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Pixelmator tutorial: Use the Clone Stamp tool to fix images

Harness the power of Pixelmator to remove blemishes and unwanted aspects of a photo

Before… and after

There are all kinds of ways to fix photos, and Pixelmator puts all the tools you need right at your fingertips. This month we’re exploring the Clone Stamp tool, which lets you sample one area of your image and stamp it onto another area. When you’re working on removing blemishes, people or other objects from a photo with complex colours or patterns, simple spot healing tools won’t grasp the nature of the scene around the blemish you’re trying to remove, resulting in a messy image. This is where the Clone Stamp tool excels.

Used well, the tool can be an incredibly powerful choice that can help you erase whole sections of an image without anything looking out of place. And, when combined with the other editing tools in Pixelmator, the app becomes a one-stop shop for every photo fix you need to make. Oh, and…

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step11: Clone Stamp

First of all, select the Clone Stamp tool from the main Tools menu. If you don’t see this menu you can access it from the View menu bar option.

step22: Duplicate layer

Before you start editing your shot, duplicate your layer. In the Layers menu hold the Alt key and drag to duplicate. Uncheck the box next to the new layer.

step33: Select brush

Now you need to select a brush for applying your stamp. You can choose from brush collections using the cog on the right, then select a brush above.

step44: Change brush settings

Next, you can customise your brush. It’s best to go for one of the default brushes, ensuring Spacing is on a low setting and the Jitter sliders are at zero.

step55: Hard or soft?

You can also alter brush hardness. For blending purposes it’s usually better to opt for a Hardness setting close to zero when using Clone Stamp.

step66: Sample an area

Now you can go to work. To sample an area,
hold the Alt key and click. Your cursor will change depending on whether you’re stamping or cloning.

step77: Start stamping

Click to stamp the area you’ve just sampled over the current selection. You can click and drag to start painting onto the image, with the sample following.

step88: Options

You can change settings, with choices including a sample of all layers and an option that makes the sample stay where it is when stamping.

step99: Comparing

To compare with the original shot, go back to your duplicated layer and check the box again. Use the Opacity control to see what’s changed.

Click Image to Enlarge: