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Photo Restoration Repairing damaged photos

What are your techniques for smoothing?

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Old 07-17-2004, 12:55 PM
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copperman copperman is offline
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Location: New Jersey
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What are your techniques for smoothing?

Many times we encounter scratches and such on an old photograph. We all have used gaussian blur to an extent with mixed results. But are there any techniques people have for smoothing really rough areas that must stay in the picture such as a portrait? Resoration challenge #66 Great grandma Boone is a perfect example. Her blouse is black but has many scratches.

What blurs, filters, and other weapons are people using?

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Old 07-21-2004, 10:21 AM
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T Paul T Paul is offline
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Location: USA
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Blur Tool – I use it to smooth rough edges

Blur Tool – set mode to darken or lighten to make white or black spots disappear.

Median Filter – set to a low radius to quickly remove lots of dust. The median filter replaces each pixel with the median value of those in its neighborhood without blurring the boundaries of regions or features in the image.

Gaussian Blur Filter – to smooth out skin. Select the skin and place on new layer. Apply Gaussian blur until blemishes are removed (this also works with the median filter). Apply a bit of noise then lower the area to gain a more natural look.

Dust & Scratches Filter – slide the radius until the dust & scratches disappear. Then adjust the threshold slider to bring back some detail.

Healing Brush and Stamp – great for correcting rough areas while keeping the texture/detail intact. Sometimes I use the clone brush to repair the section first then I follow with the healing brush to help the cloned area look more natural.

Neat Image - great for removing noise, texture and morie patterns

Most importantly duplicate your layer or selection. That way you can lower the opacity to help bring back some of the original image. Applying layer masks is also helpful, as you can always paint in or out the areas your want to show.
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Old 07-21-2004, 12:42 PM
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copperman copperman is offline
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What is neat image?

Thanks for the input. Just what I was looking for. But what is "neat image" at the end of your post?
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Old 07-21-2004, 01:15 PM
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Duv Duv is offline
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T Paul is referring to a software program, Neat Image. They have a demo version you can download at If you like what it does, their full version is very powerful.

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