my first attempt at restoration
Hi Flashman and welcome to RetouchPro, certainly must be making a name for this site if retailers are passing on word of mouth
The original photo is a pig of a project and you have done a great job of restoring it. There are some clone marks still showing on the girls dress in particuliar, but these could be made less apparent by choosing a soft edged brush and choosing your sampling points from lots of different areas.
Still, great work and I hope that you become a regular here at Retouch
You don't like to start out with the easy images, do you? That starting picture would give even the seasoned pros on here a run for their money!
A couple of specific suggestions/*minor* criticisms:
1. Good decision to replace the background - would have been virtually impossible to repair it. But it looks very flat in comparison with the rest of the image. I'd suggest that you select a lightish and a darkish colour from the existing background as your foreground and background colours and use Filter -> Render -> Clouds to generate a more mottled background. To make it darken towards the bottom (as in the original) you could use a Layers adjustment layer with a gradient mask applied.
2. You've kept the original rug/whatever it is, on which she is casting a shadow. But she's not casting a shadow on your new background. That would help to tie all your layers together.
You might want to think about maybe adding some uniform noise to the image to tie it all together once you're done, and also I find the Healing Brush (new in Photoshop 7) is easier to keep a natural look with than the Clone brush - but that's down to personal preference.
I've attached a quick attempt I had - just to illustrate the above points rather than putting it forward as an ideal result - it's a loooooong way from perfect as I rushed the masking somewhat and (obviously) was working at very low res.
I'd like to suggest (as others almost certainly will) that you invest in a copy of Katrin Eismann's book "Photoshop Restoration & Retouching"; possibly the best introduction to the topic that you will find and will provide an excellent supplement to the advice you'll get here!
But you've already made a big step by finding this site and getting stuck in to a pretty tough piece of work to such good effect.
Thanks for posting your work. She's a very pretty child - is she a family member?
Flashman, pretty good for a first attempt! I would make one suggestion--don't leave sharp edges on your mask/selection when separating the figure from the background. To eliminate the jagged edges, try feathering your selection a pixel or two under the "select menu-->feather" before replacing the background.
Here is a thread that deals with other ways of "feathering" that you may want to use as possible alternatives. The work you have done already is fantastic, and these little tricks are all that is needed to make it truly exceptional.
Hi flashman - and WELCOME to RetouchPRO! Wow - a salesperson recommended this site?! That is wonderful! I wish I had such helpful salespeople in my area.
You sure don't pick easy images to learn on! This is a tough image and you've done an admirable job. I agree with all that's been said above:
1. Background needs more depth. If you look at portraits that aren't in such bad shape, you'll notice that there is usually a slight variation in color and/or shades which gives the background some depth. Leah offered some good ideas on how to achieve that. Don't be shy about asking for clarification if you don't understand any of the suggestions. We'd rather give you more in depth answers than have you not understand what is suggested.
2. The hard edge on the "cut out". You've gotten a few suggestions to feather your selection (or mask) and I would concur.
3. I notice clone tracks in the dress and the hair. You'll find cloning to be one of the hardest techniques to do and have it remain "invisible." The healing brush in PS7 is a HUGE leap forward in being able to correct flaws in the image with fewer tracking marks, but even that takes some practice to know when it works and when you'll have problems. If you're not sure what we mean by "cloning tracks", please let us know so that we can point them out more directly.
All in all, you've done a great job for your first attempt at a very difficult restore!! CONGRATS!!
Welcome to RP, Flashman - that's one heck of an image to start off with! You've done an excellent job for a first try.
I agree with all that's been said. You've gotten some great advice so far.
The one thing I would add to it is that the skin tone is a bit yellow and it has a sort of "thick" look to it.
I personally think it's important when doing skin to try to keep the highlights and shadows intact to give depth to the image. You've done a good job on the shadows, but your highlights seem to have been smoothed out and blended in quite a bit leaving the face looking kind of flat in places.
Also, it's hard to do a good clone job in areas with much damage in tight spaces just because there is so little good image to pick up from. It can end up looking choppy, or being off color because the area you're picking up from isn't a good color/density match for the area you're trying to repair.
I played with it for a while, and this is what I came up with (I only worked on the head and the background). I didn't use the clone tool at all. Before Photoshop, one of the basic elements for fixing an image was airbrushing. Though it's one of the most difficult and time consuming fixes to do, I highly recommend giving it a try since it often (still) gives the best results. And, with Photoshop, we have the added benefit of being able to add grain to an airbrushed image for a more natural look, which wasn't an option in the "good ol' days".
1. Selected background with pen tool and masked it out
2. Made a new layer underneath and filled with gradient chosen from original background colors. Added noise and blurred slightly.
3. Added drop shadow to original layer. Even at the highest blur setting, the shadow was too hard so I moved it to its own separate layer and did gaussian blur on it.
4. Made a new Normal layer on top of everything and started airbrushing (see the Airbrushing tutorial)
5. After painting/airbrushing the hair, used smudge tool on it and did some burning and dodging.
6. Added a curves adjustment layer on top and reduced the yellow cast slightly
7. Added a color layer on top and enhanced color on lips and cheeks
Good luck, and keep up the great work. I'm really looking forward to seeing your next effort....
I love how you've restored the smoothe skin on the baby's face. Do you airbrush using a graphic tablet? And if it's not too inconvenient, can you post the link to the airbrushing tut?
Glad you like the look of airbrushing. It seems to be fast on the way to becoming a lost art since the invention of Photoshop, which I think is really unfortunate.
To answer your questions:
Nope, no tablet yet. I'm still using a mouse (and PS 5.5).
Just go to Tutorials on the popout menu to find the one on airbrushing.
Last edited by Jakaleena; 09-21-2002 at 07:24 AM.
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