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Retouching lawns

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  • Retouching lawns

    I am new to this forum, so I hope I am approaching my request for help properly. This opportunity to get help with a problem I have spent days trying to solve is really appreciated and I want to make sure I comply with the submission protocol. My image is less than 100k (original is 37 Mb Tiff), but looks kind of blurry to me, so I hope that the resolution is adequate for analysis and commentary.

    I am trying to create a (fine art) framed portrait of a client's newly painted "Victorian" home. The droughty weather this season has left her lawn rather ragged, which as you can see from my photo really detracts from the image. I have tried all sorts of cloning procedures, and even importing other lawns in an attempt to rectify this image, with very poor results in the final ~11 x 14 image.

    I am not an advanced user of Photoshop 7 but I am slowly getting the hang of it. I may just need some hints on improving my techniques of cloning, since the overlapping of soft brush clones seems to blurr the texture of the grass. Hard edged brushes, of course, leave hard edges. The problem may just be that the areas of lawn to sample just aren't large enough.

    It may be that I need some fairly specific steps to achieve a realistic retouch of this lawn. If it cannot be done realistically, there is the option of applying some kind of an artistic filter to the entire image to make it more painterly. In fact, I may do the filter effects anyway, if anyone has any suggestions to offer.

    Let me just leave my commentary at that and wait for some response before going any further. TIA

    Attached Files

  • #2
    This isn't really an appropriate job for the clone tool, not at first anyway. I'd recommend the old "copy and float" technique. Set your lasso for a small amount of feather, copy a good area, move it to a bad area, flatten, redo. At first it can be agonizingly slow, but as you progress the areas available to copy get much larger. When you're done you can use the clone tool and healing brush to remove any obvious repetitive patterns.

    It can get to be a Zen exercize: select L for lasso, select, ctrl-C, ctrl-V, V for moving, move, ctrl-E, repeat

    L, ctrl-C, ctrl-V, V, ctrl-E, L, ctrl-C, ctrl-V, V, ctrl-E, L, ctrl-C, ctrl-V, V, ctrl-E, L, ctrl-C, ctrl-V, V, ctrl-E, L, ctrl-C, ctrl-V, V, ctrl-E, L, ctrl-C, ctrl-V, V, ctrl-E, L, ctrl-C, ctrl-V, V, ctrl-E, etc.

    You get the idea
    Attached Files
    Learn by teaching
    Take responsibility for learning


    • #3
      You say you've used all sorts of cloning techniques. Have you tried the pattern clone bush. I'm not sure the results on a high res image but this is what I did on the image sent. I went into filters Make Pattern and selected a good portion of lawn. Used a soft brush set to 50% and painted with the pattern clone stamp.

      Attached Files


      • #4
        I tried this on your photo, about 3 minutes work.

        Duplicate the layer.

        With the rectangular marquee tool, select the largest area of good lawn you can find.

        Go to edit Define Pattern give it a name something like “Grass”! maybe.

        Select bad pieces of lawn with the lasso tool. Feather the edge.

        Fill with the paint bucket set to pattern, (with the grass pattern obviously), and the opacity set to about 85%.

        Use the patch tool to eliminate obvious joins.
        Attached Files


        • #5
          Lawn retouching

          Duv and Shalford,

          Thanks for your suggestions. Your results, like some I've gotten using pattern tool and clone tool, don't look too bad at low res, but when you size it at 11 x 14 @ 300 ppi, it doesn't really look too natural, especially if you apply any blur/sharpening, or adjustments to hue, saturation, etc. See a detail of my best effort to date.

          I'm not doing too bad using Doug's technique, but I'm having trouble where the lawn changes color due to tree shadows, and distance from the camera or sun angle. How does one blend the colors together? Is there a technique for copying/cloning the colors and textures separately to get a more uniform looking lawn with the colors gradually blending?
          Attached Files


          • #6
            Retouching lawn (Reply to Doug)


            Thanks for your cool copying technique. I was trying to figure out how to do just this. I seem to be doing fine with your technique until I come to grass of a different color. How do I blend the transitional areas?
            Attached Files


            • #7
              That's where the art comes in. You have to pick areas that match the areas you're looking to fill in. If there aren't any areas, some creativity is needed.

              Just remember, if it was easy, they wouldn't need you
              Learn by teaching
              Take responsibility for learning


              • #8
                Hi Ron,

                I tried to get a realistic result by substituting the whole lawn (actually the whole bottom part of your picture).

                To blend it in with the rest (shadows, etc), I set the Opacity of the new 'lawn layer' to 55-60% and applied a layer mask to bring back the important feature of the original image.

                ...Not a 'manicured' lawn .... but less 'distracting' than the original....
                Attached Files


                • #9
                  retouching lawn (reply to Flora)


                  Wow! That looks really good, at low resolution anyway. I'm not sure how you did that. What are you substituting for the lawn? I am afraid you might need to explain this in terms a novice to retouching can understand. Thanks for taking the time to work on this image. Learning what you did and how is something I'd sure like to know.



                  • #10
                    Re: retouching lawn (reply to Flora)

                    Hi Ron,

                    thanks for your feedback and glad you liked what I did with your picture.

                    Originally posted by reimerron
                    What are you substituting for the lawn? I am afraid you might need to explain this in terms a novice to retouching can understand.
                    What I did was simply 'borrowing' the lawn from another picture and:

                    a) selected part of it with the Rectangular Marquee Tool.

                    b) Ctrl+C copied my selection.

                    c) Clicked on your picture to activate it again and Ctrl+V pasted my selection on it.

                    d) If necessary, use the Free Transform Tool to adjust the selection to your picture.

                    After this, follow the steps described in the attachment.

                    ... Hope this can help
                    Attached Files


                    • #11
             again ....

                      still low resolution, but here is an enlarged part of my B&A picture where it is possible to see how realistic the new lawn looks...

                      Attached Files


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