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Photo Restoration Repairing damaged photos

New Background with Structured Noise

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  #1  
Old 01-14-2006, 12:11 AM
Bulldoggie's Avatar
Bulldoggie Bulldoggie is offline
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New Background with Structured Noise

My wife found a photo of her grandmother's father from when he was in the service. The photo is in pretty bad shape. The attached jpg shows what it looked like after Silverscan with tone adjustments (on an Epson 4870).

Looking at the scan it seemed my best bet was to retouch him and replace the background. Prior to finishing the retouch work, I started work on the background. Gaussian and uniform noise didn't blend - the noise in the subject was too structured. I considered removing/reducing the noise in the subject, but it adds a real charm to the photo (IMHO). The folks at Photoshopuser suggested using the pattern generator with a sample of the image to get a new background, but I was never happy with the result. I put the effort on hold (see with edits jpg).

Attached is a 100% crop of the image at 100% jpg quality. It's of the collar and the button (on the left side of him as you look at it).

Any ideas would be most appreciated. Right now I'm rethinking my decision to replace the background.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Father-Orig.jpg (47.4 KB, 57 views)
File Type: jpg Father-w-edits.jpg (80.0 KB, 66 views)
File Type: jpg Collar-Button.jpg (33.8 KB, 53 views)
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  #2  
Old 01-14-2006, 08:29 AM
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Kraellin Kraellin is offline
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bulldoggie,

welcome to RP.

i dont quite follow what it is you're trying to do. your background looks fine. the only thing i see that really needs work is on the gentleman's left (our right) cheek and chin where the texture and shadow has a bit too much depth. it makes it look like it's printed on heavy, rough paper or something. the same is true on his white collar.

there are also a couple of minor touchups that could be done yet. his right ear isnt very well defined and there's a small bit right above that on the underside of the hat. also, the collar blends a bit too much with his neck and could be defined a bit better. the same is also true with the hat brim on the right (our left) front. try using a blank layer on these minor items and adding a bit of 'paint' on it to correct. that button could probably be simply sharpened a bit and be fine.

also, you've darkened the image overall. that works ok on the face, but his uniform has lost some detail as a result. a mask or curves to brighten that back up would be nice.

overall, you've brought this picture back from ruin and it's a very nice job. i love seeing these old black and whites restored. you're just not quite done yet.

craig
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  #3  
Old 01-14-2006, 09:24 AM
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chrishoggy chrishoggy is offline
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Just a thought, I've had a look at the image, and if you use just the red channel you will find all the detail is in the image. Most of the damage is in the blue channel, so removing this clears the photo up quite well on it's own .
If I get chance I will do an example later
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Old 01-14-2006, 09:42 AM
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Welcome Bulldoggie! Nice job. Instead of Noise you might consider trying Artistic:Film Grain. It's less structured than Noise and has lots of control features.

Cheers

Dave
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  #5  
Old 01-14-2006, 10:15 AM
Ken Fournelle Ken Fournelle is offline
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The only other thing you might want to consider is to take a small, soft brush, select blur at 70% opacity and go over the edge of the man.

I think the extracted edges are a bit to sharp.

k
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Old 01-14-2006, 07:41 PM
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Bulldoggie Bulldoggie is offline
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Wow! Thanks all for so many replies. First off, I concur that the edges are way too sharp right now. I started working on the edges at about the same time as the background, but never finished. There's still some dodge/burn/paint work to do, but the background stumped me and I stopped in mid-stream.

Funny as you do more and more of this stuff, earlier work so obviously needs more work. The curves adjustment does make the image too dark, especially the coat.

Back to the background - I'll definitely try the film grain. So y'all can see the difference in the noise I've included another 100% crop. Had to compress this one a bit, but it still holds almost all the texture. It's where the neck and collar meet on the RHS (as we view it). Hopefully this makes it clearer just how big a difference there is in grain/noise textures.
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File Type: jpg Neck-Shoulder--Background.jpg (7.8 KB, 17 views)
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  #7  
Old 01-15-2006, 10:00 AM
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Cameraken Cameraken is offline
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Hi Bulldoggie. Welcome to RetouchPro.

Great job on the restoration.

What you are calling film grain looks like paper texture.
It may be easier to remove the texture altogether and then add back noise at the end.

I had a very quick go at this. I started from the red channel which as Chris mentioned, is the cleanest.
Cloned out the marks. (I used some of the face from the edited picture)
Dust and Scratches to remove the paper texture
Blurred the Background and some parts of the jacket and face.
Once the picture is finished a layer of noise or Film Grain can be added to the whole picture.

I did not spend as long on this as you have. But, hopefully you will get the idea.
As you can see, I left the original background but, the same idea will work with a new one.

Ken
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File Type: jpg Ken_Father-Orig.jpg (97.6 KB, 19 views)
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  #8  
Old 01-15-2006, 12:45 PM
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Kraellin Kraellin is offline
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i had a go at this one also. i love these old b&w's. he seems to be wearing an army uniform from wwI. if i remember correctly, those were a sort of greyish brown, heavy wool.

for the background, i mostly just cloned it more even. this took out much of the texture.

for the stains and mold and colorations, i used the Fast Fix plugin and simply desaturated. this removed a fair amount of work.

i didnt separate channels at all. i prefer to work in rgb unless it's just impossible.

i added two adjustment layers, contrast/light and curves. i use these a lot in conjunction with each other and balance one against the other. often during a piece like this i'll re-adjust. i also mostly turn these off while cloning, pushing, or smudging, as i dont want the adjusted light being used when i 'use all layers'.

there was a TON of clone, push and smudge here. mostly it was done at very light opacities to blend things more evenly and not make too many drastic changes at once that would then have to be blended themselves. it was done mostly using Flora's excellent technique of doing these on a blank raster layer by 'use all layers'. this makes a very nice, non-destructive alteration which can be corrected fairly easily.

there was also a lot of 'copy merge' and 'paste to new layer' of that copy merge. when i would do those i would then move the original adjustment layers up over the copy merged layer so that my lighting and contrast remained the same. and again, i turn these on and off to check things and adjust.

there were also some blends done, but frankly, i lost track of the complete workflow due to having to save and quit.

i tried to keep the texture and shadows in his face, but to lessen them. i believe like ken mentioned that you picked up some paper texture in the scan. it wasnt enough that i needed to do an fft, but it did make for a very grainy face and that's what i tried to lessen without removing completely.

it's a great picture and i hope you get it restored how you want it.

craig
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Father-Orig-1-k-1e.jpg (92.6 KB, 12 views)
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  #9  
Old 01-15-2006, 01:01 PM
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Cameraken Cameraken is offline
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Hi Bulldoggie. It’s me again.

I just spotted a possible mistake in my picture.
It’s in the Neck/Jaw area under the stain.

The altered picture looks better and there is evidence in the picture that it should be this way.

Take another look and see what you think.


Ken
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File Type: jpg Ken_Neck.jpg (99.4 KB, 9 views)
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  #10  
Old 01-15-2006, 04:46 PM
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Bulldoggie Bulldoggie is offline
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I think y'all are right that's it's not film grain noise, but most likely paper texture. In the effort I posted the channel mixer was used to minimize discoloration, etc., but I don't remember what the mixture was (just that Blue was essentially removed).

That said, there are a number of techniques mentioned I haven't tried. I've decided to go back to the original scan and rework from there with the intent of keeping the original background. It's been nearly a year since I worked on this. Had a bunch of other more pressing restorations come up for family reunions, etc. The time away has been good - but not as good as the advice and incredible support from RP!

Kraellin, I totally agree. I'd prefer to do nothing but old, old BW. There's something almost magical about them. Especially when they're in really bad shape and are brought back to life.

I'm not sure how long this will take, but I'll be sure to post the results and workflow.
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