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Photo Restoration Repairing damaged photos

Newbie here, Needing a bit of advise

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  #1  
Old 12-27-2005, 10:35 PM
Braddock Braddock is offline
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Newbie here, Needing a bit of advise

Im now trying my hand at restoring old photos and just need a few suggestions on how I can maximize a photo that Im working on. Getting rid of dust and spots is no prob for me. The first thing I adjusted is the tonal quality. The problem I ran into was the more adjustments I made, The more grainy the image became. Is it just that the original is where the problem is, Or am I adding too much adjustments? How can I smooth out the image and get a cleaner looking pic? Ill add the original & an image of where I currently am in the process. Thanx to all for any suggestions.
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File Type: jpg orig.jpg (49.8 KB, 56 views)

Last edited by Braddock; 12-27-2005 at 10:55 PM.
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  #2  
Old 12-28-2005, 08:50 AM
Craig Walters's Avatar
Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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braddock,

welcome to RP.

yup, going grainy is easy to do on these. when that happens, the thing to do is back up and find out what happened and correct for it. now, i dont know when you converted to grayscale, but i'd recommend NOT doing that till the very last step. the reason for this is that you lose access to tools in various paint programs. so, my first step was the Fast Fix plugin. i used that to desaturate rather than go completely gray. i also used it to adjust contrast and lightness a bit. this gives me an image that has lost most of that dull yellowish tint.

from there i'll just list things i did:

digital camera noise removal
polaroid dust and scratch remover plugin on the black setting with the face and other whites selected out so as not to affect them
clone/smudge on the background
contrast/brightness adjustment layer
curves adjustment layer
clone/smudge/push/lighten-darken tools on the face and other areas of the body to smooth things out a bit
convert to grayscale (optional)

those are the basic steps i took and mostly in the right order that i did them. sorry, part of the workflow gets erased when i convert to 'merge all layers', so this is mostly correct but might be a bit off here and there.

i'm including images of both NOT grayscale and grayscale. you also certainly do not need to do the background like i did. just a simple cleaning would have been ok.

also, my versions here are just one level of cleanup. more could be done if you wanted to. i find this level, however, fairly acceptable in most cases.

hope that helps.

craig
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File Type: jpg orig-1-k-1a.jpg (86.5 KB, 46 views)
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  #3  
Old 12-28-2005, 02:29 PM
Braddock Braddock is offline
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Thanx for the input! Actually, Ive tried grayscale & Ive tried it in color. Im just trying to see which way works best for this particular photo.

The wall I run into when simply restoring good tonal quality is the loss of clarity. The one place I feel is most important is the face. When I use the "Dust &Scrathes" filter in PS, It takes away the little reflection in the eye that gives the face its "life", I guess you could call it. The same gos when using levels and curves. It seems that theres such a fine line when using those tools that you just have to keep fiddling with it and gain experience using it. Im using Katrin Eisman's book and its tutorials to assist in my learning experience and ran across a problem I recall from my Alegbra and Calculus days. In class, The teacher made it look easy and the problems always made since. But as soon as I got home and tried it myself, It never worked as smoothly as it did in class. The same holds true in this case. I used one of the images provided via the books website and the tutorial worked great. But when I tried it with my own image, All I got was crap!! I guess Ill just keep reading and fooling around. Practice makes perfect, Or in this case, Near-perfect.

Last edited by Braddock; 12-28-2005 at 02:38 PM.
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  #4  
Old 12-28-2005, 03:07 PM
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philbach philbach is offline
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Noise Removal

The key to what Kraellin did was to use some good noise reduction filters. In Photoshop CS2 the surface blur filter works very well. Neat Image provides a free filter, and the Polaroid dust and scratches filter is free also. The Photoshop dust and scratches doesn't work nearly as well.

I think if you use those you will be able to improve your results. Hey thats why this site is fun. Lots of interesting ideas.
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  #5  
Old 12-28-2005, 03:11 PM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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braddock,

i probably didnt make this clear enough when i wrote it up the first time. when using the polaroid plugin, i did an 'edit selection' on her face, hands and other white areas of her dress. this is a masking/selection type action. i just paint over them with the 'edit selection' turned on and it creates a mask. when done, i simply hit the 'edit selection' again and it turns the mask into a selection. i then inverted the selection to put it on everything but the face, hands and so on. i THEN run the polaroid plugin. in this wise the only parts that get affected by the plugin are those areas in the selection, which means NOT her face, hands and so on. this gets rid of most of the junk in the background and other non-critical areas. the critical areas i do by hand.

almost any noise removal software will compromise clarity for noise removal. thus, when you've got an area that just really cant be compromised, mask or select it out so the noise removal tool wont affect it at all. it makes life a lot easier.

now, you are right in that practice can get this much better and sometimes you dont even need to mask out areas. in the case of your image, i didnt like what i got when i didnt mask.

you might also look into 'Neat Image'. this is another noise remover that is very good and even has a free version as well. you'll see it referenced in these forums a lot. it's quite good. but that one takes a bit of practice and study also. a google on the name will find it easily enough, or just search the forums and you'll find a link.

also, one note on the polaroid one. if you use it as a plugin you have to mask the areas you dont want affected yourself. if you use the stand-alone version the program will mask what it's going to remove for you and show you this and give you the opportunity to remove any 'dot masks' that you dont want altered. so, in your case, you might want to practice with the stand-alone version first. it's quite visible and easy to do. with the plugin version you have to kind of look for what's going to be done by yourself in the preview window and mask separately outside of the plugin.

also, not quite sure all steps you took to get to your version, but you went too far before removing the grain in the image. it needed to be done before you got to the point you did. that's why i said go back to an earlier point. cleaning up from where you got wouldnt be as good.

post some more practices or finals and others will join in here with tips also. you dont have to post a final either. post some progress images and we might better be able to help steer you a bit.

craig
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Old 12-28-2005, 08:59 PM
Braddock Braddock is offline
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Thanx for all the help yall.
OK, I tried working on it some more & took care of the background pretty well. I also took care of the big white stain that overlaps into her hair. To match the hair( where her part is), I masked the pic excpet that part and used a multiply blending layer. It worked fairly well I suppose. I tried neat image, Which worked quite well, But in softening the image, It took away some of the details that i wanted to keep. So I just used it for the background and Im happy with that. The face is still too full of artifacts and dark pixals though. Outside of using the clone stamp & the healing brush, How can I smooth out the face and make it a bit more uniform without sacrificing details?
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Old 12-28-2005, 11:12 PM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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ok, that's looking better!

for the face, which in this case is fairly small, i simply play coloring book and do this by hand. there are many different tools you could do this with. you could paint with a brush or smear/smudge or push. there is also back-painting, which is making a new layer and painting on it and then using a blend mode to blend it into the layer below.

you could also do a new mask/selection and use a noise remover with different, lighter settings than what you used on the background.

you can also use a lighten/darken tool/brush and paint with that.

so, it's mostly what you're best at using and what will produce the best results for you. myself, i'd probably try a noise remover first and then use a combo of smudge and airbrush or maybe a bit of back painting. it all depends on how things progress.

keep going; you're doing fine

craig
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  #8  
Old 12-29-2005, 07:18 AM
Braddock Braddock is offline
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Im getting there!! Thanx. Quick easy question, I just cant seem to remember how to invert a selection. Say I have a quick layer mask selected and I want to reverse the mask so that everything formally not affected will now be affected. Whats the keyboard shortcut for that in PS?
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Old 12-29-2005, 07:43 AM
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Flora Flora is offline
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Hi Braddock,

Welcome to RP!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Braddock
Im getting there!! Thanx. Quick easy question, I just cant seem to remember how to invert a selection. Say I have a quick layer mask selected and I want to reverse the mask so that everything formally not affected will now be affected. Whats the keyboard shortcut for that in PS?
To invert a quick Layer Maks or a 'full' layer mask (making sure you are working on the mask and not on the Layer), just press Ctrl+I .... To invert a selection (marching ants), press Ctrl+Shift+I ....

I had a go at your picture .... These kind of pictures are 'bad' because whatever you do for increasing 'density' and contrast, seems to work much better on the noise!!!

I restored it following this Tutorial nearly from A to Z ....
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  #10  
Old 12-29-2005, 12:43 PM
Braddock Braddock is offline
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Thank you so much. Yall all have given me wealth of info to draw from. Like most Im sure, I want to know how to do it all at once, But I think now Ive gotten more than enough to start practicing a bit. I could keep asking question after question, But Ill hold off for now. Ive got a whole box of photos i can practice on.

It seems that different methods work better, or worse, On certain photos. After restoring several, I guess you begin to learn which application is best suited for each individual photo. Then after that you just use trial and error.
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