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Thursday, August 19, 2010

ATR #39: Image Size, CD Case Rebuild, SD Card Fix

In this week's show, I reviewed one of my favorite basic teachings in photo restoration: Understanding Image Size.

If you scan a photograph or capture an image with a digital camera, you must keep two basic things in mind: Resolution and Image Size. Image Size is the dimensions of height and width of an image. The resolution of the image (i.e., 300 dpi or ppi) represents the "depth" of an image (or the detail of the image). Technically, there is a related, but different "bit depth" (16-Bit vs 32-Bit is a flammable topic in the digital imaging field).

Recently, I was hired to rebuild a CD cover to be used in a catalog. Rebuild it? Yes indeed! You see, I could not remove the shrink-wrap cover for the case. Of course, when you scan such a thing, the light from the scanner reflects on folds in the shrink-wrap and it makes a nasty mess.

 In order to get rid of the plastic wrap, you need to rebuild the image. Following is an overview of the steps, but watch the video above to see the entire step-by-step.

1. Use the Path Tool to isolate the spots you know you have to keep and are unable to rebuild.
2. Grab the Type Tool and rebuild the affected type, matching the color of the original, and matching the typeface and size.
3. Place the rebuilt type over the image, being careful to match the element of focus, creating a layer which will allow you to rasterize and blur the type to match the original.
4. To rebuild the background, go to layer palette, naming it "brown" (for the background color).  Choose Edit/Fill (blending mode normal) and choose color to match background color.
5.  Use the Layer Palette and mask button to combine the rebuilt sections.

On a final note, I received this great tip from a viewer and fellow photo retoucher, Mr. Bill Greenwood: An excellent solution for dealing with your corrupted SD cards (camera memory chip). Download this simple command line application to rescue it. Yep, that's it! Try it and be sure to post your comments.

Be sure to send questions for me to address in our future shows. No question is too small or complex.

—Edited by Judy Bond for Photo Grafix University

Please send your questions and problem photos, your location—and genealogical society affiliation if appropriate—to Eric for future "Ask The Retoucher" columns. Visit Photo Grafix online for more information.

Eric runs Photo Grafix, a humble photo-retouching studio in Evanston, Illinois (USA), making photo illustrations and improving photos for hundreds of people and companies worldwide. If he doesn't know the answer, he won't rest until he finds it. Eric Basir is at your service: With each "Ask The Retoucher" article, he'll help you successfully tackle your digital photographic problems. 

Interact LIVE with Eric during the weekly Ask The Retoucher Photoshop show, every Saturday at 10 am EDT (9 am CDT, 8 am MDT, 7 am PDT)

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