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Restoring old manuscript with CS3

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  #1  
Old 10-19-2008, 06:41 AM
minoan minoan is offline
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Newbie Restoring old manuscript with CS3

I use Photoshop CS3 Extended and Windows XP Professional.

I attach an image of a degraded manuscript. I wish to improve the image, hopefully ending with the writing in crisp black on a uniform white background, with all the details of the writing revealed. How can this be achieved using Photoshop?

The attached image is very degraded compared with the original, so as to achieve an image complying with the limits of this forum. The original image is a Photoshop .psd image, 16.9MB in size, which has not been sharpened or rotated etc.

The Flickr link to a much better tif image is:
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3169/...292eb3.jpg?v=0
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File Type: jpg Example.jpg (100.0 KB, 84 views)

Last edited by minoan; 10-19-2008 at 08:05 AM. Reason: To make available a better image
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  #2  
Old 10-19-2008, 09:49 AM
madclark madclark is offline
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Re: Restoring old manuscript with CS3

I'm very interested in this subject due to my work in my family's genealogy and I have some suggestions.

First, I would actually scan the document in color, rather than black & white, if you have that opportunity. You'll be able to employ a greater range of techniques for clean up if you have color information. For example, if the paper has browned but the ink as written was blue, you can use Photoshop to better distinguish and clean that up. You can always convert to B&W at the end.

Second, get the best scan that you can attempting to move your white point to the color of the paper (despite how brown it is) and your black point to the darkest part of your text without degrading the clarity of the text. You'll have more data available to tweak in the grey areas spreading the spectrum more fully.

Third, keep your expectations reasonable. You'll never fully recreate the original without a lot of time on your part. Any kind of historical restoration, in my experience, takes much more time than regular retouching. Restoration is a highly skilled craft, some of the techniques are similar to retouching, but it's pretty unique to itself.

Good luck!
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Old 10-20-2008, 10:33 AM
minoan minoan is offline
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Re: Restoring old manuscript with CS3

Thank you very much, madclark. The image I have posted on Flickr is actually an RGB image, obtained by high resolution digital photography; the original manuscript document consists of (degraded and obscured) black writing on paper (which was originally white), but the document cannot be scanned.

I was hoping that someone would be able to play a bit with the image posted on Flickr, using Photoshop to reduce the background on the RHS of the image, and increasing the contrast of the writing to the background, emphasising the detail of the writing and coming up with a publishable image. Or rather, I hoped that someone would be able to spell out just which techniques in Photoshop would improve my image.

Are there publications on the Internet which describe using Photoshop for this sort of document restoration?
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Old 01-31-2009, 03:15 AM
tralston tralston is offline
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Re: Restoring old manuscript with CS3

yes, I'm interested in learning how to perform document restoration with photoshop. I have so many old documents that I would love to restore. Does anyone have any good places to start? I have searched on Google and other search engines, but there is a real lack of "document restoration" sites. I find plenty of tutorials on photo restoration/retouch, but for documents, hardly anything. Thanks in advance!
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Old 12-24-2009, 12:33 PM
thorir thorir is offline
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Re: Restoring old manuscript with CS3

I would also like some more information on this.

At this moment, I would love to know how to convert scans of medieval manuscripts to clean black and white versions, that can be included in a book. I'm having much difficulty with this, especially when the paper is brown and the only remnant of the ink is a slightly darker brown.
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Old 12-24-2009, 01:37 PM
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0lBaldy 0lBaldy is offline
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Re: Restoring old manuscript with CS3

If you don't have your own site, you can host your PSD on mediafire.com (free signup) share, and post a link here..

These threads may help also:
http://www.retouchpro.com/forums/pho...-document.html

http://www.retouchpro.com/forums/pho...d-writing.html

http://www.retouchpro.com/forums/pho...rs-please.html

http://www.retouchpro.com/forums/pho...-readable.html
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  #7  
Old 12-24-2009, 03:46 PM
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0lBaldy 0lBaldy is offline
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Re: Restoring old manuscript with CS3

LOL.. The first one is a quick version Using your Flickr sample because I thought it might be the better version... (wrong assumption!)

Stylize>Diffuse (Faded)
Artistic>Poster Edges (Faded)
Image>Adjustments>Replace Color (darkened darks Lightened Grays)
Small burn brush on shadow to darken some lines

I am sure that the shadow/highlight tool in CS3 would help also (I'm using PS7)

The second version I just used the Burn tool (set @ shadows) over the Lighter script marks then some noise removal

The script that is missing could be added with a small black brush

would like to see the Original digi copy (PSD) if it is still in color
Attached Images
File Type: jpg writing.jpg (198.6 KB, 43 views)
File Type: jpg ExampleRP.jpg (197.8 KB, 44 views)
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  #8  
Old 12-25-2009, 02:05 PM
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gholmes1936 gholmes1936 is offline
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Newbie Re: Restoring old manuscript with CS3

The only thing I did besides tweaking the curves a bit was to use Topaz Adjust. Not satisfied, but have to stop. Go be with my children onXmas day.
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File Type: jpg Example.jpg (169.1 KB, 33 views)
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  #9  
Old 12-25-2009, 02:30 PM
thorir thorir is offline
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Thumbs up Re: Restoring old manuscript with CS3

Quote:
Originally Posted by 0lBaldy View Post
If you don't have your own site, you can host your PSD on mediafire.com (free signup) share, and post a link here..

These threads may help also:
http://www.retouchpro.com/forums/pho...-document.html

http://www.retouchpro.com/forums/pho...d-writing.html

http://www.retouchpro.com/forums/pho...rs-please.html

http://www.retouchpro.com/forums/pho...-readable.html
Thanks for those links, I saw you mentioned Photoshop's Filter>Sketch>Photocopy in one of those, and that looks very interesting
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