Clone Stamp and Patch Tool

Thia article is written regarding a question by shane in my other tutorial: photo restoration – remove reflection.

I want to explain the idea using example because maybe it’s easier to understand….

Original photo:


Assuming the red block is something that you want to hide, most of people will use clone stamp to get rid that red block. I agree with this idea but you can see the result:

clone only

I think clone stamp is a good tool but this tool have a  limitation if the pattern or texture aren’t same. You can see the result isn’t perfect because you can’t sample some areas in order to replace that red block area. Of course I can use stamp tool and produce better result than above photo – but in this tutorial I just want to explain that using clone stamp you need to understand the texture and pattern of the sample area otherwise you get bad result.

Now I will explain the other tool: patch tool. Patch tool is good for copying pattern. You can see the photo below, I use patch tool with transparent option on – and you can see the result. I can see the pattern underlying the red block – in case you want to keep the red block but you want to add the pattern on it – patch tool is good option.


If transparent option is off – you need to select all area and patch to other area. Below I give you example of  bad sampling method. First I use magic wand to select the red block, then I use patch tool and choose the sample area outside the block. Of course the result is very bad hehe…..


In order to work with patch, you need to work step by step with small increment. Doing with big area will produce bad result. But doing with small area will give gradient result like the photo below. The reason is because of the color – since the color have different too much (black white and red).


So if you have some problem either with clone or patch – my suggestion is using them together. First use clone stamp (do your best – doing this slowly, don’t worry if the result still not mixed perfectly we can correct it later). Second step is use patch tool. Patch tool function is to make the pattern and texture mixed perfectly – remember that patch tool has a problem handle color problem but you already remove color problem by clone stamp so patch tool can do its job perfectly.

For your practice, I create the other photo – see the photo below.


Assume you want to change “Believe” become “lie” – you need to hide “be” and  “ve”. With same technique you also can get rid of this problem. And the result is like this one: (for this result I don’t use clone stamp and patch tool – because I create this photo so I can handle this file whatever I want (ditactor mode ON) – LOL……  but I am sure you can use clone and patch to produce this kind of result).


I hope you get some ideas and technique to manipulate some photo – remember to practice more and more…… until you can get rid of this problem. If you have question, critique, or comment – don’t be hesitate to write it in my blog.

Anyway, I have special promo for Outdoor Pre-wedding Service from 2012 Feb, 1 st – July, 31 st . If you’re interested, just click HERE.

2 thoughts on “Clone Stamp and Patch Tool

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