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Reassembling torn photos

From: Photo Restoration with Photoshop

Video: Reassembling torn photos

Stuff happens, and sometimes bad stuff happens to good photographs--things like them getting ripped and torn into pieces. If you're lucky enough to have all the pieces and luckier still to have them in separate pieces and not taped together by some well-meaning ancestor, it's not as hard as you think to put them back together digitally. If you're able to scan the pieces yourself, lay them out in the general order in which they belong, with plenty of space in between pieces. Duplicate the original layer using Ctrl+J on a PC, Command+J on a Mac.

Reassembling torn photos

Stuff happens, and sometimes bad stuff happens to good photographs--things like them getting ripped and torn into pieces. If you're lucky enough to have all the pieces and luckier still to have them in separate pieces and not taped together by some well-meaning ancestor, it's not as hard as you think to put them back together digitally. If you're able to scan the pieces yourself, lay them out in the general order in which they belong, with plenty of space in between pieces. Duplicate the original layer using Ctrl+J on a PC, Command+J on a Mac.

Now move over to your toolbar and select your Magic Wand tool, and in the Duplicate layer, click on the background space, the white space. Now use Ctrl+X or Command+X to delete. Hide the visibility of the background layer, and there's all your transparency. Now we need to get the separate layers into their own layers. In the toolbar, select the Lasso tool and draw a selection around one of the pieces.

Once you have it selected, use Ctrl+J or Command+J, put it on its own layer. When you do your next piece, be sure to go back to the duplicate layer where all the pieces are and not on the layer where you just put that other piece on, and select another piece. Try to get a good distance away, but if you do have a space here that goes into the image, simply hold down your Shift key and select the area again.

It's going in there, and it'll open it up. Now hit Ctrl+J or Command+J to put it on its own layer. Continue to put all the pieces on their own layer, but for time's sake we are going to jump ahead and see what all these pieces look like once they're on their own layer. Now we have all the pieces on their own layer. If we make some of these invisible, you can see how each one is on its own layer now. Now you want to take your largest piece and move it to the top of the layer stack.

This will be our main layer and most of the pieces are going to slide under it. With your Move tool selected, make sure your Auto-Select check box is checked here at the top and click on one of the smaller pieces. We want to move this over in its general area, either with your mouse or with the arrow keys, and just try to get it in its general position. Continue with the pieces and if you run into a spot where the edges aren't lining up as they should, use Ctrl+T or Command+T to transform and just move it around. Again, use your arrow keys, or your mouse and rotate it as you need to to get a good fix.

In this case these shadows here, it's a good indicator of where you need to be to align it the correct way. And once you're through with that, you can hit Enter to accept your change. It's all right if there's a small gap and it doesn't line up perfectly. It's more important to make sure that it aligns on the edges. You can take care of this gap later using your Healing tools. Continue putting all your pieces in their areas, in their general area, and line them up as best you can.

Now we have all the pieces where they should be. Select the topmost layer and use keyboard shortcut Shift+Ctrl+Alt+E on a PC or Shift+Command+Option+E on a Mac to put all the pieces on a combined layer. If you're certain all the pieces are exactly where you want them, you could delete all your individual layers now. If not, it's better to be safe than sorry and leave them where they are. Now continue on with all these cracks as if they are a regular restoration and these are creases and rips, and you go over to your, say, for instance, your Patch tool and you begin working on that just as you would, a normal rip or tear.

And you have all of them taken care of. So now let's see what this will look like after you've spent the time repairing the rips. With a little care and making sure you get everything aligned, you can see how this looks like it never had a rip in it to begin with. Even though a photograph that's been torn into pieces may look like a lost cause, that's rarely the case, as long as all of the pieces are still there. With time, patience, and practice you can put a photo back together.

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This video is part of

Image for Photo Restoration with Photoshop
Photo Restoration with Photoshop

70 video lessons · 15653 viewers

Janine Smith
Author

 
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  1. 1m 33s
    1. Welcome
      48s
    2. What you should know before watching this course
      13s
    3. Using the exercise files
      32s
  2. 16m 47s
    1. Customizing your workspace
      2m 17s
    2. Using layers
      1m 58s
    3. Assessing the damage
      1m 52s
    4. Rebuilding color channels in a grayscale image
      3m 47s
    5. Using a Black & White adjustment layer
      1m 57s
    6. Using the Clone Stamp, Healing Brush, and Patch tools
      4m 56s
  3. 27m 30s
    1. Fixing a faded black-and-white photo
      2m 20s
    2. Removing small splits, specks, and spots
      3m 44s
    3. Repairing red-eye
      4m 58s
    4. Reducing paper texture
      4m 34s
    5. Reducing dot patterns in printed photos
      3m 51s
    6. Fixing lens distortion
      4m 19s
    7. Straightening a crooked image
      3m 44s
  4. 24m 16s
    1. Fixing large rips, tears, and other damage
      3m 9s
    2. Removing long scratches
      3m 24s
    3. Fixing creases
      5m 8s
    4. Stitching large photos using Photomerge
      3m 17s
    5. Reassembling torn photos
      4m 56s
    6. Replacing missing pieces
      4m 22s
  5. 27m 55s
    1. Removing stains
      3m 48s
    2. Removing ink marks
      2m 34s
    3. Repairing adhesive tape damage on a black-and-white photo
      2m 14s
    4. Repairing adhesive tape damage on a color photo
      6m 1s
    5. Fixing mold damage
      5m 20s
    6. Reducing starburst light glare
      5m 11s
    7. Reducing eyeglass light glare
      2m 47s
  6. 21m 32s
    1. Understanding the basics of levels
      2m 50s
    2. Understanding the basics of curves
      3m 29s
    3. Finding the black, white, and gray points in an image
      3m 28s
    4. Adjusting color levels by channel
      1m 58s
    5. Making selective contrast adjustments
      4m 48s
    6. Adjusting image shadows and highlights
      4m 59s
  7. 18m 13s
    1. Adjusting color with the Photo Filter adjustment
      2m 23s
    2. Correcting color casts using inverse color correction
      3m 2s
    3. Correcting color problems using the Color Balance adjustment
      3m 19s
    4. Correcting color casts using the Variations command
      3m 55s
    5. Correcting color by combining levels and curves
      1m 44s
    6. Improving color by adjusting the hue and saturation
      3m 50s
  8. 33m 14s
    1. Removing distracting elements
      5m 35s
    2. Repairing and recreating backgrounds
      7m 43s
    3. Extracting areas using masks
      5m 5s
    4. Matching colors in elements you add
      4m 11s
    5. Matching textures
      4m 45s
    6. Replacing facial features and missing body parts
      5m 55s
  9. 29m 59s
    1. Converting to black and white
      4m 48s
    2. Enhancing faded color
      3m 30s
    3. Smoothing a subject's skin
      4m 2s
    4. Enhancing black-and-white photos with duotone
      2m 34s
    5. Enhancing the eyes
      4m 10s
    6. Bringing out facial features with light
      5m 22s
    7. Sharpening
      5m 33s
  10. 32m 32s
    1. Assessing the damage
      1m 26s
    2. Repairing the crack
      1m 52s
    3. Replacing the missing body parts
      3m 5s
    4. Removing the specks, spots, and scratches
      3m 7s
    5. Fixing the missing corner
      1m 14s
    6. Lightening the stains
      5m 22s
    7. Restoring the faded tone in the face
      3m 8s
    8. Balancing the tone in the image
      1m 58s
    9. Evening the color with a Black & White adjustment layer
      49s
    10. Cleaning up the image
      2m 24s
    11. Adding definition to the face
      2m 20s
    12. Softening the image
      58s
    13. Sharpening the image
      2m 4s
    14. Bringing back some of the original tone
      1m 34s
    15. Comparing the image before and after
      1m 11s
  11. 24s
    1. Final thoughts
      24s

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