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Sometimes don’t you wish you could just erase or fix some annoying detail in a photo. Well, one way of doing this is by using the Clone Stamp tool found in graphics program Photofiltre.Original picture with dog on the grass 

Original picture with dog.

Dog is erased from picture

Dog has been replaced with grass using the Clone Stamp tool.


This is where the Clone Stamp tool is found on the sidebar of Photofiltre.

Toolbar showing clone stamp tool

The clone stamp tool can be used for:

  • Removing an object from a picture which has a consistent background.
  • Fixing blemishes or imperfections. For example, remove moles, wrinkles or freckles on a persons body or face… or correct damaged paintwork on a car etc.
  • Reproducing an object in a picture with some of the background.

Pictures with backgrounds that have a consistent pattern or texture are very easy to work with, such as those with grass, water or sky

Start with opening the picture

Start by opening the picture.

Before I did anything else I:

  • Changed the size to 800 x 600 to make it more manageable.
  • Adjusted gamma, brightness and contrast. I also took the liberty to sharpen the picture slightly as well  🙂

Selecting clone stamp tool and settings

Select clone stamp tool from the toolbar. In this example I used a Opacity of 70, unchecked the Fixed position and sample Radius of 25.

The larger the radius the bigger area you will cover, however for more detailed areas you will want to reduce the radius size.

You start by placing the stamp tool on the area you want to clone. In this example I placed the clone tool on a suitable patch of grass to the left of the dog. Next, press the Control key and then left click on the mouse to make a starting(or origin) point for the clone tool. (if you click without the control key, a pop up box will appear)

The crosshairs of the clone stamp tool

Next, use the cross-hair of the cursor to start brushing out parts of the original image. Notice how the second cross-hair mirrors the movement of the first cross-hair and the image is reproduced from under one cross-hair to other.

Removing the shadow

Having removed most of the dog, I started to remove the dogs’ shadow. You may wish to reposition the clone stamp origin a few times to make the background look more authentic due to lighting effects on the original photo and to avoid cloning too many repeating patterns. It depends on what types of photo your working on, sometimes you want bit of randomness such as the grass above, other times you may want a consistent pattern such as brick work.

Dog and shadow completely removed

Dog and shadow have now been completely removed.

Now, finally to do some detailed work….

Removing the dog leash from the hand

Next I enlarged the picture to 300% and selected a Radius of 2 for detailed work to remove the remainder of the dog leash between the fingers.

Dog is erased from picture

Done. Dog gone! 😉

Notes:

  • Positioning of the starting point or origin takes some practice. You need to experiment a bit first to get this right, and often you need to change origin points a few times.
  • Checking the Fixed position box, keeps the Clone Stamp area in a fixed position. This may be useful sometimes when you want the sampled area to be fixed rather than mirroring the movement of the second cross-hair. Generally go for a larger Radius in this mode and use short clicks rather moving the cursor around.

A few more examples:

Jetski ready to go

Jetski ready to go!

Jetski has gone missing!

Ooiii! Where is my Jetski!!!???

Three men playing golf

Three men playing golf.

Two men playing golf

Only two men now. Three is a crowd. 😉

Photofiltre is free to download and use without any catches or advertising. This is one of the best free graphics program available for Windows and many people are using it. Download page here (1.6Mb)

Photofiltre home page here.

—oooOOOooo—


20 Responses to “Photofiltre Basics: Using the Clone Stamp Tool”

  1. Neo says:

    Wow, nice tutorial. Thanks… now I can make unwanted objects disappear in my photos.

  2. Jeff says:

    Your welcome..Glad you like 🙂

    I like your Photoshop tutorials on your site.. giving me ideas to do similar tutorial with Photofiltre.

  3. Erin Gray says:

    Hi Jeff, Tks for dropping by my blog… You have a nice tutorial site! I will try my best to follow your tutorial.. 🙂
    Thank You!!

  4. wow!. now THATS what I call a clear, wonderfully organized and helpful tutorial !.
    I was always curious on how anybody gets any of this done..I want to hugz you !

    Isa

  5. Lizzie says:

    Hey, thanks for posting this! Has been a great help for my Art work!!!
    Definately bookmarking your page 🙂

    Lizzie.

  6. Jeff says:

    Lizzie: Thanks, so glad you found it helpful 🙂

  7. Manwathiell says:

    Amazing !! If you had a clue of how much time this took with Picasa…
    and results would never be this good (removing a dog ? No way!)

    Anyway, Picasa is good for amateurs and beginners. It gives you an idea of the basics, and it is fantastic to keep all your photos well organized !

    Cheers,
    M.

  8. Jeff says:

    Yep, the clone tool is a great little tool for removing unwanted objects from photos.

  9. Stacey says:

    Really cool :]

  10. shazza ;-) says:

    thx 4 all these tutorials . . really made my day a good one 🙂

  11. earlene says:

    Thanks for posting this, great directions. New to pf. I was able to clone my photo problem fine, but when I tried to save as–I had the original photo back in a new file. What did I do wrong? How can I save the fixed photo?

  12. Jeff says:

    Hi Earlene,

    Probably best to work with a duplicate copy (Duplicate>>Copy) rather that the original.
    When you “save as”, choose a different file name from the original to make it clear.
    Also remember the location of the file on your computer where you saved it, but you can goto recently opened files (Files>>Recent files) if you forget.

    Jeff.

  13. Allan says:

    Many thanks for great tip and link for program. Had a pic of my grandfather that had clothes hanging from line, opposite his head. Have now removed and pic looks a treat. Once again thanks and greatly appreciated. 30 minutes to find on net download, fix and print pic.
    Cheers

  14. Kari says:

    oh my gosh
    thank you.
    I’ve been looking for an answer but everyone is too confusing.
    I acually understood this and did it on my own

  15. Tracie says:

    i was wondering if you could help me remove the wrinkles on my forehead? i have been reading your tutorial over and over again, i’m just really bad at this kind of stuff.

    maybe you can email me? taubenheim2010@Hotmail.com

    please help!
    http://tinypic.com/r/14nppxc/6

  16. Mike says:

    Why are some tools – like the clone stamp – greyed out when I open a black & white picture ?

  17. Maria says:

    thank you very much… this really helped

  18. JayBoo says:

    i followed all the steps, but it still doesnt work =(

  19. Brian Tabor says:

    Some of my pictures end up with a big flash hot spot surrounded by a lightened ring of exposure. I tried to fix this with the cloning tool but it is very tedious and ends up looking like a sloppy Photoshop job.

    Should I just try to get better at using the cloning tool or is there a better technique? Thanks!

  20. Peta says:

    THANK YOU!!

    I have been using Photofiltre for about 6 years and have never figured this out!!!!

    I tried in one photo and had a great clutter free background in about 10 mins. Very excited, thanks again.

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