Metuchen High School: GIMP


11. Cloning

6 points


Cloning is copying a part of one photo onto a second photo. 


Here is an example. The exercises you are asked to do are below.

Here are two photos.  The one at left is of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. The one at right is of some rocks.

The photo of the rocks is resized (made smaller). Then it is cloned onto the photo of the bridge.

Here is the result of cloning the rocks onto the photo of the bridge:


To clone, select the Clone Tool from the Toolbox. Also open the Tool Options panel for the Clone Tool.

Check in the Tool Options panel, near the bottom, that Source is set to Image (not Pattern).

You clone from one image (the 'source') onto another image (the 'target') by first indicating, in the source image, the area that you'd like to copy from. To do this, position the mouse where you'd like to copy from, hold down the CTRL key, and click. Then click and drag in the target image. To choose a different area in the source image to copy from, do another CTRL - click.

The Clone Tool has several settings that affect how the tool operates. The Alignment property, at the bottom of the Tool Options panel, determines the relation between the brush position and the 'source' position (the point where the CTRL-click occurred). If the Alignment is set to 'None,' when the user paints in the 'target' image, the copying always begins from the 'source' position. Imagine, for example, making 3 separate click-and-drag motions in the 'target' image. In 'None' mode, all 3 results in the 'target' would be very similar.

Another setting in 'Alignment' is 'Aligned.' With this setting, the first click made when painting in the 'target' image sets the offset between the 'source' position and the brush position. Imagine making 3 separate click-and-drag motions in the 'target' image. In 'Aligned' mode, the 3 results would show different parts of the 'source' image.

The 'None' and 'Aligned' settings for the 'Alignment' are discussed on the Clone Tool page, linked to below.


  1. Download clone1.jpg and clone2.jpg below. Clone the flowers onto the front lawn of the house. First resize the flowers so they'll look good. There shouldn't be sharp edges in the result (because flowers lack sharp edges).

  2. Download clone3.jpg, which is an old photo of the front of MHS. Use the Clone Tool to remove the wires from the photo.

  3. Find 2 photos and clone some of one photo onto the other.




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