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Cloning layers

From: Digital Painting: Street Scene

Video: Cloning layers

In this video, we'll take a look at what you can, and can't do with cloning layers. So I've run my action here, and I've got my Underpainting selected, which is one of the clone layers. The others would be the Intermediate Strokes cloning layer, and the Detail Strokes cloning layer. So when you take a brush, and we'll grab Flat Cloner here, and I'm going to jump up to 100% too just so we see a little more clearly. When I start painting with this brush, where is that color actually coming from? We certainly see the reference image, but I can turn it off and I can still paint.

Cloning layers

In this video, we'll take a look at what you can, and can't do with cloning layers. So I've run my action here, and I've got my Underpainting selected, which is one of the clone layers. The others would be the Intermediate Strokes cloning layer, and the Detail Strokes cloning layer. So when you take a brush, and we'll grab Flat Cloner here, and I'm going to jump up to 100% too just so we see a little more clearly. When I start painting with this brush, where is that color actually coming from? We certainly see the reference image, but I can turn it off and I can still paint.

So it's not coming from the reference image; it's actually embedded in each of the cloning layers. So the Underpainting layer, the Intermediate Strokes layer, and the Detail Strokes layer each have a copy of the reference image embedded in it. It's the nature of the way the cloning brushes work that they pick up that color and paint with it. Now, each of these layers are almost 100% transparent, but there is 1% of the image that is visible and when you stack three of them up like we've done here, [00:01:4.02] in some spots you may just barely be able to see a little bit of a ghost of the image.

But it's not enough to really paint with, and that's why we use the reference image. This just gives us a way to have a very clear indication of what's there and yet it's not part of the image at all. So we can turn it on or turn it off and in either case we're going to be painting with the embedded version of the same image in the cloning layer. So that's first and foremost what's going on with cloning layers. Secondly, I want to talk about a limitation. The way this works, it just so happens that if you would take something, I'm just putting some color on here, so we can see this.

There is not a lot of color going on in the background of this part of the image, so it's rather monotonic. But let's go get the Eraser. Let's say oh! I want to fix this right here. Well, when you do that, unfortunately the nature of cloning layers is that you are erasing the image from it. So using an Eraser, or doing a Select All, Delete, or even using my Clear Layer command, none of those are something you want to do on a cloning layer itself.

Now let's go back and get the Cloning Brush, and okay, I can paint here, but in this area I erased when I try to paint, nothing happens. You can see what happens. Wherever I've erased, as soon as it hits the edge of the erased area, then it starts painting again, because there is imagery there. If I paint into that area yet, well, yes, I can paint with color into that area, but I can no longer get back to the imagery that was there. So how do you get around this problem, because there may be times where you do want to erase an area and do something with it? Well, you wouldn't necessarily need to erase it, but what you can do in these circumstances is go into the Actions and create a new cloning layer group.

There is multiple ways to use this. In this case we're kind of using this as a band aid. I'm going to put it right above the Underpainting layer and now I'm going to go in here, and because this layer now has the full information in it, well I can paint in here. So if you find you need to locally edit something that you did on a layer and for some reason you've erased it and there is no more imagery actually embedded in the layer, then making a new cloning layer group is a way to give you imagery in that area to be able to paint with. And as I've said before, you can create as many of these layer groups as you want.

So you can stack up many different cloning layers and do different kinds of things on each of those layers. In a little while, we'll get into how the Intermediate and Detail Strokes layers work and we're going to be using smaller and smaller brushes on each of these layers which reveals more and more detail. So even though the layers are the same, what the brush does on the layer is really the key to how these work. In fact, I will go down here to a very different brush like a Fan - Flat Cloner.

Now we can see this brush has a very different character. I'm rotating the barrel of the pen in my hand to do this. But this brush has a very different look than this brush did over here. It's also because we're in a different area of the image, but you can see the character of how I've designed the hairs on this brush and the spacing, all of these things come together to give this brush a different character. Let's go to a different one. Let's go to a Fan - Round Cloner right here. Another very different character.

So it's the shape of the brush and the way the bristles are designed on them that are going to alter the character of what happens when it interacts with the imagery embedded in the layer. So you have quite a range of expression possible with all of the different cloning brushes that are in this list. I'll get into some more specifics about the brushes a little later, but one of the things you'll see is for each type of brush, there is a Round Cloner, but then I also do a opaque version of it, what we can call a smeary version of it, and each of these brushes has a different character. Some are going to apply color, some are going to smear color, some as cloners do in this case use the color within the imagery.

But the whole brush set is designed to give you a very wide latitude of expression based on your hand input. So what have we learned in this chapter? Well, using cloning layers you can break up a painting into as many layers as you want. Each layer then access its own safety net, enabling you to fearlessly advance your painting without ever losing the original source. By segregating your painting into discrete layers, you further widen your safety net as well as provide greater latitude for editing the painting later on.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Digital Painting: Street Scene
Digital Painting: Street Scene

45 video lessons · 15165 viewers

John Derry
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 8m 50s
    1. Welcome
      1m 11s
    2. Using the exercise files
      39s
    3. Installing custom brushes
      7m 0s
  2. 22m 3s
    1. Understanding the visual vocabulary
      4m 46s
    2. Using the vocabulary of photography
      6m 41s
    3. Using the vocabulary of painting
      7m 1s
    4. Looking at reality through a mental painting filter
      3m 35s
  3. 10m 22s
    1. Understanding that resolution is in the brush strokes
      3m 6s
    2. Understanding the subject
      7m 16s
  4. 16m 1s
    1. Removing lens distortions
      2m 33s
    2. Using the Free Transform tool
      4m 42s
    3. Using the Lens Correction filter
      4m 36s
    4. Understanding the ACR lens correction profiles
      4m 10s
  5. 12m 23s
    1. Working with Vibrance
      3m 14s
    2. Using the Match Color command
      2m 59s
    3. Understanding the traditional paint color swatch set
      6m 10s
  6. 16m 6s
    1. The eye has a bettor sensor than a camera
      3m 16s
    2. Using the Shadow/Highlight filter
      3m 17s
    3. Using the HDR Toning filter
      5m 23s
    4. Understanding how RAW files provide malleability
      4m 10s
  7. 14m 42s
    1. Working with the Reduce Noise filter
      2m 50s
    2. Working with the Surface Blur filter
      3m 6s
    3. Using Smart Blur for simplification
      2m 51s
    4. Working with the Topaz Simplify plug-in
      5m 55s
  8. 31m 10s
    1. NDLP: A creative safety net
      5m 1s
    2. Using custom actions
      9m 41s
    3. Using the reference layer
      5m 29s
    4. Cloning layers
      6m 5s
    5. Working with the Hue/Saturation adjustment layer
      4m 54s
  9. 17m 28s
    1. Brush categorization
      10m 1s
    2. Working with canvas texture
      3m 41s
    3. Using Sample All Layers
      3m 46s
  10. 12m 48s
    1. Being willing to destroy detail
      7m 21s
    2. Establishing the painting style
      5m 27s
  11. 25m 1s
    1. Simplified indication
      9m 3s
    2. Understanding color
      4m 10s
    3. Introducing texture
      11m 48s
  12. 17m 36s
    1. Providing rest areas for the eye
      6m 55s
    2. Focusing on the subject through detail
      10m 41s
  13. 24m 20s
    1. Being willing to depart from the original
      6m 48s
    2. Creating detail to enhance the artwork
      8m 36s
    3. Creating physical surface texture effects
      8m 56s
  14. 10m 33s
    1. Waiting a day
      4m 14s
    2. Examining your importance hierarchy
      6m 19s
  15. 57s
    1. Goodbye
      57s

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