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Photo Restoration Repairing damaged photos

Can someone tell me how this is done?

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  #1  
Old 04-28-2008, 07:45 AM
beth313 beth313 is offline
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Can someone tell me how this is done?

Hi all,

New here...New to retouch as well. I use a few diff. programs to edit. Microsoft Digital 10, Photoshop Elements 6, etc...Have trial download of lightroom, CS3 and paintshop pro X.

Anyway, I found a web stie with an incredible restored photo. I contacted the artist and she told me she retouches with CS3 (she is the one who told me to check out this retouchpro site as well) I am not fond of that software only because I can't seem to wrap my head around it just yet. However, I have practiced non-stop to try and get a match to her picture and mine, at best, looks like I colored it in with colored pencils! I have checked out many tutorials to no avail

If anyone knows how this picture is restored to look like it does, can someone tell me step by step how to do it so I may practice?

Please look at the baby in the blue blanket under samples section.

The site is: http://www.restoration-photo.us/samples.htm

Thanks,
Beth
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  #2  
Old 04-28-2008, 07:49 AM
beth313 beth313 is offline
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I need help before I go crazy please!

Hi all,

New here...New to retouch as well. I use a few diff. programs to edit. Microsoft Digital 10, Photoshop Elements 6, etc...Have trial download of lightroom, CS3 and paintshop pro X.

Anyway, I found a web stie with an incredible restored photo. I contacted the artist and she told me she retouches with CS3. I am not fond of that software only because I can't seem to wrap my head around it just yet. However, I have practiced non-stop to try and get a match to her picture and mine, at best, looks like I colored it in with colored pencils!

If anyone knows how this picture is restored to look like it does, can someone tell me step by step how to do it so I may practice?

Please look at the baby in the blue blanket under samples section.

The site is: http://www.restoration-photo.us/samples.htm

Thanks,
Beth
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  #3  
Old 04-28-2008, 08:41 AM
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AFrazier AFrazier is offline
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Re: I need help before I go crazy please!

There are a number of photographs on that link. Can you be more specific about the picture/touch-up you are trying to reproduce?
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  #4  
Old 04-28-2008, 09:15 AM
beth313 beth313 is offline
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Re: I need help before I go crazy please!

Yes, sorry. Ok, on that particular web site...on the top tool bar there is a tab that is called "examples". Once you click that, some restored before and after pictures come up. I want to know how to do the techniques for the baby picture in the blue blanket referred as "Faded photo restored & re-colored". I can't come close to anything like that. Like I said, mine looks like colored pencil fill in...I don't know how she got such vibrant colors, with "real" looking detail and softness without losing detail and looking blurry. When I try and "paint" or "change color" or "fill in" it looks completely artificial and lost detail. It looks nothing like a photograph. It certainly looks nothing like hers. I really really really want to know how to do those techniques because I have many family pictures that looks just like her before photo. Yellowed and faded. I even tried converting my pictures to B&W and tried coloring from there to no avail either.
So, if anyone knows how to do the exact (and every step) to get that “after” photo effect, I would greatly appreciate any and all help. Again, I am using Photoshop elements 6 (She used CS3). I downloaded the trial version (and am considering purchasing the CS3) to tinker around to see if I could mimic her technique in CS3 and couldn’t do it. Besides, a few people on another forum told me not to go with CS3 since I have Elements 6. They told me I could do it in 6. I just don’t know all the steps and what tools to use to achieve this.
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Old 04-28-2008, 09:21 AM
smak smak is offline
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Re: I need help before I go crazy please!

It would probably help to settle down with one program, say CS3 and spend some time with a book and learn how to use all the tools, layers and masks and blending modes. Then you apply that knowledge to your photos. There is nothing intuitive about the program; it's all something you have to learn.
Retouching that photo probably included using about 6-7 different processes in CS3.
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  #6  
Old 04-28-2008, 10:33 AM
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AFrazier AFrazier is offline
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Re: I need help before I go crazy please!

If you are trying to recreate the baby photograph, just to use one example, you can simply use a gradient map adjustment layer. Set the layer blending mode to Hue, and use colors like 442f27, 967c71, and d4a799 to set the correct flesh tone.

To start, you would have to clean up the edges and bring the faded colors out and correct the white balance.

1) crop the photograph inside the black borders so you have a clean-edged image.

2) Create a duplicate layer (Layer > Duplicate Layer). You create the duplicate so you can make adjustments to the new layer without compromising the original/pre-adjusted copy.

3) Set the blend mode of the new layer to Multiply. That will darken the image and bring most of the detail back into it. Flatten the image (Layer > Flatten Image).

4) Create another duplicate adjustment layer to adjust the curves (Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Curves).

5) On top of that layer, create an adjustment layer to measure the threshold (Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Threshold). This threshold layer is used to find your darkest and lightest pixels to correct the white balance.

6) Adjust the slider on the threshold dialog to the left until you have a single black pixel (or as near as possible). Make sure the pixel is part of the picture, not the writing at the bottom (I adjusted the threshold to 52).

7) Highlight your Curves Adjustment layer to make sure that is the one you are adjusting, zoom in on the pixel until it is nice and large on your screen, and then Double-Click the Curves icon on that layer.

8) Double click the left eye-dropper, and in the dialog that opens, set your R, G, and B settings to 7 (or some other suitably dark black). Click OK, and click once on the same eye-dropper in order to use it. Click on the black pixel you found with the threshold.

9) Click OK on the Curves dialog, zoom the picture out until it fits on the screen, and then double click the slider icon on the threshold layer. Now move the slider to the right until you have only one white pixel left (or as near as possible). This will identify the lightest pixel in the photograph. I adjusted it to 211. Click OK.

10) Zoom in on the white pixel until it is large enough to select cleanly, and then go back into Curves. This time double click the eye-dropper on the right. Set your R, G, and B to about 244 (if you make it true white ffffff, rather than this extremely light gray, there are parts of the picture that might print "inkless").

11) Click OK on the color dialog, select the right eye-dropper, and click on the white pixel (make sure you are on your Background copy layer).

12) Next, with your Background copy selected, create a new layer (Layer > New > Layer) with the blend mode set to Difference, and fill the new blank layer with 50% gray (Edit > Fill) from the drop down menu of the dialog.

13) Double click the threshold slider icon on the threshold layer and adjust it back to the left until only one black pixel remains (or as close as possible). This/these will be your neutral gray pixel(s).

14) Click the "eye" icon on the Curves Adjustment layer to make it invisible while you adjust the gray.

15) Zoom in on the black pixel, and then double click the Curves icon on the Curves Adjustment layer (it is selectable while invisible). Double-click the center eye-dropper and set your R, G, and B settings to 133, which is a nice neutral gray color.

16) Use the center eye-dropper and click on the black pixel in the picture.

17) Delete the threshold and blank gray layers, and then merge your Curves Adjustment layer down.

That should fix the white balance.

To fix the color:

1) Start by selecting the two color boxes in your toolbar. Just click on the color box to pull up the colors dialog. For the first one, set the color to 442f27, which is a nice dark flesh tone color. Then set the other to d4a799, which is a nice light flesh tone color.

2) Create a new adjustment layer for a gradient map (Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Gradient Map). It should take the two colors you selected as the dark and light.

3) Click on the gradient itself to bring up the full dialog. Add a center point for a third color, click on the color box at the bottom, and use 967c71 for a neutral flesh tone color.

4) Set the blend mode of the layer to Hue (since this photograph already has color), or Color if you prefer. Either will work on this particular photograph.

5) Select the layer mask (which comes with the layer automatically), invert it (Ctrl + I), and use a decent sized brush with white to paint in the baby's face (Hold down Alt and select the mask if you want to enlarge it to see if you missed anything).

6) Make sure the layer mask is still selected, and blur the mask with a Gaussian blur to soften the edges of the mask (Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur). Set the blur to about 3.0 pixels. Click OK and click on the mask again while holding Alt to bring the picture back up onto the screen.

7) Create a new layer (Layer > Duplicate Layer) and convert it for smart filters (Filter > Convert for Smart Filters). Then apply a Gaussian Blur to the new layer, set to about .5 pixels.

8) Select the mask on that same layer, press Ctrl + I to invert it (to hide the effect), and paint the face in with white to reveal the blur.

9) Flatten the image when it looks right. Adjust the opacity of the color or blur layer as suits your own taste.

Do the colors for the blanket and clothes the same way until you have the colorization the way you want it.

When you're all done, adjust the shadows and highlights as appropriate to get the tone you want.

That's about as much as can be done without a lot of work. This picture (from the web) is very low resolution and more than a little pixelated. Much more can be done with a higher res. image (though this could still be fixed. It's just more work with a poor quality image).
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  #7  
Old 04-28-2008, 10:38 AM
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AFrazier AFrazier is offline
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Re: I need help before I go crazy please!

Quote:
Originally Posted by smak View Post
It would probably help to settle down with one program, say CS3 and spend some time with a book and learn how to use all the tools, layers and masks and blending modes. Then you apply that knowledge to your photos. There is nothing intuitive about the program; it's all something you have to learn.
Retouching that photo probably included using about 6-7 different processes in CS3.
I have to agree with Smak. I think I used about 4 or 5 processes just to do what I explained, and the picture still needs a lot of work.

Get a few books on the subject. Photoshop isn't a "play with it" kind of program.
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Old 04-28-2008, 10:43 AM
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AFrazier AFrazier is offline
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Re: I need help before I go crazy please!

Quote:
Originally Posted by beth313@verizon View Post
Yes, sorry. Ok, on that particular web site...on the top tool bar there is a tab that is called "examples". Once you click that, some restored before and after pictures come up. I want to know how to do the techniques for the baby picture in the blue blanket referred as "Faded photo restored & re-colored". I can't come close to anything like that. Like I said, mine looks like colored pencil fill in...I don't know how she got such vibrant colors, with "real" looking detail and softness without losing detail and looking blurry. When I try and "paint" or "change color" or "fill in" it looks completely artificial and lost detail. It looks nothing like a photograph. It certainly looks nothing like hers. I really really really want to know how to do those techniques because I have many family pictures that looks just like her before photo. Yellowed and faded. I even tried converting my pictures to B&W and tried coloring from there to no avail either.
So, if anyone knows how to do the exact (and every step) to get that “after” photo effect, I would greatly appreciate any and all help. Again, I am using Photoshop elements 6 (She used CS3). I downloaded the trial version (and am considering purchasing the CS3) to tinker around to see if I could mimic her technique in CS3 and couldn’t do it. Besides, a few people on another forum told me not to go with CS3 since I have Elements 6. They told me I could do it in 6. I just don’t know all the steps and what tools to use to achieve this.
I wouldn't listen too much to those people on the other forum. Elements has a lot of good, quality uses, but there is no comparison between it and CS3. CS3 retails for $600 ($1000 for the extended version). Elements is inexpensive (relatively speaking) for a reason.

You get what you pay for (though you can check ebay for a full copy of CS3 and get it much cheaper than the MSRP).
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  #9  
Old 04-28-2008, 10:57 AM
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DCobb DCobb is offline
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Re: I need help before I go crazy please!

The previous posters have given good advice. I only do this type of thing as a hobby so my analysis of this may not be 100% correct.

All good retouching begins with the scan of the original document assuming that it is an old photo and not a new digital image. I played around with the original image and it is too small to really do anything with. To do the smoothing that would be needed to make the small image look good would be time consuming and then probably would not look its best.

My guess is that the original scan of the pictue was first cropped and then the imperfections removed with skin and other smoothing where necessary. I would not be surprised if the retouched imaged was converted to grayscale and colorized.

I do use a Wacom graphics tablet, and that is very helpful if you do retouching as you have pressure control as you work.

As previous posters have stated there is not quick way to learning to use retouching software. Lots of practice is needed. There is a thread on this site relating to HOW DID YOU LEARN. It might be helpful to check this out.

dc
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  #10  
Old 04-28-2008, 06:51 PM
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Tom K Tom K is offline
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Smile Re: Can someone tell me how this is done?

Hi Beth,

The best I can do is recommend a book,
'Photoshop Restoration and & Retouching' by Katrin Eismann..

She presents the art of restoration in great detail and at 460 pages
you will find it to be a good read.....

HTH....... Tom
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