Photo Retouching/Restoration Practice 4

IamSam

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
#1
This thread is geared towards the newbies in our forum who are interested in retouching and restoration but everyone is invited to participate.

Just try restore the image without colorization.

I hope this can be a learning opportunity for new users and that our more seasoned members will be willing to help with any questions that might crop up.

Have fun!

stained.jpg
 
#3
Restoration isn't really my thing but I thought I'd have a go at this one, just for grins.
What I want to know....when do you stop and say good enough? I worked on this until
I got bored with it and I know a lot isn't right. At what point is it "finished"?


stained-a.jpg
 

IamSam

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
#4
I've been busy tonight, but here's my progress so far.

The first thing I did was to duplicate the image. Never work on the original.

Then I used the Ruler Tool to straighten the image.

I then used the Rectangular Marquis Tool to make a selection around the subject.
On a new layer I filled the selection with white to make a template (or you could save the selection). The template or saved selection is so you repeat the exact same rectangle for when your working the inside edges of the photo.
Screen Shot 2017-02-12 at 5.32.20 PM.png

Then I inverted the selection.
This makes a selection of the border.
Screen Shot 2017-02-12 at 5.32.30 PM.png

I then filled the selection with white.
Screen Shot 2017-02-12 at 5.32.47 PM.png

Since this is a yellowed photograph, I need to restore the image back to it's original black and white format.
For this I used a Black & White Adjustment layer.
Screen Shot 2017-02-12 at 5.39.25 PM.png

Never work on the image directly.
I created a new layer and went to work with the Spot Healing Brush Tool.
Screen Shot 2017-02-12 at 9.18.07 PM.png

This is as far as I've gotten at the moment.
No need to rush.

Will report back when I have more.
 

IamSam

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
#6
What I want to know....when do you stop and say good enough? I worked on this until
I got bored with it and I know a lot isn't right. At what point is it "finished"?
Sorry Jerry, missed your question.

We all have a point in which we will settle for the outcome and it's hard to say what that might be for each person. I know it's of little help, but only you know when to call your work done, usually that's when your happy with the end result.
 
#7
Here's mine. I used many of the same tools as IamSam, but also used the patch tool quite a lot. Also, if you look at only the Red channel of the original image, the orange stain is barely visible, so I initially converted the image to B&W using the Red channel to make the stain disappear with almost no effort. Lastly, I decided to completely redraw the background rather than try to clean it up, which entailed making a mask of the subject and adding the background around him.

stained.jpg
 

Attachments

IamSam

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
#8
Not quite finished yet but here's what I have so far. I have much more to do here.

I try to maintain as much of the original texture as possible. I used the Clone Stamp Tool to even out the BG to avoid replacing it.

This is a screen shot but I'll post the actual image when I'm done.
Screen Shot 2017-02-13 at 1.40.39 AM.png
 

IamSam

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
#9
Like Jerry said, when is it done? Without going on to some hi-pass work this is about as far as I want to take it.

I added two Curves adjustment layers, one dark and one light with conceal all masks. I then used the Brush Tool set to white to "dodge and burn" on the subject and his shirt.

In restorations, I try not replace the background unless it can't be avoided, they always look Photoshopped. I also added back some of the 'flecked/speckled' original texture to the background using a new layer and a brush that I made just for that purpose. I alternated between a light color and a dark. While I think it could use some more work, I managed to get it somewhat smooth and consistent.
Screen Shot 2017-02-13 at 10.03.25 AM.png

I made a Stamped Visible layers copy and converted it to a Smart object.
I then added an Unsharp Mask to slightly sharpen the details.

Lastly, I added another Curves adjustment layer and lightened the overall image slightly.
I think there are some inconsistencies in the skin of the face, but everything I tried to smooth them out started looking Photoshopped.

I think I will call it done.
RestorationPractice4_Final.jpg
 

IamSam

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
#11
Thanks Chris. Mines certainly not the greatest by a long shot. I mainly did it to explain some of the processes. I had hoped that we might get more of the newbies who are interested in restoration to jump in and give it a try. I was also hoping that some of the more experienced members would give details in how they would go about it. There's still time yet.
 

bbq_bob

Active Member
#13
Rather than post my end result, I'll write down the steps that I take (or would take) so that other can see and critique more than just the final output. IamSam has taken a more visual route to showing step by step, but I am not diligent enough to do such a fine job of illustrating the work. Please feel free to critique the process so that I and other can learn.

This is what I would do:
Open file (jpg)
Save file as PSD
If the image did not have a border, I would choose Image->Canvas Size to increase the size by about an inch with the picture centered. I do this to prepare to use the Lens Correction tool which can lop off part of the image otherwise.
Then I straighten the image. In this case the original picture borders look good enough. In other cases, the original image was not straight or would benefit some perspective correction.

Filter->Lens Correction
- Use the line tool to straighten the image.
- click ok

Then I crop out the original border. It is too much of a mess and a new board is easy enough to create later. I've also noticed that the border can through off other auto correction tools.

Choose selection tool (rectangular marque tool)
Make a selection approximately to the original image content.

Recently, I learned a new trick to look at the channels. Someone else did that here. One of the channels can be clean of the damage, especially the orange on the shirt.

Duplicate the layer if using all channels, or create a new layer and copy a channel to it if that proves best.

On the new layer, fix the flaws in the image using healing brush and content aware. I've noticed that others are correcting the color and tone first. Is there a reason for this. I like to fix the flaws first since it has the original colors that may help in fixing. I also like having a repaired image to then play with multiple choices that I may make later. If you correct the color first, then you are stuck with that choice. (Unless you do that with a mask, which I suspect I should be doing but never do.)

For large flaws, I use content aware fill. I've notice others I using the patch tool. I never can get the hang of that tool.
For larger flaws such as the one on the left part of the shirt, use the magic wand to select the defect. Play with the tolerance to get the desired selected area.

Select->Modify->Expand to expand the select by 5 or 6 pixels. I do this to avoid the line left by content aware fill
Choose rectangular marque tool
Right click on selection and choose content aware fill.
If it is not acceptable, then undo. Perhaps repeat with a smaller selection, or use a different method.

For smaller flaws, I use the healing brush tool. For large damage, and when appropriate, I will replace the pixels, but more often I try to stay with normal mode.

Select healing brush tool
Adjust the brush to be about twice the size of the defect.
Alt click on the place to sample from. Usually this is a nearby place.
If trying to heal an edge, alt click right on the edge in a good place and then heal the flaw on the edge.

(If someone could explain why the healing tool results in dark blurs around edges even beyond the brush or transparent pixels near the edges, I would appreciate that.)

Sometimes it is easier to erase and start over in a section. In this picture, the orange area on the left background is easier to erase and then fill in with content aware fill than it is to fix the orange, in my opinion. (This is assuming that using a single channel in the beginning didn't fix the problem). This only work in areas in which there aren't important details. But the background is easy enough to fix.

I almost never use spot healing brush tool. The outcome has felt too random compared to the healing brush tool.

I've noticed that others have fix the background to the point of being completely smooth. How did you judge if this was the original look of the photo. For instance, the dark triangle shape on the upper right looks like it may have been part of a background style or may some back lighting and shadows. In my opinion, when posing for a portrait, the backgrounds have some design or light to making them interesting. With a smooth background, it starts to look like an ID photo. That is just my opinion, but how did others determine if the background ageing caused flaws or if the originally looked like that?

A favorite tool of mine is the Polaroid Dust and Scratch Removal Tool. It is really old. It was also free, so an even better plugin to have. Despite the age, I haven't found a better tool though to help with removing the tedium out of healing. Use it repeatedly on different areas made from a selection. This allows you to adjust the amount of feathering and defect removal that it does.

Keep healing the flaws until all that remains is the orange on the shift on the right. Sometimes I will heal these too. This is likely what I would do there. Sometime, there is useful information there, but in the wrong color. In which case, save these until later.

Duplicate the layer. You now have the original and a healed layer to go back to if needed.

On the new layer, auto tone, auto color, auto contrast. See what each does, and undo if you don't like the change. I don't always use all three. It just depends on the picture. I'm sure that the pros use adjustment layers here, I've not been comfortable with that (being a noob). I found that the auto tuning many times does a good enough job. I would guess the pros use the curves. I wish I was more comfortable with that interface.

For images that are too dark, or have almost blown highlights, I use Image->adjustments->Shadow Highlights to get more detail out of dark areas or tone down light areas. Adjust to taste, but not too much. For Shadows, I tend to use about 35% for amount on a 5% tonal width with radius between 6 and 30. For Highlights, I often use 0%, but sometimes about 20% amount, on a 5% tonal width with 6-30 radius.

I suspect the pros use curves to tune more. I am not comfortable with that interface. I tend to make small adjustments with Image->adjustments->levels and Image->adjustments->exposure instead.

Duplicate the layer.
I now try to tackle the orange on the shirt if the other methods above haven't worked.
I often hope the problem will go away if I convert to B&W. I use a Filter plugin, but a simple one can be found at Image->Adjustment->Black and White. If so, play with hue or apply a photo filter and be done. Usually, things are not that simple.

Duplicate the layer
Run your favorite noise reduction filter. Since the options vary, I'll just say that it is better to not over apply it. Focus on what it does to the eyes and lips. Too much blur elsewhere can be forgiven, but overly bad eyes and lips detracts from the image. Everyone has their own favorite. I think Nik Dfine is free now, so even if you haven't purchased one, this one is available to you.

If the orange on the shirt is still a problem, using the magic wand tool to select the color, or use Select->Color Range to choose the color and create a mask. Then adjust the color on that mask to match. I struggle with getting this right; it usually takes several tries.

At this point, the image should be pretty good, but may need more punch. I usually will create a mask to separate the person from the background. Many times, I will will create a second mask for the clothes. I wish I was better at making masks. How did others create one for this image? I usually just use the quick selection tool.

Now, I apply more blurring or noise reduction to background. I think a "crunchy" background is distracting, but it shouldn't be completely smooth either. I also play with hue and saturation just little a bit.

On the person, I'll sharpen with the unsharp tool just a little bit. Again, I might adjust the tone a bit or maybe add a slight photo filter to avoid looking too gray. A little extra exposure might help. Select use of the burn and dodge tool might help

I would appreciate guidance as to when a adjustment layer should have been used, or a different tool. I know the pros use more layers where I tend to make changes to just the top copy.

I hope the helps to start discussion and/or critique.
 

sc00t

Well-Known Member
#15
Rather than post my end result, I'll write down the steps that I take (or would take) so that other can see and critique more than just the final output. IamSam has taken a more visual route to showing step by step, but I am not diligent enough to do such a fine job of illustrating the work. Please feel free to critique the process so that I and other can learn.

This is what I would do:
Open file (jpg)
Save file as PSD
If the image did not have a border, I would choose Image->Canvas Size to increase the size by about an inch with the picture centered. I do this to prepare to use the Lens Correction tool which can lop off part of the image otherwise.
Then I straighten the image. In this case the original picture borders look good enough. In other cases, the original image was not straight or would benefit some perspective correction.

Filter->Lens Correction
- Use the line tool to straighten the image.
- click ok

Then I crop out the original border. It is too much of a mess and a new board is easy enough to create later. I've also noticed that the border can through off other auto correction tools.

Choose selection tool (rectangular marque tool)
Make a selection approximately to the original image content.

Recently, I learned a new trick to look at the channels. Someone else did that here. One of the channels can be clean of the damage, especially the orange on the shirt.

Duplicate the layer if using all channels, or create a new layer and copy a channel to it if that proves best.

On the new layer, fix the flaws in the image using healing brush and content aware. I've noticed that others are correcting the color and tone first. Is there a reason for this. I like to fix the flaws first since it has the original colors that may help in fixing. I also like having a repaired image to then play with multiple choices that I may make later. If you correct the color first, then you are stuck with that choice. (Unless you do that with a mask, which I suspect I should be doing but never do.)

For large flaws, I use content aware fill. I've notice others I using the patch tool. I never can get the hang of that tool.
For larger flaws such as the one on the left part of the shirt, use the magic wand to select the defect. Play with the tolerance to get the desired selected area.

Select->Modify->Expand to expand the select by 5 or 6 pixels. I do this to avoid the line left by content aware fill
Choose rectangular marque tool
Right click on selection and choose content aware fill.
If it is not acceptable, then undo. Perhaps repeat with a smaller selection, or use a different method.

For smaller flaws, I use the healing brush tool. For large damage, and when appropriate, I will replace the pixels, but more often I try to stay with normal mode.

Select healing brush tool
Adjust the brush to be about twice the size of the defect.
Alt click on the place to sample from. Usually this is a nearby place.
If trying to heal an edge, alt click right on the edge in a good place and then heal the flaw on the edge.

(If someone could explain why the healing tool results in dark blurs around edges even beyond the brush or transparent pixels near the edges, I would appreciate that.)

Sometimes it is easier to erase and start over in a section. In this picture, the orange area on the left background is easier to erase and then fill in with content aware fill than it is to fix the orange, in my opinion. (This is assuming that using a single channel in the beginning didn't fix the problem). This only work in areas in which there aren't important details. But the background is easy enough to fix.

I almost never use spot healing brush tool. The outcome has felt too random compared to the healing brush tool.

I've noticed that others have fix the background to the point of being completely smooth. How did you judge if this was the original look of the photo. For instance, the dark triangle shape on the upper right looks like it may have been part of a background style or may some back lighting and shadows. In my opinion, when posing for a portrait, the backgrounds have some design or light to making them interesting. With a smooth background, it starts to look like an ID photo. That is just my opinion, but how did others determine if the background ageing caused flaws or if the originally looked like that?

A favorite tool of mine is the Polaroid Dust and Scratch Removal Tool. It is really old. It was also free, so an even better plugin to have. Despite the age, I haven't found a better tool though to help with removing the tedium out of healing. Use it repeatedly on different areas made from a selection. This allows you to adjust the amount of feathering and defect removal that it does.

Keep healing the flaws until all that remains is the orange on the shift on the right. Sometimes I will heal these too. This is likely what I would do there. Sometime, there is useful information there, but in the wrong color. In which case, save these until later.

Duplicate the layer. You now have the original and a healed layer to go back to if needed.

On the new layer, auto tone, auto color, auto contrast. See what each does, and undo if you don't like the change. I don't always use all three. It just depends on the picture. I'm sure that the pros use adjustment layers here, I've not been comfortable with that (being a noob). I found that the auto tuning many times does a good enough job. I would guess the pros use the curves. I wish I was more comfortable with that interface.

For images that are too dark, or have almost blown highlights, I use Image->adjustments->Shadow Highlights to get more detail out of dark areas or tone down light areas. Adjust to taste, but not too much. For Shadows, I tend to use about 35% for amount on a 5% tonal width with radius between 6 and 30. For Highlights, I often use 0%, but sometimes about 20% amount, on a 5% tonal width with 6-30 radius.

I suspect the pros use curves to tune more. I am not comfortable with that interface. I tend to make small adjustments with Image->adjustments->levels and Image->adjustments->exposure instead.

Duplicate the layer.
I now try to tackle the orange on the shirt if the other methods above haven't worked.
I often hope the problem will go away if I convert to B&W. I use a Filter plugin, but a simple one can be found at Image->Adjustment->Black and White. If so, play with hue or apply a photo filter and be done. Usually, things are not that simple.

Duplicate the layer
Run your favorite noise reduction filter. Since the options vary, I'll just say that it is better to not over apply it. Focus on what it does to the eyes and lips. Too much blur elsewhere can be forgiven, but overly bad eyes and lips detracts from the image. Everyone has their own favorite. I think Nik Dfine is free now, so even if you haven't purchased one, this one is available to you.

If the orange on the shirt is still a problem, using the magic wand tool to select the color, or use Select->Color Range to choose the color and create a mask. Then adjust the color on that mask to match. I struggle with getting this right; it usually takes several tries.

At this point, the image should be pretty good, but may need more punch. I usually will create a mask to separate the person from the background. Many times, I will will create a second mask for the clothes. I wish I was better at making masks. How did others create one for this image? I usually just use the quick selection tool.

Now, I apply more blurring or noise reduction to background. I think a "crunchy" background is distracting, but it shouldn't be completely smooth either. I also play with hue and saturation just little a bit.

On the person, I'll sharpen with the unsharp tool just a little bit. Again, I might adjust the tone a bit or maybe add a slight photo filter to avoid looking too gray. A little extra exposure might help. Select use of the burn and dodge tool might help

I would appreciate guidance as to when a adjustment layer should have been used, or a different tool. I know the pros use more layers where I tend to make changes to just the top copy.

I hope the helps to start discussion and/or critique.
This post is absolutely invaluable. Thanks so much.
 

IamSam

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
#19
Opps trying to put the picture on with the border, but it not showing up when I download, what can cause that?
No need to worry. The forums background is white (in the metro fluid theme) and therefore the border is blending in. We all know it's there.

Is there any chance you could upload the original (1183 x1466) with your changes? I would like to take a closer look. The image you uploaded has been reduced to 498 x 638.
 
#20
I started off in Elements and made raw adjustments to improve it somewhat, then opened in PS to finish the restoration. Don't rememeber how I got a new size other than the original as I was broken off when visitors arrived and lost my concentration...... Before adding the border I did check imagine size then and it was reading 1.883 X 2.333 inches, resolution 300 then....
Made a screenshot close up so you can see detail and steps I took. I like the soft classic look, not for every picture of course.
One tip I have picked up lately is put a mask on after softening, then punch holes in it to bring back the original underneith to reveal orgiinal eyes, nose etc that need to stay sharp.
Sorry about leaving the cursor on the nose, just noticed it when posted LOL


Screen Shot 2017-02-14 at 20.16.43 copy.jpg
 
Last edited: