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Cant believe I did this
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Senior Member

Registered: October 2004
Posts: 139
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I'm somewhat embarrassed to post this given the great work others have done on this image. But, this was kind of a breakthrough for me so maybe it will encourage others who doubt their capabilities. I used Elements 2 with Richard Lynch's hidden power tools.

De-colored to work with just the tone. Then...

Using ideas from Tim Edward's excellent de-crack tutorial, I did a gross repair of the creases & tears. High pass filter ~2.5. Curves converted this to b&w forming a decent mask. Converted mask to selection, expanded a few pixels & feathered 1 less than expanded. "Filled" the cracks 1st with median filter ~ 6 and then with minimum filter at 1. Likely I ended up cloning &/or smudging over most of these repairs, but this improved the image enough for me to cross the psychological barrier I was having of "this is too hard for me - I can't fix it". I had already thought of the high pass filter as a mask for cloning, but was getting nowhere.

Repeated the above process with much lower setting on high pass & inverting the filtered image to mask all but most of the dark spots. Repaired these with the median filter. Used Curves (darkening) with a high contrast tone mask to even out the overall tone, especially the girl's lower right lip & chin. Levels to bring the contrast back up. Ran the Despeckle filter several times. Ran dust & scratch filter, masking this layer with black & painting the mask with white to fix most of the remaining "dust".

Used dodge, burn, & smudge tools to repair / even out tones on the girl's face, arm, leg, foot, & dark area of her shorts. Separated the girl & background on different layers. Continued repairs on her skin, cloning in the ruined knee, left arm, right wrist. Merged down. More dodging & burning. Finished with small selections Guassian Blurred and adding back a small amount of noise. Used a masked Curves layer to even out the tone in the girl's face which seemed kind of blotchy after the above work.

Used sharpen tool on the girl's eyes, mouth & nose. Painted in a hint of teeth on a separate layer. Added a masked curves layer to lighten the lower part of her shorts, finally getting the tone matched to the upper part. Duplicated the girl layer & erased all but her clothing. Changed this layer to overlay mode & reduced opacity to effect some 'laundering'. Used the dodge tool on this layer to further improve the clean look. (This is the first time I've done much with dodge, burn, or smudge; this challenge gave me lots of practice with these tools.)

On the background layer, cloned over the "repaired" cracks to a new layer. Merged down & smudged the repairs to blend them better. Ran the smudge tool over the rest of the sky backdrop to make it uniformly smudgy & blurred. Cloned a couple large patches to repair the grass in the central foreground. Sampled some color from the original picture & filled a new layer with it in "color" mode. Did similar for the 'frame', but in normal mode & added noise. More cloning work on the background layer to fill in remaining large gaps to the 'frame'.

This cost me most of a night's sleep, but in the end produced an image I'm happy with. I initially thought this was way beyond my capabilities & have learned a lot along the way. There's much that could be improved still, I'm sure, especially the clothing, which others on this forum have repaired with stunning results. However, I'm at a loss for "how to" at this point.
· Date: 10/17/2004 · Views: 6608 · Filesize: 41.5kb, 183.8kb · Dimensions: 800 x 1120 ·
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Keywords: Restoration Challenge #74
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Matt Roberts

Junior Member

Registered: December 2002
Location: Australia
10/18/2004 6:49am

Fine work SWEngineer,
That’s a great detailed description.
You sure put some effort into this one.
The great thing is you did this fine work with Elements 2.
I’d be battling without some of the advanced Photoshop tools.

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Registered: August 2004
Posts: 48
10/18/2004 9:08am

Great job. I really like what you did with the background. My face looks good except for the chin area. You'll probably need to actually draw that in. Where do I find the Tim Edwards de-crack tutorial? I hope to work on this one myself in November when I'll hopefully be fininshed with high school seniors.

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Registered: October 2003
Location: Solihull - United Kingdom
Posts: 67
10/18/2004 4:23pm


I totally agree with Matts comments, to create a restore this good using Elements, is quite phenomenal.
Your description leaves me quite embarrassed - I forget what I've done after about ten minutes.
I like the way that you have drawn the left arm to fall behind the leg and not into the lap; looking back at my own submission I think yours has a more balanced look.

Well done.

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Senior Member

Registered: October 2004
Posts: 139
10/18/2004 10:23pm

Thanks Matt, Vicki, & Steve for the support. Having never used the full Photoshop, I guess I didn't realize I was working with a handicap. However, R. Lynch's "Hidden Power" book demonstrates Elements has significant capability on its own (esp. with his software add-on giving access to Curves etc -- I used Curves a lot on this project.)

Vicki - Quick de-crack is in the tutorial section on this site. This is the link
I think what's lacking most in the chin area is some shadowing. That is a refinement I may undertake. Thanks for pointing it out. Can you explain the dark, bow-like(?) structures below the chin & above the shoulder? I initially thought they were flaws, but ended up keeping them without understanding what they were.

Matt & Steve - I strive to provide detailed descriptions as "payment" for the descriptions others provide that I can learn from. I took snapshots along the way, naming them with a short summary of the steps. Reviewing the snapshots reminded me "why" as I typed up my description.

Steve - I put the arm outside the leg because that's where it looked like it was after the initial clean up. Everyone else who kept / added this arm put in her lap, so I was expecting to get some flack about my decision. Thanks for supporting it.

- Mark

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