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Clone Stamp State of the Art


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Just started using Paint.Net and it's a pleasure. I have recently used the program to clone out foreground objects against a sky so that I can merge two exposures of the same scene. (HDR software won't work because the foreground includes trees moving in the breeze.)

The method I used--thanks to a Paint.Net tutorial I found--was to start with the image as a background layer, duplicate and then blur the image (the blur layer), and then create a transparent paint layer. I fix the anchor of the clone stamp tool on a portion of the sky in the blur layer then (after making the blur layer invisible) I paint on the transparent paint layer; when I get to and then just past the edges of what I'm eliminating, I progressively reduce the opacity of the blur (i.e., the clone-stamp-anchor) layer and paint the translucent sky onto the paint layer.

The result is pretty good, better than I was able to achieve using Akvis Multipbrush (though I didn't explore too deeply there after deciding not to buy it) and the Paint.net method is just as easy and provides greater flexibility. Still there is a visible edge and a difference in the texture of the cloned sky. In addition to asking for any general advice anyone might have, I have three specific questions:

1. Is there a way to anchor the clone stamp tool so that the source of the paint doesn't move with the brush?

2. Is there a way (and I know this has been asked before but not sure of the state of the art here) to get the edge to replicate the edge of a paintbrush where not all of the brush touches the paper at the same time so that there is no distinct edge as the brush moves? (Is this called "feathering," I'm not sure?)

3. Related to the last question, I downloaded the Custom Brushes Mini plugin and the plug-in loaded but the menu of brushes is empty and I don't know how to populate it. Does anyone know how to download brushes for this plugin?

Thanks in advance.

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CBM may help with Q1. To install brushes, click the add brush button in the toolbar.

Thanks. Not sure who or what "CBM" is. Could you clarify?

CustomBrushesMini

Also, when I press "add brush" I'm prompted to select a file from my own "My Pictures" folder, which contains no brushes.

Select my computer from the left and browse for the folder you have brushes in.

KaHuc.png
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CBM may help with Q1. To install brushes, click the add brush button in the toolbar.

Thanks. Not sure who or what "CBM" is. Could you clarify?

CustomBrushesMini

Also, when I press "add brush" I'm prompted to select a file from my own "My Pictures" folder, which contains no brushes.

Select my computer from the left and browse for the folder you have brushes in.

Thanks again, but as I said in my original post I have installed Custom Brushes Mini but I can't use it because I can't find any brushes. This also explains why I can't browse for the folder I have brushes in because, as far as I know, I don't have any brushes, and that's why I posted the question. Where do I find or get the brushes? I'm particularly curious given your suggestion that if I can find the brushes it will or may solve my hard edge problem.

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