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Problematic Restore: Where to go from here?

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  #1  
Old 04-15-2006, 04:27 AM
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Newbie Problematic Restore: Where to go from here?

This is one of a dozen 'barter' pieces I'm doing. Good thing, I said "No schedule, I'll fit it in" Whew! So, I've come a long ways but feel stuck on two points: (1) My background looks like a cop-out (2) the girls in the left rear (could they be guys?) Are too dense, have the wrong feel compared to the other girls (that's not a homophobic reaction). Suggestions?
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File Type: jpg Japanese-Girls-lq-before.jpg (82.9 KB, 73 views)
File Type: jpg Japanese-Girls-lq.jpg (84.2 KB, 69 views)
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  #2  
Old 04-15-2006, 11:45 AM
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klassylady25 klassylady25 is offline
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Guy Or Not

One on the far left could be a man. It looks like a casting shot for Madame Butterfly.

I'll be back because I'm going to give it a try.
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  #3  
Old 04-15-2006, 01:11 PM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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bluedog,

your title says 'where to go from here', but in fact, you've already gone too far. so, where to go is back. your rendition is over-cloned and there are better ways to start out on this image.

first off, it's a marvelous photograph! it's also in somewhat poor shape. but, here are some relatively quick steps you can do to get it into a better shape where you can then work on some of the more detailed needs.

1. the image when scanned has put a LOT of jpeg artifacts into the image. those 8 x 8 sharpening blocks are showing up way too much here. you can either rescan with ALL scanner settings turned off (if possible), or run a jpg artifact remover on it after the scan. i'd prefer the former, if possible.

2. all that white mottling/specs/damage is going to be a trick, but, run polaroid's dust and scratch remover on it in fairly light settings and it will take out a LOT of it without ruining too much desired detail.

3. i'd also desaturate the image and work with it in black and white. you can add sepia toning at the end or do a blend mode to the original to get back the color if you wish.

4. noise reduction. neat image, noise ninja, ps's noise reducer or psp's digital camera noise removal. i use the latter. it is one of the best, if not the best. but use this sparingly; you dont want to blur the image.

5. curves, levels, and brightness/contrast adjustment layers. this probably shld be done as an earlier step since it will help to bring out detail.

6. 32 band gray plugin. i used this to bring up the darks a bit. you could also do it with curves.

7. dont worry about the background until you fix the rest of the image. also, there is some stuff in the background that you've removed that shldnt have been (to my way of thinking, anyways). that mirror over on the side, for instance, would be better to leave in.

ok, those are some preliminary steps to take before ever using clone/heal and those type actions.

this is a very complex image. you've got darks that are blown out dark and whites all over that shldnt be there. the artifacting is quite annoying and actually hurting the detail, particularly in the faces. but it's a great image and well worth restoring.

the image i'm attaching here is where i've used the polaroid plugin, desaturating with the Fast Fix plugin, curves and brightness contrast adjustment layers, and the 32 band gray plugin. i didnt even use the jpg artifact removal here.

those steps shld make your cloning job a whole lot easier.

craig
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Old 04-15-2006, 02:00 PM
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Kraellin,

Thanks. I think you hit it right on. This is by far the most complex and the most damaged photograph that I have taken on. In hindsight, I like buried myself in the details and lost the big picture. I short cut the broad-bush repairs to jump into editing each individual girl. When I took my head out of the sand this AM and looked back at the original I saw that I had blown out the 2 left rear girls. So, I am starting over.

The picture is dated 1885 and is from Holland. From an art and design perspective that coincides with the west's discovery of Japanese function-over-form minimalist art and pottery that helped fuel the fire to renounce Victorian art which then gave us the schools of Arts & Crafts and Arte Nuevue. (Bet you really wanted to know that). I didn't scan it. But my original image is 5x the one I posted so some of the JPEG is mine.

I do not know most of the tools you mentioned but will look for them. Thanks again.
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Old 04-15-2006, 02:04 PM
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Please....keep this pic local

I got this and some others from a Pro at smugmug. Since I didn't ask, let's keep it local. Ok?
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Old 04-15-2006, 02:10 PM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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blue dog,

Fast Fix is a plugin. you can do the same desaturation with the hue/saturation/lightness adjustment layer. just turn the saturation slider on the left all the way down.

the 32 band gray plugin is a Filtermeister plugin that was made here on retouchrpo by the retouchpro code gurus in the software forum. just use 'curves'; it's easier

the other plugins like polaroid d&s, noise ninja, are all freebies readily found through google or links in the forums here. i highly recommend polaroid and neat image. i've never used noise ninja, so dont know.

craig
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Old 04-16-2006, 02:49 AM
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All the clean up here done manually using clone brush, gaussian blur and median layers black masked and painted back in as appropriate. Sharpened with high pass filters. Noise removal plug ins are good, but when there is a lot of damage and especially in monochrome you tend to lose a lot of detail.
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File Type: jpg Japanese-Girls-600j.jpg (99.6 KB, 24 views)
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Old 04-16-2006, 06:57 AM
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(1) The Polaroid D&S Remover was worth the price of admission all by itself!

Weird: Considerably better than my first cut, but.. I played around with the Polaroid filter last night and I arrived at a much better starting point. You still have a lot of noise and the Polaroid filter took a lot of it out. I don't think I lost much detail.

I'm going to proceed with your suggestion from this different starting point. The only thing I have done was two passes through Polaroid carefully editing out edges and legit clusters from the mask.
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File Type: jpg japanese-Girls-cleaned-sm.jpg (90.0 KB, 26 views)
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Old 04-16-2006, 07:04 AM
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Weird: Now that I've done a side by side I am confident that the Polaroid filter took out a lot of noise without losing any significant amount of detail. Look at the intricut patterns in the outfits, the china, especially the flowers in their hair.

Also, since I haven't used any curves or leveling yet, you can see that you've blown out the highs in their faces - something my first cut certainly did too.
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Old 04-16-2006, 07:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blue dog
Weird: Now that I've done a side by side I am confident that the Polaroid filter took out a lot of noise without losing any significant amount of detail. Look at the intricut patterns in the outfits, the china, especially the flowers in their hair.

Also, since I haven't used any curves or leveling yet, you can see that you've blown out the highs in their faces - something my first cut certainly did too.
Actually I painted out the faces manually (I guess the Geisha white face came to mind while I was working). The Polaroid filter has done a pretty good job. What I was pointing out is that an acceptably good clean up could be done with just PS without too much more work and with the advantage of full control over what changes are made.

By the way, I went to the Polaroid site and it said that the filter is no longer available. Is it still being sold elsewhere?
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