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  • Yellowed B&W

    I am working on a picture of my wife and her sister when they were young. My wife thought the picture was a sepia because of the color. I had to inform her that no it was a B&W that yellowed. Normally if I was going to just restore the picture I would simply use the channel mixer and convert it to grey.

    That would be too easy! Now she wants me to restore it and colorize it so we can give it to her sister as a Christmas present. Now it's getting complicated. I assume that I will have to deal with the yellowed portions of the image before I can attempt to begin the colorization? I've been practicing with Jak's tutorial so I am not afraid to tackle the colorization. It's the yellowing in about 1/3 of the picture that I don't know what to do with. If the whole image was yellowed it might be easier. I have no problems selecting and creating a mask only in the yellowed area, i've been practicing, but what do I do to it after the selection?
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Hi Kevin,

    You could just desaturate the image, or if you find one channel that looks better than the others, you could use the channel mixer, then choose monochrome. You will still be in RGB, and you could add a little sepia if you wanted before coloring it. This sometimes makes the skintones look better. If you need more help, just yell. Good luck.

    Ed

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    • #3
      Ed's point about the sepia layer before colorizing is a good tip -- some of our other members swear by it. Kevin, you could run a Hue/Sat adjustment layer on the selected area to lower the saturation and the lightness a bit before desaturating it to keep the tones matching better in the desaturated image. The area that is yellowed the most will show up in the grayscale, although not as noticeable. I tried Selective Color, Levels, Color Balance layers on the selection also, but think the Hue/Sat might work better for you. I must admit my eyes are not very good at seeing these slight color gradations -- I had to use the Info palette to see the differences - which show there quite distinctly. You have a good point about correcting the image before starting the colorization.

      Most importantly -- Beautiful young ladies, both of them! This will make a very lovely present -- with a copy to your wife, I hope.

      Comment


      • #4
        Hi Ed and CJ. Thanks for the tips on desaturate. I tried a quick test and it will work just fine, exactly what I needed to know. If I combine the two I think it will come out just right. It will be a lot of work but it will be worth it, I think they will both be happy with the end product. I'll get a lot of help with the proper colors to make everything too. Their mother still has those dresses!

        Guess I should have posted this in the tips forum. I have a couple of more questions. I tried to select the face and deselect the lips and eyes but wasn't sucessful. Is there a way to do this or will I have to select and change those after completing the face? I tried to erase the fill color on the lips and was told I couldn't do that because "the target channels do not cover the composite". I guess I will have to color fill each feature seperately?

        Thanks in advance.

        Comment


        • #5
          Kevin,

          I'm not sure this is the best way, but here's what I'd do.

          Duplicate the layer

          Pick a lip color, then paint the lips only. You don't have to be extra careful here because you can reverse any errors. This will look very bad -- don't worry.

          Change the blending mode to "color" for that layer. Reduce the opacity of the layer until it looks good. When you are *totally* satisfied, flatten the image.

          Repeat the above procedure, but pick different areas to color. If you should happen to get outside the area you wanted to color, just use a layer mask, then paint with black to erase the unwanted part. Go too far? Paint with white to regain what you erased. If this isn't clear, just let us know.

          Ed

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          • #6
            Kevin,
            I know you already figured out how to get rid of the yellow, but wanted to add this comment. I looked at the individual RGB channels and noticed that the blue channel did not seem to show any of the staining at all. And, because the photo is in good shape aside from the staining, I chose to use just the blue channel. (Sometimes the blue channel also includes a lot of noise or damage, but it doesn't seem to in this case.) The blue channel was fairly dark, so I used the Levels highlight slider as well as a simple curve to lighten it. I've attached the grayscale result - which you can then apply a sepia tone to and start colorizing.

            To answer your questions on colorizing... You can remove a selected area (such as the eyes or lips) by holding down the Alt key while you use a selection tool. (Alt = SUBTRACT when using selection tools. Shift = ADD with selection tools.)

            I'm not sure what method you're using for colorizing, but I highly recommend that you put each color on its own layer. This will allow you ultimate flexibility when you need to tweak the colors at the end (based on feedback from your wife. ) You can use a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer on each color layer (if needed) to tweak the colors however you need to.

            I'm not sure what the target channels do not cover the composite means, but I would fill each color separately anyway. I'll see if I can decipher that message in any case. Can't say I've seen it before.

            Jeanie
            Attached Files

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            • #7
              Hi Kevin,

              A good way to do this, if I understand what you're getting at here, is to use quick mask. Once you've made your broad selection, save it in it's own alpha channel for safe keeping. Then activate the selection by Ctrl+clicking the alpha channel. Then click the quick mask button on the bottom right of the tools pallette. (I prefer to invert the selection before going into quick mask mode at this point for what's to follow here, but that's a matter of comfort).
              In quick mask mode you'll see the ruby colour mask. From here you can paint "in" or "away" various parts of what will be (or won't be) included in the selection. This should be done with a soft brush at a low opacity, using the default colours black & white, painting in and around areas such as mouth, eyes, hairline, etc. Black will paint "on" the red ruby mask, while white will paint "away" the red ruby mask. Ultimately this will change the shape of your selection weh you exit quick mask. You can smudge this red mask, blur it, filter it, whatever you want.

              When you exit quick mask it will make a new selection based on these changes. This strategy is especially good for the type of thing you're talking about here, such as soft edges around 'soft parts', such as lips for colourizing. This way you don't end up with ugly harsh transitions.
              There are several other ways to go about this, but in this case this one might be the best. It's much easier done than said tho.

              Mig

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              • #8
                I also played around with it a little. Like Jeanie, I found the blue channel to be best. I used 90% blue and 36% green in the channel mixer, set for monochrome. The extra percentage above 100% added contrast, which seemed pretty good to me. You'll find there are dozens of ways to get what you want. You just have to play around for a while.

                Ed

                Comment


                • #9
                  All I can say is Wow. You guys are great! I feel so guilty getting all this help, hopefully soon I will be able to return the favor somehow. Jeanie and Mig, you supplied the missing link in my selection problems. Those were exactly the tips I needed to hear. Ed thanks again.

                  This should keep me busy for a while. This will be another good technique to get under my belt. You guys are really helping me shorten the learning curve.

                  Just received an e-mail from B&H that my Graphire2 shipped today. Should have it on thursday. Can't wait to tackle that new toy.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Can't wait to tackle that new toy. -- Kevin
                    Great timing -- it can help you finish your sister-in-law's present!

                    Kevin -- we all are on the receiving end some of the time, especially at the beginning. You already give back in the other areas of your expertise (computers, etc.) and will be helping with retouch/restoration whenever you can.


                    Jeannie -- I'm glad you caught the blue channel solution -- I thought it looked pretty good, but I didn't trust my eyes.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Just checking in with you, Kevin..... How much up to speed are you with that "new Toy?" Xmas came early for you!

                      Used your pix to practice that new pencil technique, am sending it as a back up But I know you won't need it, do show us when you finish...Kevin
                      Attached Files

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Hi Goldcoin, I'm not very up to speed with the Graphire2 yet. I received it yesterday and have used it for some of the final corrections to this pic. I will need much more practice before I will be very productive with it but I can see it's potential.

                        I have uploaded the latest edited copy of the picture. I want honest comments about what you guys think. The dress isn't quite finished, I am waiting on the Mother-in-law to provide more info on the dresses. She did say that the rim of the collars has a pink border. I don't think that it will be possible to restore that because of the deteration of the detail near the front of the collars. The sides are OK but near the front the border seems to blend in with the rest of the collar.

                        The background color was arbitrary. I'm not sure if this is the best color but it was my first choice. This project was made much easier with the hair and skin color patches available in Jak's tutorial.
                        Attached Files

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Kevin,

                          I think this is coming along very nicely!! I love the hair on both girls! This is such a great photo!

                          The face skin tones look a little flat to me - more like they are "wax" than "alive". I tried playing with a Hue/Saturation layer and discovered that I like the skin tones better if I set the Red channel to -9/+33/0 and the Yellow channel to -2/+12/0. (Make sure the dresses aren't selected for that adjustment though - I like that color as it is.)

                          Also, the blue is fine, but I would tone it down a bit. In the same Hue/Sat adjustment layer I tried -7/-33/0 and liked that a bit more b/c it didn't overpower the girls.

                          The only other comment is that it appears that the original stain was on the left dress. It still shows through a bit here as the pink looks "dirty" to me over most of the dress. Any chance you could lighten that area just slightly using the dodge tool? (Work on the underlying B&W image, not the color.)

                          This is a fantastic present!!

                          Jeanie

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                          • #14
                            Kevin,

                            You really come around fast! I think Jeanie hit all the right spots. The skintones were the only things that were readily apparent to me. But she is right on all counts. Super work! Congrats!

                            Ed

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                            • #15
                              Thanks guys, I agree. Now back to work.

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