NOTE: Resynthesizer no longer seems to work well in newer versions of Gimp. It has been replaced with the tools Heal Selection and Heal Transparency. I did a tutorial on those tools here. Frequently, you will have a need to take an element out of a photo. In the past, I have always used the clone tool, but recently, I discovered the Gimp plugin called Resynthesizer. When I first used it, my mind was totally blown! In this tutorial, I will show you how to use it, and why you want to.
Step 1 - Download and install the Plugin
Unfortunately, Resynthesizer does not come installed with the Gimp. You will have to do this yourself. Go to the Resynthesizer website to download the plugin.
Step 2 - Choose an image you wish to remove something from
Here is a picture I took of some of my friends while hiking in Alaska. I like the picture as is, but what if I want to just focus on one friend to make a focal point? In the past I would simply use the clone tool and try to paint the clouds in a way that looked somewhat realistic. This is fine to do, but it is a fairly time consuming process and sometimes it is easy to spot the repetition. This is where Resynthesize shows its amazingness!
Step 3 - Select the part of the image you wish to remove
Here I have selected the girl furthest to the right.
Go to Filters>Map>Resynthesize
You don't need to change any of the default settings. Just press OK.
For crazy! It is magic! There are now realistic looking clouds where she was! How it did this, I don't know... magic... magic. The image on the ground is not perfect. I just undid that step and reselected, trying to go down more on the feet.
This is much better. No copy and paste. No cloning. Just Resynthesizing. Amazing!
Now we will remove the image of the next girl. Just repeat.
Cool! Still don't know how this magic happens, but it makes me happy.
Now we have the image with just one girl. There is NO evidence that there used to be two other girls in the picture.
It is crazy how simple yet effective this plug-in is to use.
Conclusion - If you ever need to remove a large chunk of something surrounded by a fairly uniform background, Resynthesizer is the way to do it! It works perfectly if you need to remove something from the sky.
Here are some more examples:
This is a picture of me jumping near Goblin Valley, Utah.
Gone. You can see some traces of where I was, but you have to look pretty carefully.
Me jumping in Valdez, Alaska.
Perfect. All the gradients are spot on!
Some friends near Whittier Alaska.
Pretty good, but not perfect. There were some problems because I had to go to the bottom of the screen. For something like this, you would probably have to do some fixing with the clone tool.