I have spent the last 2 days trying to take a portrait taken between 1950 and 1970 and printed on "Kodak extra life" photo paper made to resemble a canvas painting. I took several photos of this portrait using a Canon 60D EOS. Unfortunately, the portrait looks like it was literally printed on flattened bubble wrap. The Gausian blur can't do enough to help. Even when combined with ALL of the noise filters AND the sharpen, unsharpen masks. Curves and levels, hues and saturations, radius, inverting, working the image in RAW... I have tried all available forms posted on the web and I have even tried a few other things just to see what would happen. Gimp with fft failed right along with other programs claiming to be able to do this task. I spent the entire night recoloring pixels in an attempt to get this portrait to lose the bubble wrap and not be so blurred you could go cross eyed looking at it. Unfortunately, when you zoom in on the pixels you can see what could be random brush marks in the "Kodak extra life" paper printed portrait. I am stumped with this one and the web does not have a lot of info regarding this type of image. There are more people seeking an answer to this question than there are answers. The portrait belongs to a friend whose mom died. As they were going through her things they found this photo of her when she was younger than they can recall her being. It is the only one they found. It is stained and color faded, no problem to fix that part of it... I just need someone who is not squeamish to sit down and nibble on this one with me. I am not sure it can be transmformed from "bubble wrap" but I will keep trying until something can change it. I have ADOBE Photoshop CS5 running on windows 7. Any help outside of what I have already done would be appreciated. Thank you for your time and consideration and have a GREAT weekend!
That textured paper does discourage copying.
Something that might help is take some more images... You're seeing the texture because the light is falling on the paper from primarily one direction and causing light and shadow in the texture.
Assuming you don't have access to a light box that would diffuse the light all around, here's a technique astronomers use to average out image quality issues called stacking that could be helpful:
1. Try to set up so the image is lit primarily from the front (i.e., avoid strong sideways light). Maybe take it outside and let the whole sky illuminate it while you stand over it.
2. Carefully take a photo of the print 4 times from the same spot, each time rotating the print itself 90 degrees. What you're trying to do here is to get enough data with the shadows falling in different directions so that you can cancel out the light/shadow, leaving only the image. Take care not to overexpose any part of it.
3. Open all images in Photoshop as layers. You can use the File - Scripts - Load Files Into Stack function to help with this.
4. Set the layers' Opacities as follows:
Layer 3 25%
Layer 2 33%
Layer 1 50%
Thank you Noel... I took those shots, opened them as layers and gave them the opacities 3 different times with no luck. The original photo was taken with what I believe to be a large flash from a professional photographer back in its day. The glare is coming off of the "bubble wrap and it's shadowed all around it. I am thinking about using that idea for a watermark in my photos, ha! Those photo types are headaches! Thank you for your help!
I'm sorry that didn't work... I've actually done it several times with good results but I probably don't have quite the texture you're dealing with. Can you crop a small part of the image and post it here?
I removed the woman from the background and placed her in a trasparent file. I am using the healing brush to "pop" the bubbles, much like popping bubble wrap. I cropped and saved in jpeg the top of her head to show you what the entire image is like. I hope to be able to clean it up after I "pop" the bubbles. Our friend has asked for a large print out of the image. I do photography and large format printing. I do photo restoration also and this one is the worst I have encountered even torn up photos where hands and ears are missing have been better, ha. Keeping hair and skin textures in this specific image is very challenging as there is nothing I can copy from. I am sharing a snippett of her shirt and pearls also showing my "popping" of the "bubbles"... If it made that bubble wrap popping sound I could put in on the web and get them all popped fast, hehehehe. Thank you! Oh yeah, The image clips are at 100%
It looks like the photo was printed on bubble wrap! I have an 8x10 copy I am working from and while the bubbles are smaller the glare from them makes them stand out. Our friend went to Wal-Mart and used their imagery there to make copies. He got a 5x7 and the gaussian blur used to tone it down makes the image blurry. The portrait cleaned up nicely though.... I even tried working with that copy but I can't clean up the blur well enough for a 16x20 or larger print. I don't know what the "popping" I am doing is going to do to the image but I am at a loss of what else to try. It seems as if those bubbles are the last things to go any other way. They are bugger no doubt! Thank you and if you know anyone who loves a good challenge send em my way ha!!!! Right now I am trying anything I can think. I have paint sho pro and I tried to see what I could do with it there as a jpeg... I will be popping bubbles for a few days, I believe... Cross your fingers I am able to work with it from there as those bubbles are under, in and above the image itself, they wil render the image blank and still be shining through it!
Hard to tell without seeing the full size original, but perhaps noise reduction is a better point of attack than blur.
Here's what you need to establish: What scale is the smallest useful detail in the image? If the smallest useful detail is, say, 4 pixels, then you can safely run noise reduction at 3 pixel radius to kill everything at a higher frequency than that.
From the samples it seems there is no image detail at the same scale as the "bubbles".
Hi D Fosse and thank you for replying and helping me figure this thing out... There is detail in her face. I did the noise reduction a number of ways and the result is about the same. I can reduce the glare of the bubbles some but it blurs the details in her face. The camera used to take her portrait used a strong flash that caused whiting in her face and different tones in her hair. The challenge for this one is too great for me to walk away from it... I tried getting the blurring worked out of the image after removing the bubbles and I can remove them using a 10 in G blur... I am unable to clarify it much after though. I even took her hair from the blurred result and placing it on her head in the bubbled version and the blurring is strong. I could live with it outside of her face... Where I feel the most detail should be... I am thinking if I pop the bubbles maybe then I can go in and rebuild the image but again I worry about her eyes and lips the most... I would be happy to email the image to you if you would like to see what I speak of... Let me know what size to email it to you in as I have it in a resolution of 240 if I remember correctly. I am self taught via youtube with photoshop and I am sure there are other techniques that could be used... I have spent some hours trying to find them with what I know and think could work... At the least it's been a great learning experience for me but one that seems to be too big for me to figure out without direction. Thank you!
One of the best ways to remove texture from an image is done using a fast fourier transfom plug-in, deleting the "texture points", then removing the FFT:
I tried the FFT via gimp and another program neat something or other, neither did much with it. Perhaps I did something wrong... I went through each RGB layer as described via a video and I could not get any stars as they call it when using FFT. Thank you for the links, PECourtejoie, and I am off to give them all a try!
PECourtejoie, I have been to two of the sites you posted. The problems with the two is retouch, like many other sites, tell you how to use FFT. You can buy the program for 79.00 or pay them to fix your "scanned" images for you. My image is not scanned, I don't scan too many images anymore. Taking a photo of an image allows you to repair them better and make larger prints of them. The one site I haven't seen does offer links to the program and the program is 7 years old... Which leads to another problem... It won't work in 64 bit and you have to compress your image to bytes from 16. I am not sure why Gimp didn't give me any "stars" but it gave me the split lines yet saw nothing else. It took me a while to get Gimp to see the plugin as you have to copy and paste it to a specific folder and I am not sure why it didn't work unless the 64 bit processing has something to do with it. I did drop it down to 8 bytes but nothing would give me the "stars". I have not seen a plugin for photoshop in 64 bit. I would love to see what FFT can do for this image I just haven't found it. I did try to play with the RGB's in photoshop similar to the way the plugin is said to work but I got few results since FFT is an algorithm that is likely why I failed, I am not exposed to indepth math such as this, I wish I was as I think I could do this via the math without the plugin. Thank you so much for your help! I am going to see what I can do with the 2005 plug in, cross your fingers I can make it work! I will let you know if it does!
Hi everyone... I got the FFT to work in photoshop standard not 64 bit. It will not work in 64 bit as I did try. It also would not work in 16 bit/channel ONLY 8 bit/channel The final to FFT is it did not work BUT... I tried it 3 different times doing it 3 different ways. The first time brought no change to the image outside of the background and there it is was minimal, the background is white. The second time I tried it, I flattened the back ground copy to the new layer and I got a negative which showed very little bubbles. I wish I knew how to build from a negative but I do not... Maybe I will try to learn... The 3rd time I unlocked the background and placed the lock on the layer... The end result for the photo was no change aside from darkening... When I unlocked the background and locked the copy layer I got a transparent image with the outline of the subject in it and NO bubbles... It's as if I have an image from the back looking through a light source void of color or something and if I knew how to color it in with detail I think I would have it.... I am off to see what I can do about coloring it in... Any thoughts, ideas and suggestions about the 2 different results I got?
You are way ahead of me Noel.. this is an area I have not been in before... I am disappointed that the bubbles are still there but they could possibly be removed... See how the flash from when she had it made is dominant? Her forehead is white... I had hoped to tone it down with some smoothing if I can ever get to a workable point with it. Would you tell me how you turned the image into a solid? I have been trying to find out how via "playing". Thank you!!!!
I think the jpeg format I posted the clipping under gives you more freedom than I have in PSD format.I can't get it to change from the grays to blacks. There are hidden layers and if I merge them it turns the image back to bubbles and color... Thank you!!!!
I am slowly and one section at a time breaking down those bubbles. I am playing with everything until I find something that has potential and I like.. I have figured out a way to manipulate G Blur to work for me in the face. I am stumped on the lips and teeth for now as G blur does not do them justice... I would like to know what you think of what I have done so far and I am open to suggestions... As for the FFT, I emailed someone who created neat image and sent them a snip of the photo. I asked them if they believed their program could help or any FFT program for that matter. The reply was no... It seems like I am going to have to work with blurs a lot and find the right sequence in removing the bubbles and getting a good result... The sharpen tool worked great for the eyes even after blurring the bubbles out of them... I have hit another brick wall as I experiment on what to do about the lips and teeth and if you have any suggestions and ideas please send them to me. Thank you all for your willingness to help!
I really don't want to discourage you, but so far she's looking quite heavily retouched, probably because that gaussian blur is overly smoothing her skin. I'd be worried that her hair is going to lose all definition.
You said you had taken the image with 4 different rotations... Is there a way you could post a crop of the same part - say one of her eyes or her mouth from each of the 4 different photos? I'd like to experiment with those.
No, this clearly isn't going to work.
But I misunderstood this (or didn't read carefully enough): you do have the original print to re-photograph. I thought the file was all you had.
So what you need to do is reshoot under diffused lighting, but coming mainly from the front. Normally, of course, I would never recommend frontal lighting, but this is indeed a special case. What I would try is to set up a screen of diffusing material with a small hole for the lens. If the screen is fairly large you should be able to eliminate direct glare. Glare is an obvious risk, but OTOH glare is exactly 50% of your problem now.
You need to experiment a bit, and maybe widen the hole around the lens. Don't worry about the work involved, you have a lot of work now...
If you have a polarizing filter you can try that to reduce glare from the bubble edges (it only works around 30° angle).
Congratulations on getting the face looking as good as it does. As Noel has already said, it does look heavily retouched and blurry and I'm curious to see if he is able to get better results using the different photo rotations. If all else fails, have you thought of experimenting with a painterly look? Many people retouch their photos to look like oil paintings, especially for the purpose of printing them at large scale and hanging them on the wall. In that case details are blurred anyway. Just a thought...
Thank you Noel... Not discouraged in the least... I am impressed! It took that much blur to remove the bubbles and then I had to go back and smudge the brighter edges of the bubbles out of her face. I am impressed with the fact that after so much blurring and some smudging that her face looks that good! I forget that it's hard to realize the depth of the flash in that portrait. Then to be printed on something much like bubble paper... It's an accomplishment to salvage what I have so far. It's a challenge to salvage it all. Her hair would also look like porcelain which is why I left it alone and seek some other method. Just as her lips and teeth need as well as the dress and pearls she wears. I think I will leave the pearls bubbled as it may help them to look like pearls if left alone, ha! Here are the 8 snips of the four sides I shot after you advised me to do so. It was taken outside and the sun did not touch any of the shots neither did a flash. You can see the depth comes from the portrait itself. The texture is deep and I wish I had something to do with it as that would mean it could be undone without inventing ways to do so. I have also posted the two shots I was working with previously. I am interested to know as many options for addressing this type of problem in the futire... Although I likely wouldn't be doing this now if not for it's personal value to a friend.
DFosse, I had the original over the weekend. It went back to the owner today. I was nervous having it as it's the only picture he has of his mom at a young age. I took some shots of as Noel advised but I didn't use a box or anything. I took it outside and let myself shade it, it was challenging to do and hold the camera still too, ha! I am considering giving it brush strokes and making it look like a painting. I believe that was the intention back in 1950 or 1960 something when it was printed on this paper. I have never seen anything like it. The textured papers I always see looked rather gauzy to me.... Anyway the glare is not coming from my photography, it is all in the original! Those bright spots of the bubbles are pink in most places then the grooves are dark... The centers of the bubbles contain splotches giving it some sort of 3D look.
Thank you acresofgreen... I don't hold out a lot of hope for this image, it's either going to be too smooth or too bubbly as there isn't a happy medium, I don't think,,, What woman does NOT want to have porcelain skin? I don't know of any who would pass up the opportunity, hehehehe...I am also a stickler for calibration as it is my job to sell large format prints and having them looking their best is my obsession.... I removed the bubbles from her face in sections.... For her hair I am working on smearing the bubbles and then adding strokes to it hoping it woill come out in some form of decent when the bubbles are removed.... At least I know how an image would look printed on bubble wrap! I think I need it for my watermark!!!!! This is the best potential for a watermark that I have ever seen!
All right...I'd love to get my hands on the original print, this could be an interesting lighting challenge. But I believe it could be done. And even though the lighting setup would have to be elaborate, it would still be less work than doing it in Photoshop.
LOL, D Fosse you like a good challenge too! I am not experienced with photos such as this one.I wish there was a away we could shift pixels around instead of destroy them. The lights and darks make up the bubbles. I am working on her hair and trying to remove the bubbles via changing the shades of the pixels. If I could write a program I would write one allowing the shift of every other number of pixels to offset the glare and shadows while leaving enough alone to keep it looking like hair. It's taken too many hours to do in photoshop and it's all experimental but in the end I will have to give our friend something. I know he will cherish it regardless... Me my reputation is built by what hangs on people's walls at home, work and businesses... I will be stringent about this one especially. I take photos of nature or people in natural settings and I print them in large format. I have restored photos for a long time but have never seen anything like this... Give me half a picture anyday as not having pixels to work with is good, especially after this and it's many pixels!
What I don't get, even though you rotated the image, is why the most illumination comes from the same side of the bubbles. the goal of the rotation is to make different areas of the bubbles illuminated, so that they could even out each other, right?
PECourtejoie.... I do not understand what you are saying. I placed the original photo on the bistro we have on the porch. I took the photos in the morning and used myself to shade it from the sun. I took two shots from each angle... One pointed North, so to speak, one pointed south, one pointed East and one pointed West. I see illumination everywhere except for a spot in her hair and for some reason in the original photo that spot wasn't enhanced by the bubbles as the rest of the photo was... I will post one of the entire image.... Maybe it will help?
So you did not rotate the photo, but only the point of view of the camera?
If you look at the bubbles, they are all brighter in the top spot...
I thought that the multi-scanning / multi-capture process' goal is to change the angle of the light source (even if it is a diffuse one) on the photo.
But did you just change camera position, or did you rotate the print? I think PEC put the finger on it. Now that I look closer the light does indeed seem to come from the same direction in all of the shots. That defeats the whole purpose.
If you have four exposures, lit from N, E, S and W, it should be possible to stack them and cancel out the texture. I assumed that this was a four-directional light composite, and with the texture still visible I assumed it was very deep. But maybe not after all.
Either way, you have to reshoot. Then stack them and use either Darken or Lighten blend modes for the top three layers, and combine that with "Blend If" to target a specific tonal range per layer.
Edit: cross-post. - BTW, maybe a simple transparency distribution from bottom to top is enough.
What I don't get, even though you rotated the image, is why the most illumination comes from the same side of the bubbles. the goal of the rotation is to make different areas of the bubbles illuminated, so that they could even out each other, right?
Sorry, I had to sleep for a while.
As the others have said, the issue with the multiple shots is that you want the light coming onto the print from a different angle. If you did, indeed, rotate the print for each shot as compared to the direction the light is coming from, then I wonder if maybe the print is worn or dusty so that the little "bubbles" are all lighter on the top edges, instead of the issue being uneven illumination.
But thanks for posting the images. I'll experiment a bit with them, as I'm sure the others are already doing. I'm thinking maybe somehow a High Pass filter can be used, then the result subtracted from the image...
LOL Noel, I had the same dilemma, needed sleep... Then woke with a thumping headache. It's finally toning down. I took the photo and placed it on the table on the porch. The wind was blowing and the photo has a mild curl to it on the edges. I placed a pen, a lens cover, a lighter and some chap stick on each corner. I took a shot of the photo then rotated it and placed the things back on it to hold it down took the photo, rotated and did the same thing 2 more times.... What I didn't do is rotate myself. I stayed in the same spot to keep the sun off of the photo.
Here are 4 images that were rotated. I took them from the raw and they are unchanged aside from saving them for posting here according to format for this forum... Maybe this will help more... I don't know... It couldn't hurt anyway... As you can see from the placement of the items on the photo. I did rotate the image in 4 different directions... I can see differences in the shadows and lighting. I was asked to take the image outside to rotate the image 4 different ways and to shade the image from the sun with my body... I thought I was doing it right. It was hard to take these photos and shade it with my body and there are some photos where my "weights" didn't cooperate in the wind and I used my finger to hold it down in a spot make it even more difficult to photograph, hold and shade. I did this 3 times... I kept 2 of the rotations because in the first set the first 2 shots blurred... People don't all do things the way a specific person would. We can find fault with anything and everything... Please give me some credit for effort while I get chewd up for not doing it "right".
Using the single image you posted above in the small size, I was able to isolate the pattern pretty well and compensate for it. I feel as though it could be done a lot better if starting with a higher resolution image.
I used the High Pass filter and creatively combined the results back into the image, along with some banding noise reduction tools I've developed.
If you'd like, you can send me your original out-of-camera files for several of the porch shots. I'll combine them to eliminate the lighting differences and go through the pattern isolation process again.
WOW!!!! That's impressive! Especially in the time it took you! I am almost a week into this and have learned lots but nothing to do what you did!!! I am green with envy ... I tried to email you but I do not understand what the program is asking me for in regard to a link to a website to get the images... This is my first time ever asking for help with a photo and I am clueless to the programs to aid in getting help. The image sizes when transferred to smart object from RAW are: width 3456 pixels, height 5184 pixels, width 14.4 inches, height 21.6 inches and 240 resolution in pixels and inches... I am thinking that image needs to be transferred to the web somehow and then linked to you... I am clueless as to how to do this... Thank you for the hope I am smiling big!!!!
I got it for free as long as i send one file at a time... I am sending the RAW files and they are going to your website email... Thank you!!!! I like playing with and printing Hubble image photos... I am looking at some of your software for such images... Pretty cool!
Europe, Middle East and Africa