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In Photoshop Elements 9: Scanning and Restoring Photos, professional photo restorer Janine Smith shows how to bring new life to old photos. The course begins with a look at the types of photos that may require restoration, including slides, negatives, prints, and newspaper photos, and options for scanning them. She discusses the types of scanners that are available, from flatbed to film, and the best settings to use for originals. The course then delves into Photoshop Elements tools and techniques to help restore clarity to faded photos and fix problems such as dust, scratches, and tears. Exercise files are included with the course.
Old photos will never look new, no matter how much you restore them, nor should they. You can however make an old document look new by taking out the age, color and cloning way all the damage, but why would you want to. The trick to restoring historical documents is to just fix areas of text of writing and leave the rest of it alone. Here's just one way to fix text. Begin by duplicating your original layer by using keyboard shortcut Ctrl on a PC Command on a Mac plus j. Zoom in very- very close to your work using the zoom tool this little magnifying glass, lets go right here, lets go down back one using Ctrl or Command minus key to about 100%.
With an area like this one is actually better to leave it alone, if this was just missing type it would be super easy to fix and so would repairing this discoloration. But ending this rip so it looks natural is a bit more advanced and time-consuming. So we're going to move on to another area. Let's move down here, where this name is partially missing. In the case of a partially missing historical signature, if you have no other reference to sample from, it's better to leave it the way it is.
A signature is unique and you can't change it, but in this case this name is repeated twice and it's all been written by the same person. So what we want to do is go over here let's look at this W its rather distinctive and see if one of these matches up and I think this one actually does a little better so work on a borrow this name right here. So let's go over here and get our Lasso tool and we are going to select around it and grab it.
Now we're going to put it on its own layer Ctrl+J on a PC, Command+J on a Mac and go over here and did you move tool, we're going to just move that down, lets move our screen, we're going to click on it and move it down and put it right there and your match up line will be this line right here, if you need to tweak it use your downward arrow key, your up arrow key and your right and left. If you want to check where it is, see if it's basically in the right area, lower the Opacity and bring it back up if you like where it's at then you need to go over here to your Eraser tool and lower Opacity to around 20%.
Let's go back with our magnifying glass or zoom tool, get in one more step and back to our Eraser tool. Now we're going to take pieces out at a low Opacity and try to blend this two areas in. If you have this big area and you know that you're a long way from something you're going to need like to blend there's a big blank space, bring your Eraser back up, erase the portion, get it nice and clean and then lower your Opacity again.
There's no one setting through the whole restoration for anything. You're going to be changing all the time. To make this look a little more authentic like the rip didn't happened as deep into the signature as it did, take a little bit off the P may be even little off the E and get this edge right here.
Don't make it go away completely because then there would be no point in fixing it like this. Just get your whole edge so there's no hard edge that's the point in a low Opacity Eraser is to leave the soft edge and a good blend, just to be safe go over here on this line that we've replaced and get it so the one under it shows like that.
Okay lets zoom out and see what we've done here and his name is complete again, lets see our before and after. Even though the signature isn't completely the same, it was all written by the same hand so it's perfectly all right. Document restoration requires a little different workflows and photos most of the time, but its still much the same process, work close up, take your time and be sure to keep that old paper look and feel of the document.
Put your original in an archival plastic sleeve and keep it flat. Frame and display your restoration with a good restoration no one will know the difference.
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