Using Photoshop is, metaphorically, akin to the practice of a martial art, or indeed any art, in that you can learn all the fundamentals but continually develop and realize the nuances of your actions. There’s always something new to learn, some slight adjustment with profound effect.
This neatly brings us to the Clone Stamp Tool. We all know it, but far too many don’t know how to use it to its full extent. Let us explain.
Problem & Solution 1: Rotation
Early last year I wrote a simple tutorial on the Clone Stamp Tool, and specifically how to overcome what many consider one of its shortcomings. Essentially, while being able to clone an area is good, often we’ll want to manipulate the clone sample to align with some other part of an image, the line of an eye, the wave in a hair, and leaving the Clone Stamp tool without adjustment doesn’t allow you too. But you can do it, and it’s easy. All that’s required it rotating your clone sample.
That’s it. That’s the reveal, and it’s a big one for many. When this is implemented and you input that perfect rotation degree so the angles match perfectly, well, that’s what I imagine a shot of morphine feels like when in pain – pure bliss.
It’s also easy to do: Window>Clone Source and then find the rotation input section in the pop-up dialogue, and change to your will. You can also achieve the same thing without going into the sub-menu. All you do is select your source as you normally would via holding down the alt/opt key and clicking the pointer (mouse/trackpad/tablet), and then, Shift+Alt/opt+either < or > keys to rotate left or right.
Note that some people have reported it won’t rotate via keys without the Clone Source window open, and keep in mind each press change the rotation about .2 or .3 of a degree, so holding it down is best and also be patient.
Problem & Solution 2: Change Sample Size After Selection
A video made by Unmesh Dinda of PIXIMPERFECT, and aside from the rotation tip noted above, he mentions something I didn’t know, and that’s how to change the size of the clone sample. The benefit of this should be fairly obvious, and to do it all that’s required is taking the sample, and then again holding Shift+alt/opt+ either [ or ] keys to make the selection larger or smaller. That’s it.
You can check it out in action below, and for another of my favorite Photoshop tips that pretty much no one seems to know, check out the following: