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Understanding when and what type of layers to use in photo restoration

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Old 12-07-2005, 12:12 AM
Gerald McClaren Gerald McClaren is offline
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Understanding when and what type of layers to use in photo restoration

I've ran into a lot of problem because of not understanting how what type of layers to use when restoring a photo using Cs2. Lets deal with a hypothethical situation. You have a photo with faded colors, blemishes, and stains on the face and clothes. What is the first step I should take before restoring that photo? Do I duplicate the original first? Click on create a new layer, or Control J for another type of layer i.e Layer 1. I know that the adjustment layer can be use for the color correction, level, curves, and hue/saturation for underexposed and overexposed photo. What type of layers should I use for the blemishes and stains? I don't really know what to use. Also, when the restoration is completed, do I flatten all the layers, merge down, or merge visible. I hope someone can have to the patient to explain all of this to me. I'm a novice at using photoshop, but I definately need to learn more about layers.
I've read several tutorials and books on this subject but they never give a detail step on how and what type of layers to use. Thanks.

Gerald McClaren
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Old 12-07-2005, 07:49 AM
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Flora Flora is offline
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Hi Gerald McClaren,

if I haven't done it yet .... Welcome to RP!

...And now to your questions:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerald McClaren
.... Lets deal with a hypothethical situation. You have a photo with faded colors, blemishes, and stains on the face and clothes. What is the first step I should take before restoring that photo? Do I duplicate the original first?
Absolutely YES! ... Never, ever work on the original .... Always make a 'working copy' and rename it to be on the safe side!!! ... And YES, this should be the very first step to be taken when working on pictures ....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerald McClaren
.... Click on create a new layer, or Control J for another type of layer i.e Layer 1.
..After having my 'safe' working copy, I tend to duplicate the background Layer (either by CTRL + J or by 'dragging' the background on the 'Create a New Layer' button at the bottom of my Layers' Palette), and start working on that .... I simply love to keep the 'untouched' Background for a quick comparison while working ....
By simply clicking on the 'Create a New Layer' button you just create a new blank/empty Layer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerald McClaren
.... What type of layers should I use for the blemishes and stains? I don't really know what to use.
There are many theories about this topic .... You'll find them spread in the different Forums here ... Personally, I go for New Blank/Empty layers changing their Blendings and, if necessary, Opacity and do most of my corrections on them ... You might have a look at this tutorial I just wrote exactly on this topic...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerald McClaren
.... Also, when the restoration is completed, do I flatten all the layers, merge down, or merge visible.
Merge Down or Merge Visible are mostly 'in between' solutions particularly when you need a corrected 'merged Layer' for your next step (noise removing, blurring sharpening etc.) ... Here is a Tip on 'Merging Visible' without losing any of the correction layers created so far ...

When the Restoration is really finished, you can 'Flatten' your Image ... This will leave you with a single 'Background Layer' showing all the corrections done on all visible Layers at the moment of Flattening.

I hope this helps ... and don't hesitate to ask more .... We all started with exactly the same doubts and confusion ...
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Old 12-07-2005, 09:03 AM
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philbach philbach is offline
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Getting Started

If I have a complicated photo to work with I make a new directory (folder) and drag the image in there. Then following Katrin Eisman's Suggestion I put three folders inside. One is labeled original, The Other labeled WIP for Work in Progress, and One finished. I place a copy of the original photo in the original folder and a copy in the WIP folder. I start on the photo in the WIP folder and do what flora recommends that is copy the background lower to a second layer and start from there.
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Old 12-08-2005, 11:34 AM
Gerald McClaren Gerald McClaren is offline
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Understanding when and what type of layers to use in photo restoration

I will try and follow your thread on when and what type of layers to use in photo restoration. It's the thread on using layers, shadow/highlights. I'll try and adapt it to my restoration process. Thanks you.

Gerald McClaren
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