Registered: December 2004
Here's my first submission to these (or any other) challenges...
First things first, make a copy of the original pic. Select Hue/Saturation on the copied layer and edit both the Reds and the Yellows to saturation -100, lightness -100. Now add a layer mask and paint over the worst effected sections and then flatten the image. That should leave you with some washed out parts of the image, but it claws back much more detail. I just used colour replacement to get the colour back in.
To do regenerate the face I used a completely separate one (a friend of mine) with similar lighting that I already had. I copied the new face to a separate layer and adjusted the lightness/brightness to get it more or less correct. With a slight change in the colour mixer the result looked very convincing. Adding a layer mask to only paint over the damaged parts of the face meant that I was only using a new forehead and eyes. Then added a separate layer for the shading on the face. I used a 50% grey to paint on where I wanted the shadow to lie and set the opacity down to 75%. Because I used grey for the shadow it allowed me to use burn and dodge to give it more depth. I also left the eyes slightly too visible (according to the light already in the image) just because it became a pleasing focus point of the image.
The areas which gave me most headaches were the guys leg pocket and the rebuilding the girls chest. The leg pocket had most detail in the blue channel, but the missing part left me wondering how it could of possibly looked originally. So, I just tried to make it up… The chest though, I first thought he was holding a book in front of her, but with a bit of logic figured they must be pockets and just tried to add in some subtle camouflage on them. As the whole chest is in shadow I thought leaving the camouflage as very slight variations of the colour was the best way to go.
These two parts took me a Long Time to deal with, lots of different layers, blends and opacity changes. I’ll tell you that when I was eventually happy with the result of the chest I flattened the image, saved and went to bed. The next day I loaded it in and the whole chest was ruined, it looked like it’d got confused with all the different blending methods. I don’t quite know how I managed it, but it took lots more hours to get it back to looking ok.
Once I was at this stage and looking closely at the image, I noticed that there were a fair amount of blue and magenta stains on it. So I used the same technique as getting rid of the yellow and red.
Everything else in the pic was done with the healing brush and clone stamp. Not easy and a lot of it, but felt that keeping the graininess of the image very important. Once everything was done and evenly grainy I duplicated the image and ran a Dust and Scratches filter (set to 1 pixel) over the top one and cut the opacity down to 80%.
As we can see the feet on the floor I was tempted to use a lens blur, while that always gives a great sense of depth, I felt this may lose too much of the original image. (Plus anyone else can try it on this image now)
Hope you like it.