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Help with comic book restoration


Tony42

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Hi everybody,

I have a little project
Sometimes I make scans of comics for personnal reading on laptop or tablet, then I sell the book on internet or in a flea market and I keep the digital copy with me.
Or on previously years, I bought digital book on specialized site.
But this scans need restoration or retouch (for example, if I zoom on it, the page are to pixelate), I can't do it myself because I'm not good with retouching and last week I send my laptop for repair (I talk to you via my smartphone)

Usually I work in duet, I scan a book and a friend retouches the scans for me, however he isn't available anymore and I would thus need the help of a new partner because I have scans to be made edited or restored.
if you are good with editing picture software (like Photoshop), I would be delighted to have your help : ) .

For the moment with my laptop in repair, if just one person can help me for one page it's enough, I'm not here to play the selfish man by asking free service for help but I just look for a team-mate. Anyway, you can also give me somes advices
There is 6 pages for my comic.

Thanks for reading.
 

dv8_fx

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Hi there.....

6 pages ..... you can pack them in a zip and upload the file in your next post.... then you'll just have to wait while those interested take a look and try edit the images.
 

Tony42

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John Carter 01.jpg

Hi, actually, I was doing that but with somes errors ^^"
for the moment I upload only one page, just for test.
 
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The first image is a good scan. I applied TOPAZ Clean3 Filter. No retouching.
I didn't do too much , so it didn't lose its original printed character.
John Carter 01_TOPAZ Clean.jpg

The job you've done on the second image looks too smooth for my taste, lost the feel of old printed magazines.
Though the text is very good.
 
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John Carter 01_Original.jpg John Carter 01_TOPAZ Clean3Cropped.jpg
I cropped the Before and After pic to show the difference.
The upload quality here is not very good!
 
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Tony42

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Wow cool, you've made a good job chrisdesign! thanks!

I'm sorry, I understand that it's cool to have the style of an old comics but personnally, I really prefer the version of my upload, sorry : ( it's just that on tablet or computer it's better for me to see it clean like this. I like the old style when I have the paper comics in my hand, not on my smartphone or computer
It's just my taste and opinion but yeah it's quite smooth ^^"

and I don't make this retouch, it's a friend of mine who did this. So is it possible to edit the contrast, please?
 

Tom Mann

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Hi Tony -

Welcome to PSG!

Like Chris, left to my own devices, I would prefer the feeling for the age of the comic to remain, and also completely agree with him that your friend applied too much of a de-Noise treatment.

However, given that you expressed a preference for a cleaner, and presumably, more "zippy" look, I though I would also show you what can be done in this direction. I applied multiple filters, as well as increased the contrast and the saturation of the colors. Of course, while cleaning up some of the grunge, it makes the remaining grunge stand out even more, LOL. Anyway, here's one frame from the comic's page as a before-after animated GIF. Give it time to load and wait for the 4 second cycle time:

John_Carter_01-TJM_multi_filtered-acr-ps01a_sRGB_8bpc_698px_wide-b4_after.gif


And, attached below is the entire page done this way. Click on it to download at full rez.

See what you think. My guess is that you will want something between the two extremes.

Tom M
 

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Tony42

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Thanks
Cool, it's really good like this too, you made a nice modification.
although I prefer a clean and modern style, If I read your page on my phone, the effect is quite nice.

My guess is that you will want something between the two extremes.
yeah, I think of something like that.

Now that I think about it, I'd like your opinion on another thing, it's a purchase of mine but when I zoom a bit on the bubbles, I see that it's too pixelize.
I'm going to upload it also
 

Tony42

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Here another page of J Carter

005.jpg

Now that I think about it, I'd like your opinion on another thing, it's a purchase of mine but when I zoom a bit on the bubbles, I see that it's too pixelize.
I'm going to upload it also
It's this
x-o page 2500x.jpg
 
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Tom Mann

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Tony42 -

re: "...but when I zoom a bit on the bubbles, I see that it's too pixelize..."

I presume you are referring to the artifacts that look like odd shaped ripples in a pond, and which are typically found in this image in smooth areas immediately adjacent to dark lines, eg, similar to those in the area I have enclosed by the red line in the attached magnified / exaggerated view.

If that's what you were referring to, those are JPG compression artifacts. In other words, the image was saved at too low a JPG quality factor. They are not called pixelated because that term refers to seeing individual pixels, and these are much much larger than individual pixels.

re: "... although I prefer a clean and modern style..."

A "clean and modern" style can mean many things -- probably something different to every person who reads those words. Can you elaborate on exactly what you mean by this? Try to use more specific phrases such as these, "remove the yellow look of aged paper", "remove the texture of the paper", "increase the vibrancy of the colors and the contrast", "remove the half-tone dots created by the offset printing process", etc. etc. If you could post an example or two of such a style, that would be great.

Thanks,

Tom M
 

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Tony42

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I presume you are referring to the artifacts that look like odd shaped ripples in a pond, and which are typically found in this image in smooth areas immediately adjacent to dark lines, eg, similar to those in the area I have enclosed by the red line in the attached magnified / exaggerated view
Exactly! you have understand exactly what bother me in this page! Do you now a method to remove this "odd shaped ripples"? or maybe to attenuate it a bit.
or maybe it's impossible because the jpg itself have a mediocre quality or too many shaped ripples.

Can you elaborate on exactly what you mean by this?
I don't know how to tell you this, I don't have the understanding or vocabulary which is necessary to tell you exactly what I want for this scan.

but yeah, you understand it. What I want is to "remove the yellow look of aged paper", "remove the texture of the paper", "increase the vibrancy of the colors and the contrast" and "remove the half-tone dots created by the offset printing process", I would be much more precise now.

I like pages who is retouched like this :
https://www.photoshopgurus.com/foru...88057340-comic-book-color-restore-forumra-jpg
(https://www.photoshopgurus.com/forum/photoshop-newbies/48869-comic-book-color-restore.html)

I like when it's clear, net, colored, shine and when we see well the white of the page like that :
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ZND6Evy97Ls/VYhonenxevI/AAAAAAAACQI/ysBGShdWwuo/s1600/RM01-02-preview.png
http://kamui.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/comics2012_29.png
 
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Tom Mann

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Hello, Tony - It's very difficult to remove the JPG artifacts once they are present in an image. There are de-JPG'ing filters, but they only work on images immediately after JPG compression. If anyone does almost anything to the image, even just brighten it a bit, the effectiveness of these filters go way down.

Unless a document is rare, or very precious and can't be re-scanned and you are willing to put a lot of money into it, by far the best way to get rid of these artifacts is simply to re-scan the original with either the highest JPG quality or scan it as a TIF file instead of a JPG. If you want to keep these artifacts to a minimum, never, ever, EVER re-save a JPG. This just adds one set of artifacts on top of the older ones.

With respect to giving a "clean, modern style", because of the examples you supplied, I think I have a better idea of what you are looking for. I (or someone else) will get back to you.

Cheers,

Tom M
 

Tom Mann

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As per your response to my question, here's what that page would look like if you make the areas that are supposed to be white paper actually white and goosed up the other colors even further. I made absolutely no attempt to minimize either the JPG artifacts that we were just discussing, or further reduce the remaining areas of cross-hatching pattern.

As you can probably tell from all the posts in this thread, to do a really good restoration / modernization of these images takes quite a bit of manual work. So, with respect to the question your raised in your initial email about finding a "team-mate", I think that unless you find someone that *really* loves comics as much as you obviously do, you are going to have problems finding such a person to do such work for free.

The best of luck in your search,

Tom M

PS - Don't forget that to view such images on your phone, the in-line forum preview version of the image will be full of artifacts. To view it properly, you should click on the in-line preview, download the full rez version (...yes, it will take a while...), and then save it to your phone for viewing.
 

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Tony42

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Hello, Tony - It's very difficult to remove the JPG artifacts once they are present in an image. There are de-JPG'ing filters, but they only work on images immediately after JPG compression. If anyone does almost anything to the image, even just brighten it a bit, the effectiveness of these filters go way down.

Unless a document is rare, or very precious and can't be re-scanned and you are willing to put a lot of money into it, by far the best way to get rid of these artifacts is simply to re-scan the original with either the highest JPG quality or scan it as a TIF file instead of a JPG. If you want to keep these artifacts to a minimum, never, ever, EVER re-save a JPG. This just adds one set of artifacts on top of the older ones.
Hi, ok, I was sure that this one going to be difficult, do you know if denoise it can solve my problem a bit? just to know.
(it's a pure digital comic so I can't re-scan it) If it's not possible I keep it this way, I bought this one on comixology so I'm not going to give myself more work than planned.





As per your response to my question, here's what that page would look like if you make the areas that are supposed to be white paper actually white and goosed up the other colors even further. I made absolutely no attempt to minimize either the JPG artifacts that we were just discussing, or further reduce the remaining areas of cross-hatching pattern.

As you can probably tell from all the posts in this thread, to do a really good restoration / modernization of these images takes quite a bit of manual work. So, with respect to the question your raised in your initial email about finding a "team-mate", I think that unless you find someone that *really* loves comics as much as you obviously do, you are going to have problems finding such a person to do such work for free.

The best of luck in your search,

Tom M

PS - Don't forget that to view such images on your phone, the in-line forum preview version of the image will be full of artifacts. To view it properly, you should click on the in-line preview, download the full rez version (...yes, it will take a while...), and then save it to your phone for viewing.
No I don't forget, when I watch your edit I download the full version, it's better to watch.

Wow Tom you're really amazing, it's exactly that, contrary to the version of my friend, you were able to remove this color of old paper but you have manages to give a clear aspect and not fuzziness to the drawings. Can you tell me how you do that? give me the instructions if you can.

Maybe three months ago, I had two team-mates concerning graphics editing, one worked on photoshop and the other one worked on gimp or another softwares, they weren't professional but they managed to give satisfactory results.
However, later they had less and less spare time because of their works and thus we have eventually decide that it was better to stop.
This is why I come here to ask for help.

and I ask another tips please, for this one : https://www.photoshopgurus.com/foru...441268528-help-comic-book-restoration-005-jpg
if I remove the yellow old paper part, is it possible after to have the same result as you did?
 

Tom Mann

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Hi Tony - With respect to using other filters (eg, any of the dozen or more de-noise filters available, any of the smoothing filters, etc.) to try to reduce JPG artifacts, sure, everyone of them can be made to reduce short length scale irregularities in a photo, but the real question is always just how selective each is. It needs to selectively reduce or remove the offending features while having the least effect on features of interest in the image. When they work, the de-JPG filters are more selective at this task than any of the other filters -- this is exactly what they were designed for. The only problem is that they only work on a small fraction of images. I would suggest you try any de-noise filters that you have and see how well they are at this task. Each is different.

With respect to describing how I produced that last version, it's not just one or two simple steps that are easily described. It involved so many different steps and adjustments, that almost anything I would say for that particular image almost certainly woudn't be very useful for a different comic page. This is precisely where experience and judgement is essential. However, what I can do is list some of the major steps / plugins that I used:

a) Setting white and black points in curves, just like I think Chris did.

b) Using NIK's White Neutralizer plugin to finish up the job in the nearly-white colors;

c) Restoring / enhancing colors and tonal values after almost every major step using many applications of PS's native hue/saturation, selective color, and curves adjustment layers;

d) Neat Image to remove some of the paper texture;

e) Topaz Clean (again, like Chris);

f) Lots of different selection tools to work specifically on different areas of different brightness, areas of different color, areas bounded geometrically; painting in layer masks; etc.

g) I did everything in 16bpc mode, not 8 bpc so that I could make many small sequential changes to the image without having to worry about quantization errors / artifacts (eg, banding) sneaking in;

h) etc. etc.

With respect to your final question about the possibility of enhancing that other comic page, of coure it can be enhanced / cleaned up. If you know what you are doing, almost any image can be enhanced / cleaned up. However, at some point, one starts to switch over from techniques, plugins, filters, etc. that one would typically use on reasonably good photos to techniques, plugins and filters that one would typically use for digital painting or the reconstruction of damaged areas in old photos. With just a quick glance, I suspect quite a bit of the latter would be needed because of the poor quality of that page (eg, areas poorly printed).

Again, let me suggest that to get the best results, you post your needs in our fee-for-service forum section. IMHO, it seems like the quantity and quality of work that you are looking for is more than most PS experts will do for free.

HTH,

Tom M
 

Tony42

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As I thought, this is the operation of a pro and the multiple plugin and filters that you use seems even more complicated. But thanks for all that, I shall have to read very carefully all this when I would be at home.
You're really amazing with photoshop, respect.



Again, let me suggest that to get the best results, you post your needs in our fee-for-service forum section. IMHO, it seems like the quantity and quality of work that you are looking for is more than most PS experts will do for free.
Sorry if I didn't see it at first, I go on https://www.photoshopgurus.com/forum/photoshop-freelance-work-fee-for-service-section-/

But I need to think about the paiment, I have already paid a lot for some of these digital comics thus I have to balance the pros and the cons. But thanks.
 
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