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Need help restoring faded clothing

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  #1  
Old 09-06-2010, 07:47 PM
customdavid customdavid is offline
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Need help restoring faded clothing

Hi first time here, hope someone can give me some pointers. I have been working on restoring and coloring Civil War photo's that I downloaded from the Library of Congress. The original files are 16bit TIFF and are usually about 7500 x 6000 pixels and can exceed 100Mb in size, so the quality is fantastic.

I have been running into the same problem over and over again though and don't know how to resolve this. When I look at the uniform in black and white it looks fine, but when I color it sometimes it appears faded or worn. Often I will have 90% looking great and then 10% problem areas. In the attached example the problem areas are covering most of the jacket and really show up in the color detail.

What I am trying to do is leave the wrinkles, folds, creases, etc. of the original but take away the areas that look faded and worn since they do not appear that way in the black and white.

Ideas, tips, tricks???

Would love your advice,

David
Attached Images
File Type: jpg large - low.jpg (46.1 KB, 46 views)
File Type: jpg detail - low.jpg (54.0 KB, 43 views)
File Type: jpg bw - low.jpg (54.3 KB, 40 views)
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  #2  
Old 09-06-2010, 08:37 PM
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mistermonday mistermonday is offline
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Re: Need help restoring faded clothing

David, welcome to RetouchPro. What method are you using to color the garments? I do not know the color of the real uniform but I just chose a sample blue to show you. I think your colors are way too saturated which is causing some of the effect you are experiencing.
Regards, Murray
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File Type: jpg CustomDavid MM.jpg (194.3 KB, 32 views)
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  #3  
Old 09-07-2010, 12:17 AM
customdavid customdavid is offline
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Re: Need help restoring faded clothing

Murray -

Thanks so much for your response. The trouble in some ways is that the uniform color that I am using is actually too light! I have attached a few samples of reenactors that have uniforms made to the standards of the day (period ones are faded from age).

The one marked "Civil War Uniform" shows a good detail of just how dark the color should be. The one of "Officer coat" is the one I sampled the color from and used as my standard. If you look at the one of General Hooker you will see that the color worked well with none of the problem that I am trying to fix.

To set the color, I am applying an overlay at 100% on a separate layer. I have all other colors much more toned down and do not use Overlay for anything other than the coat, due to the darkness of the color. I really need it to be very dark and when I have done this using anything else the color is to washed out.

What is most interesting though can be seen in the images marked left & right. These images were actually taken with a multi lens camera that recorded four nearly identical images. I am restoring both left and right pairs to be used for stereoviews.

Both of these images were taken with a single camera, were restored on a single image (actually had four images). The color for both left and right was done on the same layer and has the same shade, opacity, etc. yet you will notice that the wear, while evident in both, is much more pronounced in the right image than the left.

This also makes part of what I am doing a real challenge since to create a 3D effect I have to restore both sides and significantly more wear on one side than the other decreases the effect.

Again, thanks for your response, hope you can give me more ideas,

David
Attached Images
File Type: jpg civil war uniform.jpg (74.5 KB, 18 views)
File Type: jpg officer coat.jpg (38.6 KB, 18 views)
File Type: jpg hooker.jpg (30.7 KB, 18 views)
File Type: jpg left.jpg (53.0 KB, 19 views)
File Type: jpg right.jpg (56.5 KB, 16 views)
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  #4  
Old 09-07-2010, 12:47 AM
customdavid customdavid is offline
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Re: Need help restoring faded clothing

Just a few minutes after I posted my original reply I decided to play around with double layers of color. I had used this before when I could not get the right level of depth for a particular color. Usually I use one layer with multiply and then the other with a color layer. When I duplicated the overlay it immediately resolved the problem!

Take a look at the result, the only difference is that I have two identical overlays.

David
Attached Images
File Type: jpg double overlay - left.jpg (69.7 KB, 19 views)
File Type: jpg double overlay - right.jpg (65.9 KB, 21 views)
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  #5  
Old 09-07-2010, 12:55 AM
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chillin chillin is offline
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Re: Need help restoring faded clothing

Following Murray's advice, start with a lighter color and then use couple curves to modify it (one for all & one for the highlights).
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File Type: jpg CustomDavid MM_ch.jpg (164.4 KB, 16 views)
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  #6  
Old 09-07-2010, 01:03 AM
customdavid customdavid is offline
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Re: Need help restoring faded clothing

Chillin -

Thanks for your response. I am playing more with double layers. Right now I am very pleased with the results and will explore this some more.

Thanks again for your suggestion,

David
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Old 09-07-2010, 10:52 PM
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mistermonday mistermonday is offline
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Re: Need help restoring faded clothing

David, you could also try a Gradient Map adjustment layer - sample attached.
Regards, Murray
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File Type: jpg CustomDavid MM Gradient Map.jpg (185.5 KB, 18 views)
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  #8  
Old 09-08-2010, 09:36 AM
customdavid customdavid is offline
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Re: Need help restoring faded clothing

Murray

I really like the results of the Gradient Map. Are there any tutorials to help me figure out what you did?

David
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Old 09-08-2010, 10:01 AM
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mistermonday mistermonday is offline
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Re: Need help restoring faded clothing

Hi David,
Here is a tutorial on RetouchPro
http://retouchpro.com/tutorials/?m=show&id=132
Here is a video that may be useful.
http://layersmagazine.com/creating-g...oshop-cs3.html
There are hundreds or thousands of tutorials on Gradient Maps on the web.
I just added a quick Gradient Map Adjustment layer choosing the plain vanilla linear black/white default gradient. I sampled the darkest and brightest blue color from the Hooker image you posted and used those two samples as the gradient end points. You can get more precise when you do it and use more than two sample colors. Moreover when you are finished you can play with the opacity and blend modes of that adj layer to get the effect you are loking for.
Regards, Murray
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