in order to whiten the teeth and the eyes.
So what I would like to do now is create another new layer. This time I'm going to hold down the Option key and then click on the Create New Layer button. That allows me to access this New Layer dialog box and name the layer as I'm creating it. Because I'm going to name this one cloning, click OK, place that inside the Layers palette. Next thing I want to do is access the Clone Stamp tool, and that is over here on the left. You can press S on your keyboard to access the tool quickly. I'm going to go ahead and click the icon and what I would like to do is actually clone out this candle flame, because I think it's getting in the way of the image of Evelyn in the background. So I'm going to go ahead and remove the flame using the Clone Stamp tool and I'm going to do so on a separate layer in order to work nondestructively.
So in order to choose my source from the image with the tool from the layer underneath, which is the background, I need to turn on this option, up here on the Options palette, that is the All Layers option. So I'm turning that on and placing a check in that checkbox. Now I can zoom in on this area, choose my source area and start cloning this out. So let's go ahead and do that. I'm going to hold down the Command key and the Spacebar key, and then click and drag over the candle flame area in the image to go directly to it as I zoom.
So Clone Stamp tool does contain a brush size, as you can see up here it is 21 pixels. I want to increase that rather than doing that using this control up here I'm going to use these bracket keys. If you use the right bracket key, it makes your brush larger in 5 pixel increments. So I'm making it little bit larger. I'm going to go ahead and sample from an area over here on the left. You want to make sure that you sample an area in the image that's not too terribly close to what you're trying clone out. Because otherwise you're just going to be bringing it back in as you drag with the tool. So let's go ahead and get a little bit of a distance from what we're trying to remove, which is the candle flame.
Hold down the Option key in order to target our source and then go ahead and click. I have now sampled my source area. Now I can let up on that key and start cloning over that area in the image. See I'm moving the mouse over that area and notice that the little target icon is moving along with the brush. That's Elements' way of showing me where it's pulling the pixels from as I'm replacing this.
Now see I dragged a little too far and it started to place the red from her shirt, from that shirt collar, do you see that there? That's okay, we can actually remove that. I'm going to let up now and I'm actually going to go ahead and choose a different source. We'll go ahead and click a little bit further over here, hold down the Option key, target that as my source and then clone that right out. Then we'll continue to do that over here. I think I'm going to actually now sample over in this area, not too terribly close, maybe right around there. Go ahead and start cloning the candle flame away.
Now notice again, I went too far and it started to pull in the edge that used to be over here, of the candle flame. That's okay. We can still fix that, not a big deal. Just want to be careful not to push too far and not to sample too close. I'm going to resize the brush a bit using the left bracket key to bring it down in size. It's a little too much. So now I'm sampling from over here, go ahead and remove that area. Then we'll do the same thing over here sampling clicking and dragging down. The more you do this the easier it will get and it will start sampling next areas, right next to it, because they're nice and open and then you can just click and drag in order to clone those areas out.
Now I want to focus on this wick area down here. I'm going to zoom in a little bit more, again Command Spacebar, click and drag right over the top of the candle. We're zoomed in really close; we're all the way into 438%. That's okay, sometimes you need to do that and get in here really, really start focusing in on the individual pixels in order for this thing to look right so. I'm going to go ahead and downsize the brush some, sample from a little further up here and then get rid of some of this yellow area where the flame used to be; right there, that's looking really good.
Let's go ahead and get rid of the top of the wick, because I don't want it to look as if it's still burning or as if it used to be burning and we clone this out. We don't want to make it too obvious. We clone this out. That's also part of the trick to this. You don't want to make it look like it was cloned. It should look like it was never there to begin with. So that's looking pretty good. Next thing I'm want to do is fix up her collar over here on her shirt. I'm going to actually increase the brush size just a little bit by pressing the right bracket key. I'm going to try and select a very specific way so that half of my brush is taken out by her skin and the other half by her collar. Then hold down the Option key, click, go down here and then click, and then click again. Click once more right there.
So we're able to get that angle and have it match up. It actually looks really good. I'm going to downsize the brush again using the left bracket key a few times hitting that, and then sample some of the red up here and then click and drag to fix that up. That's looking very, very good. Now let's fix up the top of the wick so it doesn't look like so orange. We sample from the brown down here, Option- click and then click and drag to darken that up. That's looking good. I think I'm going to go ahead and sample some skin area up here and get rid of that little top area. That's looking pretty good. Let's go ahead and zoom out some by pressing Command+? a few times and see what we've done.
We successfully cloned away the candle flame that was in this image. It looks like it was never there before and that's exactly what we want. Now we have the focus on Evelyn and not on that candle flame. Now when I do that I did sample a couple of blemishes. What I can do is just use the Spot Healing Brush in here, maybe go on the Retouch layer, make sure I have all layers checked, zoom in a little bit more, Command+Spacebar and just clean up a couple of those spots; not a big deal, nothing major.
But as long as we're doing this and trying to make it look like it wasn't sampled or cloned, we might as well clean that up and clean up the original while we're at. I think that was the original spot that wound up getting copied here and there. So we're just cleaning that up and that looks really, really good. Let me go ahead and fit in window, Command+0 to do that. Here we have the whole image with all of our retouching completed. We have got the Retouch layer, the Cloning layer. Let's take a look at the before and the after. Turn off the visibility. There with the candle flame and there without the candle flame. We did all of this nondestructively.
The original image is exactly as it was. We haven't harmed any of the pixels on the original layer. That's some of the beauty of using layers, layers and adjustment layers, very useful. So that is how you can use the Clone tool in order to remove contents from an image.
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