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Photo Restoration Repairing damaged photos

Blotchy texture in skin

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  #1  
Old 09-11-2008, 06:44 PM
Paul Martzen Paul Martzen is offline
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Blotchy texture in skin

I have been restoring a faded baby photo, but am at a point where the skin is blotchy. Probably because of the large increase in contrast. Wondering what steps I could use to smooth out the skin tones and get a more natural skin texture. I am using PhotoshopCS2.

Attached is the original faded photo and one where I have used brightness/contrast and levels to increase contrast. I had to do a bit of damage retouching on the outer edges, but these I have cropped in to just show the face and skin texture.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg BabySkin.jpg (82.0 KB, 157 views)
File Type: jpg Baby-faded.jpg (69.1 KB, 147 views)
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  #2  
Old 09-11-2008, 07:00 PM
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amica999 amica999 is offline
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Re: Blotchy texture in skin

Hi Paul, welcome to RetouchPro. You have done quite a nice job on the image, but I would suggest that you'd use curves instead of brightness/contrast..To get rid of the blotchy skin, take the color sampler 3x3 or 5x5 and take a sample of the good skin as well as a sample of the blotch area...in the info palette you can see the rgb values. Create a new curves adjustment layer, from the drop down menue choose first the red, than green and blue channels and place you curser in the middle, than enter the values from bad skin in the input field and the good values in the output for each channel. Alt/Option click on the mask icon to create a hide-all-mask, paint with white soft brush with a suiting opacity over the blotches...
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Old 09-12-2008, 01:17 AM
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0lBaldy 0lBaldy is offline
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Re: Blotchy texture in skin

Welcome to RetouchPro Paul Have a look around and enjoy your stay. Looking forward to seeing some more of your work BTW I was raised just up the road in Modesto... way back in the 50s!

Looks as if your Baby-faded "Original?" has been run through a FFT process and converted to Grayscale..

Evidently a few stars were missed so I did a FFT again, then levels and applied Noiseware and cleaned a few black specks, did some D&B on the eyes and lips..

Would like to have seen a colored scan of this picture before any work was done so that the channels could be assessed to possibly prevent the splotchiness altogether
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File Type: jpg Baby_FFT_level_Noiseware.jpg (196.8 KB, 83 views)
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  #4  
Old 09-12-2008, 02:46 AM
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Verywierd Verywierd is offline
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Re: Blotchy texture in skin

I ran your WIP through Grain Surgery to clean up the noise. Adjusted the brightness and contrast and then created a duplicate layer, ran the noise/median filter to even out the skin tones, and then, using a black mask, painted over the skin blotches using a soft white brush. This also got rid of most of the pattern. Slight sharpening with a high pass layer.
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File Type: jpg BabySkin-01.jpg (94.7 KB, 91 views)
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  #5  
Old 09-12-2008, 04:05 PM
Paul Martzen Paul Martzen is offline
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Re: Blotchy texture in skin

Thanks for the greetings, feedback and efforts.

The original is an 11x14 on highly textured paper that I photographed with a Canon 20d camera. I positioned the lights to minimize the paper texture. I shoot in RAW. I probably processed the image in lightroom, but maybe in photoshop raw. The original file does have an orangish yellow cast to it. The photoshop file is 8bit rgb, but I must have taken the color out at the raw conversion step. I could go back and start over to see what the color channels show. I have not gotten in the habit of looking at the color channels enough to have a good grasp of using them. Also not sure what FFT means. Probably obvious, but I am drawing a blank right now.

Both of the versions done by OlBaldy and Verywierd look nice, but I see that it is not easy to get completely rid of this type of pattern. In my own experiments, I could completely blur the photo and these irregularities still showed through.

I worked with the suggestions by Amica999 last night. It appears to me that by putting the readings of the "bad" skin (darker skin) into the input line and the lighter skin into the output line, I can theoretically match the density of the dark skin to the light skin once I start white brushing the mask over the areas to be corrected. However, it seems very difficult to get a good effect on this type of irregular and subtle pattern. Even with the opacity on the brush way down, it seemed like I was either making new, worse patterns or not having much effect at all. Does seem that making the skin lighter or reducing contrast on the skin makes a big difference.
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Old 09-12-2008, 05:57 PM
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0lBaldy 0lBaldy is offline
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Re: Blotchy texture in skin

Just did a quick play with your retouch using Neat Image noise reduction at the splotchy setting

This might be a good opportunity to practice the D&B (Dodge and Burn) technique on your high res pic.
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File Type: jpg Babe_Suggestion.jpg (192.9 KB, 92 views)
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  #7  
Old 09-12-2008, 07:03 PM
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amica999 amica999 is offline
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Re: Blotchy texture in skin

OB, nice effort...looks smooth and unsplotchy :-)
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  #8  
Old 09-13-2008, 01:25 AM
Paul Martzen Paul Martzen is offline
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Re: Blotchy texture in skin

That looks pretty nice OB. I will look at the Neat Image program and experiment with it also. I don't have it at present, but I see they have a demo version to experiment with.
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  #9  
Old 09-13-2008, 02:04 AM
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Verywierd Verywierd is offline
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Re: Blotchy texture in skin

Actually, I assumed that you would want some degree of "blotchyness" as every baby that I have ever seen has very thin skin and the blood vessels are actually visible to some degree. If all you want is porcelain smoothness, create a blank layer, pick a representative skin tone and fill the whole layer and set it on luminosity blend mode. Then set a black mask and paint over the skin parts with a soft white brush, concentrating on the darker blotches. Then a little gaussian or surface blur on the mask to smooth the edges out. I did a very rough example simply by painting over all the skin with the same brush intensity and the adjusting the opacity of the layer a bit. I still left a tiny bit of uneveness, but the layer was at approx 46% opacity. Simply upping the opacity a bit more would have made it almost completly uniform.
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File Type: jpg BabySkin-02.jpg (94.6 KB, 61 views)
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  #10  
Old 09-13-2008, 09:01 AM
Paul Martzen Paul Martzen is offline
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Re: Blotchy texture in skin

So VW, you are thinking the blotchiness could be the babies real skin rather than related to the deterioration of the picture and my increasing the contrast? I will look at the original files again to see if the pattern is only on the skin or can be seen on the rest of the photo as well. If it is related to the babies actual blotchiness, then I would not feel any obligation to eliminate it, but would just tone it down a bit.
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