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  • Paper Texture Problem

    Sorry, seems my attachment didn't "stick" with my last post attempt.

    Hi, I'm hoping I can find some tips on how to deal with a paper texture problem.

    I have a series of pictures I am restoring and many of them have a deep paper texture pattern that is very ugly. I have tried scanning the photo in a variety of directions at a variety of resolutions, I've had a copy neg made and scanned the neg and I've tried every Photoshop trick I know. Most of my attempts have made the problem worse. Especially when I try to do some general Photoshop cleanup on top of it.

    I've attached an example of texture I'm referring to.

    Does anybody have any words or wisdom.

    I appreciate any feedback.

    Best Regards,

    Attached Files

  • #2
    Hi SWolfe, Welcome to Retouch Pro. That texture is a real problem. I had a few minutes to work on it and here is what I did. I used the "Median" filter, under the "Noise" filter section. I set the radius to 2. The stronger radius softened the image too much. I then ran it through the "Neat IMage" program to finish the texture removal. Either fix by itself didn't complete the job without softening the picture too much.

    I then made a duplicate layer set to multiply and adjusted the opacity to get the tone just right. I used the patch tool to clear up the problems in the background. Then I used the channel mixer to remove the extra noise and bring the picture back to grey scale. I hope this helps. I didn't have a lot of time to do what I call a completed job but this should get you going.

    I just got called out so I wont be back for a while.


    • #3
      I guess it would help if I attached the file.
      Attached Files


      • #4
        Hi. I just ran a quick test and I think Neat Image could solve your problem. There is a demo version if you want to try it out.

        I've attached a screen capture of Neat Image to show you some possible settings and the corresponding level of smoothness. You'd probably want to tweak from there. I'd probably remove all texture, retouch the photo, then add some grain of my own to the image. Or remove the texture but leave some high-frequency grain before retouching.
        Attached Files


        • #5

          No magic here. I just ran the image through the Neat Image demo one time. :-) Needs some work, but a good palce to start perhaps.


          Andrew, you beat me to it. :-)
          Attached Files


          • #6
            Although Neat Image is a great place to start I thought, since this photo had definant lines I would see what I could do by hand. Not for the faint of heart, this took about 2 hours. I am not sure if the first steps I followed are necessary (could probably use neat image instead - so don't take this as the best way).

            In a quick nut shell this is what I did;

            -duped background layer (call this layer A), ran dust and scratches filter, added layer mask, control I to invert (all black), duped that layer (call this layer B).

            -set blend mode of layer A to darken, set blend mode of layer B to lighten.

            -shift-clicked layer A's mask to hide mask (this made all of the darker lines in the darken mode layer easier to see), selected B's mask, painted with white on B's mask to lighten darker lines.

            -did the opposite to darken lighter lines

            -flattened and since texture was now more even, used a small smudge brush (19%) to blend, then added noise and sharpened (I should have added noise after sharpening)

            -Catch light in dark eye and a little cleanup with clone and the sharpen tool.

            Attached Files


            • #7
              Thanks for all the help!

              A BIG thanks to all of you for your responses! It's been a huge help.

              I've never used Neat Image before but have downloaded the demo and am impressed with what it can do. I am finding however that it's working better on the low res version of the picture than it is on the high res version of the scan. When I up the settings to compensate the additional pixels the image gets just too soft.

              Roger, the effect you were able to achieve is really what I am looking for. Unfortunately this is one photo in a series of twelve that all have exactly the same paper problem. I'm afraid if I use this technique I'll be blind, crazy and very old by the time I finish the 12th!

              I'm hoping to come up with a recipe that is somewhere in the middle.

              Thanks to you all I think I'm headed in a good direction.

              I'll post the "recipe" I come up with.

              Thanks again,




              • #8
                If you have a place you can post the full res version and then provide a link, there might be people who would give that one a shot.


                • #9

                  Amen, better to get it done than do one and wish you had time for the others!

                  Give this a try,

                  Duplicate the file, run Neat Image on the duplicate, bring the file in on the first image as a new layer, play with blending modes and opacity of the softened layer until you keep the detail you want with less texture/pattern.

                  Then flatten, duplicate the file and run Neat Image on the duplicate and do it all again. And maybe more times.

                  I am finding that doing things with Photoshop in this kind of incremental approach can give completly different results than the one fell swoop method.

                  Also with some of the pattern removed, the smudge tool method I used goes pretty quick. The secret is to go with lines you want to keep instead of across them. This blends the jaggies off of the line (like the dark iris against the white of the eye) instead of blurring the line. Subsequent sharpening then makes it look crisp.

                  The sharpening method I used was the duplicate layer, overlay blending mode, hi-pass filter method. Except that I used about 1.5 on hi-pass then duplicated that layer until it was the sharpness I liked. Again, the incremental method is amazing.



                  • #10

                    We'll thanks to all your collective help, I'm on my way.

                    I've gotten together a process that's a combo of NeatImage, Rogers incremental process and a handful of tweaking. It produces a result I can live with and my favorite part is that's it's repeatable, even partly "action-able" for the 11 other photos in this series.

                    I did ad one last step, before the last pass (it took 5) through NeatImage I put a slight even noise (gaussian/mono 3%) over the image. That seemed to make the next pass of smoothing more uniform and tone down the obvious irregularities in the image texture.

                    You can still see a little texture pattern in the light areas like her dress. But I can live with that.

                    Thank you all very much! I would not have figured this out without your help.

                    And Roger, your my hero!

                    Best to all,

                    Attached Files


                    • #11
                      I like what NeatImage was capable of doing for this photo. I too have a couple photos with a texture problem.
                      In this thread
                      there is a photo posted with a similar problem. I believe that the technique used for this photo may produce some good results also.
                      I am quite familiar with NeatImage and found that I can't live without it but think that it also can have a tendency to blur area's that we want to keep detailed. A different approach may be the ticket here and I'm hoping the tut mentioned in this thread will work.
                      I'll give it a shot and repost the results.


                      • #12
                        There are good and bad ways to remove moire and stuff like that. The link to the tutorial from Conk is a good lesson in quick mask. The addition of noise at the end is also a good idea - otherwise I'd avoid this tutorial. There are much better ways out there if you look for them. Gaussian blur, for one, is overrated. Also of note, the 'improvement' to the model in the picture the author chose to use is to remove her freckles, as if freckles are an unnattractive feature on a person's face. Here's a picture of one of the world's top supermodels, Mini Anden - and her face earns her $10,000 a day.

                        Attached Files


                        • #13
                          The point of the models freckles being appropriate or not is a whole different issue. The issue here is regarding a technique that would best remove the paper texture from the image.
                          NeatImage as I've said does an excellent job at removing noise. I tried a combination of techniques here. In the attached photo
                          #1 is the original.
                          #2 I followed the quick masc tutorial but instead of applying a Gaussian blur I put the layer through NeatImage.
                          #3 was by following the quick mask tutorial as outlined.
                          I only removed texture on the face of the photo at this point. I found that the #2 version did not show quite as good results as the quick mask editing in version #3.
                          I tried to use the same editing process on the dress but was losing what little detail there is with the shadowed wrinkles.
                          These are the area's I am finding that pose a challenge. To remove the texture without removing much needed detail.
                          Attached Files


                          • #14
                            I'm hoping that there will be some further help come this way for this texture problem.
                            If there are any answers to this I'd certainly like to read them.


                            • #15
                              I'm not sure what kind of feedback you want on this. But here it is with one pass of Neat Image. I think the detail retention in the face is right on. And given the photo, so is the background and vail. All this would need is cleanup, sharpen, and some fine grain added.

                              I can't say as much for the dress. Neat Image did reduce definition here. But even when I added it back by hand, it was still not enough to make it look right. Then I tried leaving some noise in the dress, thinking it might fool the eye. But it didn't fool my eye, because it gave sort of a knitted look. And I've never seen a knitted bridal gown. So I'm not sure what to do with the dress, except create fold definition by hand. But maybe one of the experienced retouchers has an idea for this.
                              Attached Files


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