Monday, March 23, 2009

Power Cloning

Instead of wrestling with tools that only can do part of the job, try this technique to clone color while maintaining the all-important texture in your image

This Article Features Photo Zoom

power cloning
Figure 4
Go to the Options bar at the top and select a sample size of “5 by 5 Average” from the drop-down menu. This ensures that when color is sampled it will be representative of an area and less likely to be influenced by the color of any one pixel.

power cloning
Figure 5
If you haven’t already done so, make sure your painting cursor is set to Normal Brush Tip and your other cursors are set to Precise. These preferences can be found under Edit > Preferences > Cursors.

power cloning
Figure 6
The first step in the painting process is to make a new layer by clicking the “Create a new layer” button at the bottom of the Layers palette. A new blank layer will appear (Layer 1, in this case) above the active layer in the Layers palette. Generally, this layer should be the topmost layer, so if there are multiple layers in the Layers palette, drag the new layer to the top.

power cloning
Figure 7
A new layer also can be created with the menu command Layer > New > Layer and clicking OK in the default from the dialog box that opens. Once the layer is created, go to the top of the Layers palette and change the blending mode from Normal to Color.

8 power cloning
Figure 8
According to the Photoshop Help Viewer, the Color blending mode “creates a resulting color with the luminance of the base color and the hue and saturation of the blend color.”

With this procedure, the gray tones that define the texture in the image (the luminance of the base layer) will remain unchanged, but the color will match what’s placed into this new layer. Right now this new layer is empty, so there’s no color change evident in the image. The way to get the right matching color for the discolored area is to sample it from the surrounding area and then paint it over the area where color change is desired. In order to paint, click the Brush tool in the Tools palette.

power cloning
Figure 9
Again, go to the Options bar to properly set the Brush tool properties to facilitate the process. Click the drop-down menu for Brush and set the Master Diameter to make an appropriately sized brush for painting over the area that needs it. In this case, I started with a 75-pixel brush. Remember, once you close this dialog, you easily can adjust brush size on the fly using the right bracket key ( ] ) to make it larger and the left bracket key ( [ ) to make it smaller. Also, move the Hardness slider to 0 so that the brush will have soft edges to facilitate blending. The yellow highlights in Figure 9 show these adjustments.


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