Restoration of a Badly Damaged Old Photo

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Tutorial: AKVIS Retoucher

Badly damaged photo


In the following example we will retouch a badly damaged photo. The photo is not only covered with numerous scratches and small defects, but its edges are jagged and torn. At first glance it seems that this photo is in such a state of disrepair that it is almost impossible to restore.

    Original image Result

  • Step 1. Open the photo in AliveColors. See the photo of the geologist in detail. The sad state of the photo suggests that it accompanied the author in all his traveling. The background is hardly visible but we can presume that the photo was taken in a forest.

    We will try to improve the photo using AKVIS Retoucher plug-in.

  • Step 2. Call AKVIS Retoucher plug-in by selecting the command Effects -> AKVIS -> Retoucher in the menu. Then we should select the damaged areas of the image. You can do it with Selection Brush .

    Selection of damaged areas
  • Step 3. To start the restoration process press the button in the Control Panel of Retoucher.

    The AKVIS Retoucher plug-in restored the missing parts of the background using the information about the surrounding pixels.

    If needed, you can continue retouching the photo by selecting uneven parts and starting the plug-in once again.

    When the plugin is through with its job, press to apply the result to the image.

  • Step 4. You can touch up the photo using the retouching tools of AliveColors:

      - Blur (K);

      - Chameleon Brush (D);

      - Smudge (K).

    After correction
  • Step 5. After application of AKVIS Retoucher the photo looks considerably better. The background is restored and scratches are removed.

    However, we should bear in mind that it is a black and white photo and the stains we see on it are the traces of time. To bring the photo back to its original look we will convert it to grayscale by selecting the command Image -> Mode -> Grayscale in the menu.

  • Step 6. If we look at the photo more closely, we can still find some imperfections, for example on the man's face.

    Let's try Retoucher once again.

    We can select the minor defects in AliveColors, and then launch AKVIS Retoucher or we can select them in the Retoucher plugin with the Selection Brush .


    Process the photo in Retoucher once again by pressing .

  • Step 7. We have a better photo, but excellence has no finish line. We can improve it a bit more using color correction tools. Convert the image to RGB mode to be able to use color correction tools: Image -> Mode -> RGB.

    You can correct colors using the following commands:

    Image -> Adjustment -> Levels;
    Image -> Adjustment -> Curves.

    Then we will smooth the photo's surface using the Blur filter: Effects -> Blur -> Gaussian Blur.

    After correction
  • Step 8. In the good old days photos were printed in Sepia tones, so, if we want our photo to be truthful, we should restore the original colors. To restore the original color range we will use the Actions palette. Select Vintage Effect from the Actions palette.

    Actions: Vintage Effect

    Press Play button in the lower part of the palette to start the process.

    Here is the result:

    Sepia Photo
  • Step 9. If you wish you can crop the image. Select the Crop Tool (C). Use the frame to define the area that should remain and press Enter. The image areas outside the frame will be deleted.

    The result of the restoration
How It Works How It Works
   — Workspace — Workspace
   — Using the Program — Using the Program
   — Toolbar — Toolbar
   — Parameters — Parameters
   — Vignette — Vignette
   — Preferences — Preferences
   — Batch Processing — Batch Processing
Examples Examples
   — Removing Large Objects — Removing Large Objects
   — Restoration of an Old Family Photo — Restoration of an Old Family Photo
   — Lioness in a Cage: Removing Rods — Lioness in a Cage: Removing Rods
   — Restoring a Picture of a Boy — Restoring a Picture of a Boy
   — Prepress Processing — Prepress Processing
   — Daguerreotype Portrait of 1893 — Daguerreotype Portrait of 1893
   — Portrait of a Child — Portrait of a Child
   — Historical Photo: a Gypsy Band — Historical Photo: a Gypsy Band
   — Badly Damaged Photo — Badly Damaged Photo
   — Remove Stains from Grandpa Photo — Remove Stains from Grandpa Photo
   — For the Mother's Day — For the Mother's Day
   — Restoration of a Boy's Photo — Restoration of a Boy's Photo
   — Retouching Photos in 7 Steps — Retouching Photos in 7 Steps
   — Old Photo from Photoshop Samples — Old Photo from Photoshop Samples
   — Ukrainian Family — Ukrainian Family
   — Baby Photo Restoration — Baby Photo Restoration
   — Black and White Photo Restoration — Black and White Photo Restoration
   — Removing Unwanted Details — Removing Unwanted Details
   — Removing Tattoos — Removing Tattoos
   — Building Up Images' Borders — Building Up Images' Borders
   — Repairing An Old Torn Illustration — Repairing An Old Torn Illustration
   — Ladies' Man: Removing Lipstick Stains — Ladies' Man: Removing Lipstick Stains
   — Improvisation: Dance of the Little Swans — Improvisation: Dance of the Little Swans
   — Moments of the Past — Moments of the Past


Retoucher v. 9.0 - Free 10-day Trial    Download


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