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How to restore colors on old comics ?

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  #1  
Old 02-24-2006, 11:19 AM
dario dario is offline
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Question How to restore colors on old comics ?

Hi, I just discovered this fantastic forum!
I have a few questions regarding restoring old comics.
First question: old pages are often yellow and/or brownish, and i want to eliminate the effect of the age. Attached is a sample where you can see the effect.
Now, i know several ways to obtain a white paper (using levels, curves, autocolor, etc....), all of them will give me maybe slightly different results, with different interior colors. The point of comics restauration however, is to recover as much as possible the *original* colors, so I am interested in your opinion: what is the best way to have the white paper back and have the original color back?
I understand that using levels is not a good idea, because i would lose all original colors close to yellow (or brown)

Related question: comics are (i guess) printed in YMCK, not in RBG. Does it make sense so to work in YMCK rather than in RBG? Does it matter?

thanks Dario
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File Type: jpg Superman45-pg03.jpg (96.9 KB, 160 views)
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Old 02-24-2006, 12:05 PM
smiley guy smiley guy is offline
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I did a quick and dirty touch up.

I used a curves adjustment layer set to multiply (with no adjustment) just to saturate the colours a little more. Reduced opacity of that layer to 44% or so.

I then created a levels adjustment layer and used the white/black/grey points to set levels with the white as the border, grey as the edge of the trampoline and black as the facing shadow on the S in Superman. Reduced opacity to about 75-80%.

I don't know if that is exactly what you are looking for but it is what I came up with. YMMV!

Cheers.
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File Type: jpg Superman45-pg03-retouched.jpg (84.2 KB, 141 views)
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  #3  
Old 02-24-2006, 12:23 PM
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studioj studioj is offline
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Comics always use solid colors, so a great tool (and fast) it's IMAGE/ADJUST/SELECTIVE COLOR

This window opens RED, YELLOW, GREEN, CYAN, BLUE, MAGENTA, WHITE, NEUTRALS AND BLACK COLORS. So you can move the sliders until the desired tone.

Then, the scratches and stuff can be filled with a solid brush and the color of the illustration (I just did it in the strongest shadow because of the time, sorry)
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File Type: jpg Superman-studioj.jpg (99.6 KB, 139 views)
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Old 02-24-2006, 01:01 PM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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i'm a little curious here. what exactly are you restoring? i mean, ok, you did a scan of a cover, but are you going to try to replace the existing cover with a new one or do you just want a print of the cover with the restoration or what exactly?

craig
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Old 02-24-2006, 02:53 PM
dario dario is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kraellin
i'm a little curious here. what exactly are you restoring? i mean, ok, you did a scan of a cover, but are you going to try to replace the existing cover with a new one or do you just want a print of the cover with the restoration or what exactly?

craig
Hi. Well, that scan was not mine. I just grabbed one from usenet to show the problem. But yes, i would like to print some restored covers of my personal comics collection.

Dario
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Old 02-25-2006, 01:05 AM
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bart_hickman bart_hickman is offline
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Some more ideas

Using Paintshop Pro X:

-automatic fade correction
-curve adjust to shadows (use image-based mask to confine the curve to the shadows)
-salt-pepper filter and NR to the shadows.

I left texture elsewhere because it seems like it shouldn't be removed.

Bart
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File Type: jpg restore_superman_comic_cover.jpg (90.9 KB, 109 views)
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  #7  
Old 02-25-2006, 03:04 AM
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NancyJ NancyJ is offline
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I dont knwo how close to the original colours this is - I'm not old enough to have ever seen an original
This was just my very quick attempt at what I think the original image would have looked like (before it was printed on cheap comic book paper )

IMO this is very easy because you have very clear black and white points to use, both levels and curves gave similar results - depending on the precise point of black or white chose.
Then I used median and smart blur to denoise the blocks of colour.
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File Type: jpg superman.jpg (78.6 KB, 131 views)
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  #8  
Old 02-25-2006, 12:25 PM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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nancy,

well, i am old enough to remember. god, i wish i'd saved all those old comics! between yours and bart's you've got the right stuff here. bart left too much noise, but has the saturation right. you removed the noise, which is good, but the sat is a bit much. combine the two and you'd have it.

craig
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  #9  
Old 02-25-2006, 01:04 PM
dario dario is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kraellin
nancy,

well, i am old enough to remember. god, i wish i'd saved all those old comics!
ehehehe!!!
However, in your opinion, what id the most "philologically correct" way to eliminate the yellow of the pages? I mean, suppose that the yellow has a RBG=(x,y,z), is it correct to assume that every color in the image has ben added the yellow? RBG-before=(a,b,c) --> RGB-after=(a+x,b+y,c+z)?

Dario
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  #10  
Old 02-25-2006, 01:51 PM
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bart_hickman bart_hickman is offline
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If the yellowing is due to some chemical that turned yellow, that means it's removing blue. So in parts of the image that were already missing blue anyway, the color wouldn't change. If that were the case, you'd want to multiply the image by the inverse of what you think the offending color is--in the case of yellow, it's blue--you want to use light blue to only remove some yellow, eg., 200,200,255 or something like that. Set the blend mode of this color corrected layer to "color" (or, in the case of Paintshop Pro "color legacy")--that way you keep the original luminance.

Of coure the degradation isn't pure yellow and it's other things as well such as fading, so you also need some contrast fixing.

Bart
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