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how to rebuild faces overlaid with writing?

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  #1  
Old 03-28-2005, 03:53 PM
archer73 archer73 is offline
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how to rebuild faces overlaid with writing?

Hi, gang,

I came across this old family photo and have been trying like made to remove the photographer's 'Sample' mark which was drawn across several faces.

While normally I'd be happy to respect the photographer's copyright (I'm a photographer, myself), this shot was taken somewhere in East Germany in about 1937 and I have no idea how to track down the photographer to get permission...thus my need to post here and ask: How on earth can I remove the writing to restore this photo? Any help would be very much appreciated.

Thanks!

-Greg
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  #2  
Old 03-28-2005, 04:11 PM
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Caitlin Caitlin is offline
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Hi Greg, it looks like you've scanned this in B&W? If you can post a colour scan it might give us some extra tricks to play with (possibly). How was SAMPLE written on the photo?
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Old 03-28-2005, 04:26 PM
archer73 archer73 is offline
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here's the full-sized plus another crop

Hi, Caitlin,

Thanks for the quick reply! Here's a full-size post (originally shot in B&W but tinted by age, I believe) along with a larger spot crop. I could only guess as to what type of pen/pencil/marker the original photog used to write on the photo. I feel no texture when I run my finger over it, so it doesn't appear to be a grease pencil, but I could be wrong (is it possible the grease wore away?).

I hope this helps, and thanks again.

-Greg
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File Type: jpg crop-02.jpg (92.0 KB, 32 views)
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Old 03-28-2005, 04:44 PM
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Juliana Ross Juliana Ross is offline
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maybe select areas of similar density,
place them on thier own layers and play with the curves
airbrush and add noise

but this is probably the long way, I'll bet someone else has a much better method than I
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Old 03-28-2005, 05:15 PM
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Caitlin Caitlin is offline
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Hmmm. Well I just tried two methods - the burn tool, and selecting the area and adjusting contrast and brightness. Neither was very successful, as the writing has a great variety of density. I had hoped that the writing was in colour but it's not... It looks to me like the S was written on the neg with chinagraph (wax pencil) - hence it appears white and printed on.

More experienced bods around here might have some other ideas.

Last edited by Caitlin; 03-28-2005 at 07:13 PM.
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  #6  
Old 03-28-2005, 06:33 PM
Ken Fournelle Ken Fournelle is offline
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I wish I were a better artist. My attempt used the Channel Mixer to convert to B&W. I straightened and cropped. I then selected body parts to re-build the woman's face and utilized Clone Stamp Tool and Healing Brush set to normal and replace. Empty layer set to Softlight and painting with a black or white brush. I think it would be easier and more accurate with a larger file.

K
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  #7  
Old 03-29-2005, 12:15 AM
archer73 archer73 is offline
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Ken,

I really like what you did! I'm especially impressed with the way you fixed the placard hanging on the right hand side of the image. I scanned the photo in at some outrageous number like 1600dpi so I've got a file the size of a pachyderm and it's that from which I've been working.

Any chance you could go into a tad more detail on how exactly you got those tones to match so well? For example, the woman standing in the back row? Man, good stuff!

Thanks again, and I look forward to hearing from any- and everyone else!

-Greg
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  #8  
Old 03-29-2005, 02:19 AM
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Gary Richardson Gary Richardson is offline
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Hi Greg, had a play around with your image. Sorry, no easy fix, just a mixture of patching, cloning, levels and curves adjustments, and finally a quick run through Neat Image to reduce noise caused when restoring.

Sorry about the woman's face, if I'd had more time, perhaps I could have done a better job.

After reading Ken's method below, realised I could improve the woman's face quickly, so I've re-posted my image with a few alterations. Thanks Ken.
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File Type: jpg full-size-01 R.jpg (81.6 KB, 30 views)

Last edited by Gary Richardson; 03-29-2005 at 09:27 AM. Reason: Altered Face
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  #9  
Old 03-29-2005, 07:40 AM
Ken Fournelle Ken Fournelle is offline
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Archer,

This is what I did with the woman standing: I used the Lasso Tool and selected the good side of the face. Copied it, flipped it horizontal and placed it over the bad side. I moved it into place. Now we have an "evil" image of her so I took the nose from the woman next to her hand placed it on the face. I used the Clone Stamp Tool and the Healing Brush as best I could to fill in the face. I made an empty layer set to Soft Light Blending mode and lightened the right side of the face, (as you look at it) to reduce the "evil" look and replicate the lighting. Being a low rez jpeg it was hard to work on the tones of the face. I would have added a bit of noise to reduce the smoothed look I was getting. With a larger file, I think I could have done a better job.

The sign was just copying, flipping and pasting. I cleaned up some of the larger problems with the Clone Stamp and Healing brush.

K
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  #10  
Old 03-29-2005, 11:43 AM
archer73 archer73 is offline
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Gary--great job!

Ken--thanks for the details. Now, armed with your instructions, I'm gonna go give it a try.

Man, I love this forum!

-Greg
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