Cloning Out People in Adobe Photoshop

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Jordan Younce
  By Jordan Younce
Cloning Out People in Adobe Photoshop www.sleeklens.com

Photoshop cloning tools are undoubtedly some of the greatest additions for photo lovers and editors. If you have some photos with people you intend to duplicate in a different photo, it is always easy to clone them out using the Cloning Stamp Tool. You can do this non-distractedly by printing a brand new layer and in a way that you can go back to your original photo if you need to.

Avoid making any adjustments first

You should avoid any adjustments to color, contrast or other changes to the photo before cloning out people in Adobe Photoshop. Any changes made on the layer before using the Clone Stamp tool will be baked in permanently into the new cloned picture and this is something you might not want at this point.

Using Clone Stamp Tool Successfully

To do this, start by creating a blank layer where all your adjustments will go. When you brush over the new layer, you get a little box and this basically tells you that you need to select something to clone. To select the people you need to clone, simply press down the Alt key on your keyboard with your cursor on the target image. Once this is done, release the keys and start painting over the people you intend to replace. If you brush over a person and no selection is made, it means your sample is set to Current Layer and therefore is sampling nothing. To change these settings, just select ‘Current’ and ‘Below’ options under the sample menu.

Once this is done, just press on the ALT key and then select and brush over the target person and as you do this, they will start going away slowly. You can also select and remove a person very fast by pressing the ALT key and then click to sample and brush straight downwards. It is important to understand that Photoshop offers a wide variety of brushes and each of these will help produce different results. Normally, a hard brush will create noticeable edges along the cloning path while soft brush will give you smoother edges. When cloning, it is always important to click on the target person and then let go as you brush downwards so as to reset the sample.

Once you are done with the process of removing the target persons, the next step is to smoothen the image so that your changes aren’t discernible. To do this, you should employ the Spot Healing Brush which allows you to remove any small unwanted spots in your image. However, it is good to note that Spot Healing Brush isn’t designed for large replacement areas. However, you can eliminate moles and scratches on people’s faces or old photographs.

To use the brush, just click on EyeDropper tool or press ‘J’ on your keyboard. Select the brush and then hover it over the spot you intend to replace and then click just once. Photoshop will do all the pixel data examination work around the mark and flawlessly incorporate the data to the final destination.

Clone Stamp tool is advantageous in that it saves more images compared to all other tools during the post-processing. Once you know how to use it, you can easily clone out people out of your photos so that your final product only retains those you want.

How to get the best results when cloning

Once you know how to use Clone Stamp tool (plus other tools of course), the next thing is to master the cloning art so as to get professional results. The process can be messy especially if you do not know how to produce faultless results but as with everything, it will take time for you to perfect your skills. However, the following steps will be of great help as you work on your pictures to clone out people: –

Don’t hurry the process

For you to get quality results in your cloning project, patience is really important. While some people might be able to do it faster than others, there is no doubt that the quality of your project will be directly proportional to the time you spend working on it. It is worth noting that cloning photographic details is always a tedious process especially if you are looking for quality results. Just take your time if you are to avoid obvious blunders.

Replicate the active layer

When cloning sections of your image, always start by duplicating the layer you intend to work on. The other option will be to work on a brand new transparent layer. This will help you in case you make some mistakes further deep into the project some of which you might not be able to undo. Your original image should be on a hidden layer to give you flexibility when you need to restore any section of an image to the original state.

Choose your tools keenly

Different cloning tools come with their own weaknesses and strengths. You should therefore understand each tool before sticking with it throughout the cloning project. Choose the best tool for different parts of the image you intend to work on. When dealing with large projects, you should combine different tools to clone out people in Adobe Photoshop. Utilize two or more cloning tools in synergy for more realistic results.

Check out for obvious duplications

Poor cloning will results in obvious patterns. You can avoid painfully obvious duplicate pixels by being a bit careful. This is especially important if you are working on parts that ought to appear fairly organic. Using the same part of your image repeatedly will result in obvious pattern instead of giving you a natural appearance. You can avoid this mistake by using Clone Source palette heavily. Use numerous sources and change orientation, rotation, and size of the parts you are cloning. This will give an illusion of an original image.


Cloning out people in Adobe Photoshop can be a little bit complicated. However, once you learn the loops it will be easier but also require significant time and keen attention to achieve your desired results. Just make sure you develop an in-depth understanding of the different commands and tools. You should take time to experiment with different options for the different tools and invest time learning the cloning process using Adobe Photoshop. This way, you will perfect you’re your skills and do it like a pro.

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Jordan Younce

Jordan Younce

I am a Real Estate and Landscape photography as well as a Graphic Designer based in North Carolina, USA. My passion for photography started with taking photos with a point-and-shoot and now I own a successful photography business. My goal is to help others learn the art of photography, develop their creative side and just have fun.

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