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Photoshop has become an indispensible tool for photographers, designers, and all other creative professionals, as well as students. Photoshop CS4 Essential Training teaches a broad spectrum of core skills that are common to many creative fields: working with layers and selections; adjusting, manipulating, and retouching photos; painting; adding text; automating; preparing files for output; and more. Instructor Jan Kabili demonstrates established techniques as well as those made possible by some of the new features unique to Photoshop CS4. This course is indispensable to those who are new to the application, just learning this version, or expanding their skills. Example files accompany the course.
When I'm retouching a face, sometimes I'll have to get too close to an edge to allow the Healing Brush, the Spot Healing Brush, or the Patch tool to work properly. That's because all three of those tools try to blend the good pixels that are covering up a blemish with the surrounding area. So sometimes they'll pickup some of the image that you don't want. For example here, if I want to cover up the stray hairs in the eyebrow, it's possible that any of those blending tools might pick up some of the dark hair right here.
So rather than try those, I'm going to try another tool called the Clone Stamp tool which is the subject of this movie. I'm working here in face_4.psd and I have two copies of the same image open. I open the second one by going to the Window menu and choosing Arrange > New Window for face_4.psd. So this one on the right is just a reference image, so that I know how my changes look when I can see the whole face of the model, and I'm working over here on the image on the left.
I've selected the Clone Stamp tool from right here in the toolbox. Before I use it, I'm going to go over to the Layers panel and I'm going to make a new blank layer on which to paste down my cloned pixels, much like you can when you use the Healing Brush or the Spot Healing Brush tools. I'll select the top layer in the image and then I'll click the Create New Layer button at the bottom of the Layers panel. That makes a new layer, which I'll rename by double-clicking the words Layer 1 and I'll type instead clone and then I'll press Return or Enter on the keyboard.
Now with the Clone Stamp tool selected and the new Clone layer highlighted in the Layers panel, I'm going to go to the Options bar and I'm going to set my options for using the tool. First, I'm going to make sure that Sample is set to Current & Below, because I want this tool to sample the good pixels from the layers below which include the photograph. And I'll set those pixels down on the highlighted layer, the clone layer. I'll make sure that Aligned is checked, so that the source point for the good pixels moves along with me as I cover up the bad pixels.
And here is the most important change I'm going to make. Because I'm covering up dark pixels, I'm going to change the mode with which the tool works. Here is the most important point. The Clone tool, like other brush tools, can be applied with different blending modes. So to get the Clone Stamp tool to try to blend the edges of the pixels it lays down, I 'm going to change the blend mode here from Normal to Lighten, because I only want it to cover up dark pixels. In other words lighten dark pixels in the hairs here.
Then I'll hold down the Option key on a Mac, the Alt key on a PC, while I click on the sample of good pixels, and then I'll move over to the pixels I want to cover up and I'll click and drag there. Sometimes I'll just make a number of different brush strokes with this tool to avoid getting a repetitive line. I am going to come to the left of these other hairs and select a different source point. So, I have some variation so that it looks more real, because remember there isn't much blending going on with this tool. So I'll hold down the Option key or the Alt key on a PC again to sample some pixels from here, and then I'll click several times on these hairs to do some virtual eyebrow shaping.
I might try the same tool over here on the scar. Now this time, I only want to darken, because I want to cover up this light scar. So first, I'll make my brush a little bit bigger and then I'm going to go up the Mode menu and I'm going to choose Darken. I'll come in and I will hold down the Option key on a Mac or the Alt key on a PC as I target these pixels, and then I'll move over the scar. That did a great job of covering the scar there. I'll do it once more, Option or Alt+ Click on the good pixels and cover up the scar by clicking.
So that's how you can use the Clone Stamp tool to its best advantage, by changing its blend mode to Lighten or Darken, depending on the lightness or darkness of the area you're trying to fix.
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