Straighten, Crop & Clone

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Straighten, Crop & Clone

Post  Sheilsoft on Sat Nov 05, 2011 1:22 pm

Folks,

The use of Paint Shop Pro's Straighten, Crop & Clone tools was the main topic of discussion at the November 2011 club meeting.
See below for a short overview of the basics...


The Straighten tool is fairly self-explanatory as a means to straighten out horizons or a dominant vertical/horizontal feature in your composition, which, for whatever reason, looks 'off alignment' on the original image. It's rare that we can consistently take shots where horizontals/verticals are true, so this tool is very useful and should be considered the first adjustment to make if necessary.



Select the Straighten tool from the left-hand toolbar and a line will appear over your image. Drag each end of the line to locate and stretch the line over the squint horizontal or vertical you want corrected. Once it is in place (you may want to zoom in to get accurate placement) simply click on the 'Apply' (Tick) button on the tool's top menubar. As with all PSP tools, if you are not happy with the result, click on the 'Undo' button, and try again.



The Crop tool is an extremely important feature, and allows the photographer to have a second chance to tweak his/her composition. What ensures a 'good' photograph is it's composition. How the main subject is placed within the shot, or how much (or little) space is included in the image. As we've discussed earlier, there are some rules of composition which may help, but by no means ensure a pleasing composition, such as the Rule of Thirds. Ideally when we come to take our shots, we would bear in mind subject placement, and try to visualize shots with that in mind. This however is not always remembered or possible in our small window of opportunity. So, if nothing else, we should try to allow some leaway in our shot (perhaps a little more surrounding space), so that when we get home, we have the luxury of unlimited time to load our image into our graphics app, and use the crop tool to investigate various different crop options to achieve our final composition.



Select the Crop tool from the left-hand toolbar and a selection/crop box will appear over your image. There are 'handles' at each corner and edge of this box, allowing you to resize and stretch the box to the desired shape and size. Click on the 'Apply' (Tick) button on the attached menubar and the image will be cropped. Again, the 'Undo' button can be used until satisfied with the result.



Finally, the Clone tool. Like other tools in PSP, when you select the tool from the left-hand toolbar, a top menu appears (under the main menu) displaying all the various options & settings for that particular tool. For the Clone tool I would suggest leaving everything as default 'apart' from the Hardness setting, which should be reduced to 0 (zero). This helps with blending in the edges of the cloned area. The only other setting you adjust is the Size one which you alter depending on the area you are working on. The clone tool is used to remove any distracting elements from your image, whether it be a cigarette end in the foreground, or a spot on someone's face. Overuse of the clone tool can become quite noticeable, and will take some effort and technique to make 'invisible' to the viewer, so caution is advised.



You clone by Right-clicking on your mouse to select the area you are picking from (this will display a circle with a cross to show the area you are sampling from). Then Hold/Left-click (paint) over the area you want to clone over. It takes a bit of time to get used to, and get realistic results, but once you get the hang of it, it's a very useful tool. If there are large areas or difficult shading, it's sometimes best to pick from various locations around the target area & vary the brush size. The trick is to look for areas of similar hue/brightness/texture. The most difficult to master is skin and clear skies. Skin requires the multi-location/size technique, and with skies you have to pick from either side of the target area to ensure exact brightness.



You can learn more about these tools in the Learning Center (press F10) or online.



To practice with the clone tool I have uploaded a couple of images...
You can download them to your computer by right-clicking the links below and selecting 'Save Target As...' or 'Save Link As...' depending on your browser.

Bridge
http://i46.servimg.com/u/f46/11/46/57/58/bridge10.jpg
Try to remove all the red cables

Boy
http://i46.servimg.com/u/f46/11/46/57/58/boy10.jpg
Try to remove the boy on the grass completely from the image

Resize and post your efforts in the Darkroom Gallery... Good luck!


Rgds,
Howard Very Happy

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Sheilsoft

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boy

Post  J C on Mon Nov 07, 2011 3:28 pm

Hi
Just out of curiosity was this picture taken at Grain a few years ago
have tried pm but not working
John
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Re: Straighten, Crop & Clone

Post  Sheilsoft on Mon Nov 07, 2011 3:36 pm

John,

No, it was a few years ago at the Corstorphine summer fair, Edinburgh.

Will try PM to you.

Rgds,
Howard Very Happy

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