Reconstructing body parts and faces is the most difficult part of a photo restoration. Recreating correct skin tones, facial likeness, body shapes is crucial for a life-like restoration. I’ve covered some aspects in a previous post “rebuilding body parts in photo restoration” Here is an image that required even more work.
Restoring body part of an inkjet image
The image is an inkjet print or a home-printed image that has the special coating peeling away from the paper base. At first sight, it just looks like a crack. Further investigation shows that 3 hands, a nose, an eye, armpit, bikini top and bottom, cleavage, armbands, and an Iguana throat all need repair!
For this image, I made a scan at 1200DPI giving me an enormous 9000 odd high pixel image and open it in Photoshop. I don’t normally work this high a resolution but I was not taking chances with not enough data to work with.
I started by clearing away the light dust and scratches which peppered the entire photo. The reconstruction started with cloning skin into place, then patching to match in the tones and texture. This can also be achieved with the healing brush tool, by choosing some texture from one area and “healing” it over another. Once I had skin in all the area that needed it I did the same for the clothing. Fingers were cut out and replicated and manipulated with “warp” just like in the link at the top of this post. The armpit was tricky to get looking right but essentially used the clone and patch/heal method.
Restoring the face
The boy’s face required me to fix the right eye and the flip, and shrink and distort for use as the other eye. The nose skin was cloned and shaded with dodge and burn tools. This is where the highlights are enhanced and the shadows are darkened to give shape and form. The Iguana throat was borrowed from a photo I found on the web.
The photo was then carefully evened out with dodge and burn tools where skin looked patchy or the background looked uneven. The whole process took around 4 hours.
I was very pleased with the results as was my client.
If you find your holiday photos in need of repair visit the photo restoration page to see how I can help.