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Flat B&W Image: making progress, but.............

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  • Flat B&W Image: making progress, but.............

    her face still seems a little flat. I've tried painting in some shadows, but I'm not an artist.

    I also added some noise, but it still doesn't look natural...

    any suggestions?

    Attached Files

  • #2
    Good Job sjm!!

    That is a lot of clean up - and there is still detail - or a feeling of detail.

    The problem is that the shadows and the highlights on the face communicate a postion to the source of the light that doesn't make sense.

    The source of light in the original photo is a diffused light from high above and to the left of the camera (look at the direction and length of the shadow under the nose, how her eye on our right is darker than the eye on our left). I think that the vertical shadow on the left side is actually from damage and should be lighter.

    Try to imagine a flashlight shining on her face from that direction - for the shape of her face where would the light and shadows be ...

    I've given it a quick shot lightening and darkening, I also added catch lights in the eyes and increased contrast in the skin along with darkening the skin a little over all.

    You really are 95% there - you did an excellent job!

    Hope this helps, Roger
    Attached Files


    • #3
      A large part of the problem is the initial technique used to remove the damage. The image seems to have lost the "photo" quality and has more of a "painted" appearance. I'm guessing here, but it looks like you've used the smudge tool. I'm guessing this because the face (and only the face) has a very smooth surface.
      I would suggest using the clone tool on the major dirt. It's tedious, but produces better results. You can then apply a blur, take a snapshot, undo the blur, and go back over the bad areas with the history brush at a medium opacity, to smooth out and clean up.
      Here's an example of what I mean. It still appears to have some noise, but this won't be so evident in the final print (somehow, printing seems to help out in this respect).
      Attached Files


      • #4
        Hi sjm!

        I tried this way:

        1) duplicated the background, blurred the duplicate until most spots had vanished, added a bit of noise.

        2) created a layer mask, (hide all), painted the smooth skin on the girl's face, carefully avoiding eyes, nose and mouth and lowered the opacity of the duplicate as to diminish the unnatural 'plastic look'.

        3) from there I used patch tool and healing brush to even out spots, shadows etc.

        4) created an overlay adjustment layer and used a soft brush either black to darken or white to lighten, (5-10% opacity), to enhance shadows and lights on the girl's face.

        5) Fixed her eyes and sharpen the image a bit.
        Attached Files


        • #5
          Flora, that turned out just perfect. I will have to practice that technique. I needed that just the other day on a problem I was working on. It sure seems to work for you.


          • #6
            Thanks everyone!

            Your fixes sure look better than mine.

            I'll continue working on the photo using your techiniques. I have several more that need this much work or more, and can't wait to fix them all.

            thanks again!


            • #7
              Flora, what a great lesson. This was a wonderful image to practice on. Here is my first shot at this following your steps. Thanks so much. (Your's kept much more sharpness and detail around the eyes and mouth, but I'm working on it.)
              Thanks, Bill
              Attached Files


              • #8
                Hi KevinBE, sjm, Bill M!

                Thank you very, very much for your great comments ....

                I'm very glad you found my technique helpful .... (it works also for colour pictures!)

                Bill M

                WOW, you did really a very good job!
                ...As for the sharpening, you could try the 'Custom Filter' on the whole picture, or create a 'Luminosity Mask' by:

                1) Ctrl+Alt+~

                2) Slightly feather your selection.

                3) Ctrl+J (copy the selection on its own layer)

                4) sharpen the selection only.


                • #9
                  Thank you, Flora, and thank you for the sharpening recommendation!



                  • #10
                    I was trying this and had a few questions.

                    1.When creating a layer mask you said (hide all) what does that mean hide all? I didn't get that step.

                    2. How do you do a overlay adjustment layer? A blank layer set to overlay mode? what does the rest of that step mean ( soft brush black to dark or white to lighten)?

                    3. What is a 'Luminosity Mask' mean?

                    I would of quoted your post but that never works out for me either. I feel like i'm going backwards with my learning. The more i learn the more confused I get. Sorry for the headaches and thanks for the help.


                    • #11

                      i can answer some of that for you. 'hide all' is when you mask everything to NOT SHOW, or, all black. 'show all' is the opposite, where the mask is all white to show everything beneath.

                      a luminosity mask is one made from the luminosity of a selected image. there is a setting for this, along with opacity (for making a mask from the opacity settings in the image) and i think one other type. the selected image doesnt have to be the image you're working on.

                      in paint shop pro, you are given the choice to create a mask in 'hide all', 'show all', or 'from image'. the luminosity choice is made in the from image choice.

                      i'm not sure about her overlay adjustment layer since she doesnt specify what type of adjustment layer, or if she means a new raster layer set to overlay. in psp you cant make an adjustment layer without it being some type of adjustment layer, like curves or levels or one of the others. so, not sure what she means with this one.



                      • #12
                        Thanks Craig! I'm so confused. I think i need a break from here. One question though. Why have a mask if your going to hide all of it? dumb question?


                        • #13

                          i can only guess that she was masking around the skin and not the skin itself. the hide all mask would keep the other areas from being affected by her painting of the skin. but, flora knows lots of tricks, so i may be off there.



                          • #14
                            Hi Jennifer,

                            What she did was create a new layer, set the blend mode to Overlay. Now, if you paint in that layer with a soft white brush (set brush opacity to about 10%) the image below will lighten, similarly if you paint with a black brush the image below will darken. Its a sort of dodge and burn, but usually gives better results.

                            Not an "Adjustment layer" as such, but a layer being used for adjustment.

                            Instead of Overlay, you can set the blend mode of the layer to Soft Light for slightly softer effect, or Hard Light to give slightly harsher effect.

                            Hope this explains things.



                            • #15

                              Wow thanks i didn't know that! i'm so into doing everyone elses techniques that i never really explore and try new things. Thanks again, I'll try that later.


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