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Introducton to Adobe Photoshop
What Is Cloning / Rubber Stamp  

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Rubber Stamp Tool Sample

The Rubber Stamp concept is taken directly from the real world. The Palette Options make it a power tool.

Rubber Stamp Options

The difference between aligned and non-aligned is the thing to remember. It refers to the relationship between the cursor and the reference point.

Rubber Stamp Options Sample

Clone Align

Clone Align treats the reference point as a dance partner. They move together in a precise and constant relationship. No matter how many times the mouse is activated to stamp an image, the relationship never changes.

It is a wonderful tool for cleaning up backgrounds. It is probably the most popular Rubber Stamp option.

Clone Non-aligned

Clone Non-aligned treats the reference point as a fixed point on the image. Every time the rubber stamp is activated, the reference image is painted from the starting point.

I find this very awkward. This requires the action to be completed in one continuous mouse or pen motion. I would appreciate a keyboard modifier to hold the reference point while I relax my hand.

Lint Mark Sample

Retouching Using Clone Align

Taking a lint mark out of the background is a snap. To establish the Clone Align reference point, hold down the Alt-key and click the rubber stamp cursor in the target area indicated by the circle.

Choose your stamp size from the Brushes Palette. Click on the 17 pixel blurred edge brush. The blurred edge helps to feather-in the retouching.

Brush Size Examples

Double clicking in the brush selection cell will open its dialog box. Look at this treasure chest window on your own.

Retouched Sample


Remove the lint mark with a stamping (spotting) action. Compared to the tedious use of spotone (a semi-poisonous dye), Cloning is a lot safer, faster, and more fun.

The background irregularity which you may see is a JPG artifact in the display image and not a bad retouching work.

From Snapshot and Save Sample

From Snapshot and Saved

They are both straight forward variations on the basic stamping idea. Combined with Clone and Pattern, the results can be richly complex and painterly.

Take Snapshot is an option below Define Pattern under the Edit menu.

Impressionist Option

The Impressionist option was unimpressive. I found it labor intensive and frustrating. It inspired me to finding a more intuitive method. The process went as follows:

Duplicate your master image (drag the master negative/background to the New Layers icon). Apply the following filters to the work copy layer.

  • Filter > Noise > Add Noise... value 8
  • Filter > Blur > Motion Blur > Radius value 1

The effects were right but too much detail was lost. I played with the opacity settings on layers 1 and 2. I finally added a third layer for more detail.

Other Methods Sample

The final look resulted from the combination of Filter effects and Layers opacity adjustments.

See Layers Sample

  • Layer #3:
    More Detail Layer at 50% opacity.

  • Layer #2:
    Work/Effects Layer at 72% opacity.

  • Layer #1:
    Background/Negative layer at 68% opacity.

Lets get into Filters and Plug-Ins next.

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