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Two photos merged in Photoshop

The ability to merge multiple photos is a useful skill for real estate photographers. Even though most of them want to get the photo right directly in the camera, there are certain scenarios where merging the pictures together is proven useful and nece ...

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How to Use the Clone Stamp

Published: 10/12/2021

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Whenever you try to cover up a photo using some editing tools, the edited area would normally look flat, and the dimensions would end up lacking tone and shade. Anyone can easily notice the area that was edited. This is why Adobe Photoshop created the Clone Stamp tool so that photographers and graphic designers can do more subtle editing. 

The Clone Stamp tool is easy to use, and it’s great to remove unwanted details from your real estate photos, like hanging wires, without affecting the quality of the photo. Learning how to use the Clone Stamp tool in Adobe Photoshop can be a real game-changer for your editing process.

How to Use the Clone Stamp

To use the Clone Stamp, open the image that you want to edit in Photoshop. Next, click and hold the rubber stamp icon seen in the toolbox and tap on Clone Stamp in the menu. 

Photo being edited using Clone Stamp

The shape of the area that needs to be edited and the brush size can easily be adjusted if needed. You can also change the flow, opacity, as well as bending modes in the tool options bar located at the top-most area of the workspace.

Copying an Area of an Image

If you need to copy an exact area of an image, you need to leave the flow, opacity, and bending mode at the default settings. As you use the tool more often, you will find yourself constantly adjusting the setting based on what you are making changes on. 

For example, if you are editing a person's face in an image, you will need to adjust the opacity to 20%, or you can lower it so it will blend the skin to an even tone. To make the effects smoother, you may need to clone the area a couple of times until you reach the desired result. 

You can let the target follow the movement of the cursor while you make changes to your photos by selecting the box placed beside Aligned in the tool options bar. If you want the target to stay in place and stop following the cursor, you can uncheck the Aligned box in the tool options bar.

How to Retouch Photos With the Clone Stamp Tool

After selecting the Clone Stamp tool, move your mouse to the area that you want to duplicate. You need to do the following combination:

  • Alt + click for Windows
  • Option + click for Mac
Person viewing his camera photos through his laptop

For example, if you want to retouch and edit unwanted elements, select Alt+click on a Windows computer or Option+click on a Mac computer on a similarly colored area of the image. Once you've selected the area, unlock and slowly drag the Clone Stamp tool over the image, and paint it with the pixels from the space that you had previously selected. 

As you paint through the area, the changes will immediately be visible. ​If you think that the size of the setting is too large or too small, you can adjust it anytime in the tool options that are located at the top of your screen. 

Choosing a Brush Size

An important part of effectively using the Clone Stamp tool is by setting your brush size. One of the most common issues in using the tool is accidentally using a brush that is too large as it clones areas that do not need to be cloned. It causes the image to look discolored, disfigured, and unnatural. 

When you have the right brush size, you are assured that what you're editing and cloning is the area that you want to be edited and cloned, so the images look natural and clean once you are done with it. 

Choosing the Right Brush Hardness

Aside from the right size, your brush must also have the right hardness. This plays an important role in mastering the Clone Stamp tool because the hardness of the brush will determine who the cloning will blend. 

For example, if you set the hardness of your brush to 100%, the edges will be defined and hard, so it will be a bit difficult to edit and clone the areas of your images. If it is in 0%, the edges naturally blend. It is better to start with a softer brush so that you can make small corrections, and you can easily move up as you go along. 

How to Remove Objects in Videos Using the Clone Stamp Tool

To remove objects on your videos permanently using the Clone Stamp tool, you need to import the video clip onto After Effects where you need to remove some of the objects. Once the video clip has been processed by the program, go to the Layer Panel and select Clone Stamp. 

Photo being edited on Photoshop

Next, zoom in on your video and press Alt if you are using Windows and Option if you are using Mac. Click on the area of the video that needs to be copied. Once it is selected, you can press on areas within the video that you want to remove. 

The program will add the area that you chose onto the spots and it will serve as an erase tool. When you’re done, assess the result. If you are not satisfied, you can always undo it and start over. 

How to Use Clone Stamp Presets

The Clone Stamp tool has clone presents that you can access if you need to save and reuse the source settings. The presets are the following:

  • Source Layer
  • Aligned
  • Lock Source Time
  • Source Time Shift
  • Offset
  • Source Position

These presets are saved onto the preferences file of the program. They can be accessed in just seconds while you save over them so you can reuse the presets in different files. 

To access the presets, you can press keys from 3 to 7 on your PC keyboard. You can also click the Clone Present button as an alternative. You can see it within the Paint Panel on After Effects. 

Conclusion

Clone stamping is a great tool that improves your editing experience. Knowing how to use the clone stamp tool allows you to produce better images and correct whatever distractions and blemishes there are when you take the photos. 

With the help of this tool, you can add amazing images to your real estate photography portfolio and take your craft to the next level. It can also solidify your position in the photography industry. 

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