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Fixing scrapbook plastic 'waffle' imprint

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  • Fixing scrapbook plastic 'waffle' imprint

    I presume this is an all to common issue - this picture was placed in a scrapbook with the type of cover plastic that had 'dots'. Then left for 30 years. When the picture was removed 2 things showed up:
    1) the plastic dots are physical - so the picture has tiny indentations that the scanner picked up as shadows
    2) much worse - in hundreds of places - the plastic took the dye/ink with it - leaving tiny white specks all through the photo.

    So far the only thing that at least helps is Luminescence Noise reduction - but of course that brings its own issues (the entire photo already is soft).
    healing/clone don't seem the right answer since these 'dots' affect the entire picture.

    Any thoughts on approaches?
    Attached Files
    Last edited by jwag; 03-21-2019, 10:57 PM.

  • #2
    As far as the shadows are concerned, that's a lighting problem (scanners are basically a one light system) so try using 2 lights and a camera instead. For the white specks (which I do not have much experience with, all my specks seem to be black) you might look into Katrin Eismann's books on Photoshop Restoration and Retouching. She has a couple of different ways which might help, but they all seem to require a lot of time and work. Good luck!


    • #3
      Hi jwag, in Katrin Eismann's book, she has a whole chapter on Dust, Mold and Texture Removal. One way she uses to remove a paper texture is to, duplicate the layer and use the Surface Blur. She has a demo image that she uses. If you are using Photoshop, got to Filter - Blur - Surface Blur and choose a low radius, for her image she used 2, and for the threshold she used 84. Play about with your image and see what works for you. Then duplicate that Surface Blur layer and go to Filter - Blur - Gaussian Blur and use a low radius again. this might help.


      • #4
        Thank you both - I do have Eismann's book from years ago - must have missed that thumbing through it - I'll give the 'blur' idea a go.
        Pretty amazing that 20 years later - Katrin's book is still the go-to resource!


        • #5
          For scanning shadows etc. please see this post
          To remove the waffle effect on a copy of the print I use Image Analyzer (free) ( which has a FFT filter built in to get the results as shown.
          You do not have permission to view this gallery.
          This gallery has 1 photos.


          • #6
            For this type of texture pattern I tend to use a FFT filter and the results are much quicker than any other method I have found. The white spot I was able to clean up with a simple dust and scratches filter on a separate copied layer after the FFT filter. I only used a small pixel size for the dust filter of 2 pixels and a threshold of 15. The larger ones you can then pick off with the heal/spot/clone tool of your choice. Hope this helps.

            Attached Files


            • #7
              I was going to suggest FFT too and Pixelshaw has used it really well here. one other method, if you don't have access to an FFT filter, can be to scan the image at least twice (sometimes 4 times works better still, sometimes not) at 180 or 90 degree angles and then combine the resulting images into a single scan. This article explains it in more detail...


              • #8
                Thank you all - I didn't get notified about all these new suggestions - looks like I have some reading to do!


                • #9
                  Just downloaded: Pattern Suppressor 2.5 which fairly recently shipped MAC versions of this photoshop plugin - watching the video and my second attempt yielded acceptable results. Absolutely amazing.


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