Jumat, 16 Oktober 2009

Photo Restoration Using Photoshop

Below is a basic workflow for restoring a damaged photo using photoshop.


Typical print quality is 300ppi. So if you want to print your restored photo at the same size as your original then you'll need to scan at least 300ppi. If your going to print your restored copy at twice the original size you'll need to scan at least 600ppi. I'd recommend getting a higher resolution than you need as it's better to be working on a higher resolution image so that if you change your mind about the final printing size, the outcome will not be affected. I normally scan at 600ppi for a same size print.

If you're using a flatbed scanner, gently clean the scanner surface with a non abrasive lint free cloth, then blow away as much of the dust as possible. With the photo itself, if at all possible, dust it gently to avoid any damage, otherwise blow away any excess dust.

Doing the restoration.

The first thing I'd advise you to do is to make a copy of the background layer (Layer - Duplicate Layer - OK), this ensures if you make a mistake you've got the original to fall back on.. Next you need to remove any scanned dust that managed to get in-between the scanner plate and the photo. No matter how clean the scanner is, it's inevitable that some dust will get in. Normally the best tool for removing the dust it the 'Spot Healing Brush'. Zoom into the image so your view is larger than your final print size. Then set the diameter of the brush to be slightly larger than the dust particles and click once. If this hasn't worked to your satisfaction, press 'Ctrl+Z' to undo and give it another try.

Now use the 'Clone Stamp' tool on a new layer to do the majority of the restoration. If you don't know how to use the clone stamp tool, search Youtube, there are lots of examples. Basically you use a soft edged brush, hold down the 'Alt' key and click on an undamaged part of the image that you want to copy (this is called the 'Source'). Then release the 'Alt' key and move the pointer to where you want the copy to go. Now click and hold the left mouse key and move the pointer over the target area to cover it with the source. You're going to need to zoom in quite close to the image to do this restoration as it can be quite intricate. You'll also need to zoom out every now and again to make sure that what you are doing is blending in with the surroundings.

If you end up with dark and light areas next to each other that need to be blended together, the 'Patch Tool' is quite useful. Just drag a selection over the area that you need to blend, release the mouse button, then click and drag the selection over a solid part of the image.

I normally divide the photo into sections, using rulers, then work on each section for about 15 mins, then move onto a different section. Once I've worked on all sections I return to the original section to finish it off. I do it this way for two reasons, firstly it relieves the boredom of working on the same part of the image for long periods of time, and secondly by returning to the section later you look at it with 'fresh eyes'. Using this method you can often see parts of the restoration that you've missed or that need redoing that you didn't spot first time round.

You'll probably notice that by using the 'clone stamp tool' and 'patch tool' you will lose the original graininess of the image. This can make the sections you've corrected stand out. Try using a combination of the 'Add Noise' filter and the 'Gaussian Blur' filter to recreate the original grain then mask off the other sections.

Finally I try and remove as much of the grain as possible using the 'Neat Image' plug-in.

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