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Corel PHOTO-PAINT's Clone From Saved Tool

© 1998 by Peter McCormick. All Rights Reserved.

If you use Corel PHOTO-PAINT, you've probably enjoyed using the basic Clone tool. Did you ever wonder how the other Clone tools work? I did, and was so impressed with what I found I want to share it with you. When you select the Clone tool from the Effects tools flyout shown at left, the default Clone tool is the normal Clone. After selecting the tool click on the Clone button on the Property Bar (shown at left) to reveal the four other Clone tools available on the drop-down. I have drawn a red line from the Clone button on the Property Bar to the Clone tool drop down at left (normally the drop down appears directly under the button). The icons from left to right are Clone, Impressionism Clone, Pointillism Clone and Clone From Saved and Clone From Fill. I will leave the Impressionism, Pointillism and Clone From Fill clone tools for another day. The specific tool I want to introduce you too, is the Clone From Saved tool.

OK, if I'm so excited, what does this Clone From Saved tool do? It's purpose is to restore your image to the last saved version even after you changed the image using any or all of the various tools and Effects. This is accomplished by clicking and dragging the Clone From Save tool over the image area you wish to restore. The first question you might be asking is "Duh! why not just close the file and reopen the last saved version"? The answer is, because you can create some beautiful and interesting effects by the way you control the restoration to the last saved version.

The image at left shows a Photo CD image taken from Corel's World's Best Digital Photographs. If you're using a Photo CD image you must first save the Photo CD image to a .CPT or .TIF image. If this first step is not taken, the Clone From Save tool will not work. If you're working with an image you have already saved, you don't have to re-save it before you begin using the Clone From Saved tool.

I wanted to make this image more powerful and to convey a sense of movement based on the action in the image. The background was also distracting from the image of the cowboy and horse. I began by applying a Radial Blur effect to the image. The above image shows the Radial Blur filter with the settings used for this image. The Radial Blur filter is accessed by clicking on Effects | Blur | Radial Blur. For this image I chose the Zoom Mode with the Amount level set to 60. Whether you use the Zoom or Spin modes you must place a cross hair somewhere on the image in the Original window. This cross hair determines the center of the radiating blur. I have circled the location of the Cross Hair icon in the dialog box and in the Original window of the Radial Blur dialog box. By default, the crosshair will be in the center of the image. To change the location of the cross hair simply click in the preview window, with the Cross Hair icon selected. In this image, I placed the cross hair on the cowboys belt buckle. As with all of Corel's filters, you have the option of previewing the results prior to clicking on the OK button. Note: once you place the crosshair in the original window, you can no longer pan or zoom in or out on the image.

After the effect has been applied it's time to restore portions of the image. Choose the Clone From Saved tool, I chose the Medium Soft Clone from the Clone Type drop down list shown earlier. This clone type was chosen because it allows us to restore the image gradually. This can be useful when transitioning from the blur effect to full restoration. I began by moving the Nib Size slider on the Property Bar to a setting of 51 and dragging the cursor carefully over the cowboy. I changed the nib size frequently, as the need required, when restoring the smaller areas. You can interactively increase or decrease the nib size by holding down the Shift key and dragging in or out. The effect will not be applied while the shift key is depressed.

I continued to use this technique until I had restored enough of the image that the viewer knows what the subject is but at the same time leaving sufficient blurring to give the illusion of excitement and movement. The image at left shows the finished results of the restoration along with an added touch of a vertical bar and text on the side. I decided the image need this added touch so I added the name Calgary that appeared in the original image. I did this by first creating a floating vertical bar object that I applied a Noise effect too. I then added a drop shadow to the bar. The word Calgary was added, also with a drop shadow, and the two objects were placed on the left side of the image.

I was so pleased with the first project that I decided to try one more. I began with another image but this time taken from the CorelDRAW 8's #3 CD. If you want to practice using this same file Click on File | Open and change to the drive where your CD is located. After you have accessed the CD you can locate the file by clicking on Photos | Petsii | 771015.WI. The original is shown at right.

I applied a radial blur to this image as well but this time I used the Spin mode with an Amount setting of 25.

I used the Light Eraser instead of the Med. Soft Clone brush in the Brush Type drop down. This gave me even greater control when restoring the whiskers on the kitten. The result is shown at left.

If you haven't discovered this amazing tool called Clone From Saved you are missing out on the ability to create some very unique and powerful images. Don't limit yourself to the Medium Soft Clone type when restoring your image. Get adventurous and try some of the other clone types in the drop down list. You may end up with a happy accident.

Photo-Paint 6 Note:

If you're using Version 6 you will find the Clone From Saved tool in the Tool Settings roll-up when the Clone tool is selected from the bottom of the Toolbox. It's also in the Tool Settings roll-up in version 7 but I prefer using the drop down and controls on the Property Bar as shown earlier.

Photo-Paint 6 & 7 Advisory:

Before you begin using the Clone From Saved tool, or any other tool, you need to check the setting in the Tools | Options dialog box at left. Click the General tab and look at the Cursor Type section. If you're working in Version 6 the default setting will be Tool. Click on the down arrow of the Cursor Type list box and choose Shape. If you're working in version 7 you can choose Tool from the cursor type list box but be sure to put a check mark in the Shape cursor for brush tools check box. I have circled the Cursor Type area in white with a line pointing to the shape cursor on the cowboys hat also in shown at left. I suggest changing the cursor type so you are not presented with the Tool cursor (shown mid-way up on the white line) when you're cloning. If you use the Tool cursor you can't tell how large an area you are cloning. When you're used to the Shape cursor, the circle shape of the nib changes diameter as you increase or decrease its size thereby giving you full control over the area you are cloning. Once the cursor is set to display the Circle nib you can begin cloning.

Note: You can not interactively change the nib size by holding down the Shift key in versions 6 or 7.

Graphics Unleashed
Last Updated October 14, 1998.

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