October 14, 2021

Edit Things Out of Photos in Procreate

Today’s tutorial is something quite different than what I normally do. I am bringing you a quick tip for editing a photo in Procreate! Have you ever taken the most perfect photo, but there is a person or object in the background that low-key ruins the whole thing? A “fly in the ointment,” so to speak?

Today, I am going to show you a quick way that you can edit those pesky distractions out of the background using the Cloning tool in Procreate. No paid brushes are used in this tutorial – everything I use for this process is a free standard tool that comes with Procreate.

I will be showing you this process using a photo of my cute parents. They sent me this photo and asked if I could edit the person out of the background, because they really liked the photo but there’s a stranger behind my dad’s shoulder and they wanted to be alone in the photo.

To import a photo to edit, go to photos, recents (this is where I saved the photo, so I knew I would find it there).

Once the photo is imported into Procreate, I will duplicate that layer so that we have a backup in case of mistakes. To begin, we are going to go to “adjustments clone,” and select where we’re going to clone from. In order to do the cloning in a smooth way, I’m going up to the brushes and make sure that I’m using the “Airbrushing” setting. From the default airbrushing folder in Procreate, and I am selecting the Soft brush. Depending on what you’re using, you may want to pick a Hard brush if it’s something that has hard corners – but I think the Soft brush is really good for most occasions where you’ll be doing this sort of thing. As you’ll see in a minute, you want the edges to sort of blend in.

We’ve got the Soft brush selected, and now we’re going to zoom really really far in – everything will look quite blurry. We’re cropping out the stranger, and also the top of my husband’s head (sorry Hon!). With my pencil/tool, I’m selecting which area I want to clone. This will take some trial and error to get correctly. You may find that you accidentally select an area to clone that has an incompatible detail in it, such as a small part of this stranger’s jacket or the trees. It’s easier to clone when you are working with just open air, but more difficult where there are details factored in. You will see that the stranger is starting to disappear, but I’m not erasing him – I’m copying what is inside of the circle area that I selected to clone. We continue copying repeatedly until we get to the area with the trees.

With finicky details, it can help to then work your way inward lift up the brush slightly to avoid cloning details such as the edge of the stranger’s jacket.

I continue my same pattern, cloning the outer edges first and lifting up. At this point, we need to switch up our technique to work with the trees. I’m going to zoom even further in, because the farther in that you zoom, the more precise you can be. I’m going to very carefully keep on going and make the brush smaller in order to have even more control. Moving to the green area, we’re carefully adding green to surrounding areas to make it match. One thing to make sure you avoid is accidentally cloning something that I’m still in the process of.

I’m zooming out a bit and beginning to clone the fence. I’m making the brush bigger again. I’m also removing the outline of my husband’s head at this point. I zoom out move to get a feel for the overall “big picture.” I feel like my dad’s shoulder is looking quite pointy, so I’m just going to smooth it out a bit. This is a great time to zoom out and review, just softening and cleaning things up as needed.

As a final step, we can compare the original with our new, edited version to see if additional edits are needed to keep it looking as organic as possible.

I hope that this tip is helpful for you! You can use this to edit out and any unwanted people or objects in the background of photos. You can even use this to if you have a zit on your face!


I would love to see what you come up with! You’re very welcome to tag me on Instagram @alainajensen, use #alainajensenbrushes or share your work in our free facebook group

If you have any questions please click here to contact me. I’m always happy to help!

xo, alaina