Photograph Restoration Project.

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sjj1805
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Photograph Restoration Project.

Post by sjj1805 » Wed Apr 11, 2007 8:25 pm

Perhaps not the most exciting of pictures but I see this as a practical use of PhotoImpact where I am sure many Forum Members have old photographs in need of a makeover.

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Although the My Make-UP with PhotoImpact competition does not require you to provide a step by step walk through showing how you made the alterations to your original photograph, as Forum Moderator for the Tutorial threads I saw this as an opportunity to show how I achieved this finished item.

This particular photograph was found amongst several hundred photographs in a basket following the death of my wife's last surviving parent several years ago. The picture is of my wife when she was a young child in she is wearing a Welsh National Costume. It has sentimental value and so I decided to try and restore this photograph to its former glory.

This particular photograph is rather crumpled and also there is a small burn mark on the left side of the chequered apron being worn.

Examination of the photograph shows that it consists of 3 areas
1. The girl
2. The carpet
3. The background wall.

Normally I would extract the girl from the photograph using the Photoimpact [Object] [extract image] tool. However this particular photograph is in grey scale and some parts of the photograph make the use of the extract object tool impossible to use - take for example the right hand sleeve which is barely visible set against the background.

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The first thing that I did was to save a copy of this image in UFO format so that I could work on the image with as little loss of quality as possible.
My next step was to make the canvass slightly larger - the reason for this is because if you look at the shoes, they are at the very edge of the bottom of the picture, this would make extracting the girl from the image difficult.

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(I have placed an extra thin red line around this screenshot for purposes of clarity)

The next step is to extract the girl from the photograph.
When I have completed this I will place the image into a separate new image so that I can work on it more easily.

To do this I will maximize the image
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I can then use the zoom tool to get closer to the image detail.
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Another way to zoom in is to press the + key, you can zoom out with the - key.

I can now work on the image more easily
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The next part is going to be a bit time consuming and needs a bit of concentration. I am going to draw an outline around the girl using the lasso tool, it is also important that you turn OFF [Smart lasso] whilst performing this task.
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Here you can see that I began at the top left corner of the hat and then began to move the mouse round clicking at each change in direction. this leaves an outline behind. when you get all the way round the item that you want to be extracted the loop will be completed and everything within will be selected.
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When you reach the edge of the screen simply move your mouse slowly off the screen and you will see the image scroll. You may find it easier if you have a print out or the original photograph with you whilst you are outlining the area you wish to extract.

When you have completed outlining the object you will see control handles appear called nodes.

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You can add more nodes by double clicking on the line where you want another node to appear. you can then modify your outlined shape by dragging these nodes to another position.

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You can also modify the outlined area with the path Edit Tool
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When using the path edit tool you can add nodes by right clicking and selecting add point, you can also delete unwanted points. It is a bit tricky at first until you get the hang of it, but you can drag these points around and create curves, straight lines and modify your outline.

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Now you don't want to lose all that hard work if there is a sudden power cut or you press a key and suddenly lose that selection you just spent a long time creating do you?

You can now store that selection as shown below:
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Also it is a good idea to now save your UFO file at this point. the stored selection will be kept in the UFO file.

Now if the worst happens you can load that selection back into your project.

TRY IT.
Selection : Select None. 'Oh dear my outline has gone'
Now....
Selection: Load Selection: A pop up box appears with your selected area shown. 'O goody my outline has returned!'

Now we convert that selection into an object
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If you now select the pick tool
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you will find that you are able to move the girl about the screen

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Use the undo tool to return the girl to her original position

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What we shall now do is tidy up the background.
Firstly maximize the layer manager
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And then we can hide the girl by clicking the eye icon
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Next select the base image by clicking it on the layer manager
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Use the lasso tool again and select the background area (above the carpet)
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Select the gradient fill tool
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Now you have to choose two colours to form your gradient.
We want these colours to be from the original picture and so right click the first gradient fill colour selection box where you will find an eyedropper option
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Repeat this for the second gradient fill colour
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Now drag your mouse from the bottom left to the top right of the selected area. If the effect does not look right use the undo button
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and repeat the above steps to create a gradient fill until you get something suitable.
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If you now show the girl by clicking the eye icon on the layer manager
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You will notice immediately an improvement in the original picture
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I am now going to describe how you could use this method with a colour photograph and manufacture a replacement sky!

Firstly to demonstrate this I have converted the image to RGB (as this demonstration needs to be in colour)

Now I have selected the background area with the lasso tool.
Again select gradient fill and select two shades of blue for the fill pattern

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Ok who just shouted \"That doesn't look like a sky!\"
Don't worry I haven't finished yet ---- Select Effect, Creative, particle Effect
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Still doesn't look that impressive and so adjust the settings with the slider controls until you get a nice looking sky.

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Put the girl back and........
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Anyway lets get back to what we are doing and restoring our original photo, currently it looks like this:

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You will also notice that we have got rid of most of that burn mark.
To remove the rest of the mark is in fact very easy. Just convert the image to grey scale!
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What we will now do is tackle the carpet. Firstly we again hide the girl as we did before.

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Hopefully you have still got our manufactured backdrop selected and so if you now right click the image you can convert that area to an object

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If your backdrop was not selected you can quickly do so by using the magic wand and clicking the area you wish to select

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We now have 3 layers which in Photoimpact terminology are named
Base image, obg-1, obj-2, obj-3 etc.

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Whilst these names are not too much of a problem with a small project such as this, some projects may have several layers. To make life easier you can rename the objects to something more meaningful by clicking the object name in the layer manager

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There are various ways to fix this 'torn carpet' here I will show you how to use the clone paintbrush. What we will do is simply grab bits of the nearby carpet and paint it over those tear marks.

If it doesn't look right - remember you can use the undo button to reverse any changes and then start again.

This is where you will find the clone paintbrush:

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Now move your mouse to an area of the good carpet that is near a torn part and hold the shift key down on your keyboard and left click the mouse. You will see a flashing + appear to remind you have the selected start point.

Let go of the mouse button and move the cursor over a torn area and simply hold down the mouse button and drag along the tear.
Do small areas at a time so that if you decide to undo something you only undo the last bit you did and not all of the painting you are now doing.

You can reselect another source area by again holding down the shift key and then left clicking the mouse.

You can also alter the size of your paintbrush and do larger or small areas at a time

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It shouldn't take too long to fill in all those tears, Keep an eye on the carpet pattern and try and make it look natural by cloning similar areas.
Don't be concerned about going over the borders where the girl, wallpaper and our temporary canvas expansion are, because the the wall and girl will sit on top of those and hide them. We will also later crop the edges of the picture to remove that border.

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Now we are going to follow the same process with the girl.
There are other restoration methods of course, this is just one.

Hide the base image and show the girl

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Now you can zoom in and repeat the method we just used to repair the carpet and complete a similar surgical operation on the girl.

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Further Enhancement may be made by selecting an area and using a blur filter. You cannot select a part of a selection and so the easiest thing to do here is merge the layers and then make a new selection.

Now you can select an area with the lasso and then apply a blur filter

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Last edited by sjj1805 on Thu Apr 12, 2007 7:46 pm, edited 7 times in total.

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