Professional restoration

In this lesson you will learn about one of the ways to restore old photos.

Before proceeding with the restoration, it is necessary to draw up a rough work plan in order to do everything consistently and not to rush from one to another. Recommend the following sequence of actions:

one. Work only with a copy of the scanned image.
2 Crop the image. Be careful not to touch on important details.
3 Identify the main problem areas for retouching, perform the necessary operations. This is the longest and most laborious stage.
four. Remove noise and other unwanted plaque. Do not try to completely remove the grain of the film and make a semblance of a digital picture! Indeed, during restoration it is important to preserve the spirit of that time.
five. Adjust the brightness, contrast, saturation. In color photos, adjust the balance of colors, especially pay attention to the correct skin color.
6 Sharpen the image.

So let’s get down to the process. Here is our original photo.

Step 1. Usually, restoration is started with the correction of relatively large areas. For this, it is best to use the tool. Patch(Patch tool). The figures show an approximate sequence of actions. First, large areas are corrected in the background, then smaller ones.

Step 2. After retouching major defects go to small. For this we use the tools Healing Brush (Healing Brush), Spot Healing Brush (Spot Healing Brush) and Stamp (Clone Stamp). Do not be afraid to experiment with these tools.

Tool Spot repair It is advisable to use the brush to remove only very small point defects. For larger areas it is better to use the usual Healing Brush and Stamp.

The screenshot below indicates the areas in which these tools were used: red – Healing Brush, green – Stamp. I want to draw your attention that when working with the Patch and Healing Brush tools, there are undesirable effects when working on the edges of an image, especially if they are white. To avoid this, first simply paint over these areas with the closest color with a brush, and then work with repair tools.

This is what should happen at this stage.

Step 3. Now we will work with more serious damage. To restore the image of the left eye of a man, we use the image of his right eye. Here the extreme case is specially taken. If there are other photos of this person, it is better to take the missing parts of the image from them, so it will be more correct.

So, select the area around the right eye and copy to a new layer by clicking CTRL +J. Next, click CTRL +T to apply free transformation.

Step 4. Right-click inside the frame and select Flip horizontally (Flip Horizontal).

Step 5. In order to properly place the reflected copy of the eye, reduce the opacity of the layer and align the eye relative to the original image. Then press ENTER and return the opacity to 100%.

Step 6. Add a layer mask by clicking on the icon with a green circle at the bottom of the layers palette.

Step 7. Press D to reset the colors, then select the tool. Brush(Brush). Black brush mask extra areas. Remember that white color manifests, but black hides. To get soft inconspicuous transitions, use a soft-edged brush.

Tip: Hold your finger over the X key to quickly switch between black and white. If somewhere you have hidden the excess, paint this area with white. If you want to see only the mask, click on its thumbnail in the layers palette, holding Alt.

Step 8. Now, in the same way, we restore the image of the left ear. To precisely fit the shape, use the tool. Deformation (Warp).

A small area of ​​the hairline on the left side of the face is also restored. I remind you that each operation must be performed on a new layer. This should be the main rule of work.

Step 9. After restoring all major areas, return to the tool. Stamp and correct all the shortcomings. This should be done on a new transparent layer by checking the box Sample of all layers.

You can merge layers if necessary.

This is what should happen.

Step 10. Select all layers. Merge layers into a group by clicking CTRL +G. Then create a new layer above this group by clicking ATL +SHIFT +CTRL +E, and call it Noise.

Step 11. Now reduce the noise using the filter “Reduce noise “ (Reduce noise).
Important point: the greatest noise suppression should be made in the blue channel, as it contains the greatest amount of it. Preservation of parts for this channel is desirable to put at 0%.

Step 12. After noise reduction, you need to restore the sharpness of the image. There are many different ways to do this, including a few lessons from our site:

Sharpening or Adaptive Sharpening

This tutorial uses a sharpening method using a filter. Colour contrast (High Pass), but personally I prefer the masked method, as it is the most manageable. I will not dwell on the technique of sharpening, those who wish can familiarize themselves with them from the above lessons. I want to add that if you plan to print a restored photo, you should sharpen more, because the printers blur the image slightly. This is quite an important point.

Step 13. Often there is a need to sharpen only in certain places. To do this, you need to create a layer mask, as we have already done, and paint over unwanted areas.

Step 14. Create a new adjustment layer Curves. S-shape the curve to increase the contrast.

Step 15. Now compare the results.

I wish you creative success.

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