Learning to Clone a Picture

Although I have Photo Shop, I’ve been using a free program, called Paint.net, to do some graphic designs for my Zazzle stores and slowly I am learning how to master the various tools.
One thing I could never figure out, even with instructions from the site, was the “clone stamp”. So I ignored it, until I had to sit in the mechanic’s office the other morning for about 1 1/2 hours and happened to take my used copy of a Photo Shop classroom book along to look through to pass the time.
I do plan to use PS, but I know it will be a huge learning curve which I am not quite ready for yet. And in that book, I came across an explanation – that I could understand – about the clone tool.
So I went home and tried it out on the picture I had recently taken of an old farmhouse. I liked the picture, except for the two cars parked at the side of the house.
It was the perfect photo for me to mess with.

old farmhouse

Farmhouse with Car

What the clone stamp does is remove something from a photo or picture and replace it with another part of the picture to make it look realistic.
For instance, in the photo of an old farmhouse above, I really wanted those cars to be gone. They ruined the photo for me.
With the clone stamp I was able to cover them with some bricks from the house and grass from the yard. Cloning part of the picture to replace the part unwanted.

Farm scene for badge link

Cars Removed With Clone Stamp

How did I do it?
In the program I clicked on the “clone” tool and chose a brush size. Then I clicked on the part of the picture (such as the brick wall) while holding the CTRL button. Doing that, makes a circle and indicates the part of the picture I will be copying. Then I move to the area (cars in this case) that I want to replace and start painting.
I copied the brick wall for the top of the cars and grass and some of the dirt driveway for the rest.
Although this is FAR from a professional work, I am very happy that I have learned to use this tool and I’ll get better with more practice. I added some caption text and now the picture is the top photo for my foliage lens at Squidoo.
If you want to mess around with some graphic stuff but don’t want to spend the bucks for PhotoShop or another expensive program, try Paint.net for free. My only complaint is that directions for it’s use (that a real beginner could understand) were hard to come by. Gimp is supposedly just as good.
I hope that by the time I get around to learning PhotoShop I will at least be familiar with some similar tools.

4 thoughts on “Learning to Clone a Picture

  1. Swisstoons

    Thank you for this easy to understand explanation of the Clone Tool, Pam! I will have to give it a try in PhotoShop! I know that my very rudimentary ArcSoft Photostudio also has a Clone Tool, but I’ve never really used it. I’ve been accomplishing somewhat the same effect (I think) by copying and pasting parts of my cartoons or backgrounds onto other areas of the same drawings. I will have to compare the two methods.


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