Author Topic: For photo restorers ...  (Read 2381 times)

Offline Mike Morrell (NL)

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For photo restorers ...
« on: Thursday 01 June 17 21:28 BST (UK) »
I'm a complete newbie to Rootschat and the 'photo restoration' forum. But I know much more about restoration and Photoshop than I did 4 weeks ago! So first all I'd like to than everyone who encouraged me and gave me tips on how to learn 'restoration' during the past weeks. Notably jloy326 for his invaluable 'in-depth' resources  and HandyPandy for his ongoing feedback, advice and tips. Not only on 'restoration' but on great music too! :)

From the 'restorers' who I've had no direct contact with, I've learned a lot through their examples.  Mostly as an inspiration as to what's possible in restoration. And sometimes as an inspiration to find out more about a specific technique. I've PM'd a couple restorers with specific questions and all have been very helpful.

As a newbie, I'm not sure what the etiquette is with regard to sharing questions, tips, advice, etc. between restorers. Sometimes compliments and Q&A between restorers are included in the topic for each photo. But somehow, the forum topic for each photo doesn't seem to be the right place for extended discussions between restorers on the 'why and how' of specific versions. Because everyone works differently, I'm not sure who would be interested in sharing their experience, workflow, tips and advice.

To cut a long story short, I thought that this 'topic' could be a place where restorers can ask each other questions, share tips, compliment each other on particularly good restores. etc.

If there's no interest, this 'topic' will just fall of the forum, never to be heard of again. If restorers have questions, tips to share, etc, then the 'topic'  will continue to live.

Mike
Photo restorers may re-use and improve on my posted versions. Acknowledgement appreciated.

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Offline Mike Morrell (NL)

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Dust and fine scratches
« Reply #1 on: Friday 02 June 17 13:50 BST (UK) »
Since I started this thread, I suppose I should kick it off with a question and its on dealing with 'Dust and Scratches'.

The photo that I had in mind for this is 'William Burns at Cowden Hall hospital' here: http://www.rootschat.com/forum/index.php?topic772509.0. After adjusting the levels to bring more contrast into the photo, a lot of fine scratches became very visible.

There seem to be different approaches to making these scratches less visible and I wondered which ones you use and how you use them.

The most obvious way in Photoshop is to apply the 'Dust and Scratches' filter to the photo as a whole or to selected parts. But no matter how well I fine-tune the filter, some fine details are blurred by the filter. So I guess it's possible to protect specific areas using a mask.

A second way is to clean small areas and clone/patch these into the scratched ares. But for the William Burns photo, this seemed like a mountain of work.

A third way is to create a 'Dust and Scratches' mask using (in Photoshop) the 'Find Edge' and/or 'High Pass' filters.  Using this mask, you can selectively apply curves adjustments to lighten/darken scratches to match the surrounding area. You also use the mask to 'paint' over the scratches in the local colour or greyscale value.

There are probably other ways that I don't know about. :)

I've played around using a 'Dust & Scratches' mask in different ways but I haven't been able to make the scratches anywhere close to 'ínvisible' yet.

So, what's you preferred method(s) for dealing with fine scratches?

Thanks,

Mike


 



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Offline dafydd46

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Re: For photo restorers ...
« Reply #2 on: Friday 02 June 17 15:39 BST (UK) »
Mike,

In the photograph you mention above, the scratches are also faded and within the range of density of the rest of the image. Because of this I would resort to the Heal Selection filter of GIMP. I think that the Content Aware filter of Photoshop is similar. This is obviously time consuming, but can be speeded up by putting a transparent layer on top of the image and painting over the scratches with a suitable width, hard-edged brush (in any convenient colour). Do a selection by colour on your painting, select the image layer and run the Heal Selection Filter (or in your case Content Aware). With Heal Selection there are options to sample from all around, sides or above and below - I assume something similar in Photoshop.

Please keep the questions and answers coming - I am sure we all have much to learn - me especially!

Regards,
dafydd46.

Offline aghadowey

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Re: For photo restorers ...
« Reply #3 on: Friday 02 June 17 15:46 BST (UK) »
Sounds like you haven't read through all the tips and queries here-
http://www.rootschat.com/forum/resources-tips-tutorials/
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Offline dafydd46

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Re: For photo restorers ...
« Reply #4 on: Friday 02 June 17 16:15 BST (UK) »
Mike made a request for specific information which I did not find in http://www.rootschat.com/forum/resources-tips-tutorials/

Perhaps I missed it somehow. Also many of the previous tips are now dated - for instance from before Photoshop introduced Content Aware. Also whilst GIMP has had Heal Selection (Resynthesize) for many years I have not discovered a reference to it.

dafydd46.

Offline Handypandy

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Re: For photo restorers ...
« Reply #5 on: Friday 02 June 17 16:31 BST (UK) »
I'm relatively new to the restores too. Before I joined this site, just over a year ago, I had done a few bits and bobs that I downloaded from Google images to practice on and a few of my own.

I had been using GIMP and various bits of software from here and there for many years, but primarily on modern photos to improve or manipulate into fun pics. I still do quite a bit in this area.

So.....whilst I thank Mike for his kind comment, Its a bit 'blind leading the blind' ;D

The main comment I'd make at this stage, is that I very rarely use the auto type filters except for the occasional bit of de-noising and even then I tend to have the strength turned down as they often make more work than they solve. For light scratches I would use the healing tool and for heavier stuff I would use the clone at various opacities and then probably go over it again with the healing tool. Its a long drawn out process and does take a lot of time.

To repair a badly damaged eye, I will more often than not clone the good eye from a flipped version.
 
Some of the more experienced restorers, I'm not really happy to single anyone out, but Yvonne, Cazz and Carol are extremely clever artists and can show most of us the way home, studying their work should be recommended to anyone taking up this hobby. Some of their jobs can be quite understated, but its not until you have a bash yourself that you realise just how smart they are.

I do work with layers quite bit (obviously for the colouring...but) mainly because not all areas of a pic require the same treatment, especially over or under exposed bits, so I will work on the separate areas as transparent layers and then flatten the image later.

And Mike, as you brought up the music, both you and I are musicians and there is only one way! As a young muso, I once asked a visiting musician how he had done a certain riff during his show, his one word answer was, "Practice"........ at the time, I thought him an arrogant chuff, but of course he was absolutely right ;D

 

Offline dafydd46

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Re: For photo restorers ...
« Reply #6 on: Friday 02 June 17 17:28 BST (UK) »
Just to amplify on what I said above, Dust & Scratches filter can be useful, in less important areas of an image, when the scratches are darker (or lighter) than the wanted parts of the print. But I must agree with Handypandy, the clone and healing brushes do the bulk of the work. Also, as a musician, I can echo the importance of practice!

dafydd46.

Offline Mike Morrell (NL)

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Re: For photo restorers ...
« Reply #7 on: Friday 02 June 17 17:57 BST (UK) »
Yes, you're right. I haven't read through all the discussions. So I may well have missed some important Q&A. I did browse through the discussions and I clicked on a few of the links. Some of the external links were 'dead'.My impression was that the most recent posts in these discussions were posted more than 10 years ago. That doesn't mean that aren't a valuable resource, but it explains the dead links. The most recent posts also seemed to be about software rather than restoration techniques. All considered, I decided to look around for more recent tutorials. Forgive me for asking 'newbie' questions that were answered long ago. I'll take another look at the link you provided.

Thanks,

Mike


\
Sounds like you haven't read through all the tips and queries here-
http://www.rootschat.com/forum/resources-tips-tutorials/
Photo restorers may re-use and improve on my posted versions. Acknowledgement appreciated.

Offline Mike Morrell (NL)

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Re: For photo restorers ...
« Reply #8 on: Friday 02 June 17 18:09 BST (UK) »
Good tip, Dafydd! (a Welshman too, I presume :) )

Thanks for this. I was stuck in a 'filter' box for removing Dust and Scratches, but you're right of course. I think the Heal Selection filter/content aware healing brush would remove most if not all of the scratches. Now why didn't I think of this? Probably because I was stuck in the 'filter' box!
Many thanks for helping me look outside the box!

Mike

Mike,

In the photograph you mention above, the scratches are also faded and within the range of density of the rest of the image. Because of this I would resort to the Heal Selection filter of GIMP. I think that the Content Aware filter of Photoshop is similar. This is obviously time consuming, but can be speeded up by putting a transparent layer on top of the image and painting over the scratches with a suitable width, hard-edged brush (in any convenient colour). Do a selection by colour on your painting, select the image layer and run the Heal Selection Filter (or in your case Content Aware). With Heal Selection there are options to sample from all around, sides or above and below - I assume something similar in Photoshop.

Please keep the questions and answers coming - I am sure we all have much to learn - me especially!

Regards,
dafydd46.
Photo restorers may re-use and improve on my posted versions. Acknowledgement appreciated.