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Fast way to duplicate a PNG


I am creating an image of a real estate subdivision, and I need to populate it with A LOT of trees. I have attached an image of one of the trees that I'll be using for reference.

I have probably 1,000 - 1,500 trees, bushes, ect. to apply, so pasting each one would be quite tedious.

I would like to be able to just point my cursor, click, and have it apply the PNG.

Creating a brush of the PNG doesn't work because that doesn't apply the color of the PNG, just basically the lines, and then they're all the same color as what is in your color picker (if that makes sense.)

What I want is the PNG as seen here, with all the variations of Green/Yellow, as well as the black outlines, etc.

Essentially using the clone stamp tool, but the problem w clone stamp is I can't set a "fixed source" - it works for the first "stamp" but then as soon as I move my mouse to a different location it's just blank, as there is no source for it to stamp.



Two possible solutions:

First, when the Clone Stamp is activated, there is a setting in the toolbar called "Aligned". When you say above that you can't set the clone stamp to a "fixed source", the "Aligned" setting addresses that. Uncheck that box and then your clone stamp will work from a fixed source that you can repeatedly stamp all over the place.


A second solution will work if you're willing to get pretty close to your tree PNG, but not exactly perfect.
  • Create a custom brush from your Tree PNG. (I assume you know how to do that.)
  • Set your foreground and background colors to light green and dark green, as sampled from the Tree image.
  • With the brush tool active and this new custom brush selected, open the Brush Panel (see red arrow) and check the boxes for Scattering and for Color Dyamics.
  • Color Dynamics will automatically toggle between your foreground and background colors as you draw with the tree brush. Set the Foreground/Background jitter to 100%.


With these settings, you can quickly paint trees across a large area, like this:


Now duplicate this layer and change the blend mode to Color Burn. You get this, which possibly might be good enough for your purposes.



Hi @capture
I like @Rich54's approach

Here is another way that can be done with a mouse click and clicking a keyboard shortcut for a very short Action. I will also mention a more involved way to do this with a single mouse click yet not sure its worth the overhead.

Here is the mouse click and then keyboard shortcut approach.
Note it helps to create a square marque tool preset for a fixed size 1 pixel by 1 pixel selection.]

- Copy the tree, bush, or other item into the clipboard (need transparent background)
- Set or load the tool preset to a 1px x 1px square
- Click the location in your image where you want the tree (or other pasted). This places a 1pxx1px selection

The nest two steps are put into an action and activated by have a keyboard shortcut assigned to the Action

- Place the Clipboard using Edit > Paste Special > Paste Into which is also keyboard shortcut Shift+Option+Cmd+V (Shift+Alt+Ctrl+V on a PC)
(this step pastes the clipboard into the image centered at the 1px x 1px slection
- Then use the command Layer > Layer Mask > Delete to delete the 1px x 1px Layer Mask that was created

At this point the cliploard image is place exactly where you had clicked on the image. The image is still in the Clipboard so you can repeat the above steps over and over which is basically just pointer click and Action keyboard shortcut and its placed.

Now with a bit more investment in time, this could be automated down to just clicking on the image using the File > Scripts > Scripts Event Manager.
With this tool, you can have Photoshop intercept a trackpad or mouse click and run the Action already created. You manually turn the Script Manager on, do a bunch of trees with single clicks and then turn off the Scripts Event Manager. Not sure that is worth the effort given the above technique so will not go into any details at this point as its a bit more involved

I did try the first approach and it worked just fine.
Just another approach to consider and hope this helps
John Wheeler