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  • Call for help : about that finishing touch...

    Hello everyone,

    First time posting here, although I lurked (sporadically) for years. Sorry, in advance, for my poor english, I promise I do as best as I can.

    I've been tasked by my loving father with repairing a picture of my great grandfather. My grandmother (she's a great-great-grandmother to quite a few little monsters) is slowly losing her memories and we're loading an LCD frame with picture of her gigantic, extended family.

    The picture has been torn and has a good lot of scratches but nothing too terrifying. There's also a 'medallion' of my great grandmother that is stuck to it and won't come out anytime soon. The whole picture is pretty small, about 5x3 inch.

    I'm a technician type of guy. While I don't have much if any artistic sense, I can understand instructions. So, following the many tutorials I read over the years (thanks in good parts to many of you guys and gals!), I managed to clean it up to something I find acceptable : there's still faint traces of spots and scratches but I feel like anymore filtering and I'm headed to plastic manic. So I'm mostly happy with the image quality. For a second try (first was two years ago) at restoring a picture, I think I could be reasonably satisfied with myself.

    What I'm unhappy, and really undecided about, is what to do with the resulting,clean image, to make it a 'finished' product. What to do with the irregularly cut vignette of great'grandma? what to do with the upper right corner? etc. -- Aesthetic things. For me, this is 'ouch!'. -- I thought about trying to make the medallion more 'round' but no luck. I thought of using some frame template with big pocket-like corners to mask the ripped-off corners, but no luck either, it looks too artificial.

    What would YOU do? I'm open to suggestions and critiques about the cleaning-up too, it's just not what I'm hitting a wall with (IMHO). And it's very much a work in progress anyway, I may still scrap it and do it again if the ideas are good!

    Thanks in advance

    (I hope the attachment worked.. I would post a larger (2000x3000) image somewhere but I don't know of a host that accepts those.)
    Attached Files
    Last edited by AlexFournelle; 10-13-2009, 09:35 PM.

  • #2
    Re: Call for help : about that finishing touch...

    Alex,
    Welcome to RetouchPro, or for finally posting !

    I think you've done an excellent job so far. I would have had to remove the stuck-on image either physically or digitally. Often, it is possible to search old images and find a very similar one to "clone" in the missing arm and waist. Since you cannot borrow from the other side in this image, that would be about the only alternative. Getting the shape correct is not too difficult. But, getting the contrast and texture correct usually takes a while. By placing in on a separate layer, it is less frustrating.

    I hate to ask what happened to the rest of grandma's picture. But, with what is left, you can still make a very nice oval image. Or, possibly insert her into a new background, since it is mostly foliage.

    It looks like you could clone in the missing corners you mentioned. If not, you could add a heavy vignette, either rectangular or oval.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Call for help : about that finishing touch...

      my first instinct on this would be to very carefully remove the smaller picture from the large, but, that's also without actually examining the two images physically, so, get help from someone who knows and can actually look at the images before trying to separate them physically.

      thus, if you do leave the one on top of the other, you might try something like faking a composite image. it's a little tricky, but could be done several ways. i went with the attached. it's a bit rough, done for speed, not quality, so, the background could be improved more, as could his lower pant legs and the woman. you could, with a bit of artistry and rebuilding, move the woman over to the left more and hide her missing right arm with the border of the larger image.

      what i did first on this was to run some noise removal on the whole. next i cloned and more clone and more clone and then some push (smudge) to clean things up. basically, the most incongruent part of the whole was the badckground on her image, so i simply removed it. the picture still isnt right, but it's better.
      Attached Files

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Call for help : about that finishing touch...

        Alex, you could try put a shape aroung the lady, like a feathered heart, and then doing some minimal cloning to hide the part of her background which falls outside the shape. Here is a rough and quick example.
        Regards, Murray
        Attached Files

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Call for help : about that finishing touch...

          Originally posted by AlexFournelle View Post
          I've been tasked by my loving father with repairing a picture of my great grandfather.

          What I'm unhappy, and really undecided about, is what to do with the resulting,clean image, to make it a 'finished' product. What to do with the irregularly cut vignette of great'grandma? what to do with the upper right corner? etc. -- Aesthetic things. For me, this is 'ouch!'. -- I thought about trying to make the medallion more 'round' but no luck. I thought of using some frame template with big pocket-like corners to mask the ripped-off corners, but no luck either, it looks too artificial.

          What would YOU do?

          Thanks in advance

          (I hope the attachment worked.. I would post a larger (2000x3000) image somewhere but I don't know of a host that accepts those.)
          Welcome to Posting... 'Bout time!

          If you use Photoshop you can post fairly large pictures which are under 100k using the 'save for web' function in Photoshop as described here:
          Size, Quality and/or Format your Attached Images.. (Click here)

          How to attach Files/Images to your Posts or Threads:
          (Click here)

          If you want to post a larger resolution that is over 100K then you can host your image elsewhere and attach a link in the thread, but also please attach an under 100K version (so the thread remains useful in the future, regardless of external links).
          Other Hosts if you do not have your own site:
          ImageVenue.com (3Meg max, free) pixentral.com (2Meg max, free) photobucket.com (1 Meg max free, 5 Meg PRO) mediafire.com (100 Meg per file, free) post a link in the thread to the site that is hosting the larger image.

          If you wanted to cut the lady in the oval out and make two separate pictures side by side then look into http://lcweb2.loc.gov/pp/pphome.html and enter the search string "three quarter man seated" or something similar... when the results come up.... check the 'Preview Images' block and see if you can find a match for the hole left in the man.

          Using the clone tool you could also leave the lady in place and make a nice oval and clone the shrubbery to fill the empty spaces in the frame or do as Murray said...

          Looks like the clone and heal tools are going to be your bestest of friends!

          Waiting for a posting of a larger version before I offer anything else.... Looks good so far....

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Call for help : about that finishing touch...

            Thanks.

            Well I'm really not looking for getting it done by anyone other than me, but I guess there's no harm in seeing what advice I'd get so I dumped a bigger jpg over at photobucket.
            http://i78.photobucket.com/albums/j9...B-Original.jpg

            I must say that I don't really fancy the 'reconstructing grand'pa 's sitting butt' business. Even if it were very well done (I've seen pretty good stuff!), to me it will still looks like a (great) painting. No amount of fake grain or such has ever convinced me yet.

            Likewise, I tried to 'composite' mamy, feather her back in and such, but then it makes the whole picture look like a StarWars movie poster. My roommate tells me my great grandfather would have looooved being superphotoshopped but I still cling to my desire of 'vintage-ness'. -- I could see myself try some coloring, though. That's vintage enough for me

            Hmmkay, off to try some different noise cleaning plugins, see if I get better results than with PS filters.
            Last edited by AlexFournelle; 10-14-2009, 01:27 PM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Call for help : about that finishing touch...

              See if this idea works for you!
              Attached Files

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Call for help : about that finishing touch...

                Not even trying to do it for you... just answering the question "What would you do?"

                I would cut the lady out... straighten her then create a new oval.. resize her to fit when re-inserting her then just general repairs using the dust and scratch filters (masked) and the clone and patch tools trying to keep it looking sort of Original by not cleaning the finger prints leaving a big old orange spot and not over smoothing by not using any noise removal

                @ cupcake.... Neat idea! I like that a lot.... neat and clean.. Good job!!
                Attached Files

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Call for help : about that finishing touch...

                  I like the last two alternatives (OlBaldy and Cupcake). Especially Cupcake's... very nice, very creative as well. It looks very natural to that era as well.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Call for help : about that finishing touch...

                    Cupcake, looks great, very creative.
                    Rgds, Murray

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Call for help : about that finishing touch...

                      Agree 100%.

                      Have lots of things to try for the next few days. Cupcakes' idea I very much like, and OldBaldy's one is similar to something I tried, though I didn't consider filling the washed-out doorway with some more columns..

                      Thanks.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Call for help : about that finishing touch...

                        There's also a 'medallion' of my great grandmother that is stuck to it and won't come out anytime soon.
                        you might also search the forums for ways to separate photos. i know they exist, just dont know where they are at the moment.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Call for help : about that finishing touch...

                          Yes, but I'd need physical proximity to the picture, which just isn't possible now. -- Maybe a project for the xmas break.

                          I've redone the whole patching thing three times now and I'm still not satisfied.. I *think* my problem comes from uncertainty in which order to go about doing the cleanup. levels, first or last? Before or after noise removal? Do I desaturate, or do I chose and work on just the one R,G or B channel I find the cleanest (or the better balanced?)...

                          But it's fun and it's a constructive way to spend one's time so..

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Call for help : about that finishing touch...

                            Why not do blurred oval around attached photo to match sepia.
                            Attached Files

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Call for help : about that finishing touch...

                              i like that, aartist.

                              alexfournelle,

                              there is no true set sequence that i've ever seen. it's basically, 'whatever works'. that seems kind of sloppy, but, we're cleaning up mud, so, it does get sloppy from time to time. generally, there are a few things one can follow fairly reliably. first and foremost, 'find the image'. that's rule one for me. this means on faded images especially, you have to bring out the image well enough from the fading to be able to see what has to be fixed. that just makes logical sense. if you're working only on the faded, it's tough to see what is actually wrong. so, 'find the image' first.

                              after that, a lot depends on the type of damage and correction. black and whites as opposed to color also can change things. and, if the image needs rebuilding, that also can change things. noise often gets cleaned up fairly early, just because it's distracting. and, i'll often just work on a background before the main foreground stuff, because it's just not as important and often easier to get some bulk work done quickly. but again, all of that can vary image to image.

                              generally, if i were pinned down and in very broad terms, i'd say 'find the image' so it can be fixed, fix it, and then fine tune with balancing, shading, color, etc. that's extremely broad, i know, but that's showbiz

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