Clone Stamp Only Exercises for Class

I teach a very basic Intro to Graphic Design course using the Adobe Suite. In the section on photo retouching we talk about the clone stamp, healing brush, spot heal, and content-aware fill tools. In the past I’ve talked about the strengths and weaknesses of each one, but the problem I’m running into is that the spot heal and content-aware tools have gotten too good–good enough that I’m having trouble creating exercises that force my students to use the other, more manual tools.

Any suggestions? Has anyone done a project recently where only the clone stamp would do the job? Or should I give up and just accept that these are the modern tools and that knowing them is probably enough for an intro class? Extra points for an exercise that lets me sidestep the ethical considerations of photo retouching (we talk about it, just not at this time).



It’s good to look at the major differences between these two tools. I’ve also made an edit here to include the fact that the healing tool can basically behave the same as the clone stamp if it is set to replace in the tool options.

Healing tool = takes texture of sample and pulls colours from destination.

Clone stamp/Healing tool with replace mode selected = direct clone

While the healing tool is great for blemishes on skin or removing dust, etc… As soon as you want to remove something next to an edge, it falls on its face. When you sample from or to areas with high contrast or edges, the healing tool smudges like crazy. You can sample another area where the edge is the same but you don’t always have this luxury. This is when I find it’s time to switch over to the clone tool and then just heal the clone tool’s edges after. Alternatively, you can carefully create a selection box that excludes the edge and then use the healing brush which will stop it from pulling the edge in.

If you want to be really tricky then get them to figure out how to remove something from a textured object without removing the texture. Or get them to remove text from a fabric where it’s creased or folded…

Anyway… Here’s one I did earlier:

enter image description here

Never mind all your beautiful models!

This required a mixture of healing and cloning as well as copying chunks of pipe to paste over the really bad parts and using various brightness, paint and cloning tools to blend them in.

One key thing you need to teach them is how to make all the touching up look natural. Nothing ruins touch-up work like making it blindingly obvious that it’s been done!

Source : Link , Question Author : grovberg , Answer Author : marcusdoesstuff

Leave a Comment