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  • Hi, I'm new here and need advice

    Hi, this is my first post and I think this is a great forum. I've been doing restoration work since May 07 so I'm a bit new at it. I've uploaded a few of my restorations in the picture gallery. One of the biggest problems I have with restorations is restoring a blurred AND faded picture. The picture I am attaching has a little girl in the left corner. How can I recover her face? any help is greatly appreciated.
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Re: Hi, I'm new here and need advice

    The problem with the little girl in this picture is not just the faded photo, but when the shot was taken the little girl turned her head. If you look carefully, you can see her mouth in two places. It's going to take some artistic reconstruction to bring much back.

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    • #3
      Re: Hi, I'm new here and need advice

      Thats right, the girl was moving her head. Also the left side of the photo is low on contrast and faded. So I used a levels adjustment layer and focused just on the girl. Since this comes with a layer mask I masked out the entire correction and then painted the mask white to increase the contrast with the girl. I also sharpened her some. So its somewhat better.
      Attached Files

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      • #4
        Re: Hi, I'm new here and need advice

        Thanks for the answers. So I guess it comes down to artistic recreation. These are some of the toughest restorations, the ones that don't have full facial features or are distorted.

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        • #5
          Re: Hi, I'm new here and need advice

          welcome to RP, dkf10425 (i'll just call you dkf for short ).

          the first step is the scan. get the best possible scan you can, even if you have to pay someone to do it. detail is the name of the game on these. after that, it's pretty much what the others said, a bit of artistic re-creation. one thing to do to help this is to bring out the detail with contrasting. there are several ways to do this and have already been covered extensively in the forums, so i wont go into them here. but, get that detail, even if it is faded or blurred. those differences in black, white and gray are what are going to be your clues to reconstructing, so get all that you can.

          and one other thing not mentioned enough here is, double the size of your working image, and sometimes triple or even quadruple. resizing in photoshop or psp and others, is much better than it used to be and in most cases i've seen these days, actually increases your chances for more detail and certainly increases the ability to work with very small detail like you have here. one trick i do on this at times, when like in yours there is just a small area to work on, i'll simply make a selection of that area and convert it to a new image and blow that image up three or four times and just work on it separately. this saves a ton of ram and as long as you're not relighting or recoloring but only working on restoring a small black and white area, works very nicely. once done, you simply resize it back down to fit the rest of the image and paste it back in. take some of the surrounding area when you do all this and dont touch that surrounding area so that when you paste it back in it will match up perfectly.

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          • #6
            Re: Hi, I'm new here and need advice

            Originally posted by Kraellin View Post
            welcome to RetouchPRO, dkf10425 (i'll just call you dkf for short ).
            Thanks for the welcome! You make a very good point about resizing and working on that one area seperately. I just got Alien Skin Blow Up so that should help with the resizing. I will also do a search on contrasting to bring out detail. I'm really glad I found this site!

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            • #7
              Re: Hi, I'm new here and need advice

              here's a start for you....
              Attached Files

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              • #8
                Re: Hi, I'm new here and need advice

                I agree with Craig. I often will start with a 1200 ppi or even a 2400 ppi scan to to work with a photo like this. The more information to work with at the start the better to find the image.

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                • #9
                  Re: Hi, I'm new here and need advice

                  Ok, I had been scanning at 300 ppi. Should I scan all photos at 1200 or 2400, or just extremely faded photos with a lack of detail? Could photos in fairly decent shape be scanned at 300ppi? Or just set my scanner at 1200ppi and leave it like that?

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                  • #10
                    Re: Hi, I'm new here and need advice

                    Also most of these old photographs are not true B&W,but more dark grays to very light grays.If you over correct the tones making them true black and/or true whites it will not look proper so before scanning take a good look at the photograph


                    just my opinion zganie

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                    • #11
                      Re: Hi, I'm new here and need advice

                      I would put this on the drum scanner for the VERY best quality....

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                      • #12
                        Re: Hi, I'm new here and need advice

                        ahhh, but never a drum scanner handy when you need one.

                        It kind of depends on what you are going to do with the photo, but for the most part, scanning at 1200 or above creates really large files, and you may even have trouble working with them in photoshop, due to the large file size. Most of the time there is no need to scan above 300 ppi, for print, or 72 ppi for screen. I usually only scan at the higher resolutions when I need the extra information for restoration work.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Hi, I'm new here and need advice

                          my semi-rule of thumb is, the worse the image, the higher the resolution of the scan needed. if the image is already in decent shape, 300 is ok for most work. 600 is better and would be a good standard to set for oneself. 1200 or more is where the image is just really faded, damaged, stained, etc. you want to make sure you pick up every possible detail. for slides and negatives i dont use anything under 1800.

                          another option is if you have a nice digital camera. a 3.1 megapixel is roughly equivalent to a 300 ppi scan, a 6 megapixel roughly comparable to a 600 ppi scan. i say 'roughly' here because i've never actually sat down and compared the two side to side. but, i recently bought an 8 megapixel camera and i could easily use this instead of a scanner for almost anything except slides or negatives.

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