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Photo Restoration Repairing damaged photos

Family Pic Heavy Grain

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  #1  
Old 02-05-2008, 08:12 AM
john718 john718 is offline
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Family Pic Heavy Grain

Hi , can anyone tell me if his old picture can be saved. It is very dark with heavy grain. I have tried everything I could think of but have'nt been happy with the result. I created masks for each face, and each peace of clothing but i still can't get the faces to look natural. Any advice would be welcomed.

original scan @1200 dpi
using cs2
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File Type: jpg Untitled-1.jpg (94.0 KB, 178 views)
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  #2  
Old 02-05-2008, 09:56 AM
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cardmnal cardmnal is offline
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Re: Family Pic Heavy Grain

John,

A larger file would yield better results but here is what I did.

I ran your photo through neat image to remove the graininess. I duplicated the layer, inverted, set the blend mode to color and backed off the opacity. Next I did a curves adjustment and a hue and saturation adjustment. Finally a little cleanup with the clone tool. The entire operation took only a couple of minutes.
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Old 02-05-2008, 01:59 PM
john718 john718 is offline
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Re: Family Pic Heavy Grain

Cardmnal,

Thanks it looks good. After I posted the image I downloaded a demo of neat image and got simelar results. I'l try it later with a larger file. I could have saved a lot of time had I don that first.

John
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Old 02-05-2008, 08:55 PM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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Re: Family Pic Heavy Grain

ok, let's get you started here.

the first thing is to bring the lighting up. 'levels' will do that nicely. i set the black point on the young man's suit coat and the white point on the woman on the left's dress. and then i simply moved the middle slider to the left till i was happy with the new lighting level.

this photo was shot in low light, underexposure. that brings a very distinct problem when you then convert the image to digital... noise! and this one has a lot of it. bringing the light level up also brought the noise out. so, programs like 'neat image', 'noise ninja' or photoshop's or paint shop pro's native noise reduction can help. you could also try polaroid's dust and speck removal tool, though i'm guessing that one may not do as well here. the problem with using these tools, any of them, is that you're going to get blurring and artifacting, especially if you use any of the built in sharpening features that those tools may have.

so, the question here is, speed versus quality. the noise reduction programs/tools are fast, but they wont do the complete job all by themselves. there are things one can do to reduce those problems, but then that reduces the speed. so, the question then, is speed versus quality. how much time do you want to spend and/or at what level of quality will you be happy with?

and, this also applies to tools like median, salt and pepper, edge preserving smooth, texture preserving smooth and so on. they'll smooth things out but blur the image in the process.

now, the noise/artifact problem can be handled. it's just a matter of what you want to do. i'm posting an image where all i did is the level adjustment and a noise reduction. this brought up the light and reduced the fine noise quite a bit, but left quite a bit of artifacting in the wake. my next steps would probably be to fix the ugly, bland background and then start airbrushing out the artifacts, followed further by fine work on the faces, especially the eyes. but, i'll save that for later.
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Old 02-05-2008, 09:23 PM
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Re: Family Pic Heavy Grain

John, the 1st thing I would do is reduce the noise with a good noise filter like Imagenomic's Noiseware. If you do not reduce the noise first, you are likely to amplify it by adjusting curves and levels.
The Red channel looked cleaner than the rest. I copied it and pasted it onto a new layer. Then did a levels adjustment on it to adust the contrast and brighten the midtones a little. Then change the blend mode to luminosity. See attached sample.
From here I would adjust the color, touch up the damaged areas and finally sharpen the final result (not done since this is a lower quality pixelated image). With a good scan (preferably from a scanner with a high dynamic range) you should be able to get a pretty reasonable result.
Regards, Murray
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  #6  
Old 02-06-2008, 08:03 AM
john718 john718 is offline
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Re: Family Pic Heavy Grain

thanks Craig,

I have played with the picture on and off for a while. So I’m not opposed to putting in time as long as I can get a decent result. Also I was thinking of purchasing neat image,
Home+ or Pro any advantages of one over the other?

John
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Old 02-06-2008, 07:11 PM
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Re: Family Pic Heavy Grain

Neat image pro supports 16 bit images, the home edition does not. Other than that the only real difference between the two that I know of are batching capabilities. The home version may be fine for you and I would guess you could still upgrade to pro easy enough.


Alan
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  #8  
Old 02-06-2008, 08:32 PM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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Re: Family Pic Heavy Grain

hi john,

i used to use neat image, but ever since paint shop pro came out with their 'digital camera noise removal' tool, i've been using that. it's easier to use and does a nice job in most cases. i still wont throw my copy of neat image away, though. and as for pro versus home, i never used the pro version.
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Old 02-06-2008, 10:03 PM
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Re: Family Pic Heavy Grain

ok, here's my next step. i made a selection around the family and promoted it to a new layer. then, i just flood filled in a blank layer below the family layer. attached is a screenshot of the image and workflow.

the advantages of this are that you now have a fairly consistent background that can be replaced easily, if desired, gets rid of the grainy, dark and inconsistent background and uses one of the original background's own colors.

this was a pretty easy stage and it's the next stage that gets tough.
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Old 02-06-2008, 10:34 PM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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Re: Family Pic Heavy Grain

and here's the first part of the next stage, the body cleanup. all i've done to start here is the woman on our right. notice that i use the airbrush all on one layer and the push all on another layer above the airbrush layer. this is because of how paint shop pro treats airbrushing and and push when done on a single layer... not well.

i airbrushed in the hair with varying browns and blacks and smudged them around a bit with the push. i also pushed various artifacts out in the face, neck, shoulders, arms and even the dress a bit. you could also smudge more of the dress, if desired. sharpening has added 'sharpening blocks' which are evident when you zoom in. i broke those up a bit with push, but not all. so, use your own judgement on that.

the same sort of treatment i'd also do on the other people. the guy on the left is going to be the hardest, i think. but, also pay attention to the boy's eyes. eyes can be rebuilt in paint shop pro using the red eye removal tool and it will a pretty good job of this if you're careful.
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