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Request for assistance with problem restoration.

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  #1  
Old 04-10-2018, 05:51 AM
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Request for assistance with problem restoration.

Hello everybody, I have just joined this forum to seek some assistance and advice. Please tell me if this is inappropriate.

For a long time now I have been digitising a large collection of 35 mm slides which are between 40 and 55 years old. Over the past 6 months, I have been struggling with trying to restore the colour and exposure in some defective slides, shot using Fujichrome film in the late 1960s. In general most of my slides have not faded or decayed but about 5 of these FujiChrome films have either being defective films or were not processed correctly. They have a marked purple cast to them, are underexposed by 2 stops or more and there appears to be nothing in the blue channel above the lower mid-tones.

I have not found a way to correct these slides to my satisfaction and would be grateful for some assistance on how to correct a couple of samples. Hopefully, I could then apply lessons learned to the rest of these slides. Is it possible that I can post a couple of sample images here and get some advice?

My main workflow is digitisation at 64 bit RGBI via Nikon LS-50 scanner, driven by Vuescan to produce linear raw scans. These are then infra-red cleaned in Vuescan to produce 48 bit TIFs. Restoration/management is performed in LightRoom/Photoshop using plugins from Nik, Picture Code, CF Systems and others. I am also using RawTherapee to see if I can get more control.

One of the areas where I am not sufficiently well informed is the setting of most of the options in the Color Tab in Vuescan: Color Balance, Neutral R, G and B, Black and White points, Curve Hgh and Low and Brightness settings. I have Sacha Steinhoff's 'Vuescan Bible' but I'm still struggling. Any suggestions?
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Old 04-13-2018, 06:28 AM
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Re: Request for assistance with problem restoratio

If you can post an example (or just a section if size is a problem) of the defective/incorrectly processed film I am sure we will try and help.

Be aware if the film is truly missing all data in one of the channels a full restoration may not prove possible
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Old 04-14-2018, 03:57 AM
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Re: Request for assistance with problem restoratio

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony W View Post
If you can post an example (or just a section if size is a problem) of the defective/incorrectly processed film I am sure we will try and help.

Be aware if the film is truly missing all data in one of the channels a full restoration may not prove possible
Thanks for this offer. Size is going to be a serious problem here: a single 64 bit RCBI scan is 157 MB or so. The 48 bit RGB file, after 2x TIF size reduction in Vuescan, is about 32 MB. Should I try scanning at only 2K samples per inch and then only a part of the image? This will reduce the size to about 4MB I guess. Or do you require a part of the image at full scan resolution and without compression in Vuescan? Do you require the 64 bit linear raw file before infra-red cleaning or the 48 bit after cleaning?

Yes, I do appreciate that no amount of sophisticated restoration is going to make up for information that is just not there - not in an acceptable way, at least.
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Old 04-14-2018, 05:03 AM
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Re: Request for assistance with problem restoratio

At this time just a small section of your scanned image will be fine just to get an idea how bad the 'damage' is. You are limited by the forum limits anyway to 100 Kb for non patron.

Just add an attachment with a JPEG of a section of your image; I would suggest something containing a memory colour e.g. some neutral area, grass and sky, flesh tones etc
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Old 04-14-2018, 06:11 PM
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Re: Request for assistance with problem restoratio

LateJunction, welcome to RetouchPRO.
Just one thing to help the forum... If you use Photoshop you can post fairly large pictures which are under 100k using the 'save for web' function in Photoshop as described here:
Size, Quality and/or Format your Attached Images.. (Click here)
The save for web function in the latest Photoshop is hidden under File>Export>Save for web (legacy)

How to attach Files/Images to your Posts or Threads:
(Click here)

If you want to post a larger resolution that is over 100K then you can host your image elsewhere and attach a link in the thread (as you did here), but also, always please attach an under 100K version (so the thread remains useful in the future, regardless of external links). (link to the highest resolution.. or the largest size you can upload)
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Old 04-15-2018, 10:37 AM
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Re: Request for assistance with problem restoratio

I am surprised you can find anything useful in a 100KB sample of one of my slides. I notice that 'save for web' results in a size reduction of about 46 times from the original TIF to a JPEG at a quality setting of 60. Even so, with an original TIF at 120 MB, 100 KB in this format amounts to just 0.4% of the 'bits' in the slide. A sample is attached.

The car is a 1968 Ford Cougar in fern green (a deep green metallic). The photo was taken about mid-day on an over-cast day in April in Edmonton, Canada - so quite a low sun, even at mid-day. I am unable to identify anything that is a neutral grey in the whole photo.

I have tried reducing the quality to 1% in 'save for web' but the file size of the whole slide is still 400+KB. I have therefore reduced the file size in Photoshop by a factor of 55, and used a 'save for web' quality setting of 57 to create a view of the total slide which is less than 100KB. That also is attached.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg bx6_002-6-crop2.jpg (92.3 KB, 6 views)
File Type: jpg bx6_002-6-crop3.jpg (93.7 KB, 9 views)
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Old 04-15-2018, 10:56 AM
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Re: Request for assistance with problem restoratio

I am also attaching another scan attempt with Vuescan which has created colours which, in my mind, going back 50 years, are more faithful to the original scene. Again this is a crop which is less than 100KB, at a quality of 60, but drastically size reduced in Photoshop. Sadly I was stupid enough not to take a note of the Vuescan settings.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg bx6_002-6-crop4.jpg (82.9 KB, 12 views)
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Old 04-15-2018, 10:59 AM
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Re: Request for assistance with problem restoratio

Quote:
Originally Posted by 0lBaldy View Post
LateJunction, welcome to RetouchPRO.
Just one thing to help the forum... If you use Photoshop you can post fairly large pictures which are under 100k using the 'save for web' function in Photoshop as described here:
Size, Quality and/or Format your Attached Images.. (Click here)
The save for web function in the latest Photoshop is hidden under File>Export>Save for web (legacy)

How to attach Files/Images to your Posts or Threads:
(Click here)

If you want to post a larger resolution that is over 100K then you can host your image elsewhere and attach a link in the thread (as you did here), but also, always please attach an under 100K version (so the thread remains useful in the future, regardless of external links). (link to the highest resolution.. or the largest size you can upload)
Thanks for the welcome and also for the references - they are most helpful.
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Old 04-15-2018, 12:34 PM
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Re: Request for assistance with problem restoratio

Quote:
Originally Posted by LateJunction View Post
I am surprised you can find anything useful in a 100KB sample of one of my slides. I notice that 'save for web' results in a size reduction of about 46 times from the original TIF to a JPEG at a quality setting of 60. Even so, with an original TIF at 120 MB, 100 KB in this format amounts to just 0.4% of the 'bits' in the slide. A sample is attached......
The reason why a small sample suggested was your OP suggested underexposed with colour cast. As we are looking for channel information (missing or otherwise) even a small JPEG should be sufficient to appreciate the loss of levels and offer suggestions that may help 'fix' the problem.

In looking at these images it seems that all channels contain information sufficient enough to enable a reasonable restoration.

In looking to restore images we are seeking information rather than accuracy i.e. we start with a poor image and aim to improve rather than copy in the scan process and later with post work. I did actually mention this on another forum but the poster seem to want to discuss IT8 targets and scanner profiles which IMHO irrelevant to the job in hand, anyway...

A very quick play with your posted JPEG suggests all should be recoverable to a satisfactory level. This is just one way that you may want to approach the subject if you do not want to scan again and attempt to normalise the image in the scanning.

1. Use a Curves layer to adjust the R,G and B channels for colour and the combined RGB for final contrast tweaks.

2. Add a Hue and Sat layer and increase the overall saturation to represent what you think is best.

3. Optional: As I wanted to exaggerate the green of the car the shadow areas suffered with a slight green cast (my green closer to British racing green ). This fixed by adding a layer set to Color blend and painting over the offending green with grey at lowish opacity until satisfied. NOTE: This may not be required with your TIFF as it could be a JPEG artefact (JPEG compression throws away colour info over luminosity)

While this may not be exactly to your liking I hope it may be somewhere in the ballpark, at least enough to progress the poorer images

You should be able to get much closer in the original scan if you adjust the channels histogram to balance the colour leaving final tweaks for Photoshop. I would suggest experimentation with pulling the white and black points in for RGB channels, making sure you do not clip information (and leave a little headroom for post work)
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Car.jpg (193.1 KB, 11 views)

Last edited by Tony W; 04-15-2018 at 12:53 PM.
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Old 04-15-2018, 12:54 PM
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Re: Request for assistance with problem restoratio

Thank you for looking at this for me. Your results, quickly achieved, are most interesting. The sky, background buildings, concrete surface all look much improved in tonality and colour. From the histograms you have kindly provided I think I understand what you have done - do you see why I thought there was no information in the blue channel above the lower mid-tones? Was I correct in this description?

Anyway, you have given me enough to try additional tweaking of that poor scan output, as well as the 'better' version I uploaded.

In general though, I am of the opinion that it is better to attempt get the best possible results out of the scanning process, rather than relying entirely on pushing the pixels around in Camera Raw/Lightroom/Photoshop. Am I correct in this view ? In that regard could you expand a bit on what you mean by 'normalise the image in scanning' ?
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