Avoiding the Tell-Tale Signs of Cloning
Good cloning work is something you’ll never get credit for, and that’s the way it should be. Bad cloning, on the other hand, will be apparent and those who spot it in your images will not hesitate to say that something seems amiss.
In the example, the task is to clone out the purple disc and create a seamless transition of the gradient background. Avoid these tell-tale signs of cloning: discs, tracks, blotches and wrong sample.
Another way to reduce the disc effect is to keep your mouse depressed as you pass the clone tool over the work area rather than clicking each time to apply the sample.
To eliminate the track effect, resample from an appropriate area with greater frequently.
To eliminate blotches, make sure you have a good sample before applying the clone and reduce the opacity of your brush to blend in cloned areas.
To eliminate the effects of wrong sampling, sample from a surrounding area that provides the best match or best fit for the cloning task. Oftentimes, this will be directly adjacent to the clone area, but sometimes you’ll want to review the entire image for a specific color, pattern or texture match, depending on the complexity of the cloning task.
When done correctly, you can see that the cloning task underway not only successfully cloned out a portion of the purple disc, but also cloned in a flawless continuation of the blue to black gradient background.
Good cloning takes time to master, so make a habit of scrutinizing images for cloning opportunities and practice the technique with an eye toward avoiding these tell-tale signs.
Share your final images with others. If they don’t say anything about cloning, you won’t need to say anything about cloning, either.
Illustrations and text by Dawn Lane. The material is copyrighted. All rights reserved