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Photo Restoration Repairing damaged photos

Help - I'm stuck

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  #1  
Old 02-10-2006, 06:24 AM
7890 7890 is offline
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Help - I'm stuck

Hi everyone,
My favorite subject is my wife; however, her face (forehead) appears blotchy in all of her pictures. After in-depth reading and numerous attempts to correct this, I am still at a loss. The most I can do is lighten/darken to try to smooth and match, then a slight blur. Needless to say, the results are flat with severe loss of details. I've seen some amazing stuff here. I am seriously at my wits end and would be very grateful for your help

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greg
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  #2  
Old 02-10-2006, 06:57 AM
edgework edgework is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 7890
Hi everyone,
My favorite subject is my wife; however, her face (forehead) appears blotchy in all of her pictures. After in-depth reading and numerous attempts to correct this, I am still at a loss. The most I can do is lighten/darken to try to smooth and match, then a slight blur. Needless to say, the results are flat with severe loss of details. I've seen some amazing stuff here. I am seriously at my wits end and would be very grateful for your help

Full size image is stored here

greg
The differences between the good skin tones and the blotchiness aren't really dark/light problems, though the solution uses the same technique as a dodge/burn layer. But with curves instead.

What you have is a color correction problem. If it was, say, a sweater you were trying to correct, the solution would be simple. Mask the sweater, use the mask in a curve adjustment layer and apply curves to move the old color to the desired change. The problem here is how to create an accurate mask for the region that needs changing. The solution is to work in reverse.

I set an info sampler on the large blotch on her forehead, and one on a good tone nearby. The color readouts were:

Skin blotch: R: 176, G: 121, B: 114
Good Skin: R: 191, G: 138, B: 128

Set a curve adjustment layer and open the curve dialogue. At the bottom of the curve-grid window there is a gradient from black to white. If the gradient doesn't have black to the left click it. That brings the Input/Output values in line with the Info palette readouts.

Now go to each channel, set a midpoint on the curve and plug in the numbers. For red enter 176 in the input box, 191 in the output box. Likewise for the other two channels.

Activate the layer mask for the adjustment layer and fill with black.

I used a small brush at 10% opacity. I have a tablet and I set the opacity to Pressure sensitive. I painted small strokes of white into my layer mask everywhere I saw a skin discoloration, slowly allowing the curve shift to take effect. You don't have to worry about how to create the mask, just watch the screen. You will literally paint the blotches away. Without losing texture.

The power of curves is that you're not just painting in a color, or shifting darks and lights; you're applying an entire color range, since the curve distributes the shift throughout the entire range.

Once I tamed the large regions with the curve, it was quick work for the Healing Brush (at the same size as I used for the mask) to smooth over the residual artifacts. (The healing brush is the tool of choice for this sort of thing, when you want to retain texture).

Below, the original, the mask and the result. This was a five minute fix. There is more to be done, but this shows what is possible.

http://edgework.tripod.com/samples/skinblotches.jpg
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Old 02-10-2006, 07:21 AM
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gland gland is offline
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Great explanation edgework. Thanks...

Last edited by gland; 02-10-2006 at 07:44 AM.
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Old 02-10-2006, 07:32 AM
Cassidy Cassidy is offline
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Great stuff Edgework.

In no way is my solution as clever or as technical.

1. Clone of skin onto new layer with 25% clone brush and then set opacity of layer to around 72%
2. Using a small opacity white brush on a new layer, added a few highlights in colour dodge blending.
3. Using a 50% grey layer I added the noise filter and then attached a black mask and painted with white in very low opacity some noise in the areas where you would normally expect to see some.
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File Type: jpg ScreenShot003.jpg (69.6 KB, 59 views)
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Old 02-10-2006, 08:21 AM
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philbach philbach is offline
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Another Approach Using CS2

Technique from Katrin Eisman Vol 3 Photoshop Restoration and Retouching.

Copy the Layer using Screen Blending Mode

G. Blur the screen Layer at a 9 setting

Copy the Screen Layer to another Layer using multiply blending mode and set the opacity of the multiply layer to 40%

Select the Screen Layer and The multiply Layer

Then Make a new group from these two layers.

Add a black layer mask to the new group

Paint the mask with a soft white brush where needed.

Sharpen later as needed.
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File Type: jpg Face.jpg (68.3 KB, 45 views)

Last edited by philbach; 02-10-2006 at 12:08 PM. Reason: Give credit to originator
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Old 02-10-2006, 08:30 AM
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byRo byRo is offline
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Hello there, 7890. Welcome to RetouchPRO

DeGrunged using a radius of 7,2 for the high-pass and 2,4 for the Gblur.

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Old 02-10-2006, 11:18 AM
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bart_hickman bart_hickman is offline
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Ro's method is great--I love it.

Another trick that sometimes works is run a noise reduction tool and adjust the equalizer sliders to remove only the grunge.

The tool needs to be one that lets you explicitly sample the part of the image you want to clean up. In this case, I just sampled the forehead and then turned the high and low frequency sliders down and the medium frequency slider up. Again, you can do this on a separate layer with a mask and only do the NR selectively. I know Noise Ninja and the Paintshop Pro noise tool allow manual sampling.

The disadvantage is, it's more difficult to target a specific texture in situations where there are many textures on top of one another and you only want to get rid of a specific texture frequency--Ro's method is king in that case.

The advantage is you don't have to pick the frequency to remove--the NR tool automatically analyzes the blotchiness and removes it.

In this case, I think the two methods are giving pretty similar results.

Bart
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File Type: jpg de-blotch.jpg (89.5 KB, 36 views)
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Old 02-10-2006, 11:22 AM
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twinkissed twinkissed is offline
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byRo that's fantastic. I never saw that tutorial before and it works great. Thanks for linking to that.
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Old 02-10-2006, 02:56 PM
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mistermonday mistermonday is offline
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I was working in parallel using Ro's method which I thought would work better than a noise filter in this case because the blotches are large and not really noise. Independently I used settings high settings to test the lattitude - which his technique has a fair amount of. The larger size image maintains more freckles and detail some of which was lost when I downsized.
Regards, Murray
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File Type: jpg Blotchy Skin Tone 7890 Rev MM Thumb.jpg (97.6 KB, 28 views)
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  #10  
Old 02-10-2006, 03:45 PM
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Flora Flora is offline
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Hi Greg!

Welcome to RP!

Great techniques here!! ... edgework, In spite of my allergy for them, your post got me considering to give another look at 'those' numbers ....

Too nice a picture to resist ....

I just used 'my' blank Layer set to ... (in this case: Lighten, Soft Light and Overlay) technique ... Patch Tool, Healing Brush, and USM for sharpening.
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File Type: jpg F_P1291228.jpg (97.1 KB, 46 views)
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