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3 color separation repair help -- blotchiness

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  • 3 color separation repair help -- blotchiness

    Hello and thanks in advance for your time and assistance!

    I am repairing a color image created with color separation negatives, 3 black and white images (captured from negatives) combined in RGB channels to create a color image. The original negatives were very badly damaged, so alignment and correction has been quite complicated.

    I am finally getting close, but there is still a lot of blotchiness that I am having trouble correcting, from where each of the channels may have been under/over exposed, creating splotchy yellow or magenta, etc. It might look subtle, but in the area I've shown in the photo, for example, the yellow blotchiness really stands out when I go to print.

    How can I selectively modify this area!? Any other ideas for filters or way to single out this blotchiness to make adjustments? Traditional retouching with healing brush on all channels is really not helping the color balance, as it moves around the grain but remains splotchy... I also tried hue/saturation but I am not able to isolate the problem areas.

    Have spent two weeks working on this image...need help...Thanks so much for any ideas!
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Re: 3 color separation repair help -- blotchiness

    We are talking about the color here, right? For tone blotchiness, you can use DNB. Obviously, this was my general once-over, still requires some going into for specific areas, and either colorizing them ,or making specific adjustments for more or less each one.

    All I did were a couple of Hue-sat adjustments targeting specific hues.

    3_color_separation_repair_blotchiness.jpg Screen Shot 2016-04-25 at 4.23.02 PM.jpg
    DOWNLOAD PSD
    Last edited by skoobey; 04-25-2016, 07:30 PM.

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    • #3
      Re: 3 color separation repair help -- blotchiness

      Do you mean dodge & burn on each color channel? Or are you somehow doing it on a layer in RGB?

      The trouble I'm having with dodge & burn on the channels, where its yellow for example, is its so hard to tell where the subtle color shifts are that I keep going back and forth between blue splotches and yellow splotches and whatever I do just does not seem to achieve an even, smooth, consistent tone.

      I found it very difficult to use hue adjustments as it did not seem to select the areas I am trying to isolate, and rather selected evenly across the image putting me back where I started.

      If you have any other thoughts or could give more specific step by steps, or are indicating to use dodge and burn in a different way, that would be great.

      Thank you!

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      • #4
        Re: 3 color separation repair help -- blotchiness

        Here's 2 versions...one more corrected than the other...used similar to what Scooby suggested...some hsl and then a blank layer set to color and painted on that layer to even out color more.....just played until the color looked better to my eye.
        Attached Files

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        • #5
          Re: 3 color separation repair help -- blotchiness

          That is looking so much better!

          But I'll need to recreate this myself...could you be a little more specific about the steps and how you achieved it? What hues did you set to? Blending mode? So you had a blank layer set to color, and you were painting in the color it should be, correct? (Not painting in according to channel Y/B etc...)

          A clear step by step or screenshots of what you did would be amazing.

          Thank you Wolfman & scoobey!

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          • #6
            Re: 3 color separation repair help -- blotchiness

            We both did basically the same thing. Made the global adjustments. Wolfman went a step further(and I suggested the very same thing) by making a new layer, settign the blending mode to color, and painting in, making color even(there is no way around it, you have to go in and balance things out locally). Same goes for blotchy tones, you go in, and DNB(not on the each color channel, just go make lighten and darken curves, make the mask black ,the reveal the effect where needed for lightening or darkening, respectively).

            You pick color with the eyedropper, maybe adjust them slightly, and paint.

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            • #7
              Re: 3 color separation repair help -- blotchiness

              Skoobey pretty much described what was done. I started by doing hue & sat layer and lightening and changing hue & sat. of offending colors...then went into adobe camera raw and did more of the same in the hsl section with luminance, sat & hue sliders.....then capped it off with the new blank layer set to color and sampled the proper colors next to the bad colors and painted over the colors that were contaminating the image.....sorry to sound repetitious.

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              • #8
                Re: 3 color separation repair help -- blotchiness

                You guys have been really helpful. I think I have just been staring at it so long that it's hard to see the simple fixes.

                Do you have any thoughts on smoothing this out while keeping the grain? I've played a lot with different blur filters and blending modes but having a hard time making anything work..
                Attached Files

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                • #9
                  Re: 3 color separation repair help -- blotchiness

                  Frequency split, paint between the low and high, and heal on high.

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                  • #10
                    Re: 3 color separation repair help -- blotchiness

                    Originally posted by 3v3l3na View Post
                    Do you mean dodge & burn on each color channel? Or are you somehow doing it on a layer in RGB?
                    I would do it on a layer in RGB. RGB channels are not decorrelated. It's a really bad idea to try to divide that up into 3 one dimensional problems when you lack a decorrelated basis basis for them. Overall though I've seen much worse. Did you already work on this?

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                    • #11
                      Re: 3 color separation repair help -- blotchiness

                      Hey Klev,

                      As I described in my initial post, the image actually was created with 3 "decorrelated" black and white negatives, so a lot of work actually had to be done on each channel's negative before they were combined to produce a color image. Basically to achieve a remotely decent starting place, each black and white negative (channel) had to be pretty well balanced before they were put together.

                      The image has come a long way and is getting better, I have used corrections recommended by scoobey and wolfman, and am now perhaps dealing with overcorrecting using those methods because the image is becoming a bit too flat.

                      I read about frequency splitting but haven't actually done that before so have to figure it out...

                      Before & progress/after to demonstrate what I've been working with attached!
                      Attached Files

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                      • #12
                        Re: 3 color separation repair help -- blotchiness

                        Color is looking pretty good. Now the smoothness of left leg and arm are a bit distracting, so give the tone some variety in those areas using DNB, just to make them less even. It's a really interesting image BTW.

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                        • #13
                          Re: 3 color separation repair help -- blotchiness

                          Paul Outerbridge

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                          • #14
                            Re: 3 color separation repair help -- blotchiness

                            Originally posted by 3v3l3na View Post
                            Hey Klev,

                            As I described in my initial post, the image actually was created with 3 "decorrelated" black and white negatives, so a lot of work actually had to be done on each channel's negative before they were combined to produce a color image. Basically to achieve a remotely decent starting place, each black and white negative (channel) had to be pretty well balanced before they were put together.

                            The image has come a long way and is getting better, I have used corrections recommended by scoobey and wolfman, and am now perhaps dealing with overcorrecting using those methods because the image is becoming a bit too flat.

                            I read about frequency splitting but haven't actually done that before so have to figure it out...

                            Before & progress/after to demonstrate what I've been working with attached!
                            That's pretty nice work. I've never used frequency separation for anything.

                            I should probably clarify what I meant earlier. RGB is a set of color spaces. Its channels correspond to different wavelength ranges, but they overlap. Working channel by channel in RGB will frustrate you because of this. It's simply not designed for that. I kind of get it if one channel is completely lacking detail somewhere. Otherwise save yourself a headache and productivity loss.

                            It's also possible that I don't understand your workflow. I get the impression that you're scanning these things as black and white images. If the color is so bad that you have to basically recolor them from scratch, I would still avoid doing any real retouching until you recombine them for the reasons I mentioned.

                            Also out of curiosity why did you make them so high in contrast? These are from a different era, and that contrast is quite high relative to the media that would have been available at the time.

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                            • #15
                              Re: 3 color separation repair help -- blotchiness

                              This a very easy work and your get help in youtube.

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