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Help with restoring civil war era map

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  #1  
Old 08-11-2011, 03:41 PM
beldecca beldecca is offline
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Help with restoring civil war era map

A family friend asked me to try to clean up a map that she was told is from the civil war. I'm a photographer by hobby and deal with skin blemished and the like. I tried some things, but I'm to the point of throwing up my hands. I look forward to any help you (all) can provide.

http://i603.photobucket.com/albums/t...ct-lightBW.jpg

What I would like:
to get rid of crease lines and dark patches
clean up detail as possible
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Old 08-11-2011, 06:15 PM
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John Wheeler John Wheeler is offline
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Re: Help with restoring civil war era map

Hi Beldecca

Just my personal opinion.

I know the customer has asked for something different. I do a lot of restoration of work from the 1800's (mostly genealogy related).

For some memorabilia, the character of the items includes the creases, folds, stains and yellowed color.

If that were a family heirloom to be duplicated and shared, I would get a high resolution color scan, have color matched prints made with appropriate paper at the exact same scale, and have them nicely/appropirately framed.

From my perspective, what you have is a beautiful document in great shape with history and character which includes the folds, color, stains, etc.

Personally, I think what you Photoshp away will take away from its value.

Just my opinion of course and I am not the customer.
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Old 08-11-2011, 06:34 PM
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JoReam JoReam is offline
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Re: Help with restoring civil war era map

Hi

There are lots of ways of doing this and I don't know if what I am suggesting is necessarily the most efficient of fastest.
Assuming you would like to leave in as much detail as possible from the original document (i.e. the blue lines) and shading I would do a levels adjustment layer in Photoshop (if you are using this), select the white point as the white paper background (assuming this is a wood based paper as opposed to cotton based paper and that is the reason for the yellowing). Then I would choose the black point as the blackest of the line work. That will remove alot of the light browish marking in the background ( but not the worst). For the remaining of the worst material I would either
1. clone stamp it out (little hard to determine all the detail on the image posted due to resolution ) or
2. select out all the drawing and shading, and backgound lines (colour selection) and create a mask. Once I was happy with this I would then place it on a transparent background and insert a white fill layer behind. Will post something up later to give you an idea.
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Old 08-11-2011, 06:41 PM
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JoReam JoReam is offline
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Re: Help with restoring civil war era map

Having just read Johns comments I would also add it depends on the look you want as to how much of the information your wish to retain in terms of folds etc...for archival purposes I would agree with John that a straight scan will capture the image as it exists now and that tells an important historical story. What I am suggesting would be trying to capture how the image might have originally looked, and I stress might, based on how papers behave over time.
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Old 08-19-2011, 01:21 AM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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Re: Help with restoring civil war era map

hi beldecca and welcome to RP.

i would definitely get this scanned at a very high resolution and i would take steps to preserve the original. this could well be an authentic civil war piece and might well have museum interest. i cant make out all the writing as the resolution is too small here, but it was not uncommon for bystanders to make sketches of battles. newspapers would send folks out for accounts if they knew a battle was going to take place or taking place currently. this could also be a military sketch done in the battlefield and that could be quite rare, particularly if someone notable were mentioned or signed this or if it was of a famous battle.

regardless of how you restore it, the original is the more important piece here. get your high res scan and i'd have that done professionally, and then have that original archived in a proper manner.

as for restoring it digitally, john makes a good point about keeping the creases. that is now part of the character of the piece. however, with digital there is no reason you cant do both, keep the creases and character and also restore it to a pristine nature.

to recommend anything here, i'd have to see a higher resolution. this appears to have been done in both pen and pencil, from what little i can tell from this lower resolution image. some of that gray smudging seems to be actual pencil and not just age and dirt, so it's a bit tricky as to how to advise. the darker pen is easier, just clone around it.

you've also a number of decisions to make, do you want to keep the natural sepia aging look or go back to a more natural, pristine paper look. keep the blue lines or go to a complete black and white on all? answer some of those questions and you'll probably have a clue as to where to begin.

i did a tiny bit of preliminary work on the image posted. i used a fade correction in paint shop pro and reduced the saturation a bit to see what might more or less disappear into the background. some of that sepia is staining and can be removed with cloning. some seems to be pencil smudging and you may want to leave that. taking it down to a complete black and white might be easier, but you'll lose some of the true identity of the image, like the blue lines. i'd tend not to do that, but that means a bit more cloning.

basically, you'll have to decide what you want to keep and what you dont and that will make your tool selection easier.
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  #6  
Old 08-19-2011, 10:14 AM
KTG KTG is offline
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Re: Help with restoring civil war era map

I did the split frequency technique, selected a sepia color from the page, and painted on a clipped layer to the low frequency layer. I was able to paint over the darker stains while keeping all the detail; thus making the color more even (if that is the desired result). As Craig said, a higher rez copy would help to determine how to deal with the folds.

k
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  #7  
Old 09-25-2011, 04:26 PM
lovecollecting lovecollecting is offline
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Smile Re: Help with restoring civil war era map

Being a collectibles dealer I have a slightly different opinion on "restoring" this map. First, it is in excellent shape for its age and paper type and as such does not need "restoring". As far as reproductions for commercial or gift giving purposes, I would perform a high resolution scan and minimally clean up some of the dark areas and maybe lighten the creases and remove the lines and then have a colorist turn it into a beautiful gift -or- keep the lines and and don't hire a colorist...it all depends on what the customer wants for the copies.
As far as the original, there is nothing to be done - it stands as is and on its own and should be preserved using archival methods for posterity.
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