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07 Feb 2006

Tutorial - How To Clone People Using Photoshop

A couple years back I figured out a way to clone people in a picture real quick and easy like. Here’s an example of one I’m most proud of. I had the chance to create another “cloned-people picture” this past weekend:

While I was going through the process of making this one, I decided I would document all the steps it takes. Now anyone with a tripod and basic Photoshop skills can make one of their own.

Step 01 - Get a Tripod

If you want to create less work for yourself when you get to Photoshop, finding something to keep the camera as steady as possible while you’re taking the pics is essential.

Step 02 - Make Sure You Have This Thing

I have no idea what it’s called, but It’s called a quick release plate and it screws into the bottom of most cameras to lock into the tripod.

Step 03 - Find a Scene

An open outdoor space is ideal, but a room with lots of light will do fine.

Step 04 - Find a Model

A good-looking friend will suffice. Someone who will trust you enough to order them around for a bit. This is Tucker.

Step 05 - Take the Pics

Tell your model to move to different spots within the scene. Take a picture whenever he/she is settled in a good spot. You want a little overlap here & there, but not so much that the Photoshop work becomes too overwhelming. Unless you like that sort of thing.

Step 06 - Computer Time

Transfer the pics to your computer and open them all in Photoshop. Close the pics that aren’t going to work. Narrow it down to a manageable amount of shots.

Step 07 - One Document / Many Layers

Stack them on top of each other as layers. If you don’t understand layers, this tutorial might not be for you.

Step 08 - Use the Selector

And cut out each clone quick and rough.

Step 09 - Clean Individual Clones

Use the eraser in airbrush mode. Turn down the hardness on that bad boy.

Step 10 - Erase

See how easy! There’s no need to cut the clone out exactly, because if you kept the camera steady, it’ll match up with the background.

Step 11 - Adjust Color

If needed — make sure the color layers match each other. Colors may have changed if the sun went behind a cloud in the process of taking photos.

Step 12 - Check Yourself

With your bottom layer (the empty scene) turned off, you should have something that looks like this.

Step 13 - Flatten & Unsharp

Save your work as a .psd file before you flatten. I like to make the image a bit more crisp at this point by using Unsharp Mask. Also, play with the levels and such to enhance the image as you see fit.

Step 14 - Resize

If you have mini-errors here and there, they may go away when you compress the image down in size. And then you’re done. I hope you found this tutorial useful. If you make one yourself, I’d love to see it.

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