The “Dust and Scratch” filter is more useful than you might think. You can use it to remove large amounts of damage from an image.
We often think of the “dust and scratch” filter as being something that removes simple damage. Small dust and tiny flecks that pepper the surface of our images. The kind of dust that is often removed for us, by good negative scanners.
Sure the filter is very effective at what it does, used with a masking layer it can be very effective at removing 100% of the dust from an image.
It is however far more useful. It can be used to clean and remove large areas of damage from a photo in certain circumstances. In the video, I show you how it can be used to remove large areas of damage from the sky in a photo. By pushing the radius way up and the threshold way down, the filer becomes a sky, wall, fabric or any plain textured area cleaner. Careful attention is needed not to overdo the radius as this will soften the underlying texture too much.
The “Dust and Scratch” filter has a tendency to fill the larger areas of damage with a plain fill. The way to get around this is to add some “noise” to the whole filtered image. With some experimentation, the textured noise level can be set to match that of the actual image being restored. With a masking layer on the top, we can remove the damage and leave the parts of the image we do not want to be cleaned up.
Apply this technique to an image that has a sky, wall, painted ceiling, car bodies, sheet metal anything that has a plain texture. It will not work on patterns.
Little tricks like this can really speed up your restoration, there is no need to spend hours restoring something and charge prices based on hours work. Try this out on some practice images and get the hang of it and save yourself some time and your customers some money.
If you want to learn more on texture matching or matching grain, just view the list of blog posts on matching grain