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Photo Restoration Repairing damaged photos

Filters to restore?

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  #1  
Old 01-19-2010, 08:59 AM
fstr21 fstr21 is offline
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Filters to restore?

I have seen alot of people helping others in the forums with some restorations, and in alot of their steps I am seeing noise, gradiants, blurs, maybe even an emboss. I have looked all around the tutorials and havent really found an answer to my question, which is... the methods and reasons behind doing some of these techniques. I am still in the process of googling but if anyone is bored and has the time to point me in the right direction.

Thanks everyone
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  #2  
Old 01-20-2010, 08:05 PM
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Florin Florin is offline
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Re: Filters to restore?

Welcome here.
Well, restoring doesn´t mean the managing of the filters, plugins, effects and so on. This is only a step which save you a lot of time if you´d be doing the same thing manually. Remember that your PC is a machine which isn´t able to see the difference between one image and the other. The machine understands only commands and will do exactly what you are ordering. So, you are the one who must learn, undestand and practice a lot untill you´ll manage how´s working every tool. Then, you´ll send the command to the machine.
The first step is a good scanned image. High resolution will allow you to do a good job.
Second step is crop it at the right size (4x6, 6x8, 8x10 inch etc)
Third are curves or levels, which could recover or balance the image improving the general view.
Fourth step is retouch or restroe using the painting technique for the areas where the filters are useless. I like a lot to paint with the clone brush (S key) which give me better blendings than the paint brush (B key) which has too plain strokes. Inside the completely damaged areas, where are missing things, filters are useless and you´ll have to paint and restore the missing stuff. This´s not easy, need a lot of practice but it worth. In my opinion, you shound´t copy and paste stuff from another image for this replacement, try to do it yourself. May be will look not so attractive at the beginning but you´ll be really satisfied when you´ll manage this technique.
My point of view could be so different but I really use the smallest ammount of plugins as possible. Generally I receive extremely damaged images and I´m painting a whole new image. Have an old photo with some new patches is not what I like.
Last step could be colouring, if you´ve been restoring in the gray scale.
Photoshop means a great tool box. 5-6 work hours every day will let you know and love this kit.
Regards
http://restorations.yolasite.com
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  #3  
Old 01-20-2010, 08:17 PM
fstr21 fstr21 is offline
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Re: Filters to restore?

right right i gotcha, but i mean as in like what are the reasons by using certain filters at certain steps, example i can only assume blur or gaussian blur would give you clean skin, but there are other times where im seeing displacements, reduce or increase noise, etc etc
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Old 01-20-2010, 08:20 PM
fstr21 fstr21 is offline
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Re: Filters to restore?

oh also, i looked at your site, very nice, i love the pictures. you werent kidding when you do alot of it by hand... i cant ever paint a dead space i have to clone and clone and clone...thats...insane!

however.. going over your text on your homepage, some minor grammar and punctuation errors here and there no big deal. BUT you might want to re-word So, the hard way means paint everything. We use only a small amount of filters, 98% is the hand job. maybe change it to done by hand..... hand job gives off a certain... hmm interesting vibe to say the least.
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Old 01-20-2010, 10:45 PM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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Re: Filters to restore?

the reason one uses a certain filter at a certain time or in a certain situation is, because it works. that may sound overly simplistic or even smart-assed, but the truth is, that's why you do what you do and use what you use. but, i think i know what you're asking. i think you're asking for the tutorial that tells you when is this filter right or that one or when do i hand paint or when do i clone as opposed to something else. and that's the 64,000 dollar question. the problem is, there is no one answer. there's just too many variables for a pat answer, a one fixed way of doing something.

first off, every image is different. one image may need noise reduction and color correction while another needs something completely different and often it's not just one thing that's needed. so, how do you pin down that one first step, let alone what are all the rest of the steps?

the second problem is, not everyone uses the same program. i tend to work in paint shop pro mostly, but most folks seem to tend to like photoshop, while still others use the gimp or photo impact. so, more variables.

and, even if we were all using the same program and working on the same image, i can guarantee you that almost everyone will do things either wildly different than the rest of maybe just a tiny bit differently, but almost always differently. so, still more variables.

i'm afraid to break this news to you but photo retouching, restoring and rebuilding is not a five minute tutorial. find a program you're comfortable with and that doesnt have a large learning curve for you and then, dont try to learn the way to do restoration, first learn your tools. you can study how to build a house all of your life, but until you can actually use a hammer and a saw, that house isnt going to get built, or not very well, anyways. so, learn your tools.

practice, practice, practice! that goes for learning your tools and then for actually doing restores. develop your own technique. what can you do and do fairly well? sure, read how others do things and learn from it, but also use your own creativity and maybe others will start learning from you.

i've found for myself and i preach it here, also, that probably the first step in any restore is 'finding the image.'. that may sound a bit silly or odd, but what i mean by that is, bring out the image first. if the image is faded, dont start cloning. do something to reduce the fading first. contrasting techniques are probably best for this. things like levels, brightness/contrast, shadows/midtones/highlights, curves, and so on can all help in that regard. just dont overdo it and produce blown out whites and darks.\

once you've 'found the image', then you can begin restoring it with other tools. as to what other tools, again, that's going to depend on what's wrong, but color correction, major cloning, and that sort of thing often come next.

noise reduction can be tricky. find a good program or tool that you like and learn it well. it can save your bacon. as to when to noise reduce again depends on the image. i tend to try to wait and do it mid-restore or near the end, but i've done it near the start on occaison also. this again is where all that practice, practice, practice pays off. you just start to know.

another one i see missed quite often is, are you doing a restore or a restore and more? sometimes you'll see folks on retouchpro will do a restoration and completely change the background or something similar. that's a restore and more and not just a restore. the point of a restoration is to restore, to bring something back to its original condition. some folks like to enhance that and go way beyond a restore. this is fine if that's what your client wants, but if you start changing things in the original without client consultation, you can be in for some trouble. then again, it could go the other way and the client is ecstatic. i tend to prefer asking rather than risking the loss of a client

in conjunction with that last paragraph, dont expect too much from an old, beat up, torn, scotch taped, blurry, burnt, water damaged, written on photo. in other words, dont beat yourself up too badly if that old thing just doesnt want to be restored to a pristine condition. it may not have been pristine to begin with. remember, not all photos were masterpieces, so dont try to make them masterpieces now. you'll drive yourself insane!

and here's a tip i learned from a friend. every once in a while, get up and walk away from your work. yep, i mean that literally. go for a walk, read a book, go eat, watch t.v. or just do something else for a while. this is known as looking at things with fresh eyes and it's a very valuable lesson. i often like to work at night and i'll often just stop what i'm doing and go to bed. and, when i look at that same work the next day i'll almost just as often go, 'what in the world? why did i do that?'. fresh eyes. it can also save your bacon

ok, that's enough for now. go practice
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  #6  
Old 01-21-2010, 10:00 AM
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Florin Florin is offline
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Re: Filters to restore?

"oh also, i looked at your site, very nice, i love the pictures. you werent kidding when you do alot of it by hand... i cant ever paint a dead space i have to clone and clone and clone...thats...insane!"

Well, man, seems to me that you should put some order in your mind. I asume that you can´t fly a plane and this doesn´t mean the people which is doing it is "insane", right?
Try to focus in what you are really interested, work a lot and we´ll talk about some 5 years later, ok?
P.S. "grammar and punctuation" of your post aren´t really so good, too.
Cheers

Last edited by Florin; 01-21-2010 at 06:25 PM.
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