Photo Restoration. Advanced Techniques – Matching grain in compressed images

Ok so now we know a little about Image Resolution and how it might help us with photo restoration.

Lets now take a look at some advanced techniques to help with restoring old photographs.

If you need to restore a photo that comes in JPG format and has had its fair share of compression applied to it and you cannot do anything about for whatever reason, then have to work with what you have. Repairing it can be tricky as the dreaded JPG artefacts and slurred pixels can be a problem. Valuable parts of the image can be lost, particularly when working at finer detail levels.

Let me cite an example. Figure in a dress saved as JPG and the face has suffered a bit from compression artefacts and some detail has been lost. One way to fix this would be to artistically paint in using brushes and dodge and burn tools to recreate parts of the face. This will, of course, look too smooth. You can add grain as a fix but it doesn’t always work as it looks too uniform or doesn’t match the base image. With a combination of painting on a new layer over the original and trying to clone in some grain from below can help but also if you save out your new layer to a JPG and play with the compression settings, you will find that you can get some very similar JPG artefacts on your saved layer as the base layer. When its pasted back in you can then match the grain and base image a little easier than before.

The other alternative is to try to re-work the original file and introduce some subtle noise to change the texture of the underlying image. You can use this new texture on which to base anything that you add back in. Anything new you create can be matched to the texture so that everything blends in.

If you want a photo restoration and don’t know where to start, check out my main photo repair page for more details on how I can help you and how you can hire me.

Image-restore Restoring your photos across the uk