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Tips for Image Restoration

Lesson 2 from: Advanced Content Aware and Clone Techniques in Photoshop

Aaron Nace

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Lesson Info

2. Tips for Image Restoration

Lesson Info

Tips for Image Restoration

Now we're gonna open our image restoration image. This is just a JPEG here, again, from Adobe Stock. All right, we got our work cut out for us, guys. We're gonna be using some different tools here. Basically, I wanna take care of all of our little, these little, cracks (laughing), what are those called? Creases, thank you. We're gonna take care of some of the creases in the photo. We're gonna do this in a couple different ways. The majority of the creases, we can use something like a regular spot healing brush tool. There we go. Using a type of content aware, because, if it's just over here, and I let go over there, it's fine. It's gonna draw some texture and things like that from a different part of the photo, but that's totally fine. Over top someone's face, you don't wanna do that, 'cause it's just not gonna do a great job. It's gonna make something that looks like that. 'Cause it's just figuring out on its own. Adobe doesn't know that ... Adobe. The program doesn't know that is a f...

ace, right? It cannot do a good job there. So we're gonna be taking care of that in a different way. We're gonna be using the regular spot healing brush tool, set to content aware, for the majority of it. All right? Sometimes, it'll do a decent job with the borders. This is a new edition. When they added content aware to the spot healing brush tool, this really helped with working with borders. If you don't have the content, like if you do a regular healing brush tool, and I sample this area, and I paint over there, it's gonna try to blend everything together, so you will not be able to retain the borders. Any time you have a harsh border like this, that you need to be maintained, you wanna do one of two things. You wanna go to your spot healing brush tool, and make sure you have content aware checked, and that'll do a good job, okay? Or you wanna use your clone stamp tool, and you wanna make sure you sample, using your clone stamp tool. You wanna make sure you sample an area that's very similar, and then paint over the top of that same area. 'Cause the clone stamp tool doesn't try to blend anything together, it's like an exact copy of whatever you paint. All right. So let's start off with our spot healing brush tool, click on content aware, and this is where we're gonna take care of the majority of our image. Except for people's faces. Do not use this on someone's face, 'cause the program has no idea it's a face, it's doin' it's best job here to figure out what is similar to whatever you're painting, and matching those things together. For stuff like this, it's really amazing how good of a job it does. It makes your job relatively quick. I'm just painting right over these areas. Now again, I'm going pretty quick at this, guys. If you wanted this, if a client was paying you to do this, or this was a project that was very important to you, your own personal work, you wanted to show in an art gallery or something, I would definitely recommend spending a little bit more time on it, and making sure that every little brush stroke was done correctly. Sometimes it'll, like that little thing there, doesn't look incredibly realistic, so if you were to paint over it, maybe it wasn't right, maybe just try a smaller brush, and get it a little bit better. Again, it depends on the destination. In this case, I just wanna show you guys mostly the techniques, and we've got a lot of really amazing techniques to get through. I'm not gonna spend two hours getting rid of these scratches, but, again, if you have client work, then I would recommend spending a little bit more time. I can take some questions while I'm doing this. Really, it's just simple. I'm literally just painting right over these cracks. So if you guys have any here, or anyone in the ... Yeah. While you're doin' that, Alphonso Rojas would like to know, sort of going back to the last portrait of the woman. Do you tend to do this for all your commercial jobs, or would you do this retouching family portraits? As far as how much work you put into retouching, in general. My commercial jobs get a lot more retouching than anything that I would ever do for my friends or family. Pictures of myself, I don't care what I ... (laughs) I don't care what I look like that much. Whenever you're retouching for clients or whatever, they usually want, they usually want the person to look good. There's a real fine line with retouching. It's easy to make things look fake, and I do my best to stay on the other side of that line. That comes with, when you're removing blemishes and stuff like that, sometimes, leave some of the blemishes there. That's what makes ... Wrinkles and things like that, that's just part of how people's faces move over time. It's part of their character, it's part of who people are. If you guys are retouching faces and things like that, having that fade command is really nice. You can retouch a wrinkle away, and then fade it, so the wrinkle is still there, maybe it's just not as prominent. That would be my suggestion for retouching. You can do that for my portrait. (laughing) Mine too, man. I've got these forehead. 'Cause I'm always raising my eyebrows, you know? Anyway. Yeah, question. On retouching, if I had a faded photo, like what you're doing with all the creases. I've seen the technique where you use the multiply filter, and bring the -- Bring the darks up a little bit? Bring the darks up, bring the fade. Reduce the fade. Which would you do first? I would do this first. Definitely do this first. We are going to take care of some of our darks. Especially because we have uneven areas. You can see the center of the photo is actually, the darks are pretty decent. They actually are as dark as they need to be. But on the right and left hand sides, we need to make those a little bit darker. Not only that, but we have a lot of color inconsistencies in here. A super obvious one is this splotch of green in her hair. That just has to do with the film aging. There's a little bit of green and stuff here. Rather than target all of those individually, we're going to use a filter over top of it, that actually just colors the entire image. We'll do, definitely all the scratches and things like that, we'll take care of first, and then we'll work on our color, and then we're gonna work on our lights and darks. Yeah, good question. Okay, cool. So you guys can see, I was talking during that whole time, I wasn't even paying that much attention, and it did a really good job of getting rid of the majority of those scratches. We can see, earlier, you don't wanna do that on someone's face, it's just not (laughing), it's not gonna do a good job. With a photo like this, there's not a whole lot of image resolution goin' on. I can't see skin texture on these people, there's not a whole lot of detail there. This is actually a perfect example, for using the brush tool. We're gonna be talkin' about this more in class. People are like, "Why would you use the brush tool?" "There's a clone stamp tool," "there's a healing brush tool." Guys, the brush tool is amazing. It's so so nice. We're gonna be using this throughout class. It's one of the most overlooked tools for retouching, but looking at this image, there's not detail there anyway. Rather than trying to find a tool that does an exact copy of the color, or does an exact copy of the texture, instead, I'm just going to focus on painting on the right color that I already know it should be anyway. I'll show you how to do this. It's called the sample and paint technique, and it's really easy to do. Basically, you just keep your left hand on the option key, alt or option, and that changes your brush tool to a little eye dropper. There we go. I forgot the word for that. Changes your brush tool to an eye dropper. That basically samples the color. So you can see I'm sampling colors as I paint around. Sample and paint technique is really easy. Basically, you just sample a color. This is ... I know this wrinkle in her forehead, should actually be that color, right? So I'm gonna sample here, and then I'm just gonna paint right over top of that wrinkle. It's that easy, really. Sampling the area that I know it needs to be, and then, painting right over top of it. If you need your brush to be a little bit larger, like if you're working on a little bit more of an open space, you can do that. This is an area that would drive a tool crazy, because we have a transition from darks, in here, that needs to be a really nice transition, over to lights, and then down to darks on her nose. The healing brush tool or the clone stamp tool, we don't have any information here to work with, right? What would I sample? It's such a small area of information, and it contains all that detail. Using the brush tool, I'm just gonna sample this color, and I'm just gonna paint that color right in there. There we go. Sample that color on her nose, and sample this color here. Instead of trying to use one of those advanced, fancy tools to get rid of that scratch, all I did, was grab the brush tool. I sample the color that I know it should be. This should, right here, should be this shadow color here on the nose. So I'm just gonna sample that color, paint right there. I'm gonna sample this color, and paint over there. Basically, we are kind of repainting her face, in this area, but it's not that hard to do, because it's pretty obvious, for the most part, what her face should look like, and what these areas should actually be. All right. As long as you maintain shadows and highlights, you can do a really good job of basically just painting on a new face over top of a person. Which is so cool. Again, I'm just sampling the color right next to, either the blemish, or the scratch, or whatever you have on your photo, and painting over it with the brush tool. This is really, again, it's really great for areas like this in a photo, that have a lot of detail in a small area, and not a lot of areas that I can actually sample with. Sample from. Isn't this awesome? Just using the brush tool? By the way, a lot of high-end retouching is done with the brush tool. A lot of it. At the end of the day, retouching is digital painting, right? A lot of it is painting on someone's face or whatever. What better tool do you use than the brush tool, if you're gonna be painting? Cool. All right. Again, you don't have to be a super amazing artist, or whatever, it's just like sample the colors that are right around that area, and paint 'em in. All right, so let's look at the before and the after with that. There's the before, and the after. All that is just using the brush tool. Pretty awesome, huh guys? Yeah, it's cool. We'll do one more example. We're gonna do this other woman here. Get our brush tool. You don't have to be super far zoomed in. We're gonna sample this color. Again, this is all just brush tool. If you did wanna add more texture back to this area you painted with the brush tool, that's really easy. I'll show you how to do that in just a second. There's a filter called, add noise, and you just add noise to it too. Most of the time, you won't need to do that, like in this case, there's ... There's not a whole lot of visible texture on the skin, but if you do wanna add some noise, you can do that too. There we go. Cool. This area, with her mouth closing and stuff like that, that's just, you know what it looks like in your head, you can easily fill in what that actually should look like, and a tool would have so much trouble getting that right. All right. Cool. Not too bad, right? All right. Now, if you did wanna add a little bit more texture to that area, you would create a new layer. We're gonna hit shift, delete to fill that layer with 50% gray, and then, we're gonna go to filter, down to noise, and over to add noise. Click on monochromatic, and let's bring our noise down quite a bit. Then we're gonna change our layer blend mode, from normal down to soft light, and lower our opacity quite a bit. You can see this just basically adds noise over top of our image again. Can you guys see that on the monitor? Before and after? And then, there's actually a really cool technique. If you have a couple layers, like this layer here, and this layer there. Those two layers, if I want the noise to only be visible where those two layers are, it's actually pretty easy to do. I can just hold down command, and click on that layer, and then I can hold shift command, and click on this layer, it's gonna select everywhere those layers are, right? This layer, I can just use that as a layer mask. All I did was click on the layer mask tool, and now, this noise layer is only visible where those other two layers are visible. Everywhere I painted with my brush tool is now, has that noise added back on top of it, and now you can't even tell it was done with a brush tool, because it has the texture from the original photo back on to it. Cool, do we have any questions up until now? Before I get into -- Yes, do you ever use ... I noticed that your brush is in normal mode. Mm hm, yep. Your layer is in normal mode. Yep. Do you ever use lighten or darken to incorporate this procedure, or is it really just straight normal, 'cause you're selecting that color? Yeah, normal is the way to go, for sure. Great. Yeah, I would say so. 'Cause you're selecting the exact color you want it to be, and just painting it right over the area. Yeah. Okay, and then, folks were asking, specifically, turtle snail would like to know why you're choosing to have your flow at 40%, and how does that affect the technique? That's a great question, actually. All right, so we'll take a second to explain the difference between flow and opacity. Honestly, I didn't know this for the first three years I worked in photo shop. Now that I do, it's totally changed the way that I work. Okay. So we're gonna do an example here. We're gonna start with opacity and flow at 100%. As I paint around my image, that's what it looks like. It's just straight green. That's what you would expect. Both at 100%. If I bring my opacity down to 50%, I'm basically painting the exact same thing, but it's only 50% visible. If I go over the same area over and over again, it doesn't add to my color, right? The maximum I can put down is 50%. I have to let go of my brush, or cursor, and then start again, and then go in again, and then, what I'm gonna get, is 50% plus another 50% of that. Then I'm gonna start again, and it'll do this again. What you get here is a very unnatural way of painting or whatever. Naturally, that would not happen. If you had a marker, and you kept going over the paper, over and over again, it would build up, right? It would get darker and darker over time. That's what flow does. Opacity limits the amount of paint you can put on, but flow will actually allow you to build that up over and over again. Instead of our opacity at 50%, we're gonna bring our flow down to about 10%, and now, as I paint over this image, you can see, kinda similar to how it started, but if keep going over and over a specific area, it's gonna allow me to build this up. Just like a marker would, or something that you were using that was a little more natural. You can see the transitions from one area to another are a lot more smooth, because I can control. Okay, I want that area to be 100% opaque, and this area almost nothing at all. I haven't lifted my brush off the tablet once. That was one continuous brush stroke, I was able to do all of that, which is a huge amount of control, versus opacity, which is like, all of it comes out as 50%, and that's it, and then you gotta lift up and do another one, and it's all coming out at 50% again. This way allows me to build up from 10% all the way to 100, without lifting my pen, tablet, or, if you're using one of these guys, it does the same thing. You can go over and over gain. If you're using a track pad or a mouse, same thing. Flow will do that. The last thing to build in there, is if you have your flow and opacity, let's just bring that down to 50%. The airbrush will actually do it over time, which is kinda cool too. Based on how long you're pressing down, even if you don't move, the airbrush will allow it to build up over time. A lot of levels of control within the brush tool. You can use 'em all three. You can get a lot more advanced than that too. If you go into your advanced brush tools, and you can actually make all those settings, either pressure sensitive, or, I'll show you guys real quick. All right. So, in your brush tool, your shape dynamics. I wanna bring in, sorry, transfer. If I wanna bring in opacity, for instance, if I want my opacity to be controlled by my pen pressure, I can actually do that. So how hard or soft I press on my pen, that will control opacity, rather than the number up here. So there are a lot of different things you can do with your opacity, your flow, and your air brush, and then your settings here within the advanced brush settings. Thank you. Cool. Thank you, that was a good question. Do you guys have a better grasp of flow versus opacity now? Super helpful. My recommendation, I always keep my opacity at 100, and I usually have my flow around five or 10%. That way, I can just build that up to wherever I need, and when it looks good, I just stop, and move on to a different area. Okay. Now let's do some color correction, guys. We've got a lot of really interesting color variations in our image, we can see this is some green and things like that there. We can do this in a number of ways. The easiest way to do this, is to go to our adjustment layers, go to hue, saturation, and then I'm gonna click on this colorize button. That's just gonna make sure that the colors in the entire image are the same. From here, I can adjust my hue, so if we wanna give it that really nice sepia tone, we can do that. We can adjust our saturation. If I wanna bring in that saturation, we can do that as well. That's a really quick and easy way to bring all the colors to the same. You can see it got rid of this green, that was on her face, and oh, it wasn't over there, it was over here. We can see it got rid of the green. It's not the right color, exactly. We can actually do a pretty decent job color matching. Before and the after, bring our saturation up a little bit. All right, cool. That's a pretty decent job. It works on the entire image at one time, which is really cool. All right. Now we're gonna work on our lights and our darks. You can do this in a number of ways. You mentioned the multiply, the multiply technique. I'm just gonna use a levels adjustment layer, because it's a relatively easy technique. We're gonna grab our adjustment layer down here. I'm gonna go to levels. And then, I'm just gonna make our darks just a little bit darker. There we go. Making our darks a little bit darker, and then, my goal here, after I close this out. We're just gonna paint this in where it needs it. The center doesn't really need to be darkened. We're gonna hit command I on the layer mask there, making it black. Then I'm just gonna paint white around the edges, so it's gonna darken the edges, and it's gonna bring the exposure of the entire frame a lot more uniform. You guys can see, just darkening those edges. Now the edges match what's going on in the center, and it has a lot more of a uniform brightness throughout the image. Okay, cool. That's basic image restoration using a bunch of really cool cloning, healing and brush tool techniques. Let's show you guys the before. Let's bring it here, all right? Here's our before, and the after. We can see that really didn't take too long, and we used the brush tool to paint over people's faces, which is so cool. All right. Before we move on to our next section, do we have any more questions? Just one quick one, wanted to know, Tyler Mitchell wanted to know the shortcut for the eye dropper. Oh yeah. Hold alt or option. On your keyboard. Great. So while you're in your brush tool, alt or option, you can sample that color, and then just let go of it, and start painting, sample and paint again.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Clone Brush

Ratings and Reviews

a Creativelive Student

Very helpful and useful tips. I am not of the belief that Aaron isn't the best speaker. I find that he is down to earth and doesn't come across as arrogant despite the fact he is truly a master at photoshop techniques. I follow his youtube posts and always learn a new tip or technique. In fact I purchased this class based on Aaron Nace being the presenter. This is the first Creative live I've ever purchased. I've watched several of the the free ones but never felt the need to purchase them. I am extremely happy with my purchase and can't wait to try out some of the new tricks I've learned. Thanks

Mel Bazarian

Great course - easy to follow and I appreciated the brevity. I particularly liked Aaron's style of explaining things in layman' terms and was surprised at how simple using the pen tool seems to be. I will also try to embrace the brush tool, which had always looked too "fake" to me. Now that I know how to add texture, I might have to give it another chance. Off to practice some of these techniques.

Kellie Seldon

Aaron is a master of photography and I was so honored to be able to see him work his magic in person. His methods and techniques are easy enough for any photographer whether they be beginners or more advanced. Aaron Nace is really one of the best Photoshop teachers out there!

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