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Picture restoration advice
Posted by: voodoopenguin
Date: May 02, 2020 07:02AM
I let it be known on a local forum that I could scan old glass negatives. Someone sent me one but they were mistaken, it was a ferrograph mounted behind picture glass. I did a normal scan and there is a fair amount of detail however the whole thing is badly crazed. I have sent the elderly lady some images of the faces and she has said that the girl is her grandmother. I can do some work to it with lightening and some repair but is there a straightforward fix to the crazing or will I have to work patiently through each section. I do have Photoshop in CS3. Note that the image I am posting is low resolution. I know some here like a challenge, just warning there is a much better file available.


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Re: Picture restoration advice
Posted by: archipirata
Date: May 02, 2020 08:18AM
I've seen much worse get restored. It is doable but I don't think there is any way currently to do it other than manually photoshop it using patch/clone/heal etc. line by line. I've seen examples of AI image software being used to fix images like this but the results are hit and miss and I don't think any are commercially available at the moment.

There are retouchers that specialize in that kind of work and I bet a really good one could get through yours in 6-8 hours. Here's a couple I have done and they were simple compared the your example. They were still both significant investments of time (but I'm fairly slow and my skillset was maxed out on these.)

Athens, OH
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Re: Picture restoration advice
Posted by: CW2V
Date: May 02, 2020 10:02AM
If you use a tablet, I have a trick that helps speed up the process for things like this. Even if you just have a mouse it can be done, just more cumbersome.

It does matter how high the resolution is and what kind of texture / grain is in the entire image.

Step one: After applying a curves or levels adjustment layer to correct the contrast, under the effect Noise, select "Dust & scratches" filter on the entire image. Tweak the radius setting just enough to make the lines disappear, while moving the threshold to try to keep the grain / texture intact. Sometimes you need to move these back and forth to find a happy medium, but the most important part is to make sure whatever you do, it isn't smoothing out the image to a point where all the noise gets smoothed out.

Step two: Select "Fade Dust & Scratches" and set it to zero%. So everything should be exactly as before.

Step three: In your history, select the "Dust & Scratches" line (the one before you faded it zero) as the target for your history brush.

Step four: Using different sizes of your history brush, "brush" over the lines and any other items you want to remove. If the settings used in the original Dust & Scratches are good, then you may have a nice clean transition between the filtered areas and the unfiltered areas. basically, you will be drawing over the scratches and dust spots, while avoiding the details you want to keep.

This isn't a one-size-fits-all method, and you may need to hand restore a lot of areas, but it's great for large areas without much detail (while still retaining the nature texture / noise) and for working around detail.

You can see in the example with your low resolution image that the smoothness transition from the scratches to the actual un-retouched image is not optimal, but it is a low resolution image. The artifacts were to large to hide without a very large radius and a small to no threshold. It might be much better with a high res image.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 05/02/2020 10:03AM by CW2V.
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Re: Picture restoration advice
Posted by: Rolando
Date: May 02, 2020 12:03PM
My grandmother, 1949

I made a new layer and blurred it.

I used the healing tools to fix foreground and just erased the background from the unhealed areas. I think it looks Ok.

San Antonio, TX (in the old city)

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Re: Picture restoration advice
Posted by: voodoopenguin
Date: May 02, 2020 12:46PM
Thank you for all the advice so far. Some things to try when I have the time!


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