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Photo Restoration Repairing damaged photos

restoring a damaged old document

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  #1  
Old 09-14-2008, 03:22 PM
Tinkerbella197 Tinkerbella197 is offline
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restoring a damaged old document

hi .. i was hoping you all could offer some suggestions on how you would tackle the following project:

i have a very old, damaged document .. and of course, most of the damage is over the text, which is the root of my problem. normally i would just clone over the damaged area and call it a day, but cloning around tiny cursive writing is tedious and time consuming, if not impossible. believe me, i actually attempted it for about 10% of the document before realizing i was wasting my time. so i tried isolating the damaged area and lightening it via hue/saturation and brightness/contrast ... but that didnt prove to be very successful. so in the end, i wound up just finding the closest matching font and retyping the darm thing. but i am thinking there's GOT to be a way to fix that stain. the method i resorted to is not my idea of professional restoration; what i did was RECREATE .. and as a result, i feel my "fixed" version looses it's authenticity.

my other issue is that the scanned version, ie the version i worked on, turned out to be less sharp than the original .. specifically in the decorative parts of the document, such as the border and the eagle emblem. i sharpened them in photoshop as best i could, but the original still looks sharper. i did not scan it at home, or else i would just blame it on my home scanner, which is not the best. i had it scanned at office max, or staples (i forget which one; it's been about 3 months). i would think they would have pretty good scanners there. so my question is, did something go wrong in the scanning process (whether it be the resolution setting or scanner quality)? or is it simply that a reproduced image will never be as good as the original, no matter how good the scanner is.

attached is the original document, and my restored version.
hope you can offer some advice on what i could have done differently to fix this rather than "cheating"!

note: my fixed version was printed on yellow parchment paper to reproduce the vintage look in the original document

thanks,
Tamie
Attached Images
File Type: jpg eileen certificate original.jpg (88.0 KB, 187 views)
File Type: jpg eileen certificate final.jpg (103.7 KB, 189 views)
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  #2  
Old 09-14-2008, 07:57 PM
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TommyO TommyO is offline
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Re: restoring a damaged old document

Tamie,
No expert on documents, but the few I have dealt with I had better success eventually converting to gray-scale and eventually bringing back the subtle colors later. Once in gray-scale where you have more tools at your disposal for removing the stains and blemishes without worrying about all of the color attributes.

In your case, I certainly like the results, even if it is not the original. It certainly looks good and authentic. Hopefully, there are not any laws against this. Anyway, the end result looks good and would result in a better print.
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  #3  
Old 09-15-2008, 10:27 AM
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klassylady25 klassylady25 is offline
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Re: restoring a damaged old document

I think you've done a fine job. The only think I would add is a bit of sepia. Most documents were more in manila color than white.

IMO, Candice
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Old 09-15-2008, 10:42 AM
Tinkerbella197 Tinkerbella197 is offline
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Re: restoring a damaged old document

thanks for the feedback guys!

kissylady .... i printed the final version on tan parchment paper. the white you see is just the default background photoshop layer; it's actually a clear background
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Old 09-15-2008, 02:32 PM
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Verywierd Verywierd is offline
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Re: restoring a damaged old document

What resolution was the scan done at? If it had been scanned at something like 2000 - 4800dpi (optical), there would have been no fuzzyness at all, although the file would have been pretty large.

With a good enough image, it would not have been impossible to "fix" the original. After playing about with the replace colour function, and contrast on your posted image, and no manual retouch, I got the attached. Unfortunately, the resolution was too low to extract the text from the surrounding grey, so I didn't really try to clean it up any more.
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File Type: jpg fix-eileen-certificate-original--1.jpg (97.6 KB, 103 views)
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  #6  
Old 09-17-2008, 11:23 AM
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Daviskw Daviskw is offline
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Re: restoring a damaged old document

Tamie...I think you did an excellent job!!! maybe adding some texture and color back will help it regain the look. Your problem I think is you did too good of a job. If it were me I would want it clean and legible but showing its age...Adding age would be simple from where you are now.

Butch
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  #7  
Old 09-30-2008, 09:05 PM
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Britsdad Britsdad is offline
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Re: restoring a damaged old document

I know this is a little late but hope this might help some what......http://www.retouchpro.com/forums/pho...rs-please.html
John
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  #8  
Old 10-02-2008, 07:52 AM
Aleksman71 Aleksman71 is offline
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Re: restoring a damaged old document

as I can see,you kept only the frame,the rest you added to look similar.It look authentic,but you did some mistakes.
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  #9  
Old 10-07-2008, 06:57 AM
zganie zganie is offline
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Re: restoring a damaged old document

Nice job,I would think the client/person would be more than happy with it
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  #10  
Old 10-07-2008, 02:58 PM
javier javier is offline
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Re: restoring a damaged old document

Hi I would like to know if any of you has been using the mathlab or matlab software to improve or restore damaged images,
Thank you very much
Javier
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