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  • I'm here to see the wizards.

    Hi all,
    I have a very important personal project that could use all the input you can muster. My dear friend and boss died suddenly in June. Our school is having a memorial for her in a month. I would like to retouch this picture as my contribution to her memory. I working on trying to achieve a portrait effect. I am asiking for pointers, techniques, ideas to help me along. Any better ideas are also appreciated. Your help will help me to complete this. If I don't make the deadline, I intend to have a prototype. I am giving this as much time as necessary. Please feel free to try your hand, I am a visual learner, but not a forger!!
    So anyone who can assist me is welcome and will have my eternal gratitude. (Of course that won't get you very far, but at least you'll know I'm thankful!!)
    In addition, anyone who has a good printer to recommend for the finished product please pass the info on.
    I am thanking all of you in advance.
    Attached Files

  • #2

    Sorry to hear of your loss. I'll leave the tough part up to the pros. There are two photo finishers listed in the links here . The first one, Burrell Photo, is one that I used for quite a few years (but no longer have a need for their services). I always received top quality photo finishing from them, and they do make traditional prints from digital. But be warned, they are by no means cheap. You will also need to set up an account if you want to use their services.



    • #3
      Hi Debbie,

      I couldn’t eliminated the blur in this photo, but below is how I color corrected it.

      First I applied auto levels.
      I smoother out her skin using Jak’s tutorial on Retouching Acne

      I removed the red color cast by:

      1. Added a blank layer above photo.
      2. Sampled a color from Sister Mary’s cheek, filled the blank layer with the sampled color, changed layer to color mode, and pressed Ctrl+I to invert color. I lowered the opacity of the color layer to 33%.
      3. Added a Selective color layer - Reds: 0, -62, -1, 0: Yellows - +1, 0, -100, 0.

      I extracted her from the background and placed her on a new background using colors I sampled from her dress.

      I sampled colors from her hair and dress, then created a color layer and painted out the blue tint in her hair and dress.

      Smudged the ends of her hair in places to make it look less cutout.

      Used the burn tool on her right lens and slight below to help mitigate sm--all glare.

      Merged all layers and applied auto color.

      Duplicated merged layer and went over left side of her forehead and hairline with healing brush. Lowered opacity of this layer to 77% and flattened layers.

      Hope this helps.

      Attached Files
      Last edited by Sharon; 09-25-2002, 12:25 PM.


      • #4
        Make it into a "painting."

        The picture is far too blurry and lacks way too much detail to ever look decent as a photo. So I suggest you turn it into a painting instead. Lots of good ways to do this, and they would look nice printed too. A retouched "photo" version would no doubt print up badly, and not be a very nice tribute for this wonderful person. (Why is this awful photo the best one you've got to work with anyway? Maybe you should ask family members for better pics.)

        Anyhow, this is the best I could come up with as a "photo retouching" version. I cropped it to 8 by 10 proportions, then sharpened the red channel, used levels adjustment, dust&scratches, blur tool on face, color mode painted over with shades of greenish blue in shadow areas to get the red out of face and neck shadows, lightly over-brushed on normal blend mode with peachy color to help blend the facial tones and hide speckliness. Also lightened and desaturated the teeth and hair near face to get the yellow out, cloned out flaws on face and the too-dark creases by eyes, darkened the irises to make eyes stand out more, and lots of other minor tweaks.

        Attached Files
        Last edited by ; 09-25-2002, 03:12 PM.


        • #5
          Sharon- Thanks I'm going to try some of those techniques. A number of which I never considered.

          Phyllis=Yes my intention is to create a painting of sorts. I know the picture would not transfer well. I have no painting skills and if you or anyone else can point me in the right direction I would be very happy.
          This photo is from the family. Of all the ones they gave me, this one is the best. Sister did not like to have her picture taken and in most she is grimacing. In 23 years, this is the nicest smile I ever saw on her. She was overly conscious of her teeth. So I am working with the best I could get right now. You should see the other!!
          Thank you again for all your assistance now and later. You too Ed I will check them out. Price is not a consideration at this time. Thanks again


          • #6
            Debbie -- your memorial contribution will be greatly treasured, I'm sure, whether you need to paint it or retouch it, and Sharon and Phyllis have given you good info. I understand the Sister's discomfort with being photographed, but wonder whether some of the other photos might be of use in your memorial. Is the other image that you've seen blurred? If the pose is similar to this one, but just missing that lovely big smile, remember -- you can sometimes "add a smile"


            • #7
              Debbie, now I understand your situation...sure have a challenge on your hands! I would suggest hiring Wanda to paint it for you in Painter. That's my first choice. Second choice would be to try some of Photoshop's filters to fake paint effects. AFTER you have sharpened the edges and smoothed out the speckles on skin, then apply one or combination of the following filters:

              Watercolor: I tried it and had to fade the opacity a bit to make it less dark and blotchy, but the result was good.

              Angled strokes and/or crosshatch for a sketchy look. I also tried blending a layer of colored pencil with lowered opacity and soft light which looked pretty good.

              Paint daubs, faded a bit, for quick painting look.

              Paint daubs + anisotropic diffuse + slight sharpen (this is the one I am uploading now)

              Any of these can be blended over your retouched original or over each other in various opacities and blend modes to get an effect you like. Just experiment a bit and you might get something that you can use.

              Attached Files


              • #8
                Great thoughts. I have been experimenting with the various filters and figured if I play enough I might get what I want. Since I want this to be from me, I am going to give it my best shot. But if I can't do it you're right Wanda would be an excellent choice.
                Thanks to you and Sharon and CJ I'm headed in the right direction. Hey maybe I'll find a hidden talent (read that-invisible).
                Either way I'm going full steam ahead. I will post my attempts for critiques and let the majority help me make the final decisions. Maybe Greg and Wanda will also be able to send some ideas my way. And Jak's tutorials have been helpful as well.

                CJ I wish I had a better one but so far this one is the clearest! Then family has promised to do one more search and a few of her fellow sisters are looking in the convent. Maybe I'll get lucky in time.

                Thanks again to all for your kindness


                • #9
                  I have attached below an oil rendering of Sister Mary.

                  Cloned out the other lady. Adjusted color. Tried Jak's tutorial to remove blemishes.

                  Duplicated, Image>Adjustments>Invert top copy. Changed blending option to color dodge. Grayscaled without flatenning. Gaussian blur about 4.

                  Using art history brush and History brush tool, different brushes to put back the colors. Used Rough pastels filter. Then duplicated copy. On top copy, used lighting effects to get some texture then set blending option to hard light. Adjusted opacity, flatten.

                  The file size was reduced to conform with upload limitation.

                  Hope this helps.

                  Attached Files


                  • #10
                    Here's my contribution. Some parts of it are still a little rough, but it's really late and I have to work in the morning.

                    1. Used a selective color adjustment layer to fix the color

                    2. Smoothed grain with Dust & Scratches and the history brush

                    3. Made a new color layer and colored the skin a better skin color

                    4. Burned in teeth to create separation (don't know what her tooth shape really looked like so I probably got this part a bit off)

                    5. Selected hair, made a new color layer and colored it gray. Blurred the layer to blend edges

                    6. Masked out background. Softened the mask edges with Gaussian Blur.

                    7. Colored eyes, cleaned up whites and added catchlights

                    8. Copied right shoulder to left side and blended

                    9. Flattened, made snapshot, did gaus. blur with noise added, made another snapshot and smoothed the skin with the history brush

                    10. Flattened and duplicated layer. Ran High Pass on dupe layer and set to soft light.

                    11. Added pink highlights to cheeks, lips, nose, ear, forehead and neck

                    12. Vignetted
                    Attached Files


                    • #11
                      Hope after all!

                      Angue and Jak both did great portraits. Maybe this pic isn't going to be hopeless after all. Just shows what miracles you can work if you have talent and incentive! <loud applause>



                      • #12
                        Wow thanks so much. You've all given me so much to work with. I am really digging in now. I will be back in touch as I progress. I've read and saved all of your suggestions and samples. Trying everything!

                        Last edited by dcarr; 09-27-2002, 08:52 PM.


                        • #13
                          With all the wonderful encouragement. I am making headway. Here is where I am so far with a way to go. But all your advice has been so helpful, I'm much more confident. Thanks again.
                          Attached Files


                          • #14
                            Debbie, at this point you might want to try the following:

                            Make the red channel into its own layer then sharpen it and blend over the original in luminosity mode. Reduce opacity if it seems too light. This will make the glasses and mouth etc. sharper without blotching up the nice smooth skin you achieved. I tried it...worked pretty well.

                            Then you might want to smooth out that sharp edge between the hair and face by cloning over the edge with the stamp tool set to size 50 fuzzy brush and opacity of 80%. That did the trick when I tried it.

                            To get rid of the sharp outline on outside edges of her hair, bordering white background, you can just use a size 30 fuzzy eraser and go around it with an irregular motion, then use clone stamp here and there with fuzzy brush and opacity of 80% to make the edges look more natural.

                            You also might want to crop it closer by removing some of the left side and white space at top to make her look less wide and get rid of the excess background. If you crop it now to final print proportions you won't waste time working on areas that will be removed later. Nice job on taking out the other woman and fixing her dress, by the way!

                            I also would suggest removing some of the magenta in the picture since it is contaminating the shadows in her face. I tried adding a bit of green and cyan, just a touch, with color balance and it reduced the excess.

                            Oh, and don't forget to desaturate her teeth just a little bit to get some of the yellow out.

                            Bet you are having fun! Keep us posted on your progress.



                            • #15
                              here is my next steip. Phyllis, I've just read your tips and I will try more of that next. Not finished yet and have some ideas for the background wil keep you posted.
                              Debbie All Criticisims welcomed.
                              Attached Files


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