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  • Army Uniform

    Hello! I'm a newcomer to this group & have been lurking for a while, but now, I need some assistance.

    The attached jpg is from a bitmap file that I am working on. I have been able to correct most of the serious damage in PhotoDeluxe, which is much more user friendly to me! I have also done a bit with levels, etc in PS7. Now, I'm at the part where I need some help.

    The photo is of my grandfather, who came to the US in 1900 basically to avoid the compulsory military service in the Swedish army. He was indeed in the army & had this picture taken in his uniform. The uniform was red (the exact shade I do not know) & the picture was originally colored on the uniform. I would guess the trim was brass. One can see some faint traces of red coloring on the bitmap file...maybe on the attached one too. There also is a picture of his brother in uniform & the red is more pronounced.

    I really need some help in getting this red color back where it originally was. I'm guessing that this will involve some masking (a mystery to me) & I know I should read the manual! Manuals are useless to me...I get better results from tuts & forums. A little step-by-step would be very nice.

    I also wonder if it would be possible to clone the red from the brother's picture and apply it to this one???

    Thanks immensely for any help you might provide.

    added later: Zounds! How did this get posted in critiques? It was supposed to be in the help requested department.

    Wayne
    Attached Files
    duester45
    Junior Member
    Last edited by duester45; 05-22-2004, 06:04 PM.

  • #2
    Welcome to the site. I hope this helps. Not knowing the shade of red, I just made the foreground color red. Then I made a new (empty) layer above the background layer. I painted the uniform (partly) with red. At this point, it looks real bad. Changing the blending mode to color, and reducing the opacity brought it where it is now. In order to get the shade of red from the other photo, open the photo, and sample the red color with the eyedropper. This should make the foreground color the same shade. Then you can switch back to the one you want to color. Hope this helps. If you have other questions, this is the place to ask. This thread will probably be moved to the proper forum by the moderator.

    Ed
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    • #3
      Hi Wayne. Welcome to RetouchPro.
      To answer your question....It doesn't look like you're going to get a true color from what have to work with. As Ed suggested, you can use the eye dropper tool to sample the color from the brother's uniform, and then color this one.
      I like coloring, so I did your photo (I have no idea if the red is correct). This is probably further than you wanted to go with the color, as I got the idea from your post that you just want to bring back the red. Again, as Ed suggested, by just adding a transparent layer (with the blend mode set to color, you can paint just the area you want.)
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      • #4
        Nice work Vikki!

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        • #5
          I agree with catia! Great work Vikki! I have just started to try to color pictures and my question is how do you know what colors to use? For example...the background and floor. I wouldn't of had any idea where to begin on figuring out what colors mainly the background was.
          BonnieN
          Junior Member
          Last edited by BonnieN; 05-24-2004, 06:57 AM.

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          • #6
            Sorry for the delay, but sometimes life and work get in the way of fun..bummer!

            Thanks for your assistance and examples. I have been trying your techniques & naturally bumbled it. Please tell me which brush you used and the approximate opacity setting. No matter which setting I use, I get pronounced overlap whilst painting.

            Thanks again!!

            Wayne

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            • #7
              I paint at 100% opacity, and after making sure the layer is set to "color" blending mode, I reduce the opacity of the layer until satisfied. The brush size will depend on whatever you feel is appropriate. You will probably find a smaller brush size easier to handle at the outer limits of the painting area. It sounds like you are using a very soft brush, and that's what is causing the overlap. It might help to view the image at 200% or more when you come to painting the edges of the uniform or whatever. But even with overlap, it's easy to fix while using layer masks. If you're not familiar with layer masks (arguably the best part of Photoshop), go to the tutorial section, then do a search for "layer mask". This will turn up 2 tutorials on the subject, and it's very easy to use layer masks. If you have problems, which I doubt, just post another question.

              Ed
              Ed_L
              Senior Member
              Last edited by Ed_L; 05-24-2004, 11:52 AM.

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              • #8
                Is this a Swedish army uniform? If so it's interesting, because from what I can find out they were generally blue, not red. Or if not do you know what army/regiment it was?

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                • #9
                  I checked on the net and found one website that said the uniforms were blue, but the site was run by a Norwegian so...

                  I'm not sure that grandpa was in the regular army. Military was compulsory & he might have been in the reserves. I have his papers & will scan and send to a pal in Sweden for translation. The photo of his brother shows the same uniform but with more prominant red. Coat hat and trousers__all red. I'm still checking.

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                  • #10
                    Thanks for the tip on the layers tuts, Ed. Theyre printed & I'll try them asap.

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                    • #11
                      Everything I found about the uniforms reinforces the color blue. Perhaps whomever colored the original took some artistic liberties?

                      Regarding the overlapping, I like to set my brush to a 50% hardness. Many people like to color each element of the photo on a seperate layer, which makes it easier to erase areas you don't want, or that over lap.

                      BonnieN, regarding the backgrounds. I pretty much guess about them. (This particular setup struck me as odd. It would have worked much better if the floor and baseboards weren't so evident.) A way to get some ideas regarding backgrounds is by looking at the company sites that sell them. This allows you to get an idea of the colors used.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Vikki
                        Many people like to color each element of the photo on a seperate layer, which makes it easier to erase areas you don't want, or that over lap.
                        Absolutely! I'd like to say that's the only way to go, but we all know better than that.

                        Originally posted by duester45
                        Thanks for the tip on the layers tuts, Ed. Theyre printed & I'll try them asap.
                        You're welcome. You'll catch on in no time flat.

                        Ed

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                        • #13
                          From a little research I did on Google I found this site pertaining to color of the uniform.

                          http://www.grantsmilitaria.com/asp/s...?idGallery=377

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                          • #14
                            That's pretty much what I came up with too, but last night, I spent hours on the phone with a military uniform expert (retired UN guy) who said that my grandfather may not have actually been in the Swedish army, but rather a unit of the national guard or reserves, most of which were rather autonymous in their choosing of uniforms...much like during our civil war.

                            Here's one for the film experts: Is it in any way possible that the photos may have been tinted blue and then faded or changed because of a chemical reaction? The photos have spent the last 60 years in a non-climate controlled attic. I think not, but what do I know? I'm a drummer by trade.

                            I'm still waiting to hear from the Swede who will translate grandpa's military papers.

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                            • #15
                              I don’t know if this is what you had in mind but I used Photoshop and made selections added layers set to soft light and colored with the paint bucket tool, adjusted the opacity, color balance, and hue & saturation. My colors are a little bright but you can adjust them to your taste as you go.
                              This was a fun photo to work with I enjoyed coloring it. Thanks for posting it duster.
                              Good luck to you and Otto.
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