Does dt have a "clone" tool similar to the GiMP's?

Hi Folks,

I shot a model posing to show off a dress. She wore grey shorts under the skirt of the dress, which was red with white spots on. It should not have shown so I now have a picture which shows a patch of grey where only her leg should have been. I need to clone the shorts out.

I vaguely remember doing something similar in darktable a while ago but now I can’t remember how nor can I find the relevant section or module in the manual to do the job.

I could do it in the GIMP but that wouldn’t show in the DT history, which I’d prefer to have in case of future editing from raw.



1 Like

Grateful tThanks @paolod that’s very helpful and so quick too!

I’ve found that the retouch module does not work well when there are hard edges around what you want to clone out.

I’d love to see how you do with it.

@paperdigits I think I’ve had similar issues with the heal mode but the clone mode has worked without issues in those situations.

@flannelhead thanks, I’m almost always using the heal brush, I’ll check out the clone though.

@paolod @paperdigits @flannelhead
Thanks for all contributions to date. I’ve tried a couple of tools, i.e. heal and clone but can’t find a way to control where to put that cross as i need it with the clone tool, i.e. in the area I wish to clone from. The heal tool really does screw the image up with artefacts though.

Surely neither is insurmountable but I’ve been really pushed for time. So I’ll give it another go, allowing sufficient time, possibly at the weekend, and report back.

The fill and blur tools are not what’s wanted for this job.

You might use a mixed workflow with gimp: first do the initial steps that need raw data. Then export the image as 32bit float exr and then do the clone job in gimp. Reimport in darktable and then do the remaining steps.

BTW: you can combine the retouch clone tool with drawn or parametric masks which allows to restrict the effect independent of the used tool.

This is all explained in the user manual.

@MStraeten @elstoc Thanks to both. I tried placing the cross with shift+click but it was at best erratic. It either started the shaping from there instead of allowing me to move onto the area to be cloned to or only allowed me to drop it whilst the cursor was over an inappropriate part of the image, so simply cloning to the wrong place.

Anyway, no time now and I doubt in the next 24 hours either. But I’m grateful for the input and will try all your suggestions as and when I do have the time to think and act properly instead of in a rush.

You can change the position after you’ve finished placing the shape as well.

@elstoc Interesting. Thanks for that. It should prove to be very useful.

Thanks for all the input, folks, it’s been tremendously helpful. The shorts problem reported above has now been fixed using the clone tool on more than one image and I’m consistently placing the cross in the right place. I’ve also used the fill tool successfully then cloned the new background colour into gaps between, for instance, bent arms and bodies.

What would be very useful now is to understand where the retouch tool fits in the pixel pipeline. I’ve been using it quite late. But recently I read that it should go before the rotate and perspective module.

This sounds tremendously powerful, MartinSt, but how is it done? Draw the mask first then switch to the retouch module?

Is this the correct place to ask these questions or should they be brought up as separate topics?

Once I can feel I have a handle on all this it is my intention to try and write it up in intelligible language so other people can use it. It is, in fact, all well documented but not in my context for use, so I’m having to jump about and try to glue the various pieces together in my mind. Not easy, I can assure you! :wink:

Where did you read this? The default module order should be used unless you have a good reason to change it. By default retouch is after rotate and perspective.

They’re in two separate sections, so are the sections in pipeline order? I’m trying to plough through relevant sections of the manual but it is a huge body of work. Can’t be done overnight, I’d respectfully suggest. It is going to take me more time to get a full handle on all of what I need to know.

You should have a section listing (only) the active modules at the left of the modules block (with the “power” icon, circle with half vertical bar). There (as in the other sections) the modules are all in pipeline order.

The different sections are not in any particular order, as they group the modules by function/workflow stage, and can be arranged any way you want, containing any module you want.


The Video tutorials “Understanding darktable” from Bruce Williams are currently revisiting the use of masks in darktable 3.8.x.

Watch episodes 108 to 112 (four-and-a-half episodes). There will be at least one more episode in the series (on masks).

And it doesn’t really matter if you are using masks to select a certain color/hue in you image that you want to selectively change or use the mask to decide which parts of the image to blur and which to leave alone or (as Martin suggests) to restrict the retouch to certain pixels.