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How to repair skin on one of the worst pics you may ever see?

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  #1  
Old 09-25-2003, 11:06 PM
dipech dipech is offline
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How to repair skin on one of the worst pics you may ever see?

Hi Everyone!

Okay here is a good challenge. This picture is in about the worst condition possible. It's from probably the late 1800's and was pasted onto some kind of cloth that is now in taters. It's easy enough to entirely replace the background and take care of her blouse and hair, but the problem is what to do about her skin ? What tools are recommended for this kind of problem??

I know all the compression makes it hard to see this photo clearly so I've copied mostly just the face to post here.

Thanks very much for any advice/ suggestions,
Diane
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File Type: jpg orig-woman-rp copy.jpg (69.2 KB, 257 views)
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  #2  
Old 09-25-2003, 11:22 PM
dipech dipech is offline
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Here is as far as I've gotten. I used the dust and scratches filter under noise which got rid of many of the marks. The background is just something I came up with quickly and will go as soon as I find something much nicer...

What is about the best that could be done for this picture??

Diane
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File Type: jpg woman-rp copy.jpg (72.6 KB, 152 views)
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  #3  
Old 09-26-2003, 01:06 AM
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roger_ele roger_ele is offline
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Hi Diane,

I have been fooling around with a concept I picked up here on this forum of exagerating what I am trying to fix, retouching, then removing the exageration ... so this is what I tried on this one ... I didn't do it all the way, just past the 'unretouchable skin damage'

So this is what I did (steps included in image)

1)Duplicated layer (this is the layer all cloning is done on)

2)Created curves adjustment layer - increased contrast of skin area, changed curves adjustment layer mode to luminosity so exagerated color wouldn't distract.

3)Cloned skin back and forth over itself, brush about half the size of her pupil for most part, from 20 to 50 % opacity on the brush. Use all layers unchaecked. Turned eyeball on and off while cloning to make sure I was keeping the same shape to the face.

4)Adjusted curve to taste so it no longer exagerated.

The skin would still need more work, but now it is smooth enough for normal retouching techniques.

Hope this helps,
Roger
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Old 09-26-2003, 01:16 AM
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roger_ele roger_ele is offline
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My photo got left behind ...
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  #5  
Old 09-26-2003, 05:32 PM
dipech dipech is offline
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Hi Roger!

Thank you once again for being there to help!! This is looking great and it
looks like this technique will do the trick. Won't be able to try it out tiil Sun. night/ Monday.

Don't know if you can really see just how bad this lady's skin is with all the jpeg compression, but it's alot worse than how it came out above.

This woman's great-granddaughter is going to be very very happy...

Best regards,
Diane

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Old 10-20-2003, 11:03 PM
dipech dipech is offline
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Roger,

Re: what you wrote earlier

"I have been fooling around with a concept I picked up here on this forum of exagerating what I am trying to fix, retouching, then removing the exageration ...

Is the idea that the above enables you to more clearly see the damage you're trying to fix?

So here is the best I've been able to get that picture so far. Any comments, suggestions??

Again I got stuck on the lighting issue--trying to guess where the shadows and highlights should be and spent way too much time experimenting. How do you tell on something like this?

Also with something as damaged as this, what sharpening techniques do you recommend to sharpen without bringing out even more of the damage?

Best regards,
Diane

I'll post the pic in the next post below


Last edited by dipech; 10-20-2003 at 11:35 PM.
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  #7  
Old 10-20-2003, 11:39 PM
dipech dipech is offline
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Here is that photo...
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File Type: jpg final lucy copy.jpg (36.1 KB, 103 views)
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  #8  
Old 10-21-2003, 11:16 PM
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roger_ele roger_ele is offline
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Hi Diane,

Quote:
Is the idea that the above enables you to more clearly see the damage you're trying to fix?
Yes!

On your other questions, this is not what you asked but I think it might get to the heart of it. When I am working on an image I am in a zone that feels like I am playing pick-up sticks (remove a stick without the pile moving). I concentrate on changing subtle things, do each thing a little less than I might be inclined too, then check it and do more so that I don't lose the shape. When I do lose the shape I will bring the original image back in that spot at a low opacity and work it again.

Your last try is good. It looks a little contrasty with the lit skin all being too light. I like the gentle curve around the edges.

The shape of highlights and shadows communicate the shape of the face and the direction of the light. Highlights are the white/off-white reflections on the face and when I say shadow shape I mean specific shape not just where they are. For instance if a nose shadow has a bump on it it communicates a dip in the cheek (if the shadow changes brightness where the cheek would dip) or a bump on the nose. Try tracing the shape of the shadows and highlights on a good picture, then only after seeing how the highlights and shadows communicate shape notice the gradual shading with-in the shadows and the lit areas that communicate more shape. They are consistent with the shape and the direction of the light source(s).

Sorry if this is long, I find this stuff hard to explain. I don't have any art training so I am eager to see how anyone else might take a stab at this.

In regards to sharpening, I don't really know .... sometimes an amount around 25 and a radius around 250 can bring out shapes without sharpening detail. It is either sharpen detail or shapes ...

Hope this helps,
Roger

Last edited by roger_ele; 10-21-2003 at 11:28 PM.
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  #9  
Old 10-22-2003, 10:06 PM
dipech dipech is offline
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Hi Roger!

Thanks very much for your post. I had already started to redo the picture from the beginning and your post gave me the idea to lay the new version with the proper shape at a low opacity over the last one I posted. Below is my revised version.

This sure is one tough picture to restore!

Thanks also for taking the time to explain about the shape of the highlights and shadows. I will have to do some studying on this.

Best Regards,
Diane
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  #10  
Old 10-22-2003, 10:38 PM
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roger_ele roger_ele is offline
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Go girl, you are getting there!

Front of the face is still flat, needs highlights off of the highest spots (closest to you); tip of the nose, forhead, cheeks, chin, bridge of the nose. Then a little lighter at the top (closest to you) for the rounded stuff surounding the highlights.

Way to go!
Roger

Edit> I just took a second look, darken down the skin a whole bunch (to normal skin brightness) before you add back in the highlights.
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