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Part I:: Mastering the Basics > Cloning, Patching, and Healing

Chapter 3. Cloning, Patching, and Healing

The science of cloning has been in the news lately as scientists discover ways to make reasonably exact copies of living creatures. If you think the process of inducing cells from donor organisms to develop as an embryo is complex, try cloning—copying image pixels from one place to another—in Photoshop sometime. Pixels can be more frustrating to work with than cells, and your end results will be evaluated considerably more rigorously. After all, the creators of Dolly were happy just to get a healthy sheep; photos you retouch must pass the critical review of everyone who looks at them.

Of all the techniques found in electronic retouching and compositing, cloning parts of an image is the least like any of the possible conventional image manipulation techniques. Graphics professionals working with film or prints have been able to adjust the brightness or darkness of tones, correct colors, make areas sharper or more blurry, or perform other image magic using manual techniques. Cloning, however, is not something that’s easily done outside the digital realm.


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