Misc. Resources

Specified Mini-Lesson

GIMP#21 Clone Away: Copy background elements more naturally with Perspective Clone tool (Gimp 2.8)

The goal in this demo is to isolate a figure not on a clean background or color, but on a background that looks naturally like the rest of the background.

Gimp 2.8 has both a Clone tool and a Perspective Clone tool. While the Clone tool copies from the selected part of the image (which may be this or another image, as I showed in my earlier Clone Tool tutorial)., the Perspective Clone copies with a shift in perspective size. This is useful for cloning an object at a different size, but also for cloning background elements that look correct at a different distance, or simply look different enough that it is not obvious you have cloned part of the image. It is this latter use that I demonstrate here.

While I mention in passing the importance of copying the layer first and working on the top layer, I want to be sure to emphasize that step. Cloning is a naturally destructive step in that it overwrites whatever is under it. This means that if I slip and clone over something I wanted, my only choice is to Undo and try again. If I have kept my mouse down the entire time, that means losing all of what I have carefully done.

One solution is to frequently stop and start, but if the mistake I made was early on, I still have to undo multiple steps. A better approach is to keep a layer as the original under the current layer. That way, if I make a mistake or want to paint back in something, I just add a layer mask (all white) on the top layer with all the cloned content, and then paint with black where I want the original to reappear. If I paint too much and part of the unwanted elements reappears, I can switch to white and paint back in the parts from the clone layer.

Rough transcript (and text of closed captions):

This is Ben Langhinrichs of Genii Software with a Mini-Lesson called "Clone Away". We're going to copy some of the background over parts we want to get rid of. In this case, we're going to try to get rid of that bus. We're going to use the Perspective Clone tool to get a more natural look.

The first thing we are going to do before we use the tool is we are going to copy that layer, just to make sure we can get back to it if we need to. Now we go to Perspective Clone, and first we are going to modify the perspective.

I'm going to follow the line of that pavement so that it give a sense of how it's receding into the distance. We're going to move it up here just to change the look a little bit so it doesn't look like it's copied. It always look bad when the clone looks too much alike in different parts of the image.

Then I'm going to pick a brush, a soft brush, of sort of the right size and CTRL click where I want to it to copy from. Then I go up. I can get pretty close to her head, because I can always paint it back in if I need to from the other layer.

Let's just get rid of that bus and extend the sidewalk. Clean away the elements. It's a soft brush so we can try to get an edge that looks natural.

And there we have it. Thank you very much.

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