Clone Source Workflow


Hello all,

For my first post, I wanted to to explore the changes in clone source workflow in Painter 12.

I had the priviledge of working on cloning features for Painter 12. Throughout this process, I learned great deal about clone source and cloning features in Painter. I also became inspired by skilled Painter artists who use these features. Many of these great painters make their knowledge and resources available online. I would invite you to seek them out if you are looking to learn more about all that you can do with these features in Painter.

In peace,



First, let's take a look at Painter 11's clone source workflow...

For many users, this involved opening two documents. For the purpose of this post, a document refers to any image opened in Painter. The first document served as the canvas whereas the second document served as the clone source. You would set the clone source by activating the first document (canvas), clicking File menu > Clone Source, and then selecting the second document (clone source).

This allowed you to clone the second document into the first. As you painted on the canvas, crosshairs would appear on the second document (clone source) to show you precisely which area of the document you were sourcing.

Now, let's take a look at Painter 12's clone source workflow...

In Painter 12, we opted to take a first step to enhance the RIF document format to support embedded clone sources. In the Painter 11's clone source workflow (described above), you needed to open both the canvas and source documents as separate documents. Whereas in Painter 12, we introduced the concept of *embedding clone sources as part of the document*. As a result, the familiar File menu > Clone Source option was replaced with the Clone Source panel (Window menu > Clone Source).

The Clone Source panel is intended to give users full disclosure on what cloning behaviour is currently taking place.

Let's take a closer look at the panel...


Current Pattern: Default for every document in Painter. If you do nothing but pick a clone brush and start painting, the clone source will be the currently selected pattern in the application.

Offset Sampling: Enabled by setting "source" on a document (more on this later). This option cannot be enabled explicitly through the clone source panel.

Image: Enabled whenever you add a clone source image to the current document. After which you can opt to clone from the currently selected clone source image or opt to clone source from "Current Pattern" via the clone source panel.



Tracing Paper: Toggle tracing paper on an off and use the slide to set the transparency level on the document to expose the clone source underneath.


Clone Source List: Shows a list of the clone sources that are currently available in the document.

Open Source Image: Allows you to open a clone source image from a file or add the currently open image as a clone source.

Delete Source: Removes the clone source image from the document.

So, how do I replicate Painter 11 workflow in Painter 12?

As of the lastest release, you have two alternatives:

1. You can opt to add your second document as a clone source via the Clone Source panel by clicking the Open Source Image button. Alternatively, this is done automatically for you if you choose Quick Clone (File menu > Quick Clone) or Clone (File menu > Clone). Doing this creates a snapshot of your second document that you can clone from directly. If you lower the tracing paper transparency, you can see the clone through your canvas.

2. You can clone by using Offset Sampling. To perform Offset Sampling, you need to hold down Option (Mac) or Alt (Windows), and then click on the second document to set the offset sampling source. The next step is to set the destination by holding down Shift + Option (Mac) or Shift + Alt (Windows), and then clicking on the canvas to set the destination. At this point, you can clone from the second document to your canvas. You will see crosshairs on the second document to show you which area you're cloning from. It's important to note that the source can become "unset" if you make changes to your brush variant while performing offset sampling. If this happens, you need to reset the source before you can continue. This is where the Clone Source panel comes in handy because it shows you when Offset Sampling is enabled or disabled.



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