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Cracks, flaking in original: Advice before proceeding

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  • Cracks, flaking in original: Advice before proceeding

    Hi. Although I've been retouching for a long time, I've not done too many restorations. I was asked by a friend to retore an old photo which looks to me like it was a B/W photo that was hand-colored.

    I've attached a cropped version of it so you can see the detail of what I'm working with. My major concern is the paper texture, which looks like it's beginning to flake off. I'd like to remove it because I'm not sure how the woman will print it. I am assuming the print will have its own texture. But is there an easy way to do it? I mean, I've got my ideas but I was wondering what other methods can be done as I think my way will be pretty tedious.
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Re: Advice before proceeding

    A wild guess.

    A duplicate layer Emboss> Decaturate(?)>Invert, set to overlay should decrease contrast for cracks. It will decrease contrast for the face features as well, they would have to be covered by mask

    or, use inverted B&W image (channel there cracks are more visible) for distortion map.

    Sorry, don't have time to try myself, just thought I may add my 5 cents...

    Last edited by pavel123; 09-26-2006, 02:55 PM.


    • #3
      Re: Advice before proceeding

      I did a surface blur in Photoshop CS2.
      Attached Files


      • #4
        Re: Advice before proceeding


        i think you could treat this as noise. ps and psp both have noise removers. or, you could try Neat Image or Noise Ninja or any others you may know of. also, filters like 'median', 'salt and pepper' and so on, might do the trick.

        if it's worse than i think it is here, try FFT or rgb FFT and see if that will handle it. Image Analyzer is reported to have a good FFT filter and there are also plugins that do it.



        • #5
          Surface Blur

          I ran neat image on the photo, but the results were slightly worse than swampy's use of surface blur which is included in photoshop CS2


          • #6
            Re: Advice before proceeding

            The photo on the left is the original. The next one is after using Neat Image (chrominance filter) to remove about 60% of the trash. The next is after applying the degrunge tutorial by byRO ( The last is after a little healing brush for the eyes and sharpening using the tutorial again by byRO ( except applied to the lightness layer in Lab color mode.
            Attached Files


            • #7
              Re: Advice before proceeding

              Swampy - I want Surface Blur SOoooooo bad....... looks great!

              Duwayne - Thanks for that great side by side comparison..... that helps me and I didn't even try to work on this one!



              • #8
                Re: Advice before proceeding

                I tried applying a dust and scratches filter to each channel individually to remove the paper fibre texture whilst keeping as much image detail as possible... it was very quick and painless place to start but the splotchiness still may need some tlc... perhaps with ByRo's degrunge technique as Dwayne mentioned.
                Attached Files


                • #9
                  Re: Advice before proceeding

                  Copy to new layer, apply Dust & Scratches filter (PS built in not Polaroid) apply hide all mask. Paint in with white wherever you want to lose flaking.

                  Variations on this method are to overblur when using the D&S filter, then adjust layer opacity to fine tune.
                  Attached Files


                  • #10
                    Re: Advice before proceeding

                    Well, I used a combination of techniques but I mostly used my own modified version of that Degrunge technique described earlier. Here's my results so far. I think it looks pretty good, but I seemed to lose some detail. I'll probably paint any detail that I'm not able to recover.

                    I'm working on this in my spare time, so it's taking quite a bit of time.

                    I've also provided an itty-bitty jpg for you all to see the whole image. That's not lighting in the background. The original picture was under some papers during a fire. the surrounding dark area is actually smoke damage. the original image also had a few tears in it, not to mention that flakey texture.
                    Attached Files


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