Coordinates for Instant Image Cloning

Gil Hoffer
Yaron Lipman
The Hebrew University
Tel Aviv University
Princeton University
Tel Aviv University
The Hebrew University



Seamless cloning of a source image patch into a target image is an important and useful image editing operation, which has received considerable research attention in recent years. This operation is typically carried out by solving a Poisson equation with Dirichlet boundary conditions, which smoothly interpolates the discrepancies between the boundary of the source patch and the target across the entire cloned area.

In this paper we introduce an alternative, coordinate-based approach, where rather than solving a large linear system to perform the forementioned interpolation, the value of the interpolant at each interior pixel is given by a weighted combination of values along the boundary. More specifically, our approach is based on Mean-Value Coordinates (MVC). The use of coordinates is advantageous in terms of speed, ease of implementation, small memory footprint, and parallelizability, enabling real-time cloning of large regions, and interactive cloning of video streams. We demonstrate a number of applications and extensions of the coordinate-based framework.

Full paper: Paper, 7.7MB
Video: QuickTime MPEG-4, 65.7MB or WMV, 31.5MB

Supplementary Materials:

It can be difficult to fully appreciate the differences between the small side-by-side images in the paper. Therefore, in these supplementary materials we include larger format versions of the images in the paper, with the ability to easily flip between them. We also include additional comparisons, examples, and visualizations. The material is organized in several pages, roughly corresponding to the figures in the paper.

Note: In order to view these pages properly, JavaScript must be enabled in your browser. In Internet Explorer, you may also need to allow blocked active content to run.


  1. Object Removal (Fig. 4, Recorded Session)
  2. Highly Concave Region (Fig. 5)
  3. Similarity Transformations (Fig. 6, Deer, Waterfall, Berries)
  4. Image Stitching (Fig. 8)
  5. Selective Boundary Supression (Fig. 9, Recorded Session)
  6. MVC Matting (Fig. 10, Fig. 11)
  7. Video Cloning (Fig. 7, Additional Results)


  1. A simple cloning app for Windows XP/Vista (requires a DirectX 10 compatible graphics card)