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First Communion
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Junior Member

Registered: October 2010
Location: England
Posts: 22
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Using PhotoShop CS2 - Here's what I did...

Started by seperating the pieces and placing each on a layer of it's own, and moved/rotated each piece as necessary to make them fit together properly (or so i thought!).

Then merged the layers, desaturated it to black and white and and began with the face. I knew the eye was gonna be a problem and the ultimate make or break of this restoration so i left that alone for a while and just made sure that the nose and jawline were ok by cloning at a one-pixel level and using healing brush to smooth out gradients.

The eye - it's not exactly a straight flip-over of the good eye - I tried that and it just looked odd, so instead the eye was built up from elements of the good eye and also the useable scraps from the bad, moving small fragments around until i got something that looked passable. This eye alone consisted of 17 individual layers, each containing tiny pieces. The nose was a similar affair.

Next came the skirt. This is how I got it to look clean and silky smooth...

I first made a thin rectangular cross-section of the upper skirt pleats, and copied it onto a new layer. Then used free transform to stretch it upwards, so it kinda looked like a blurred bar-code. After adding gaussian blur to make it smooth I used the liquify tool to distort it into a hip-hugging skirt shape. This process was used again and again for each and every pleat of the skirt - sampling and stretching, blurring and distorting with each piece on it's own layer and being checked against the original. When i was happy with the overall positioning and look of the new skirt assembly, the skirt layers were merged into one, and grain was added to match.

The hands came next. Cloning along the length of each finger and then adjusting the brightness and contrast of the hands as they seemed too dark. Under the yellowed sellotape i noticed she's holding a string of pearls, I made a copy of one of the pearls and used it to make the others which had been lost to a crack in the photo.

Next came the background. This isn't the first time i've seen this kind of vintage painted scenic background. I knew if i did a google image search there would be something similar to suit, and sure enough i found just the very thing - It was so akin to the the damaged background that blending it in was a sinch. I don't make a habit of this process, but in this case there really is very little salvageable material in the original to work on.

The stool - Initially it wasn't clear to me exactly what was going on with the part between the virgin Mary statue and the stool. At first i thought it might be a big flower bouquet - and as i hadn't positioned the bottom left corner properly, there seemed enough space for this to be so. But noticing my mistake and after re-positioning and closer inspection of the rips it was made clear that a lot of what i thought was detail was merely cracks associated with the rips in the photo and therefore a bouquet couldn't be possible, so now the general idea was that it's a square tablecloth with a floral motif embroidered in each corner, and after a good long look at the rip below the statue i eventually saw the sheen along the cloth where it drapes over the stool. I now had it sussed out and had a good idea how it may have looked. Drew in the missing side of the stool where the cloth drapes down.

Again i don't make a habit of borrowing from other sources but here we're talking about an unretrievable missing area and it's down to us to complete it so another google search for 1920s floral embroidery (yes 20s not 30s - even though it's 1931 in the photo, it probably would have been made in the 20s). I used one of the pic results to stand in for the missing motif on the tablecloth.

The candle - it had been bugging me throughout. It seemed to me that it wasn't a real flame, just a flame shape scratched into the photo or drawn on to the negative. It had to go. I cloned it out and superimposed a new flame onto the image using the "screen" blending mode. Then drew in a candlestick.

Then came the steps in the background which were just blocks of white with feathered edges and set to a very low opacity. Added a new pattern down the bottom to simulate a carpet, as theres only a little scrap of the existing carpet not worth making a pattern from.

Finally a tint to retain the vintage look of the photo. Lots of other minor pitfalls and snags along the way but you'll discover them yourself if you try this challenge
· Date: 10/29/2010 · Views: 3591 · Filesize: 24.8kb, 198.6kb · Dimensions: 555 x 900 ·
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Senior Member

Registered: November 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 818
2/12/2012 5:27pm

Great JOB

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Junior Member

Registered: January 2012
Location: Metz FRANCE
7/11/2012 2:36pm

goog job
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Junior Member

Registered: November 2012
11/25/2012 2:10pm

Very Impressive. I think you did excellent.
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