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Restoring the woman in the rose shawl

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  #1  
Old 03-17-2005, 04:18 AM
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Caitlin Caitlin is offline
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Restoring the woman in the rose shawl

Hi Everyone,

I just recently became interested in photo restoration, having unearthed all my parents photos and slides that were mouldy and in very poor condition. My mother let an elderly friend in her 80's know I had just bought a new scanner and printer, and she asked if I could improve on the job done for her by a 'professional' photo restorer on the attached image.

In my opinion the professional job was very poor and I was sure I could do better. It was very grainy, blurry, and printed badly so it had a newsprint look.

The biggest challenge though was that the original photo cut off the top of her forehead, and she wanted it recreated. This was the most challenging part of this project, and I know I haven't been totally successful. Part of the problem I had is there was no really useful hair in the photo to sample from.

I've attached 4 photos - The original image, the professional restoration job that I was aiming to beat, the sepia restoration I did, as well as a quick colourising job for fun.

This is my first real attempt at restoring so I'd be really interested to get any feedback. I'm pretty confident that I did better than the original restoration, but I know there is still a lot to learn.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg jean orig photo_s.jpg (76.9 KB, 113 views)
File Type: jpg jean restored by photographic shop_s.jpg (86.8 KB, 99 views)
File Type: jpg jean restored_s.jpg (81.9 KB, 95 views)
File Type: jpg jean cropped & colourised_s.jpg (74.2 KB, 120 views)
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  #2  
Old 03-17-2005, 08:58 AM
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philbach philbach is offline
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Catlin's Restoration

Well you are doing well. And welcome to Retouch Pro. Its one thing to read about it in a book and another to actually get going and produce something. Your colorized restoration was a good attempt. It did have a yellow cast to it in general and her hair looked a tad flat. The contrast was a little low too. I took your picture your restoration and using a levels adjustment layer increased the contrast (I also blew out the highlights in the background). I adjusted the color by adding magenta to it. I searched the web via Google Images and scrounged up some hair that I added to make her hair look more "real."
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Old 03-17-2005, 02:29 PM
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Gary Richardson Gary Richardson is offline
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Hi Caitlin,

Welcome to RP. Firstly, congratulations on a fine restore. It is much superior to the so called "professional job".

I've adjusted a couple of things on your restored image.
Firstly the woman's right eye (left as you look at it) looked a little odd, and did'nt flatter her. So I copied her left iris, and pasted it over the right.

I also added a little texture to her hair, using a textured brush. I sampled the hair colour, then painted on highlights and shadows, using tones slightly lighter and darker than the sampled colour.

Hope this helps.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg jean adjusted.jpg (98.3 KB, 72 views)
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Old 03-17-2005, 02:49 PM
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Tasty job Caitlin! Well done! Maybe nothing more than personal taste but I thought darkening the eyebrows and eyes a bit would add a little more mystery.

Roughly selected eyes, eyebrows. Contro J to put it on its own layer. Layers adjustment to darken slightly. Used low opacity eraser to bring back skin but left the area below the eyebrows a little darker.
Also applied a slight S curve adjustment for contrast.

Cheers
Dave
Attached Images
File Type: jpg D-jean restored_s.jpg (93.6 KB, 48 views)
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  #5  
Old 03-17-2005, 03:11 PM
barry_uk barry_uk is offline
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I agree with Phil you did a great job, just the hair bit lets it down I have had a dabble hope you didn't mind, All I did was recoloured and added hair look alike, Just a quicky to show you example what it's possablitys are looking like adding hair..

Regards Barry
Attached Images
File Type: jpg q.jpg (71.8 KB, 63 views)
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  #6  
Old 03-17-2005, 04:22 PM
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Caitlin Caitlin is offline
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Gary & Duv - your comments about the eyes are spot on! I hadn't thought to fixup the right eye, but it's obviously an improvement.

The paleness of the eyes was the only negative feedback I got from the old lady herself (you may have noticed that eyeliner and eyebrows have been sketched in roughly in PENCIL on the original - so she obviously always wanted more eye makeup *lol*) I had removed these to get closer to the original - a bad call.

The colour cast is because I hadn't really planned out my aim - so I made it all vaguelly sepia early on, THEN had the idea to colourise. I'll go back and try to fix that up. Using Levels & curves isn't something I've tried to learn yet so I've been doing all my colour and contrast modification by eye. It's top of my list though - obviously I'm struggling a bit without it.

I should reveal a guilty secret now and admit I actually used the 'pro' restoration hair to start my head reconstruction - which is why it is so lacking in detail! I actually had to do a bit of work to remove all the grain. I had a search through google without finding anything else suitable (most is too low resolution of course) She has a distinct widow's peak, and her hair was long and pulled back.
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Old 03-18-2005, 09:31 AM
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Hi Caitlin,

Welcome to RP!

Great job in both your restorations!! ... I agree that 'your' hair is a bit on the 'solid block' side, but your restoration is ways better than the "professional job" !!!!

As you said,
Quote:
...there was no really useful hair in the photo to sample from.
... so, in my quick try, I made it anew using a hair brush ....

Following Dave's pointer (.. he has an incredible eye for these details!!!), I also applied a light digital eye-shadow to minimize the eyes' paleness .... I didn't replace her right eye but I think that Gary is absolutely right!!!
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File Type: jpg F_Jean_ori.jpg (97.1 KB, 102 views)
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  #8  
Old 03-18-2005, 03:58 PM
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Caitlin Caitlin is offline
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Flora that hair is superb! Can you give me some more detailed tips on how you achieved it? Or is it just painstaking hand drawn lines?
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  #9  
Old 03-18-2005, 04:27 PM
limaze limaze is offline
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yes i agree, that manually created hair by flora looks very good and id love to know more about that technique too
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  #10  
Old 03-18-2005, 06:17 PM
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Caitlin, limaze,

thank you so much for your kind comments!!!

I'ts past 2 AM in my 'corner' of the world ....

Tomorrow I'll write the details on how I 'made' the hair ... in the mean time, you could download Dave Nagel's free Hair brushes from here .. (the one I used is in his Photoshop Brushes, Series 23 ... but while you are there, you could check the others as well ... It's really worth it!!!)
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