Thursday, June 19, 2008

How To Get Rid of Unwanted Objects in the Background

Don't you just hate it when you get a GREAT shot, but then realize that low and behold... there was a dumpster in the background... or peices of trash (or dirt on your carpet!) that just messes up the whole thing. This can (most of the time) be taken care of very easily with the Clone feature... depending on the placement of the object and how complex its surroundings are. Now... I am not an expert on cloning, but I have saved literally hundreds of photos using this tool! Sometimes... it's not even about saving it... it's about making it just look better. So... here we go. Here is the layout we will be creating today:


And here is what my original photo started out as. Now... for all practical purposes, I chose an easy one... just to give you the basics of how to do it... but keep in mind that this may take some practice and it can get much more tideous than this! So start simple and gradually move on to more intricate photos from there. :)




1.) First thing FIRST!!! Once you have your photo open... be CERTAIN to immediately click Save As and save a COPY of your photo. The will ensure that you do not lose your original. You definitely want to keep your original in case you hate the end result and want to start over!! (As usual, I learned this the hard way! hahaah!)


2.) Now that you are working with a COPY of your photo... let's get started. Choose your Clone Tool from your tools palette as shown below. (You can also hit "S" on your keyboard... this too will activate your Clone tool.




3.) Now refer to the top of your screen. This is where you will find all of your cloning options and settings. I almost always use a circle brush. Several things to notice here. Click the little drop down option by "Brush".



- Brush Size: This will totally depend on what your are cloning out. If it is a large object in a primarily "empty" background (like grass or water), you can make it quite large to decrease the amount of work. However, some objects may have other objects around them that you want to keep... in that case, you would make it smaller as to work around that.



- Hardness of brush edges: You don't want the Hardness of the edges of your brush to be too hard, as it will not blend well and will appear very splotchy. However, you don't want them too soft either, as this will cause a ton of inconsistent blurring and will simply look terrible. :) I usually start mine out at around 65-80 and then adjust it if needed.


- Opacity & Flow: Keep both of these at 100%.



4.) Now... your cursor should be in the shape of a circle. Place it over (in this case) a patch of the grass and while pressing your ALT key (your cursor should change in shape), click once. (This actually copies what's inside that circle so that you can "paste" it over what you are wanting to eliminate.)






5.) Now, scoot your cursor over so that it sits on the unwanted object, let go of your ALT key and simply click. That click will replace your unwanted object with what you just "cloned".


6.) Now, the trick to cloning is that most of the time, you don't want to just drag your mouse over the unwanted object. I ALMOST ALWAYS go back and ALT + click another nearby area so that I'm not "copying" the same patch of grass all over the object. When you just drag it along something like grass or water, it's pretty obvious that you did it that way... you can tell that the same patch is just repeated across the grass. Going back and ALT + clicking another area before cloning again will keep it looking much more realistic and complete. So now... just finishing cloning out the unwanted objects.



7.) Now, as you can see from the little specks that i've circled... I'm a bit of a perfectionist. The sight of a random peice of paper and a couple of remnants of Gage's water balloons is enough to send me over the edge. So yes... I have to get rid of those too. hahaha! But these little specks are MUCH easier to do away with. Instead of using the Clone tool for this, I use the Spot Healing Brush. (Note... this is the same tool you would use to get rid of blemishes on one's face... LOVE this tool!!!) So let's choose our Spot Healing Brush:




9.) You want to keep this brush small (like between 20 and 50 at the most). This tool actually automatically "pulls" a nearby area and replaces your "speck" of unwanted scenery, such as dirt specks on carpet, blemishes on face, and ketchup stains on shirts!! You don't have to ALT+click a portion to paste... this does it for you. But it is meant for SMALL objects... leave the bigger objects to the Clone stamp.) Now, simply place the little circle on top of your unwanted speck and click. It's gone!!


And here is my finished photo.








Now, of course... you know me... I couldn't just leave the photo as is. So I gave it a cool crop, and added a sort of vintage-y feel to it. Then I chose my paper and elements, typed some text and now I have a beauitul photo on a beautiful layout... with NO waterhose!!! Again... here is our finished layout:





**For my layout, I used:


TAYLORMADE DESIGNS: Peaches & Regalias kit... available at oscraps!!

::TAKE ME TO THE TAYLORMADE SHOP::


I would LOVE to know what you think of this tutorial. Feel free to leave comments. If you have any questions regarding this tutorial, you can certainly email me at taylormade8330@yahoo.com.


I would also love to hear what type of tutorials YOU would like to see! While your here, drop a note in the SUGGESSTIONS box! If I don't know how to do what you are asking, I will find out! Then we can learn something new together!!!


You can also find this tutorial and all of my others in the Tutorial Section at Oscraps!

17 comments:

Christine said...

BRILLIANT! I have many photos that I'll be able to use this on! TFS!

Stacey said...

Thank you so much for this great tutorial! I have been nervous to start playing with my pictures that way - now I am ready to give it a try!

Jill said...

Wow! I'm learning so much! Thank you for taking the time to teach us your amazing photo editing tricks. Beautiful work :)

Tali said...

LOVE this tut, Amanda!

Helen Hancock said...

Thank you so much A! Have a super weekend.

Josh and Kandice said...

Great tut! Can't wait to try it out... I had no idea what the clone tool was for!!

stevie kay said...

You can subscribe to the Taylormade blog? No way! Off to do that right away!

missy said...

Excellent tutorial! This I actually have done before to rescue photos!! Great tip to make sure your selection is varied so it won't look funny! Thank you Amanda!

Carol said...

Fantastic. I have actually been using the clone tool for a while, but glad to be able to reinforce by looking at your tut that I'm doing it right. Although must admit have only just discovered the healing tool. Heck, why haven't I pressed that button before now? te he

Amy said...

Thanks! how did you get the vintage look? I really like the way it looks.

Kathy said...

Thank you --I love reading any and all tutorials as a newbie. Yours is very clear and easy to follow--thank U!

Karen said...

OMG - thank you for this! I can't wait to get PhotoShop now. I've got hundreds of photos I can use this on!
Thank you again for sharing.
I LOVE you blog and your work!
Kx

Tami R said...

As always, your tuts are the BEST! Thank you for sharing your knowledge!

pc said...

hi,
i'm very into blending right now & did some layout with your great helps here. thanks for sharing all the good tricks.

anyhow, i'm still very far behind of your toturials. will be back more often to catching up^.*

thanks & happy monday to you.

Dani said...

This is beautiful! How did you do the vintage-y feel? I'd love to see a tutorial on that process!

Shellie said...

It's never to late to learn how to "fix" all those little spots in the pics that just drive us all crazy! Thanks for showing me how!!! :)

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