Stamp out photo blemishes with Free Clone Stamp Tool

Fix up your photos with this free, standalone rubber stamp tool.

In graphics apps, the Clone Stamp Tool "clones" (copies) a small area of an image and "stamps" (pastes) it over another area, such as a blemish you want to hide. It's also called the Rubber Stamp Tool, but it's the Clone Stamp Tool in Photoshop. Photoshop is the Godzilla of graphics, so tools like LifeSniffer's Free Clone Stamp Tool follow the leader. And that should give you a good idea of what Free Clone Stamp Tool does: It provides a basic, serviceable clone stamp tool for touching up digital photos, especially photos of faces.

We followed Free Clone Stamp Tool's normal installation process, with the addition of a desktop icon. The interface is quite basic for a graphics tool, which is not a bad thing: just a toolbar and main window. We had no trouble opening an image in Free Clone Stamp Tool, but a tool tip or quick-start page would have helped by making it clear that the only way to sample pixels is to press Alt while left-clicking our mouse. We'd hoped to be able to right-click the image and either choose a function from a menu or drag a selection box, but we just got an error message. The info button led us to the program's Web page, which offered some instructions and nicely illustrated examples. We learned how to set the radius, hardness, and opacity of our stamp using sliders. The rest of the program's controls handle the image: zoom in and out, flip, rotate, and so on. We quickly covered several blemishes in scanned snapshots. Using Free Clone Stamp Tool, we zoomed in very close to several defects in the original image, including creases. Varying the opacity produced very good blending. The program automatically merges the layers, though it offers multiple Undo and Redo, too.

Free Clone Stamp Tool could benefit from some menu options, which would make it a bit more intuitive, especially to new users. We'd also like to see freehand selection, but then if the developers started adding things, they'd end up with another Photoshop clone. As it is, Free Clone Stamp Tool proved to be a capable freeware clone of a single, very useful tool.

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