If you want to follow along you can download the source files here.
Retouching Part One: The Clone Tool
The clone tool works in a very similar fashion to the healing tools, except its function is to create rather than conceal. It doesn’t automatically blend in with the surrounding area like the healing brush, but blended results can be achieved by adjusting the hardness and opacity of your brush.
- Open the file barn.jpg
- Select the clone stamp tool, brush size=300px, hardness=80%
- Put the brush over the window and alt-click to sample
- Move the brush to the right of the window and click. Still holding the mouse, move it around the edges to clone the corners of the window. Repeat for the left window.
- Using this technique, change the size, hardness and opacity of the brush and create more flowers and foliage.
Part Two: The Big Fix
The following exercise is based on a problematic image, the goal is to remove all the Russian text. This is a time consuming task, but with Photoshop nothing is impossible except creating enough time to do all this work. These are the steps I used to achieve the desired results, a lot of these tools and techniques are interchangeable so use whatever garners the best results. I had time and free coffee when I wrote this.
- Open the file Brochure_21.jpg.
- Begin by using the patch tool on the lapel, sampling the large letters and dragging to the clear areas directly below them.
- After this we’ll have to get creative to maintain the integrity of the lapel.
Using the Lasso Tool, select a clear section of lapel. Once you’ve made the selection create a new layer via copy (Layer menu – New – Layer Via Copy or Ctrl – J)
- Make sure the new layer is selected and carefully place it until it covers the yellow lettering in the top of this ‘groove’ while lining up the edges.
Once you’re happy with the placement, merge it into the document so you can blend it. (Layer Menu – merge down or Ctrl – E).
(warning – your selection should not glow. If it does, leave the building immediately.)
- The next step is to blend the bottom using the heal tool, and continue copying and pasting sections of the lapel. You can erase edges with a soft edge eraser if needed. Be sure it blends without blurring so it looks natural, and the top edge is straight.
- Next is removing the signature. This will be a little difficult because you want the lines of the lapel to remain relatively straight. Select small sections of letters and make your samples.
Next – the hair.
In normal circumstances hair is pretty easy to clone using the clone tool. In this case, there is very little hair discernable, and it’s very straight. Use the same process with patch tool, selecting small areas and getting a sample very close starting with the edges of the text and working towards the centre.
- Once you’ve finished removing the text, the hair may look as though it has small waves in it from all the sampling.
- If so, get the Clone Tool, set the Opacity to 20%, soften the edge to 20%, sample the untouched portions of hair, and brush over the wavy parts, following the line of hair.
The rest of the text is a lot easier to remove, so hop to it.
Your final result should look something like this:
That’s just about it. Be careful not to take your retouching too far or you might end up with some very unnatural results.