Clone Stamp Tool

It's hard to talk about tools without talking about when to use them and how. With some tools it's easiest to understand them by first understanding why you'd need to use them.

Clone Stamp tool:

View animated Demo

The Clone Stamp Tool is one of the most interesting tools for fixing photos. It is especially good for restoring old photos or poor scans. The clone stamp allows you to paint in one part of an image with pixels "cloned" from another part of the same or a different image.

1. Find a strategic line that extends behind your subject...this will help you rebuild the pixels so that they're convincing.

2. Choose an appropriate brush size and make sure that it is soft on the edges. Then place the cursor a short distance away from your subject and bisected by the stragegic line

3. Alt-Click the mouse in this place and it will generate a "target area" for your cloning operation. This is where you will paint pixels from.


4. Then move your cursor over the subject in such a way that still lines up with the line in the background.

5. Click and paint, and as you do, you'll notice that there is a plus sign or cross-hairs that will follow your cursor. This is the target area, and it is aligned to your cursor, so that what ever it comes in contact with, will be painted in the cursor area.

6. I generally paint with the clone stamp in a perpendicular direction to the stragegic line.

Also try: download2

Healing Brush tool

The healing brush is very similar to the clone stamp, but it is specially designed for faces or other more subtle tasks for the clone stamp. When you "stamp" with it, it subsequently blends what you've done to make it match the surrounding pixels. Again, it mainly designed for subtle and small areas, like faces.

Here, I've used the Healing brush to remove the holes in the rock. Once it clones your target area, it then blends the pixels it paints with the surrounding pixels.


Also, the healing brush has slightly different brush options than most of the brushes in photoshop. You can easily (and you'll want to) change the hardness of the brush. I recommend a soft one.