December 31, 2006

Cloning & healing improvements in CS3

Over on PhotoshopNews.com, Martin Evening provides a nice overview of the Photoshop CS3 beta’s new Clone Source palette.  In a nutshell, you can now clone and heal more precisely by using a translucent overlay of your source pixels–either temporarily (hold down Opt/Alt+Shift after setting your source) or persistently (via the "Show Overlay" option on the palette).  Building on what Martin wrote, here are some useful keyboard shortcuts:

  • Opt/Alt + Shift temporarily shows the clone overlay, plus it lets you drag it around and ‘tack’ it down at the desired location.
  • Opt/Alt + Shift + the arrow keys nudges the overlay up, down and side to side.
  • Opt/Alt + Shift + [ or ] rotate the source
  • Opt/Alt + Shift + < or > scale the source

Also, to adjust rotation, position, or scale, you can also use "scrubby sliders": hover over the label on each field (H, W, etc.), then drag left or right.   As with all scrubby sliders, holding Opt/Alt while dragging will make the values change 10X slower, and holding Shift will make them change 10X faster.

On a related note, retouchers will be happy to learn that it’s now possible to have cloning/healing ignore adjustment layers.  Let’s say in CS2 you had an image on the background layer, then added a layer above it to do some cloning (so as not to affect the original pixels), and above that you put a Hue/Saturation layer.  If you used the clone tool set to sample all layers & didn’t turn off the Hue/Sat layer, the results would be screwy, as Hue/Sat would be double-applied.  Now via a couple of new options (screenshot), you can elect to make cloning/healing ignore adjustment layers, and/or ignore all layers above the current one.  It’s a really tweaky little change, but it’s one that’s been requested for ages.

Posted by John Nack at 11:14 AM on December 31, 2006
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