Removing scratches

Discussion in 'Develop, Process and Print' started by Lesley Jones, Jul 29, 2012.

  1. Lesley Jones

    Lesley Jones Otherwise know as Zooey

    I don't know if this is the right section, but it's about scanned film and further processing. I'm still working through another back log, but once that is done I have several decades of film to scan. Now I did some a few years ago when I had the Coolscan and the scratch repair, only it didn't work on black and white. The Coolscan died and I have a replacement, but it either doesn't do scratch repair at all, or it still doesn't work on black and white. (Sorry... it's been a while since I used it). I've had various people processing my film over the years - some clearly weren't even capable of doing pushed film. One guy was good until I scanned the negatives and honestly... it looks as though he went over them with a Brillo pad. I think he was keen to remove drying marks, but I have a few of those too.

    In the past it would have taken hours to repair the damage. I rather stupidly applied the PS dust and scratch filter to the entire image and although I only used mild settings, I'm sure I have lost some of the detail. I intend to rescan, but I need a better method. I thought I spotted something a while ago, but I forget exactly how it was done and now I can't find the article. I think it went along the lines of using a very strong dust and scratch removal on a duplicate layer and then putting a transparent layer between the two. Group the top with the middle and then... would it have been painting over with the brush set to darken? I think the idea was only the pixels in the top image that were darker than the bottom image would be copied, so even if you used a wide brush, only the thin scratch would be affected.

    I need to test this later, but if anyone has any suggestions I would be most grateful :)
  2. Mark Grant

    Mark Grant Canon user

    Cant help with the photoshop type of scratch removal but try Vuescan and rescan and try the various options

    VueScan Scanner Software for Windows 8, Mac OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion), Linux, iPhone, iPad, iPod

    Saves hours of work when scanning old slides etc.

    An example here that shows scratch removal.
    VueScan - Film Scanner software

    If it does what you want it is worth paying for the professional version for free lifetime updates, I paid for it about 10 years ago so have had my moneys worth of free updates :)
  3. Lesley Jones

    Lesley Jones Otherwise know as Zooey

    Thanks for this Mark. I'm sure someone more technical can confirm, but I think that kind of removal uses infrared and can't be used on black and white negatives or Kodachrome slides. My deceased Coolscan was bought around 2006 and the digital ICE was great, but only with colour negative film. There may have been developments, but I don't keep up with them. My replacement scanner came with the Silverfast software that is also pretty good. It still doesn't remove scratches on most of my film though :(
  4. adrian jordin

    adrian jordin Member

    You could always put the raw scan up here for people to experiment with. I'm not aware of any standard methods for dust and scratch removal, but I'm sure people would be happy to experiment and see what they come up with.
  5. Lesley Jones

    Lesley Jones Otherwise know as Zooey

    That's the problem at the moment Adrian. I don't have any raw scans. Before I understood about non-destructive editing I did everything on the background layer. I've just tried to find something to try the method I described and the damage has already been removed. I don't really want to dig out the scanner and the film until I'm ready to start - it's going to take ages to figure out Silverfast again.

    However... I did try the method on cat whiskers and it does seem to work. I'm not entirely sure about the dust and scratch filter though. It seems to leave a bit of a "tide mark" around the edges. I might have to experiment with other types of blurring...
  6. Beth Anthony

    Beth Anthony Well-Known Member

    i scanned and 'shopped a bunch of photos of my grandfather a few years ago that needed retouched. what i did was duplicate the layer, used the clone tool (or even some selective blurring in spots) pretty quickly and sloppily. duplicated it twice, set the blending mode of one layer to lighten and the other to darken. then used masks to fill the lighten/darken layers in overtop of the lighter scratches and darker spots.
  7. Joan West

    Joan West Trade Member: Photo Imaging North Wales

    Stuart Little did a video on retouching 35mm scans in Photoshop & Camera Raw which was very good but it was quite a while ago so I'm not sure that it is still on-line, I may have saved the video at home I'll have a look tomorrow.
    But if you would like to have a gander around the web he works under the name of "a Little Photoshop"

  8. Lesley Jones

    Lesley Jones Otherwise know as Zooey

    Many thanks ladies! That does sound like the method I'm after Beth, only you've taken it a stage further. I think I will have to practice a blurring method that doesn't leave a tell-tale mark.

    Joan - I had a look for Stuart Little, but his new site seems to be "coming soon". I'll save it as a favourite and keep checking back. He looks like someone to watch :)
  9. Joan West

    Joan West Trade Member: Photo Imaging North Wales

    Nope, can't locate the Stuart Little video but I vaguely recall writing out the steps, I'll have another root around over the weekend.

  10. Joan West

    Joan West Trade Member: Photo Imaging North Wales

    Here it is, looks a bit involved but once you get into the swing it's OK

    Stuart Little's 35mm Slide Retouching
    Open in camera raw, change size in workflow options, increase the size by 2, put a tick in "open as smart object" - then use crop tool 2x3 or 3x2 - straighten if needed - adjust image to suit don't add clarity at this point, use spot removal brush for small bits and bobs (not big stuff).

    For local adjustments use the adjustment brush with all sliders reset - then use the adjustment brush to add clarity, saturation etc to ares that need it.

    Open as a smart object in Photoshop - save as a PSD - add blank layer - use clone/patch etc for bigger bits and bobs then either flatten or use ctrl + alt + shift + E to give a flattened layer but keeping layers intact if prefered.

    Use adjustment layers to finish if required.

    Hope this is of help.

  11. Lesley Jones

    Lesley Jones Otherwise know as Zooey

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