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Salon Just hanging around...
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  #11  
Old 05-22-2006, 08:24 PM
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Cameraken Cameraken is offline
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Wow. Isn’t Retouch Pro such a wonderful place?

Vikki. I agree that some of the others are not that impressive and you can tell which have been restored and which have been completely rebuilt. But none could be considered ‘bad’ I guess they must have specialists in each area.

Gena. Thanks for that great info. I would have liked to have read that article but they wanted credit card details so I gave up.
They have certainly grown big very quickly.

Aceman. Hi and thank you. You must know the whole process. From what you say there is no 3D program involved, just a library of ‘parts’

I would love to learn how these ‘parts’ were held and categorised.
Perhaps you could you talk us through the how the picture of ‘the Boy’ would have been done?
I copied the ‘before’ picture and spent over an hour on it. I got nothing close to their results.
So they use PS7. I have that.
Please tell us more.


Ken.
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  #12  
Old 05-22-2006, 09:02 PM
aceman aceman is offline
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There were no specialist areas. Especially now. When I was there I allocated work based on skill levels and strengths but as I said before, once everyone was upskilled, it became more automated in the allocation process. ie everyone gets a mix of images.
As far as image libraries go, we had a small one, but it was mainly used for getting correct colour tones etc ( say were had to restore an army uniform etc ). Most image " parts " were sourced from a google image search when you needed them.
The boy. Thats not possible. Infact its an infamous image of some debate. My opinion ( which is shared by people i keep in contact with ) is that it was a black and white image that was coloured and then detouched in a frying pan. Either that or there was a very similar photo taken of his brother / himself.

Last edited by aceman; 05-22-2006 at 09:09 PM.
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  #13  
Old 05-22-2006, 09:38 PM
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Doug Nelson Doug Nelson is offline
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That's the second suggestion of "detouching" on a commercial restoration website in the past week.

I wonder how common that is? I wonder if it's provable, one way or the other? If so, a website listing sites that detouch would be a big help to the photo restoration industry.
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  #14  
Old 05-22-2006, 09:40 PM
aceman aceman is offline
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To be honest i dont know why they insisted on using that picture. When your doing 400 images a day you definately arent short of any examples.
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  #15  
Old 05-22-2006, 10:25 PM
Vikki Vikki is offline
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Cameraken, perhaps we have different definitions of "bad". Again referencing the image of the blonde...although the damage has been removed successfully, the features are now distorted and no longer a true image of the individual. Without knowing the girl, the casual viewer might not notice those changes, but I'm certain her family would notice. The technique used to repair this image is a quick fix, badly executed, and amateur. Changing the features of an individual is always bad.
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  #16  
Old 05-23-2006, 08:32 AM
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Cameraken Cameraken is offline
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Vikki.

I do take your point. I just downloaded the before and after of the girl and had a go at it. The crack down the centre has ‘stretched’ the mouth and I had to move the two halves and re-align. Her left side of the mouth is a little low in their restoration.
I also believe you are correct that they have flipped the eye and nose and this will have lost the original character.

However. The rest is very well done. Not one single visible clone mark. The shadow on the neck has been lightened. The eyebrows have been replaced and there is not one single blemish in the restoration. (one tiny crack missed in her hair on her right shoulder)

I think this is quite a remarkable restoration if this was done in 30 minutes.

Thanks for mentioning the Walgreen thread. I had not seen that
http://www.retouchpro.com/forums/salon/7480-walgreens-photo-restoration.html
They did a really poor job on Restoration Challenge #44


Aceman. It is reassuring to hear that the picture of ‘the boy’ is not possible. However they are using this picture in the trade mag ads. How much damage is this doing? Not just to themselves but to retouching in general. If the public see this and assume it is possible then this is what they will come to expect and they will be disappointed with anything less. Whoever retouches it.

We have another ex photowonder employee.
http://www.retouchpro.com/challenges...php/photo/5824
and, especially well done.
http://www.retouchpro.com/challenges...php/photo/5823


Ken.
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  #17  
Old 05-23-2006, 12:00 PM
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chrishoggy chrishoggy is offline
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So, it seems my gut feeling was telling me the truth
Thoughts of slave labour in other countries may not be far off either, seen as they have dumped good employees to cut costs. As for the boy, well I didn't like to say detouched, but thats exactly what I was thinking.
Realistic expectations is something I enforce right from the get go. My customers get a realistic view of what to expect at the end of a job. Making yourself look too good, will only cause problems and complaints. I tend to under-estimate what the finished image will look like, then they get more than they expected

Personally I doubt they will have much luck in the UK, and I would offer my opinion to anybody who asked about them.

Buy cheap, buy twice.
Thats what I like to say when someone claims they can get a job done cheaper elsewhere.
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  #18  
Old 05-23-2006, 06:33 PM
Vikki Vikki is offline
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Ken, hopefully I'm not harping on this too much, and not directing my posting specifically to you.....
Good cloning is not an indication of a good restoration. Cloning, and other techniques are parts of restoration work that make up the whole. If one of those parts is not done well, the whole does not work. To be dramatic....if you gave them a torn photograph of yourself, and they did an amazing job of pasting and cloning your right eye to repair your left, wouldn't it bother you that you now appeared slightly crosseyed? Would you want that image representing you in your heritage albums?

I may be overly critical, but we're discussing a company specializing in this work, not hobbyist. It pains me to have the general public think that this is as good as it gets.

OK, off the soapbox...
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  #19  
Old 05-23-2006, 08:31 PM
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Cameraken Cameraken is offline
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Vikki.

Thank You. I agree with you 100% and it is the whole reason why ‘smaller’ restorers could always do a better job than a mass produced product.

I was not disagreeing with you. I was just trying to make the point that they did an excellent job in 30 minutes. We would not have stopped there and would have made much more of an effort to keep the character of the subject, and that can take much longer.

The problem, I think, is in showing restorations such as ‘blue boy’ which will raise customer’s expectations to an unrealistic level.

I also totally agree with Chris. I would never tell a customer their restoration will be perfect when I know it will not be. However there are people out there who would tell them different and that is why they ‘buy twice’
Unfortunately some do not ‘buy twice’ they accept a product and then call us expensive.

But I do think Ninety9 did a good job on the challenges. And I would love to hear a technique where I could get to that point in a restoration in 30mins.
I am currently working on challenge 86 and I do not consider myself slow. But I have already spent far longer than 30 minutes on it.

Ken.
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  #20  
Old 05-23-2006, 08:32 PM
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byRo byRo is offline
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I have been following this thread with great interest - especially as I am a "questioner" by nature.

One thought that occurred to me...
I remember when I was taking a course for implementation and auditing of the ISO 9000 quality system. The instructor asked what we should aim for. Many replied "Perfection!!" - which is the wrong answer.
Perfection is very costly, sometimes practically unobtainable.
What would should aim for is to attend perfectly the customer's expectations.
In our case, we could do a 95% perect restoration job in 30 minutes and a 99% job in 2 hours.
Here, in an ambient of professional retouchers (nitpickers ), the 4% difference may be clear.
But what about the client? It is highly improbable that they will notice any difference at all. So didn't we just waste (or overcharge) one and a half hours?

Here at RetouchPRO we see woeful tales of starving retouchers, while these guys are dominating New Zealand, Australia (tomorrow the world).

Are they wrong?

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