Repair images, the dangers of cloning
Usually all photographs we use, whether agencies or freelance photographers have gone through a prior process of balance, focus and contrast. Usually this process is insufficient and should be improved. One of the essential steps when preparing a document image for commercial use is to remove all the imperfections it may have, either dirt or damage in the photographed material, or in the lens of the camera used to capture the image.
Photoshop provides several tools to remove blemishes, all excellent. Each designer uses a different one depending on your habits, but it is best to combine them to achieve optimal results. These tools are: the clone stamp tool, the healing brush, spot healing brush and patch tool. The first copy (hence the term ‘clone’) the contents of a layer, or combination of all layers, and applies it through the brush. Clone Stamp tool lets you select the source and type of information to copy, ie you can select which layers affect cloning. Healing Brush tools, spot healing brush and patch, by contrast, used the image adjacent to the area where we apply the brush to correct it so that it fits in perfectly with the image.
- To work with these tools first duplicate the image layer to keep the original information (this step is not absolutely necessary except for the patch tool, the rest of the tools are non-destructive, although it is a practice recommended for any work with image’s documents).
- Once duplicate the layer you must create a new empty layer which will carry out the necessary corrections.
- Select the source of the data to copy. When selecting current & below the image can be corrected on an empty layer without destroying any original image pixel.
- When using the clone stamp tool is necessary to choose a starting point for cloning. It is always advisable to choose a point near the target so that the light is as close as possible. Using the Healing Brush tool behavior is identical except for the differences between the operating principle of both tools, it takes a reference point and used the brush on the area to correct, PhotoShop is responsible, from reference information, to paint new pixels that are built with the adjacent. Using spot healing brush is even easier because it is not necessary to establish a starting point, simply applying the brush to automatically based on the selected calculation method (approximation or create texture) is detected and corrected pixels with hue, saturation or brightness (the properties of color) other than those adjacent. The patch tool is perhaps the most complex to use. To begin with, and unlike others, patch is based on a selected area, which is used as destination or origin, depending on need, for this reason patch itself is a destructive method and requires that the layer containing the applied pixels with which to work. After selecting an area you drag the selection to another area. If you have selected source, the tool will use the pixel patch initially selected as the target area to modify the pixels on the area over which you drag the selection. If chosen destination, will be the pixels in the initial selection of reference serve to modify the pixels in the area on which the selection dragged.
- The clone stamp tool and patch require a slower way of working, working small areas at a time, where they take several applications over an area to achieve proper texture. On the other hand can get great results because the texture replicated easily. Healing Brush and Spot Healing Brush tools are fast and accurate but tend to delete details while imperfections.
From left to right the image shows the original document, and later the same document that you are working with different tools: clone stamp (small cruzeta marks the origin of cloning), the Healing Brush, brushSpot (the black shadow marks the area where the brush has been applied) and, finally, the tool patch (the target area is the area selected).
This process also applies to scanned images or other image ducumento be necessary to use in a project