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Starting over

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  • Starting over

    As pointed out by Mig to Amanda in a recent thread, sometimes one of the best things you can do to improve a restoration is start all over from scratch.

    When do you scrap it all and start over. Do you need an actual destructive event you can't undo? Or an obvious blind alley? Or can you tell when you've just 'fiddled' too much, and need a clean start?
    Learn by teaching
    Take responsibility for learning

  • #2
    Thats a tough question. For me when I begin, I spend perhaps 10 to 20 minutes simply studying the photo, get a plan of action formulated then go for it, stopping after each stage to look at a copy of the original. If something just doesnot "feel right" I will back up a few steps and re examine. But sometimes if the right "feeling" is not there I delete the working copy, take a break, then open the original scan, study it some more and go at it again. Guess its all a matter of what feels right. Quite scientific way to go about something, eh? Tom


    • #3
      I've made this mistake many, many times. A strategy I learned from a book is to save what the books' author called "base camps", which are .psd versions of the same file at different stages in the photoshop process. Usually I end up with 3 base camps. The idea is to duplicate the file at a point where you know you're about to veer off into something where there may be no going back. Building these base camps is something I'm in the habit of doing now, just like hitting SAVE every half hour or so.
      As for knowing when I've taken things too far I can usually tell by eye because the picture is muddy-looking, but a more scientific approach is to look at the histogram, and if you can identify a weak, unhealthy histogram then you know you've probably gone overboard.
      Another thing I've learned to avoid is to save something in .jpg format from a .psd file, trash the .psd because I figure I'm finished with it, only to have to go back and fix something, but only have the .jpg - which is not a good idea, so I hope I've learned from these mistakes.


      • #4
        Well, the way I generally try to avoid a "start over" to some people would seem slightly insane and overly anal.

        Take for example Challenge10.jpg.

        I'd do work on this file, and depending on what's going on, on the hour I would name the file like so:

        obviously, the 2nd day of sept. at 3pm.

        that way I can keep track of what i've done, and I'd have multiples files in case one get corrupted (as does happen occasionally), power is lost (which also happens occasionally), or something unusual happens (co-worker decides to play a prank while you're away from the PC) that way, you've only lost a certain amount of time.

        It does take a large amount of Diskspace, though. So depending on which PC I'm happening to be using at the time, I just burn it to desk, upload it to an online box and download it at home/work or simply delete the file when I know I probably won't need some of the older files versions of that file.


        <tosses two pennies in a beer mug>


        • #5
          I work similar to Mig. I figure out a basic strategy for working on the image and begin my work. After each step or section, I save my work as .psd - all layers, masks, selections, etc. I prefer to save based on a logical (to me) progression rather than as Rick does "every hour"- though usually I'm saving at least every hour. I also get power glitches where I am and have learned the hard way.

          And, I also never get rid of my original or final .psd (or .tif) files - even when I know I won't ever need them again. I save everything to a CD (and I'm thinking of making two CD's based on some threads I've read here) before ever deleting from my hard drive. Perhaps I'm a bit of a packrat, but I just can't stand the thought of losing any info that might possibly be useful to me in the future.