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Help with final touch

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  • Help with final touch

    Hello again from hurricane alley. I wanted you to know that I have been enjoying this forum very much. I've been reading, doing some of the tutorials, and learning new skills. This site has been a big aid to me and I thank you for putting it on for us to enjoy.

    I have another project that I have been working on for a few days. This is my first chance to experiment with the healing brush. It has it's limitations and will take some time to master. I used it in combination with the clone stamp to do much of the restoration in this project.

    I would like for you to critique my work so far if you would. Also let me know if you would do more on the backdrop or not and what you would recommend. I have tried a couple of ideas on the backdrop and am having trouble doing anything that looks natural.

    Thanks in advance. Attached you should find the original. I will also attach the retouch work in the next message.
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Here is my work on this project. Please let me know what you think.
    Attached Files


    • #3
      Kevin, looks very good to me! You've replaced the texture of his jacket on the right side (facing the image), but it looks realistic to me. I'm sure some keen-eyed folks will notice something for you to improve, but at the print size posted here, it looks like a job that a client should love.


      • #4
        You've done an fantastic job on the clean up and I think you're mastering the healing brush very well.

        There is a little trick I found using the healing brush and patch tool. You will notice when you clone near two contrasting shades like the difference between his shirt and jacket? You will wind up with some undesirable results (in this case some of the white in the shirt will bleed onto your jacket area to be cloned) if your clone is taken from a solid part of one of those areas. If you want to get around this try to take your clone source from the edge of the two areas. For instance if I need to repair the lapel next to the shirt, choose the clone source from along that same line equal distance from the white collar. Try that and I think you will work around some of those limitations you mentioned.

        As for the background, the only spot that I notice is that dark area by his ear on the right side of the image. It's darker than the area around it but it leaves a light outline by his collar and ear. That's the only thing I would fix. I would lighten that area a bit to lessen that outline a bit. Hope that helps.


        • #5
          Thanks for the tip on the clone source. That is a difficult area to work with when you are near a shift in texture or color. When I first tried the healing brush I though I had a magical tool that was the best thing since peanut butter until I got too close to a color shift. Then I realized there was a limitation and it was going to take some practice.

          Thanks for the tip on the background. I'll do some more work in that area. I appreciate your comments.


          • #6
            I had the same problem with the healing brush when I first got it and didn't like having to switch to the clone tool around the contrasting edges so I guess I experimented a bit and found a way around it. The same thing happens when you try to heal too close to the edge of the picture as well so I do the same trick there as well. It can be a little tricky to do at first but you should still see a big difference. Good luck


            • #7
              Thanks for your comments C.J. and yours as well DJ.


              • #8
                Nice work, Kevin. How on earth did he get those colored spots on his pic in the first place, I wonder? Was he a painter? No...more likely his kids were!

                I always wonder when I see a picture in bad shape (not that this one is that bad) just how it got that way. Folks can be pretty nonchalant about caring for photos, folding them up in pockets, letting sticky-fingered little kids play handle them, spilling coffee and spaghetti sauce on them, and so on. Then one day a descendant decides that the picture is valuable to them and pay us to restore it. Makes me wonder why folks just don't take better care of family photos in the first place!



                • #9
                  Hi Kevin!

                  I absolutely agree with everybody here...You have done a brilliant job in restoring your picture!

                  As for the healing tools...after some frustrating experiences, I came to the same conclusions as DJ...sometimes, with the healing Brush, it helps changing the blending to 'replace' which minimizes the colour shift, but doesn't always eliminate it!

                  ...As for the background...DJ posted an incredibly useful tip some time ago.... (thanks again for it DJ! )! Substituting a dull background can make all the difference in enhancing an otherwise 'flat' might try her tip! I usually keep the colour surrounding the main subject as close as possible to the original as to achieve a smoother blending....

                  You can find DJ's tip here


                  • #10
                    I wasnt going to post, as I do not wish to seem nit-picky On his left hand jacket lapel (our right) it seems that the cloning or healing tool has taken the texture out and has left a new texture of clone tracks. Have you tried the patch tool yet? It would seem ideal for the job. Draw a lasso around the scratch with the patch tool and then feather the selection by 1px. It takes a little more work, but can pay dividends.

                    The rest of the work you have done is great
                    Attached Files


                    • #11
                      Hi Mike!

                      Originally posted by Mike
                      ...I wasnt going to post, as I do not wish to seem nit-picky...
                      ...I think everyone has the same doubt sometimes....but, on the other hand, on a request for help, this is what it's all about...sharing opinions, experiences, tips, shortcuts...etc.

                      I know that reading what other people wrote about my submissions has helped me a lot by 1) pointing out details I had completely overlooked...or had simply been unable to correct! 2) showing me different ways of improvement I could choose from!

                      So, in my opinion, as long as it is constructive criticism, (and here at RP I've never experienced anything but...), it is absolutely welcome!!!

                      Thanks for your tip about the Patch Tool....and your lapel is simply perfect!!


                      • #12
                        Thanks Phyllis for your comments. I don't know what the liquid was that got on this pic. The picture is of my Father-in-law who died 24 years ago. It has been in a frame for years and I don't remember what it was like prior to that. I just know it is the best portrait of him that we have.

                        Flora, thanks for the comments and the link to the BG tip. I will give that a shot.

                        Thanks Mike for your comments. Don't hold back. That is why I came to this forum. I want and need constructive criticism to help me learn and improve my techniques. Also it is very hard to see your own mistakes. I've been staring at this image for several hours now and I couldn't see that spot you called my attention to. One lesson I learned from my basketball coach in highschool was that "practice does not make perfect", only "perfect practice makes perfect".


                        • #13
                          What would Retouch be without someone having a stab, so in that spirit here's my contribution.

                          I started a little differently than normal, I usually steer clear of the Auto Corrective functions of Photoshop as I am never convinced of their ability, however caution to the wind I applied all three; colour, levels and contrast. It left it a little dark for my tastes but I will put that down to my poor calibration

                          Masked out Elbert and replaced background with a cloud filter, added noise, then on new layer I added another cloud render and created a halftone pattern of dots at the blurriest setting, set the blend mode to soft light and changed opacity to 33% this re-created the weathered backdrop.

                          Used the heal, patch and clone tools in varying degrees on the figure, concentrating on the patch tool for his jacket (the scratches).

                          Finally duplicated image and applied high pass, at around 10 and set layer to soft light and reduced opacity to around 40%, this bought back some of the sharpness.

                          (oh and for all my trust in the auto functions I also added an adjustment layer for levels and boosted the gamma slightly)

                          Lovely picture to work on
                          Attached Files


                          • #14
                            Wow Mike, that's great. I 'll try to work along with your description and see if I can duplicate your efforts. With all the info you guys gave me I will be working for a some while. And I thought I was almost through.


                            • #15
                              Well I thought I would upload what I have so far. I worked a lot today and have it almost ready for printing. Mike I wasn't able to duplicate your background because I guess I'm unclear on the proceedure. Still learning some of the proceedures and some are still beyond me I guess.

                              Anyway I decided on 2 different backgrounds and worked on both. But my wife decided on the plain background and not the one I put the most work into. But the customer is always right Huh?. This first image is the one I had picked.
                              Attached Files


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