thinking outside the box

Photo Editing - a 'real-world' example


Removing unwanted items

There are two main ways to remove unwanted items from your picture, the Clone Tool and the Photo Heal Tool.  For the simpler cases, such as removing an isolated person from the image, the automatic Heal Tool can work very well, as in this example. Using the automatic Healing Tool, just paint over the man, the program calculates what it thinks should be the right background. In this case with near perfect results. Just select the Heal Tool  and paint over the area you want to erase. The program automatically fills a background calculated from the surrounding background of the erased area.  For larger areas, or more complex subject matter, it’s probably better to use the Clone Tool to manually copy parts of the image over other parts to remove unwanted items, and that’s what I’ve done to remove the cars and some of the people. See below. The two isolated people to the right of the car were removed using the Heal Tool, just painting over them, as described above, to automatically remove them. The program does a very good job as you can see in the next image. Switching into the Clone Tool  I’ve drawn around the red car and the people that I want to remove. The Clone Tool shows the dotted outlines of all cloned areas and also the areas where the Heal brush has been used, so you can see where the two people were erased previously. The Clone Tool will copy (clone) any part of the image into the drawn area. To set the source point you just drag to any part of the image. Here I show a white arrow that indicates the source point. The cyan outline shows the area being replaced. Although this has basically worked, it’s still not perfect, and there are alignment problems with the pavement edge caused by the fact that the source area is further away and thus smaller. But Clone and Heal patches are just overlaid patches, (basically just cloned pieces of the photo overlaid inside a group) and so you Can select and edit them.  If you hold the Ctrl key and click on a patch it becomes selected ‘inside’ the photo, and you can now manipulate it using the usual tools, such as the Selector and Fill Tools.  So I have enlarged and re-positioned the cloned part so that it’s the right scale and it fits better, as you can see here. All that remains is to tidy up various bits which I’ve done using the same techniques, with the Heal Tool and Clone Tool to touch up all the remaining parts. Xara’s unique non-destructive nature maintains the high quality of your original photo regardless of how many times you open-edit-save it- which explains why many people use Xara Photo and Graphic Designer or Designer Pro as their primary, general purpose image editor. If you are not already one of them, download Xara Photo & Graphic Designer or Xara Designer Pro and try it now!   This is the fifth in a series of guides to photo editing in Xara. 1. Beginner’s Guide to Photo Editing in Xara  The basics of opening photos, zooming, sizing photos, and saving. 2. Summary of the Photo Tools  A summary of the tools on the Photo Tool fly-out menu. 3. Photo Enhance options  An overview of the ‘work-horse’ range of Enhance options. 4. Changing colors in photos  How to select and enhance or adjust specific colors. 5. A real-world example  This tutorial. In addition there are more detailed guides covering other photo tools: The Shadow and Highlight controls Intelligent Photo Rescaling and Zooming Erasing Backgrounds and Combining Photos Brightness Levels and Color Balance Panoramic Photos For more tutorials by Xara and third parties, check out our Resource index, which offers a searchable and browsable list of movies and tutorials created  by Xara and third parties.