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Greetings! ...and Moire help?

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  • Greetings! ...and Moire help?

    Hello Everyone!

    I am new to the site as well as photo retouching. I've been using PS for a number of years, but it was always for custom graphics - funny, not until recently have I attempted retouching - this site has provided a wealth of info!

    Now, I've cleaned up a tiny image of an old grade school picture for a friend - this file is the only image we have, no original pic. I'm satisfied with the color and cleanup - but the moire pattern (if that's what this is) I'm having difficulty with. I did search the forums and found some nifty tips (one by Flora to dupe, blend to darken, then nudge - worked nicely, but as this image is so small, the nudged pixels were too obvious), but I'm having trouble applying to this image. Any insight would really be appreciated.

    An aside; I was really knocked out with the talent and knowledge of the members here - wow - humbling. I found myself reading different retouch posts just to learn - spent an hour reading and trying all the suggested techniques for masking out hair - which I have yet a need for, but was amazed with the process and possibilities.

    Are the challenges open to 'newbies' - What a great way to practice.

    Phew - ok, Thanks!

    Attached Files

  • #2
    Hi Doug and Welcome to RetouchPRO!

    It's a little difficult to make out from the small size, but it looks to me like it's more a paper texture pattern than a moire pattern. Is the file you have larger than what you posted? If it's close to this posted size, I don't see too much other than some tedious hand work to correct the problem, but as you said so well, there's a lot of talent and knowledge here, maybe someone has some answers that will help.
    If you can post and link to a larger view, we might be in a better position to offer some direction.



    • #3
      Hello there, Doug. Welcome to RetouchPRO

      Originally posted by d64
      - but the moire pattern (if that's what this is)
      Doesn't seem like Moire. Looks more like a texture pattern from the paper that the photo was printed on.

      Here are some ideas:

      First step...
      The best way to get rid of this pattern is to use the FFT technique (search around) - BUT to get the best out of this method you should apply it before doing any retouching.
      I used it here, but on a larger-sized original the texture should come away nicely.

      Second Step...
      When you take away the texture you get left with a "noisy" image. Some of the noise may originate from the texture and some was in the image before, but was hidden. A good tool here is Neat Image (search, and find you'll find the free download).

      Third Step....
      After Neat Image, there are still some strange colours around. Change to LAB mode and clean up the A and B (colour) channels with a Smart Blur (CS) or Median filter (PS7).

      Fourth Step...
      Apply some sharpening

      Fifth Step...
      Use Dust and Scratches (PS7) or Spot Patch tool (CS) to clean up the spots.

      Sixth Step...
      Even up the yellowing background. Using a brush with mode set to Color, sample (<Alt>) somewhere in the good blue background and paint this colour (low opacity, soft brush) on the yellowing parts.

      Seventh Step...
      Sharpen to taste and serve.

      (I didn't actually do everything in this sequence, 'cuz I'm not that organized )

      ...ah, and don't foget - Have Fun.

      PS Everything is open to newbies
      Attached Files


      • #4
        Try using a fourier transform.. I ran a quick FTransform on each channel and then reduced color noise..

        byRO nice job.. I took the same basic steps.
        Fourier Transform.
        Neat Image to reduce noise.
        Convert to lab and clean up a and b channel.

        Where did you find the noise in the transform. It seemed to be in the vertical line down the center..


        • #5
          Originally posted by delic
          Where did you find the noise in the transform? It seemed to be in the vertical line down the center..
          Not in the line but close by it. ('cuz the lines in the image are slightly skewed from the horizontal).

          Nice job (great minds think alike )


          • #6
            yes i really meant near the line. I guess the difference is significant..


            • #7
              Guys - Thank You for the kind welcome!

              Wow, I am completely stunned with how beautifully you all accomplished what I thought was impossible. @ Garazon, Thanks for the advice – sadly, the posted image is the only pic left – the original is long gone. @ byRo – Thank you so much for your tips and advice! I’ve copied your steps and will be working on them momentarily. @ delic – also a Thank you for the reply and advice! Some new terms and apps here - so I'll be off to do my homework soon.

              btw: You’re right about the paper vs. moiré – I looked at other scans from earlier school photos, the pattern is part of the paper – closely looking at actual photos it can be seen too.

              Once I get this repaired / retouched image finished – it will be very well received! I’d like to size up but of course understand the problems there – has anyone had experience with OnOne’s Genuine Fractal program? The claims are impressive.


              Scale up to 800% without degradation?

              Anyway, Thanks Again! I think I found a new home…



              • #8
                Hi Doug.
                Welcome to RetouchPro

                I can’t add to the excellent advice that Rô has already given. I did try to make your picture a little bigger.

                Attached Files


                • #9
                  Originally posted by d64
                  Scale up to 800% without degradation?
                  ....yeah, given the right original image under the right conditions etc., etc.
                  Problem is you never seem to have quite the right image and the right conditions.

                  But, yes, fractal interpolation is rocket science applied to digital enlargement and it can give great results. The drawback is when the image has some noise - then it will do everything to interpret the noise as part of the image and the result may end up rather distorted.

                  In practice, this means that when retouching degraded images the fractal resize should be the last step and not one of the first.

                  If you want to play with fractal interpolation, without dishing out $$$'s, have a look at the Image Analyzer (search).


                  • #10

                    Just a quick follow-up to again say 'Thank you' for the help and tips. I've downloaded the 'trial' version of neat image and am beginning to dig into it. My attempts thus far are not as clean as yours but it gives me a good target to shoot for. Regarding fractal interpolation, agreed - I'll look up IA before paying for GF!

                    Thanks again!



                    • #11
                      Hi Rô

                      I am curious about what you were saying regarding Fractal Interpolation.

                      Image Analyser has Image > Resize with SIX methods.

                      Bilinear Interpolation
                      Pixel Resize
                      Weiner M4
                      Weiner M6
                      Bicubic Spline
                      Cardinal Sine

                      However at their website they show SEVEN examples including Fractal interpolation + Adaptive noise reduction

                      I can’t find this last one. Is this the one you are talking about? Where is it?




                      • #12
                        Hi there, Ken,

                        It's a plug-in which doesn't come bundled with the program.
                        It's at the end of this page (

                        There are some others there but this is the only one I've played with.
                        Ah, and try it with some small images first - it does take quite a long time to run the fractal interpolation.


                        • #13
                          Thanks Rô.

                          I downloaded all these plug-ins when I mentioned them in the IA thread. I just forgot to move them to the correct folder.

                          I’m impressed, looks like the quality is worth the wait.

                          Thanks again



                          • #14
                            very nice job, Ro. i'd love to see what your edit on the fft looked like. did you use fft or fft rgb?

                            gave this one a shot also. similar to the above procedures but added in some extra blends and hand work.

                            Attached Files


                            • #15
                              Craig, I could not get FFT to work at all but FFT RGB did work. I got the best results with the FFT transform in ImageAnalyzer. The filtering was about the same but IA produced a result with less contrast which allowed me to complete the rest of the work in LAB (reduced color noise using A&B blur, contrast tweak in L, color balance in B).
                              Regards, Murray
                              Attached Files


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