Steve's Digicams Forums

Steve's Digicams Forums (
-   Xtreme Makeover (
-   -   Xtreme repairs for the Xtreme makeover crowd (

PaulPosition Dec 18, 2005 12:44 PM, so first, here's the story..

An old lady, a friend of my parents and the family (she used to babysit me and my younger brothers and sister over about 15 years..) is writing her bio. You know, like she's gonna print 200 copies and give it to friends. Anyway, she asked if I could do something with an old picture of her great-grand-ma or something, and being the only one with a thing for computers anyway, I told her I'd see what I could do.

Okay, so I don't know much about what works and what doesn't. Haven't done much in the way of photo retouch, but I might just try... Download the Paintshop Pro demo and I start working...

Tried quite a few things, the dust and such filters wouldn't work, of course, so I resorted to the clone tool and started stamping away. But some parts are soo full of creases and scratches that there weren't much I could do. The left side of her face is an example.

So after having cloned, I started cursing (in vain, I'll admit..) : the aforementioned left side of face was now some sort of pizza like pile of dung. :? I started blurring the hell out of it, via layers, masks and not-so-carefull application of airbrush in different tones of grey, but I ended up with a very plastic looking face.

Moreover, the parts with details I couldn't really afford to blur too much, and since the photo is pretty spotty all around, the contrast in texture was awesomely horrible. I mean, Howard-Philips Lovecraft - kind of horrible.

Started-up virtual photographer and applied the biggest, fatest, kind of grain simulacre (like, ISO 1200) it could throw at it, but it really just look like a particle animation freeze-frame now upon close examination. -- Still it's much more 'uniform' now.

Okay, so this is all very-amateur work, and the technique and workflow was pretty much random. I'm very unhappy with the still very plastic look of it all. I think in trying to eliminate spots I completely killed the vintage look and trying to re-create it is pretty much doomed to failure.

I'm very curious what you guys would have done. Tips, tricks, examples, I'd take it all. If any of you cares enough to try its hand at it, here's a link to a bigger version of the original...

(oh... The lady, she thinks it's good. But she doesn't know much about photoshop) ;)

bhammitt Dec 18, 2005 7:52 PM

Here is my attempt, this is a pretty tough one.

Bob H.

PaulPosition Dec 18, 2005 8:49 PM

Ah, yes...

The left ear. :idea:

Actually, I couldn't see much in the zone where an ear should appear and I was wondering if, indeed, one should show or not. I've seen a lot of old photo where the head is tilted just so one of the ear isn't really visible and was wondering wether this one was posed in such a way. Since I don't do portraits at all, I couldn't really judge from experience. So I took the easy way out.

But now that you went and pasted an ear, I'm not sure anymore. Thanks! No, really, thanks!! :mad:

You're edit makes her look even more draconnian, like an evil school teacher. :p I rather prefer the one I did, maybe only because I spent two days on it, something I don't think anyone but me deserves to suffer. But I dig the lips texture on the mouth, it came up much better on yours. Nice, and thanks again! :)

VTphotog Dec 18, 2005 11:26 PM

1 Attachment(s)
This photo is really badly damaged, and it is hard to tell in some parts what is supposed to be there and what isn't. I didn't really see a right ear either. I gave a try with Photoimpact, using the scratch removal tool and the touchup brush. Low pass filter to get rid of some of the background texturing. Added back some grain after blurring.


PaulPosition Dec 21, 2005 11:33 AM

Cool, thanks Brian, I love how the eyes come out. Actually, if resized to thumbnail/passport size, I think yours looks much better.

Can I ask what you use to 'add grain'? Just 'add noise' with particular parameters, or some ready-made pattern you overlay??

VTphotog Dec 21, 2005 8:23 PM

I didn't spend a lot of time with it, just mainly wanted to try out the scratch removal brush in Photoimpact. The 'alligatior skin' texture is quite a challenge.

I used the 'add grain' tool in Photoimpact. I find it works pretty well most of the time. Parameters are adjustable (grain size and amount), and selectable for b/w or color. I also sometimes use the Virtual Photographer plugin, which works well also.


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:05 PM.