Using the Clone Tool- Photoshop

Ever see an imperfection you want to get rid of in a picture, or is there something you want to take out of the picture?  The clone tool in Photoshop is one of the best tools to make a photo look the way you want it to.

Let’s start with a picture of the St. John’s River and the Main Street Bridge.  I want to get rid of the boat that is on the left side of the bridge.  (Get Picture to follow along)

Locate the Clone Tool in the Tools window (it looks like a rubber stamp).

 

Before you start using the Clone Tool, you want to make sure you have the right brush size. I chose a 30px 0% hardness brush. The size will depend on the detail and the size of your picture.

Now its time to use the Clone Tool.  Chose a spot right above the boat, so that the Clone Tool will pick up that area that looks the most like the area surrounding the boat.  Press and hold the Alt key and left click your mouse, then release both.  This will tell the Clone Tool where to clone from.  Now position the Clone Tool over the boat and start dragging the Clone Tool over the boat.

Drag the Clone Tool over the entire area of the boat.  It’s gone!  Remember this is a beginner tutorial so, depending on your picture, this may take a smaller brush and smaller strokes. You may also chose to sample from a different area of the picture as well.

Below is the pictured cleaned up, I took out the window glare with the Clone Tool.

That’s it!  Play with the Clone Tool on different pictures!  The possibilities are endless!

Intro to Photoshop Layer Styles

This is a very basic intro to layer styles.

What are Layer Styles?  Simply put, it is a combination of layer effects such as Drop Shadow, Bevel, or stroke.

There are so many different combinations of layer styles, and I only go over a few in this tutorial.  Feel free to play around with each effect as we go to get your own results.

Here is where we start, a plain background with simple text.  Now, let’s get into the fun stuff!

First, we want to give it some depth by putting a drop shadow on the text.  Double click the text layer on the bottom right of your Photoshop screen and the layer style box with pop up.  Click on Drop Shadow, and play with the settings until you get the result you want.  Below are the settings we chose.

Next, we will put a Bevel and Emboss on the text layer.  We chose a Pillow Emboss and softened the edges, but chose the style you like the most!

Next, we want to change the color of the text, but we want to do it from the layer styles dialog box.  We chose the same color as the background, you will see why as the tutorial goes along.

 

Next, to make the letters pop more, we want to put a stroke on it (or color outline).  We chose a color that really made the text pop off the background, but chose your favorite!

Now that the text layer styles are completed, let’s play with the background a bit.  We chose some brushes to make the background shapes.  If you want to do the same, make sure to put the different brushes and colors into their own layers.  If you do not, you will not be able to put layer styles on them. For the yellow boxes, we wanted them to not be a bold, so in the Blending Options: Custom, we set the Opacity to 76%.    (You can find the drop shadow box brushes here to download and use for the tutorial!  To install the brushes, please refer to our tutorial on Installing and Using Photoshop Brushes!)

We wanted more!  We put an inner shadow on the green boxes.  (We had also put an Outer Glow on the purple boxes prior. Try it on your own!)

To make the orange boxes stand out more, we put a Bevel and Emboss on them and played with the settings until we got the desired effect.

That’s it!  How easy!  Here is our finished product!

Send us a link to your finished product in the comment box below!

Installing and Using Brushes in Photoshop

Here is a simple tutorial to show you how to install and use brushes in Photoshop.  There are so many great free brushes that you can download to amplify your designs!

I found some great cloud brushes from QBrushes, so I will use those in this Tutorial.

First thing you want to do is download the brushes from the website:

Make sure to click the “Open” option, so that you can see the contents of the folder you are downloading. Then click “Ok”.

The folder will open and you will be able to click on the item(s) and right click to copy.

Once you have the brushes copied, go to your “Start” button and right click to find “Explore”.  Scroll down and click on “Program Files” then click “Adobe”.  Find the Photoshop folder of the version you are currently using (i.e Adobe Photoshop CS5) and open it.  Click “Presets” then “Brushes” and paste the cloud brushes you copied earlier into that folder.

To use your Photoshop brushes: Open Photoshop, click the brush icon in your Tools bar on the left side of your screen.  At the top of your Photoshop screen, you will see a drop down menu.  Click the drop down menu, and in the drop down box, click the right arrow (on the top right side of the box) to see the full list of brushes.  Click on the name of the brushes you downloaded, and they are ready to use!

Here are the Photoshop brushes in action!

Congrats!  You now know how to install and use Photoshop brushes!