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Author Topic: Automatic Retouching and Enhancement  (Read 618 times)

earlybird

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Automatic Retouching and Enhancement
« on: May 17, 2019, 08:34:20 pm »

Hi,
 I have been asking about various aspects of digitizing 35mm slides and have yet another question regarding post processing.

 I have elected to attempt to digitize some slides using a macro lens rather than a scanner, and am curious to learn if there are any post processing applications that are intended to accomplish the same goal as that of a scanner appliance's Digital Image Correction and Enhancement (a.k.a. Digital ICE) system.

 Are there any Automatic Retouching and Enhancement applications available that I should learn about and try?

 Thank you.
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earlybird

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Re: Automatic Retouching and Enhancement
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2019, 08:48:52 am »

 Last night I read about and tried Photoshop's Dust and Scratches Filter and LaserSoft Imaging's SRDx Photoshop Plugin.

 Neither seems able to work with the relative scale of defects that may be found on a 35mm slide or negative. Perhaps these processes are well suited to working with the relatively smaller blemishes that may be found on a enlargement such as a typical print.

 The dust particles, filaments, blotches, and scratches appear much larger on a 35mm slide compared to the same size defects which may have accumulated on a 5"x 7" print.

 "Dust and Scratches" would not hide the defects until the entire picture became blurry and displayed an effect that looked like some sort of "artistic paint style".

 SRDx appeared to be more capable as I made adjustments to the parameters and watched the detection areas become maarked, but when I actually ran the process I found that it provided a mixed result where some defects got smaller and some became more pronounced, while many were not addressed at all. At more agreesive detection settings, It seemed as if SRDx identified the film grain as a defect just as readily or more so than the many obvious defects it ignored.

 I guess there is no substitute for hand work with a clone tool and or a healing brush.

 Are there any other products to try out?

 Thank you.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2019, 10:56:13 am by earlybird »
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saiguy

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Re: Automatic Retouching and Enhancement
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2019, 10:50:54 am »

SRDx PS Plug-in can be run many times. I sometimes scan old beat up 35mm slides often having lots of fungus on them. I will run it with small size defects until it starts eating too much detail in the foreground. Then select the sky using a mask. Duplicating the layer, the mask goes with it. Then using increasingly larger defect sizes and often max strength till I get a clean sky. Very large blotches I will address in PS.

Will need to use the Clone Stamp where the foreground and sky meet to get a clean edge. Not trying to do a restoration job. But make the image look a lot better for the 5 seconds it may be viewed in a slide show. What would take many hours with PS alone can be done in SRDx in say half an hour.

Not seen SRDx increase any defect size.
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earlybird

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Re: Automatic Retouching and Enhancement
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2019, 11:11:08 am »

Thanks for relating your experience with SRDx.

Here is an example of what I observed during my demo where a defect actually became more pronounced after the processing:

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earlybird

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Re: Automatic Retouching and Enhancement
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2019, 11:18:22 am »

Here is an example where the SRDx detection process ignores a defect that has to be corrected:
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earlybird

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Re: Automatic Retouching and Enhancement
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2019, 11:19:17 am »

Here is an example where SRDx does things that are hard to describe:
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Garnick

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Re: Automatic Retouching and Enhancement
« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2019, 12:23:31 pm »

In the Many Many years I've spent in the darkroom, both colour and B&W, I have used the Ilford Antisaticum clothes to rid film of dust and protect it against attracting more dust.  It has always been in my arsenal for printing and is still used when scanning film of any format.  Also a light bust of compressed air, aerosol or otherwise.  But make sure it is indeed a light burst, since a prolonged bust can also create static on the film, which would of course negate any previous cleaning procedure(s).  I also have an anti-static brush I use along with the Antistaticum Cloth.  As far as the PS Dust and Scratch filter is concerned, in my opinion it's garbage, NEVER use it.  When retouching scans, film or prints, my first step is to add a new layer above the image layer and do the fixes there.  Then, after fixing one area to your satisfaction, flatten, save and add a new layer and start another area.  Of course you could do all of the work on just one added layer, but if there's a problem you might have to delete that layer and start again.  By doing one area at a time you will not encounter that issue.  And as mentioned, it's usually just a matter taking the time to do the work, no auto fixes of any high quality that I've encountered.     
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Gary N.
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smthopr

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Re: Automatic Retouching and Enhancement
« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2019, 12:43:57 pm »

Last night I read about and tried Photoshop's Dust and Scratches Filter and LaserSoft Imaging's SRDx Photoshop Plugin.

 Neither seems able to work with the relative scale of defects that may be found on a 35mm slide or negative. Perhaps these processes are well suited to working with the relatively smaller blemishes that may be found on a enlargement such as a typical print.

 The dust particles, filaments, blotches, and scratches appear much larger on a 35mm slide compared to the same size defects which may have accumulated on a 5"x 7" print.

 "Dust and Scratches" would not hide the defects until the entire picture became blurry and displayed an effect that looked like some sort of "artistic paint style".

 SRDx appeared to be more capable as I made adjustments to the parameters and watched the detection areas become maarked, but when I actually ran the process I found that it provided a mixed result where some defects got smaller and some became more pronounced, while many were not addressed at all. At more agreesive detection settings, It seemed as if SRDx identified the film grain as a defect just as readily or more so than the many obvious defects it ignored.

 I guess there is no substitute for hand work with a clone tool and or a healing brush.

 Are there any other products to try out?

 Thank you.
The "dust and scratches" tool is useful, if one creates a duplicate layer of the image, applies the filter, creates a layer mask to hide the dust and scratches layer, and then paints over the layer mask to fill in the defects in the original image.  It's far from automatic, but can be effective.  It's often helpful to add "noise" or "grain" to the dust and scratches layer to match the original material.
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Garnick

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Re: Automatic Retouching and Enhancement
« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2019, 01:17:00 pm »

The "dust and scratches" tool is useful, if one creates a duplicate layer of the image, applies the filter, creates a layer mask to hide the dust and scratches layer, and then paints over the layer mask to fill in the defects in the original image.  It's far from automatic, but can be effective.  It's often helpful to add "noise" or "grain" to the dust and scratches layer to match the original material.

Of course this method is viable and I have used it many years ago, but eventually found that an empty layer above the image layer was better and more precise in my workflow.  However, if one were to use your method I would think that changing the duplicate layer to a Smart Object would be the best approach.  That way all of the filters you have mentioned could be revisited and further editing done if necessary.

EDIT: Your mention of adding noise/grain is good advice, something I often do after using the healing brush on a large area.  Completely forgot to mention that.     
« Last Edit: May 19, 2019, 08:57:49 am by Garnick »
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Gary N.
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saiguy

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Re: Automatic Retouching and Enhancement
« Reply #9 on: May 18, 2019, 01:57:44 pm »

Earlybird,

Before & afters. The controls in SRDx are; bright or dark defects or both, size of defect, strength of correction. The first image has a defect too large and can be dealt with in PS. You can also make a pen mask to affect only portions like sky.

2nd image you see it is eating detail, which it can easily do. If the strength is what you want for lets say the sky, use a layer mask to hide it from the details it is eating.

3rd image is way over kill strength. I have never seen these color stripes.

I only use SRDx on beat up slide scans as described above. But I also use it on paper photo scans for the fine white specks that can be so prevalent. I will always use it carefully, 100% here and 50% there.

Garnick's work flow is meticulous and no doubt effective. I am getting close to finishing a 9500 mostly Kodachrome slide project. My work flow is a bit more production but works well for my needs. I use a very small Senco air compressor made for nail guns at 70 psi. Has a water filter that doesn't seem to do anything. At the end of the blast it may emit some moisture so I just move the air gun away from the slide before releasing it. I hold the slide about 7 inches away from the air gun. This removes the big dust. Then I use a 3/4 inch fine artist brush, Sunburst bristles, and brush both sides. There will always be very fine dust remaining as seen with a magnifying glass. Seems to stick to the emulsion side mostly. The SF8 iSRD inferred tool seems to remove this well.

I pass every scan through PS doing any more needed clean up, apply Neat Image NR, and Focus Magic sharpening.
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earlybird

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Re: Automatic Retouching and Enhancement
« Reply #10 on: May 18, 2019, 10:49:22 pm »

Thank you for sharing the comments.

I enjoy doing work by hand, but wanted to learn if there are any other options to consider.

Here are 25% scale examples of the same test slide. I did not clean it before digitizing. I touched it up with Photoshop CS6's clone and healing tools.

Thank you.

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Garnick

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Re: Automatic Retouching and Enhancement
« Reply #11 on: May 19, 2019, 09:13:17 am »

Hi Saiguy,

Just a little tip in case you might not be aware.  "Then I use a 3/4 inch fine artist brush, Sunburst bristles, and brush both sides".   If you were to use the compressed air to do a couple of bursts on the brush that would probably set up a static charge on the bristles that would also attract any dust particles still left on the slide. Not sure that would work, but perhaps worth trying and it might make the brush even more effective.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2019, 09:19:23 am by Garnick »
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Gary N.
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saiguy

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Re: Automatic Retouching and Enhancement
« Reply #12 on: May 19, 2019, 10:10:09 am »

Hi Garnick,
I blast the brush occasionally to clean it. Will look to see if it is more effective afterwards. Will be a few days before I scan again.

Hi Earlybird,
Seeing the full image now, that is not a good candidate for SRDx. It works best on small specks.
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