Dec 28, 2006

Working with the Clone Source palette in CS3

evening-sm.jpgMartin Evening’s Favorite Photoshop CS3 Feature?
The new Clone Source palette

Pubished here is a tutorial extract is taken from Martin Evening’s forthcoming book: Adobe Photoshop CS3 for Photographers, published by Focal Press. In this tutorial, Martin demonstrates some of the key new benefits that can be gained from working with the new Clone Source palette in the newly released public beta version of Adobe Photoshop CS3. To find out more about how to use this new feature, read on…

The Clone Source palette is new to Photoshop and useful for photographic retouching mainly because it allows you to see a preview of the alignment of the pixels that you are about to clone with. All the other features, such as the multiple sample points are really of more use for people working in video editing, where it is desirable to store multiple clone sources when you want to clone in exact registration from one frame to another across several images in a sequence.


1. Here is a photograph in which there is a litter bin that I wish to remove. But the tricky thing here is that the bin is just in front of a circular alcove, and this would normally make it less easy to remove. But not so if you use the controls avialable in the Clone Source palette.


2. To start with, I wanted to remove the bottom of the bin. This could be done normally by placing the source point for the clone stamp on the edge of the black line and estimating where to click with the clone stamp so that you can continue painting along the line ‘in register’.

3. By using the Clone Source palette, I can now switch on the Show Overlay option and adjust the opacity, so that with the Auto Hide option turned on as well, when I release the mouse, I get to see a ghost image preview of how the pixels will be painted at the destination point. This takes away all the guess work and makes it much easier to paint with the clone stamp in perfect alignment with the underlying image.


4. I now switched tools and selected the healing brush. And this time I went to the Clone Source palette and set the clone source angle to be 180º relative to the destination. This meant that when I sampled using the pixels from the top right corner of the curve, the preview showed a 180º rotated preview of where the the pixels would be painted at the destination point. Again, the overlay was very important, because I could use it to precisely align the preview with the image below, so that the edge of the circle was precisely aligned.


5. Here is a screenshot showing the healing brush in action.

6. Because I had the Auto Hide option checked still, the overlay was temporarily hidden as I painted.


7. And here is the final result, in which I only had to carry out some minor extra retouching in order to tidy up the remaining parts of the picture.

Overlay blend modes
You can adjust the opacity of the Clone Source overlay and change the blend mode as well. In some instances you may find it useful to work with the Difference blend mode at 100%. The Difference blend mode will show a solid black preview when identical pixels are in register.

About the book
cover-versioncs3-low.jpgThis extract was taken from Adobe Photoshop CS3 for Photographers, published by Focal Press. The new edition of this best selling book should be hitting the streets in Spring of 2007, shortly after the official release of Photoshop CS3.

As a special perk for PhotoshopNews readers, Martin has made his Chapter 1: What’s New in Photoshop CS3 available for free download.

The 21 page PDF, outlines all the new features of Photoshop CS3 and Bridge 2, written from a user’s perspective. It offers an honest appraisal of what will be on offer in this new version of the program, if you really want to know what’s NEW!

Click here to download the PDF(3.2MB)

Martin, if you don’t know, is a London based advertising photographer and noted expert in both photography and digital imaging. As a successful photographer, Martin is well known in London for his fashion and beauty work. Check out Martin’s web site.

Martin also works with the Adobe Photoshop engineering team consulting on new feature development and alpha and beta testing. He worked alpha & beta for Photoshop CS3 and Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and was influential with the new Adobe Bridge 2.0 and Camera Raw 4.0.

In addition, Martin is also a principal of PixelGenius where he designed and was product manger for the recently released PhotoKit Color 2. PhotoKit Color 2 applies precise color corrections, automatic color balancing and creative coloring effects. PhotoKit Color offers a comprehensive set of coloring tools for Photoshop 7.0, CS, CS2 (and soon CS3) for both Macintosh and Windows.

4 Responses to “Working with the Clone Source palette in CS3”

  1. gragegrl Says:

    the link to download the PDF doesn’t seem to work…

  2. gfh_73 Says:

    The correct link to the PDF is

  3. bajesus Says:

    nice overview of the clone source palette, but i have a problem with the results of the tutorial. by cloning the top of the circle with the 180° rotation on the tool, you’ve now put an edge shadow where an edge highlight used to be… the alcove no longer reads properly.

    too bad there isn’t a setting for Flip Vertical so you could source a mirror of the opposite alcove… still would need a bit of work, but the results would be more accurate.

  4. tmackey Says:

    “too bad there isn’t a setting for Flip Vertical…”
    It is possible to flip the Clone Source Vertically or Horizontally. Just put a negative value in the width or height box inside the Clone Source Pallette. i.e. – “-100%” in the height box will flip the source vertically.

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