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3.2 Tidy Up

Cleaning up the image is a delicate balance. You want to make a legible image but also preserve historical accuracy. In this lesson you'll learn how to handle dirty marks or other unwanted blemishes in the image.

3.2 Tidy Up

Hi, I'm Marie Gardiner, welcome back to Tuts+. This is archival photo restoration and in this lesson we're looking at tidying up your archive photograph. It's rare that old print are in perfect condition. So, let's look at how we can get them back to looking their best. Okay, so we're gonna look at tidying up the image now. And you can see on the right, I've kind of grouped things into separate places so that we can see where we are. So we've got our initial layers here. We've got the repair work that we did on the rips here. And then I've created a new folder and a new blank layer. Which we're gonna call tidy up. And this is basically gonna clean up all the nasty little dots, and smears, and scratches that you can see on the photo. Now this little bit is gonna take awhile, but you'll be pleased to know it's quite easy. If you right click on the plaster icon, and go to spot healing brush. There we go. And you want that to sample all layers and have content where it takes. Now what's this is gonna do, whatever you put it around, it's gonna take a sample of around the area that you want to heal up. And it's gonna use it on the blemish. So, if we just zoom in on this little orange bit here. Make the brush slightly smaller, cause it doesn't need to be quite that big. And you want a hard brush as well. Okay, so, I'm gonna click on this and you're gonna see it just disappears. So, for the majority of this, we are literally just gonna go around and zap away all those little dots. Now you don't have to worry about hitting every single dot. But clean up the major ones and any obvious scratches. We're gonna leave this big tear until a little bit later on. Now the nature of an old photo is, it looks like an old photo. So you don't have to clean it up to the point where it looks like it was taken yesterday, but just get rid of anything that's gonna look distracting or detract attention away from the focus of the photograph. Okay, so that's not looking too bad now, if I just hide our tidy up layer. And some bits are more obvious than others. You can see up here and around here, I've improved quite a lot. Everything else, it's kind of one of those things where you work on lots of little bits and it does make a difference to the whole, even though you can't really see it if you look for it. You'll notice that the bit that I've left until last is our lady, Mrs Broadly. And that's just because very detailed, obviously. Faces you have to be really careful with. Backgrounds are really easy to mask and hide with the clone tool and the spot healing brush. People are a little bit different. If you change something a little bit too much, it can alter the shape of the face. You can change the details on the clothing if you're not careful. This is another bit where if you don't have a direct reference to copy from, so to use the clone stamp or the spot healing tool, you can paint the details in using a brush. I wouldn't recommend that generally, because obviously you're then putting something into the photograph that wasn't there before. But if you really want to restore it and there's an integral bit missing like a cheek or a portion of hat, or something like that, then you can just brush that in and work it up layer upon layer until it looks right. Thankfully, there's nothing major missing on ours and I'm just going to work really carefully around the woman now and to get her back up to scratch. The more detailed an area that you're working on, I advise that you zoom in as much as you can. Obviously, we're working on an old image, so the level of detail when you zoom in isn't great, but it's enough to be able to see what you're doing. And also, use a small brush. You can see I'm down to six at the minute, and it's quite a hard brush, as well. Just to keep those hard lines and details when making the repairs. All right, so that's mostly tidied up, as you can see, I'll just hide that layer. And then that's what we've done. You can see that there are a few patches like down here on the ground, and here kind of by the fence and on her clothes where the color's are a little off but also we can tidy it up in this lesson. We'll look at color in another lesson, but we can actually start to tidy this up. So we're gonna do that now, and I'm just gonna zoom in on this ground bit down here. Now there's kind of two ways you can do this. You can either sample the ground near it and use a hardish, low opacity brush. So I'll just show you that now. So if we go on clone stamp again, and make the opacity about 40%, so you'll be able to see the difference, but it's not gonna be huge. And fairly hard here in the 80%, okay, so we'll make our brush a little bit bigger. Just alt click our cells point here where the good ground is. And then you can just sort of gradually brush over the top and then just keep layering that over so it looks normal. Very slightly smaller brush when you're working tricky areas. We are just concentrating on the ground at the minute, I am going to get rid of that color cast later. But we're just working on that, working on bringing the ground back. So I said there were two ways to do it. You can do it like this, which is absolutely fine. The other way you can do it is take a section of it, copy that, layer it over the top, and then kind of blend it in. I don't think that would work so well for this bit. But one problem that you will see, as I've done this, is it's just become completely smooth. It's lost its texture entirely. You can see the texture down here where the ground's unspoiled. And there's no texture here at all. So there's a way that we can add texture to the ground without having to kind of take another source and then paint over the top. So what we're gonna do is we're gonna create a new layer. And then, using the select tool, draw a square over the area. Right click, fill, and add 50% grey. Then we're gonna go to filter, noise, add noise, and that kinda looks okay there. And so then we're going to add a mask I'm just gonna lower the opacity of that and get a little bigger so it goes over. Okay, and then basically what we're gonna do with a soft and fairly large eraser with a a low opacity so that we can keep going over it. Is I'm just gonna blend this in. So we don't need any texture up here. And you can see it's giving the ground a little bit of texture again. Now it looks a little bit grayer, and usually I would fix that straightaway. But because we're gonna fix the color in a later lesson, then there's not much point in fixing that right now. But if we just zoom out. That looks a wee-bit patchy, but there we go. It just adds a little bit of texture in so that it doesn't look to odd and sticky out. Now I'm gonna go ahead and tidy up the patches. In the same way that we did before, so using the clone stamp tool and using the healing brush tool. So there we've go, there's still a little bit of discoloration, but as I said, we'll fix that in another lesson. But if we just have a look at the changes that we've made in this lesson, you can see that's quite a big difference. And I'll just zoom out so you can see the effect on the whole thing. Okay, so that's looking much, much tidier. As I said, we will tackle the missing information in another lesson, and the discoloration as well. But remember to save your work. The image is now looking much tidier. The next step is to restore any lost detail. And the key here is restore not improve on. So in the next lesson, I'll take you through how to bring back any missing elements of the picture. Thanks for watching.

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