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Repairing and recreating backgrounds

From: Photo Restoration with Photoshop

Video: Repairing and recreating backgrounds

Nine times out of ten, when recreating and repairing backgrounds, all the information you need is in the image itself. For example, when we're building the trees in this image, why go looking for an outside source of the tree to add to the image when there's plenty of trees right here to choose from? The only thing you need to do is to make sure it doesn't look like an exact clone of the trees. Begin by going to the Create a new layer icon at the bottom of the Layers panel and click to add a new blank layer on top of the background.

Repairing and recreating backgrounds

Nine times out of ten, when recreating and repairing backgrounds, all the information you need is in the image itself. For example, when we're building the trees in this image, why go looking for an outside source of the tree to add to the image when there's plenty of trees right here to choose from? The only thing you need to do is to make sure it doesn't look like an exact clone of the trees. Begin by going to the Create a new layer icon at the bottom of the Layers panel and click to add a new blank layer on top of the background.

Next, we'll go over to our Tool panel and select our Clone Stamp tool. We need to recreate this line of trees right here, so a good place to begin would be this line over here, which is basically on the same level. So hold down your Alt or your Option key and select a point to start cloning from. I keep my little preview up, which started with Photoshop CS4, because I like to keep an eye on where I'm going to start, and that's a good way to do that.

If the tones are radically different, let's not worry about that right now. We're just trying to get our trees filled in. One of the keys of cloning this much area is to change your source point often. You see I'm getting into a real danger zone here; I'm getting into the roof of this house. So I need to change my source point and continue doing that. Also, because you don't want an area to look like an exact clone and if you keep going just in one source point, it's going to look like an exact clone, because it will be an exact clone.

Just change that up very often. We'll get some other tones in here--not the sky. Just go back over it. We'll get this area here. I don't want an exact clone of all these things, so I need to go back over this area. Be careful of all the little landmines you can run into. These stones look like they're in a pattern, so we can just reuse that and go along with it. Bring the road out a little bit.

I'm going to sample far down this grass right here, because I don't want to get too close to the area. Just try to keep it looking natural, as it would occur in nature. There obviously wouldn't be a piece of a road or the edge of a photo in nature sticking right there. If you see a pattern that reoccurs like these rocks, just continue that pattern. Straighten this line up right here. Now this isn't going to be perfect of course, because of the sake of time, but this really doesn't take that long to do this sort of thing.

You just have to be careful that you're not obviously going over areas. Readjust your brush size. You can hold down your open and closed bracket keys, make your brush a little bigger. Try to keep it smaller on areas like the trees, because they have those patterns that you don't want to get stuck in. But areas like the sky, you can make your brush probably a bit bigger. Now you see this area right here and this area right here is an exact clone.

So that's going to look pretty bad. Don't want my brush that big. Get another source point, just go over that. And we can also fix it in another way, which I'll show you in just a second. Lighten the sky up here tight here. Let's say we want maybe another bit of large tree. So what we'll do is go to our Background layer and select one of your selection tools. I'll use the Lasso tool. And let's put a selection around this taller tree and put it on its own layer using Ctrl+J or Command+J. Now I'm going to move it up at the top of the layer stack so it's over the cloned area we just did.

Go up to Edit > Transform > Flip Horizontal and then use your Move tool. Let's slide it over here so it's peeking out of the edge. Now one thing we're going to want to get rid of, see this little area in the tree, this round area? That identifies that as being a clone to me. So go back to your Clone Stamp, hold down Alt or Option. Let's lower our brush with our open bracket key, Alt or Option, select another area, just go over that. That's a little better.

Now we want to blend it, so you can go over to your Eraser tool. Lower the Opacity to around 20%, and just go lightly over the areas where you can see how you cut it from another area. The 20% opacity is just whittling away at it very, very lightly. If you don't like an area, just lightly go over it. And maybe use your Move tool and your arrow keys, take it over just a little bit. Just have it peeking through.

Now we want to blend our areas in just a little bit, so we're going to have to combine our layers. We're going to use our Patch tool, which we can't use on a blank layer; it has to be used on an image layer itself. So hold down Shift+Ctrl+Alt+E on a PC, Shift+Command+Option+E on a Mac to make a new combined layer. Go over and select your Patch tool, and let's start to patch some of the areas that look a little obvious. Bring them in together, bring it all together here.

Be careful for not to smudged areas. Blended, yes; smudgy, no. I want to blend the bottom of this tree in with the area on the bottom. It can look like some trees are going over it. That's okay with me. But again, be careful with the Patch tool not to make it look too cloned. These areas right here are repeat, repeat, repeat, and look very cloned.

That brings things together just a little bit. If you have areas in the sky you need to patch and get blended, that's good. Areas here at the edge of your road, just look real close, blend everything together. That's not perfect, but it's pretty good. Let's look at the before and then after we cloned in our new trees. All in all, not too bad. It could be cleaned up a little, but you don't have to crop your photo.

You have a nice new area, and hopefully no one will ever know that was cloned in. You have to admit, that was a pretty quick fix. If you take your time and just watch what you're doing and be sure not to repeat, hopefully no one is ever going to be able to know it wasn't like that right out of the camera. The key is to not panic, be careful of the details, and make sure everything looks like it goes together. Keep this in mind, and you'll be fixing instead of cropping in no time.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Photo Restoration with Photoshop
Photo Restoration with Photoshop

70 video lessons · 15598 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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