Thursday, April 3, 2008

Recoloring With the Clone Tool

Is this too simple a tip? Please forgive me if this is really obvious...

Don't forget that items can be recolored in non-uniform colors, too! You can clip them to a patterned paper, of course, by placing the paper in a layer above your item, then pressing ctrl+alt+g (in PS CS2). But you can also use some unusual functions of the clone tool (the one that looks like a little old-fashioned rubber stamp) to add texture and color to otherwise "flat" items, and tie them in with your layout as well.

The unusual functions are 1) the non-aligned function (unclick the little check mark next to "aligned" in the tool options bar at the top), and 2) Sample all layers (click the check mark on that one).

1) The non-aligned function will allow you to pick up the photo in such a fashion that you'll clone just as usual starting where you alt-clicked on your source, BUT, when you lift your pen/mouse and put it down again, you'll return to that same first source instead of staying a measured distance from it. This allows you to introduce some randomness into the cloning.

2) If you're trying to recolor an item using this method, you're in a bit of a quandary if your source is on one layer, and your item to be recolored is on another. That's where the "sample all layers" comes into play very nicely, allowing you to alt-click to set the source on any layer you please, then clone into the layer of your choice. This is helpful if you're not quite sure of the placement of your recolored item yet--having it on a separate layer allows you much more freedom than if you had already merged it with the source layer!

Oh, and I almost forgot: remember to restrict the painting of the cloned image to just your item by cntrl-clicking the thumbnail of the layer you want to be working on. This will select just the colored elements of that layer, allowing you to work without fear of messing up the edges or something!

The next two layouts show how I used this. In the first one, I used the sunset picture to recolor the frame. It's kind of interesting how the frame seemed to take on a metallic sheen! I also used both these methods to recolor the squares and word "Forever" in the second layer. It really looks much better than just a "flat" color, and repeating the bit of ocean in the upper right hand photo kind of ties the layout together in terms of "water".

Please click on the thumbnails for larger versions and credits:

Heather Taylor, Beauty As A Function Of Time

Heather Taylor, Against Water


  1. Les deux sont superbes, mais j'aime beaucup la dernière, et ce paysage est magnifique...

    Je decouvre que tu as assi des talents de designer ;-)))
    Pour ma part ce sont des freebies tout simples..

    a bientot


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