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That's certainly not normal behaviour for the patch tool in photoshop cs5.
What operating system are you using?
Have you tried resetting the patch tool or resetting the photoshop cs5 preferences?
Here are the results i get on your screenshot on a windows 7 x64 machine with photoshop cs5
Yeah, that's my normal routine... easy copy replace.
I'm running Windows 7 pro, SP1, i7 950 @ 3.07 ghz, 12 GB ram, 64 bit. Photoshop extended. Wacom tablet.
Tried playing with the clone source menu, no change. Also tried a lot of clone settings like source and destination, transparent, pattern, etc.
Tool reset also didn't work. also doing the same thing on the version that I uploaded to this forum. It's a tool I use a lot!
If your using the same tool that is pictured in your screenshot, it's the Patch Tool and not the Clone Stamp tool, so the settings in the clone source panel
probably don't matter.
You might try restting the photoshop preferences by holding down the Shift+Alt+Ctrl keys just after starting photosghop cs5 and keep holding the
keys down until you get a dialog asking if you want to delete the photoshop settings file. Press Yes because you do.
It's also possible from the looks of the weird pattern that it could also be a graphics card driver problem.
If you go to Edit>Preferences>Performance and uncheck Enable OpenGL Drawing and then restart photoshop cs5, does that make any difference?
ok, got another issue... my gradients have lost transpaerncy. something is WRONG.
you are right, It's the patch tool.
get em mixed up... similar names and functions.
There are SO many modal things in Photoshop, it's possible you've set something - or something's corrupted itself under the covers, which is less likely but still possible. I have never seen this behavior myself, but I'm sure I've seen other forum posts on the subject (quite a while ago).
The advice R_Kelly has given to reset preferences would work around either of those possibilities.
If you haven't already corrected the Patch Tool operation issues, you could try a much less intrusive reset of just the Patch Tool itself...
OK, I think my C: drive is getting close to full. that would explain it, I think. Going to do a purge.
purge didn't work, but clearing the preferences file did. thanks y'all!