Got an old shoebox full of old pictures up in the attic, basement or closet? Go get it and scan the images into your computer and let’s play…
Here is an old scratched up, covered in dust picture and nope, I don’t know who that is.
Open your picture in Ps.
IMPORTANT: Copy your image to a new layer. This way you are not changing your original picture, you know, in case you mess up or want to go back to it down the road.
In the layers tab, click and drag the Background down to the ‘Create a new layer’ icon and let go. You should now have a Background copy.
Make sure that the copy is highlighted / selected so all our changes are being made to that copy. If we mess up, we can delete that copy and start all over again.
So, Ps has a filter that is really quite perfect for just this scenario. It is called …wait for it… Dust & Scratches. On the menu go to Filter – Noise – Dust & Scratches… this will open the Dust & Scratches window.
Check the Preview box and play with the Radius and Threshold to see how it affects your picture. Click OK when done. If you want to know in more detail about what this filter does, feel free to google it.
I chose these settings; it eliminated a lot of the white scratches and softened the entire picture. Now we move on to the Patch Tools to finish the job.
Note: Patch tools are not to be confused with the Clone or Pattern Stamp Tools. The Patch Tools blend the pixel data together where as the Stamp Tools do not.
Select the Spot Healing Brush Tool and select the size you want to work with at the top by clicking on the black arrow to the right of the size box .
Click and hold down the mouse button on a white spot and move the mouse around until the white spot is covered then let go of the mouse button and Ps will attempt to fix the selected area.
If you don’t like the outcome of a fix, use Ctrl + Z to undo. You can try again or leave it to be fixed with a different tool later.
Here is what my image looks like after I finished using the Spot Healing Brush Tool.
Now I will use the Healing Brush Tool to get rid of the white spot on the shoulder and hair line.
This tool will clone from a selected area and apply this to the area you tell it to. In this case I will Alt + click right next to the white spot on his shoulder to select a spot from his suit. Now as you move the mouse you’ll notice that it moves with it the selected area. Move the area over the white spot where you want to apply this selection and click.
Make sure you stay out of the dark background area. Use Ctrl + Z if you don’t like the outcome.
I am now going to increase my brush size and select an area that has half suit and half background and finish off the white spot.
Now the hairline…
Now you have seen what is possible…
I will quit here but you can certainly continue experimenting with the different tools to take it even further if you so wish.
Let me very quickly summarize the Patch Tools:
Spot Healing Brush Tool: Click or click and drag over the area to fix and Ps will fix using its own interpretation.
Healing Brush Tool: Alt + click the area to clone from. Click or click and drag over the area to fix and Ps will use the cloned data to fix the area.
Patch Tool (which we did not use): Select the area to fix and drag it into the area to clone from.
Cheers for now.