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Severely Faded and damaged image

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Old 08-02-2005, 02:30 PM
tgr1213 tgr1213 is offline
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Severely Faded and damaged image

Hello I am new to retouch and relativaly new to restoration.

A friend gave me this picture and wanted me to see if i could bring out the girl in the picture. She told me she had blue eyes and was wearing a green dress. I took the original and desaturated it. Then I colored it with layers and blending to come up the second one. Everyone I have should it too said it was creepy. I need some advise on how to take the creepy out of it and any other imput would be appriciated.
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Old 08-02-2005, 07:30 PM
GaryRP GaryRP is offline
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One thing I would do is actually de-saturate some of the colour a little bit ... It is far too "bright" in my opinion given it is obviously an old photo ..

"Less is more ..." ...
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Old 08-02-2005, 08:19 PM
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soleah soleah is offline
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Hi tgr,
Given that this is a difficult photo, I think you did a good job of bringing back the details. I agree with Gary that the colors you've chosen is a little too bright for this old photo. You need to soften the selection too, so the girl won't look like she was "pasted" in the photo.
As for the eyes, this is where the word "creepy" comes in. Don't let it stand out too much and should blend with the rest of the face. Either that or don't put it at all.
Again, nice restore. I couldn't have done better.
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Old 08-02-2005, 09:58 PM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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i did a couple of these. the first thing is to desaturate things a bit, get some better balance and some better contrast.

the bad news is that the red and green channels are almost completely shot. the blue is a bit better and that's where most of the detail in the face is coming from, but i'm afrarid it's not much. the eyes in particular are pretty badly gone, so you either try for a reconstruction or leave them alone.

i also took a couple of these back to grayscale and it's not much better in black and white, if at all.

so, basically, what i did was desaturate, curves, levels, contrast, double the blue channel and try to find some detail while getting rid of that color glare.

this is definitely a tough one. i didnt try for a full restore, just something better to work with.

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Old 08-03-2005, 03:30 PM
tgr1213 tgr1213 is offline
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thank you so much for the information. I didnt realize what I was getting into when I took on such a project.
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Old 08-03-2005, 05:19 PM
Billfields Billfields is offline
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First off I think it's great you are trying to save this picture for your friend. I love old pictures and I love to see what can be made of damaged one. Everything I did I did quickly so more time and care will get you better results.

Craig is right about the channels, the red is almost gone and the green is only a tad better. Basically blue is what you have to work with and that is what I used, I just copied the blue channel and worked on it. I used curves to try and get more detail. I didn't do a lot of repair. Were it me, I would do a very high res scan of the actual picture (you may have this already, I know you have the posting size restrictions here) to start with and after coping out the blue channel, use the healing brush a lot on the scratches and the damaged areas. I like to use a big file because then you can select very small areas easier.

One of the reasons the picture looks "creepy" is that basically this little girl has no face except lips. You need to borrow some facial parts for her. (That sounds pretty creepy too doesn't it <G>) It's not hard. If you have another picture of the same person that would be the most accurate but more important is that the size and direction need someone looking straight into the camera. I happened to be working on a picture of my great uncle as a boy. Since the direction was close I selected his eyes, pasted it into a new file, desaturated and resized it to matched the face of the girl and pasted it as a new layer. Then I positioned the eyes and reduced the opacity to about 50%. This gives some definition to the face.

When it comes to color, this really is a case of less is more. I colored with layers too, all set to color but with the opacity very low to reduce the brightness. Clearly this is a very old picture and it is never going look right with bright vibrant also want to watch having the color edges look very sharp and crisp. Once colored, select eraser with a soft brush and set the flow and opacity to about 20 to 30. Lightly go around the very edges of the colors (it can help to turn off the other layers to see exactly where the edges are) to get a better "faded" blend.

Good luck and and don't be discouraged! It is a bit of a task but I think with time and care you can get a fairly good result

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Old 08-03-2005, 09:09 PM
rondon rondon is offline
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Trying for detail

I came up with this by various channel manipulation
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Old 08-04-2005, 03:02 AM
ladyred ladyred is offline
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Here is my attempt..
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