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  #1  
Old August 8th, 2016, 02:13 AM
April Gil April Gil is offline
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Default Restoration question: A family photo from the 30s

Hi everyone,

My name is April, 30 years old, nice to meet you :)
I have a question:
I'm meeting my grandmother on Thursday this week and I want to surprise her with restoring the only picture of my grandfather's family (most of them died just a few years later on World War 2).

Now, I have restored only one old picture, a few years ago, but it was in a better shape than this one and did not have missing parts.

I have a few questions:
1. How do I restore the father's lips? I have no idea how to start with it.
2. The youngest boy is missing an eye (a part of it) because of the quality of the picture. Any advice?
3. I'm not sure how to complete the main missing part, on the right, with the boy's coat. Do I draw a line of the hand? Wouldn't it look strange?

This is the picture:


Thanks a lot in advance!
April
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  #2  
Old August 8th, 2016, 08:21 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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April,

This is a great challenge!

Are there any other pictures of the family from that time period or from the man?

Lips? Steal from the closest match. You will need the same angle and resize in a new layer below a copy of the current one with a mask. Then gradually bring in the underlying lip where it is needed. Now clone back fine sections of the man's lip to make the repair not obvious.

Eye the same.

Jacket: clone the upper part of the sleeve and put some below the near the edge so that the missing section has cloth all around. Select that empty portion with as much suit as possible bordering it and do "Edit", Fill" and chose "Content Aware".

Also Ask Maggie Terlecki, here from Canada. She is especially helpful with edits.

Good luck,

Asher
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  #3  
Old August 8th, 2016, 06:05 PM
Robert Watcher Robert Watcher is offline
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This is a specialized restore project. If you are artistic and have the right tools, then with patience and much time you can be successful at restoring.

Here are some basic pointers that I can give you. I am not a restorer, but am quite skilled with my photo editing tools and have done a lot of copy work and basic cleaning up over the years.

First thing is after having the highest quality copy (which should be photographed with even light coming from both sides, to minimize texture and shadows at broken edges) - is to convert the image to a Black and White. You do need the extra task of trying to match tonal shifts when cloning and patching and painting. You can easily add the Sepia to the image at the end.

Once that is done, I could write a book on the steps involved in restoring - but I can't. So to put it simply the main tool that I use for blending in all of the little lines - is the Inpainting Brush Tool in Affinity Photo. It is very simple, intuitive and fast for this task. There may be such a Content Aware brush in Photoshop as well - I'm sure there is.

Beyond that, you will require the Healing Brush and Patch Tool depending on the fix. The Clone Tool comes in as a valuable tool as well. In some cases you may need the Paint Brush to paint in certain areas where there is no content to copy or clone. Tonal values would be sampled from the image using the Eye Dropper.

I work on all of the small lines and details first with the Inpainting Tool. Get everything cleaned up as close to the difficult areas as possible. By doing this first it is possible to have some areas to copy that are clean. The biggest thing is to maintain Texture or the retouch won't be successful. That is where the Cloning and Content Aware tools help out as they keep texture.

Here is a sample that I worked on from your file here, that shows how the boys eye and mouth could be restored:





So the thing is, that it is probable that no-one knows exactly how the people looked - so you can fudge a little by grabbing pieces from other people in the photo. In this case, I made selections of the eye and the mouth of the boy to the right of the boy where they were missing - and then blended them in as realistically as I could (that part requires the artistic perception of what a face should look like).

All the best on the task. It will probably be a project that will take you days of dedication to complete. Having the tools available and the skill that I have, this little bit of fix took probably close to an hour to do and the work on just this area is no where near complete to make it look realistic. I'm sure that there are dedicated restorers who could accomplish it much quicker. But I have also seen some pretty horrific results from prints where people paid a fair hunk of money to have the retouching done. So just because someone does it as a business, doesn't guarantee it will be good. And it also depends on the expectations of the customer.


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  #4  
Old August 8th, 2016, 10:25 PM
Doug Kerr Doug Kerr is offline
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Hi, Robert,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Watcher View Post
This is a specialized restore project. If you are artistic and have the right tools, then with patience and much time you can be successful at restoring.

Here are some basic pointers that I can give you. I am not a restorer, but am quite skilled with my photo editing tools and have done a lot of copy work and basic cleaning up over the years.
That is just wondrous!

Best regards,

Doug
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  #5  
Old August 9th, 2016, 07:59 AM
Maggie Terlecki Maggie Terlecki is offline
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I'm a little late to this conversation but I think what Robert says is pretty spot on. I, as Robert, am not a trained restorer, but I have done plenty of them and the one thing that you need to remember is that with a photo such as yours, which is quite badly scarred, you need to take a lot of time and patience to do a good job.

As for the fathers lips, it is quite hard to say exactly what they looked like as the bottom part is entirely broken away but looking at the little boy beneath him,he does not have his mother's lips, I would say they are probably similar to his dads. I would use that as my repair help. They may be a bit less puffy as our lips lose fullness as we age.

As you can see what Robert did with the little boy's eye, he used the eye of the other boy beside him. They look similar and are standing in the same light and have very similar looks. The eye works.

I also would not attempt any large portions and I find that the heal brush with proximity match in Photoshop can be of great help especially when the clone tool with proximity match sometimes creating havoc and not giving what you need. Just use something very close by and very similar. Set the flow to be low, , use a soft brush so that the edges are feathered to not get any clashing harsh lines. Don't use big brushes... work small and check details all the time.

You can work zoomed in, but sometimes it can be difficult really zoomed in to see the final effect so to have your image zoomed in, and a copy of your image smaller on the side where you can see any transformations done live... simply make sure that your windows is set for floating and not tabs, as it will by default be in Photoshop CC ... do Windows/Arrange/Float all in Windows... then on the same menu, at the very bottom, Menu/arrange/New window for your image.. this will create a secondary image that you can keep at a size that you can see the result of whatever you are doing, so you don't have to zoom in and out all the time.

The suggestions Robert gave about turning the image black and white and to take photos that don't have the texture are so incredibly right. These are things that create problems and you want no sheen and no color issues. I would add that using your levels will help bring in some definition that may have been lost in the original.

As Robert has said, someone just saying they do this work, means nothing. I've also seen some botched images that looked horrendous. Do know though, that you are going on a journey that may not be simple. It is too difficult to explain every tiny thing that you should be doing, because a lot of it is going to be from the gut, just intuition telling you which tool to use and when. Knowing how to paint will be an asset as sometimes you will have to use that for fine details that cannot otherwise be achieved. It you have a digital pen and tablet, if will give you much more flexibility.

All the best of luck, as you have many hours of detail work ahead of you. In the very beginning, it will feel like it is taking forever, but slowly areas clean up, you can use those areas to fix others.. slow and steady and you'll come out the other end okay.

:-) Maggie
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  #6  
Old August 10th, 2016, 04:10 AM
April Gil April Gil is offline
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Hi Asher, Robert and Maggie,
Thank you very very very much for your time and effort in trying to help me and giving me good advice. I really appreciate it! You're great!
I now understand that it will take much more time than I expected, so I will take it slowly, step by step.
I will defiantly take your tips and read it carefully when starting this job. You all gave me some really good tips which will help me a lot.
Again, thanks a lot!
I will show you the results when I'm finished :-)
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  #7  
Old August 10th, 2016, 07:05 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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April,

Another useful tool is "transform". Take a lower lip from a child, for example, and alter it using each of the tools. You will be amazed at what you can do with a little touch of a tiny pull in one direction or another to alter the curve or width just to fit your needs.

Having adjusted the shape, it might be less dense and you can use a layer of "curves", unaltered), set to multiply to increase the density of that component.

Alternatively, you can take two copies of the lower lip and line them up one above the other and then have photoshop re create the junction by using "Edit-Fill-Content Aware".

Just this kind of practice, (with the child's lower lip, for example), will expand your skills and give you confidence to solve any problem.

Enjoy the journey!

Asher
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