How to use the Clone Stamp tool in Photoshop

Hello and welcome all to lesson 2 of our series of Photoshop basics.Today I`ll speak you about the Clone Stamp tool and I`ll show you what you can do with it.

Clone stamp Tool is used,as it`s name shows,to clone parts of the images,in almost all the cases to cover unwanted parts of the image.

The tool has some options in the options bar like:Brush,Mode,Opacity,Flow,Aligned and Sample.

  • Brush is for setting the desired brush with the desired master diameter for cloning.
  • Mode is for setting the blending mode of the new image.
  • Opacity and Flow are for setting the opacity and the flow for the new image.
  • Aligned:If this option is selected, the new cloned image will be drawn continuously even if you release the mouse button while drawing. If it is deselected, the clone will begin drawing from the sampling point each time you release the mouse and resume painting.
  • Sample gives the possibility to choose which layers will be submitted to cloning.
  • Using this tool,you can copy a portion of an image and reapply it repeatedly to cover what you want.

    The entire process involves setting a sampling point in the image which will be used as a reference to create a new cloned area.In fact,the tool translate the image from the reference point to the area you want to cover.

    The algorithm:

    Before giving you some examples of using the tool,I`ll present you the algorithm of use of Clone Stamp tool:

  • First step:Set the sampling point in the image,pressing Alt+click.This will be used as the reference point for cloning.The cursor will change with a target.
  • Second step:Click and drag your mouse where you want to clone the image. As you draw, a cross will appear on the original image as you are revealing the cloned image.
  • Next,I`ll show you 2 examples of using the tool.First one is multiplying an object and second is retouching a human face.

    First example:Multiplying an object

    First step is to download this lens photo or use your image if you have one.

    Open the image in Photoshop.

    Select the Clone stamp tool from the tools box or pressing the “S” key from the keyboard.Now apply the first step of the algorithm,by pressing Alt+Click inside the lens image.

    Start cloning the image by clicking and dragging in the right side of the old image.You`ll observe how the new image is revealed.For a quick finish,you may use a brush with a big master diameter(mine was 89px).

    Continue the process until you get the entire image cloned.

    Second example:Retouching a human face:

    Next we`re going to retouch a human face,hiding some undesired spots from the face.To do this,download this girl picture and load it into Photoshop.

    You may observe that there are some freckles on her face.We`ll try to make them disappear.

    Let`s begin with the top left area.Set the sampling point by pressing Alt+Click,like in the next image.Then,click where the problem is.You`ll see that the area will be hided by the new area situated where the sampling point was.

    Now click where is the problem:

    Continue the same process for the rest of the face.I suggest you to decrease a little bit the Flow,to merge better the new cloned point with the rest of the image.I used a Flow of 70%.


    To show you how powerful is this tool,I`ve made a photo retouching of the girl face,using only the Clone Stamp Tool. This is how the basic image looked,before the Clone Stamp Tool process.

    Before using the Clone Stamp tool:

    …and this is how my image looks after playing a little bit with the Clone Stamp tool.I don`t lie,trust me,I used only the Clone Stamp tool.

    After using the tool:

    I hope you`ll enjoy the tutorial and learn something from it.If you have any suggestions for the next lessons,please leave me a comment. See you next time for Lesson 3.Bye bye!


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    Madalin Tudose

    A web developer with a crush on SEO. Having my skin in the game of website development and digital marketing for more than 10 years already, you might consider me an expert. At least this is what people call me. Honestly, I HATE that term. I prefer to describe myself as a person who takes action and risks. I test every hypothesis, document every step of the process, and implement what works.

    Join the discussion

    1. Melissa Willeon on June 10, 2009 at 5:10 am

      Here is the senario, we have a babies face, and he is dribbling and it’s dribbling all over a stripped shirt. How can we fix this. Its a bit messy!

      1. Madalin Tudose on June 10, 2009 at 7:01 am

        Hello Melissa…for cleaning the “mess”,try to copy a part from a clean area from the baby`s t-shirt and then paste it over the messy area.You may do this with the pen tool.Then,with the clone stamp tool,merge the copy part with the entire t-shirt.
        If you want to,send me the photo and I`ll try my best to resolve your problem.
        Thank you!

        (You may upload the photo to and give me a comment with the link!)

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