Editing the stand away

Tutorial for your pictures

Today, I’ll show you how to remove doll stand or other unwanted elements from a captured image. A quick reminder: I’ll be using Photoshop for this tutorial. This is not a promotional post; other software might have similar tools to achieve the same results. Additionally, it’s essential to know that there are always multiple ways (more or less optimized) to reach your goal in image editing. This is just a peek behind the scenes of my workflow. For example, Photoshop has a function called “Content-Aware Fill” that can fill marked areas with content based on their surroundings, delivering reasonably good results automatically. However, in my opinion, manual editing still yields better results.

I work on a Windows PC, so I’ll tailor the shortcuts accordingly, but I’ll also mention the Mac equivalents. Moreover, I always use the RAW files of my images.

1: Preparing the File

  • Open your desired image in Photoshop.
  • Important: I always recommend working non-destructively. This means you can make adjustments and work on the image without altering the original layer. You can use a copy of the background layer as a safeguard if needed.
  • To do this, simply create a copy of your background layer by selecting it and pressing “Ctrl + J” (Windows) or “Cmd + J” (Mac).
  • I go one step further and create an empty layer where I’ll perform the edits. I will show you a neat trick later on why.
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2: The Clone Stamp Tool

  • In the left toolbar, you’ll find the Clone Stamp Tool (shortcut “S”).
  • When you select the Clone Stamp Tool, the top toolbar in Photoshop will adjust to your selected tool. Here you can adjust the brush size, opacity and more.
  • In my example, a soft brush works well.
  • Since I created an empty layer earlier, I need to choose “Current and Below” under “Source:”; otherwise, the tool won’t work in my case. If you prefer working directly on a copy of your image, you can stick to the default settings (but remember the trick!).
  • As the name suggests, the Clone Stamp Tool lets you “duplicate” different areas.
  • With the “Alt” key (or “Option” key on Mac) pressed, the cursor changes to a small crosshair. Now you can select the area that the tool will use as the “source” for duplication. Click on a part of the image while still holding down the “Alt” key, and that area will be selected. You can release the “Alt” key now.
  • As you move your cursor over your image, you’ll see a preview of what the cloning stamp will copy when you click.

3: Removing the Tripod

  • Now we can start “stamping” the tripod out of the image slowly. I select a suitable area near the tripod using the “Alt” key and then click with the left mouse button on the areas where the tripod is located.
  • Try to avoid too many repetitions of patterns in the image, as they are noticeable to the human eye and make the image look unnatural.
  • To counteract this, you can occasionally choose a different source point for the tool in between. This way, you can create your own unique patterns. In my example, it’s fine since we have a grassy field, which can look naturally varied.
  • Depending on where your doll is located, you may need to ensure everything is evenly distributed. It all depends on the specific image.You can also re-stamp already edited areas if necessary.
  • It’s worth zooming in and out occasionally to get a better overall view of the image.

4: Adjusting Details

  • Now comes the significant advantage of working on an empty layer: you can easily remove inadvertently “painted-over” areas.
  • You can use the Eraser Tool (shortcut “E”) to erase areas you want to undo.
  • If necessary, you can also reduce the opacity of the current layer to better identify the painted-over areas. (If you’re familiar with it, you can work with layer masks here as well. This method is even safer, and small errors can be easily “painted back.” We’ll cover this topic another time.)

5: Final Touches

  • Once you’re done, you can proceed with further processing of the image.
  • In my case, I merge all my stamping layers with a copy of the background layer.
  • Next, I move on to the next stage of retouching my image.

I’ve tried to summarize the topic concisely in this “How to remove doll stand tutorial” so that both beginners and advanced users can find something useful in this guide. – I hope it worked out that way. Photoshop or other similar software can feel overwhelming, especially for beginners. However, with time, you’ll get the hang of it and appreciate each additional function and adjustment knob.

With this tool, you can naturally edit many other things as well, such as retouching joints or removing small imperfections.

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