114. Repair Major Holes and Tears
BEFORE YOU BEGIN
110 About Removing Scratches, Specks, and Holes
113 Repair Minor Holes and Tears
Photoshop Elements has retouching tools that can take care of most of the small defects in an old photo. They will even take care of some of the larger ones. But once in a while, a picture is missing a big chunk . At some time in the past, it might have been torn or have been mounted in an album with plastic tape (a sworn enemy of photo preservation). The photo might be missing a corner or have holes in it from being mounted on a bulletin board.
114. Repair Major Holes and Tears
Repairing this kind of damage has the same purpose as using the Clone Stamp or the Healing Brush to repair smaller areas: The goal is to replace the bad section of a photo with a good section of the photo. However, when you must repair a large damaged area, using the Clone Stamp or Healing Brush to copy data is not only tedious (you have to move the source often to hide what you're doing) but often leads to poor results despite your best efforts. In this task, I show you a rather tricky approach to filling in big gaps in your photo.
| | Copy Bottom Layer
Open an image in the Editor
in Standard Edit
mode and save it in Photoshop ( *.psd
) format. On the Layers
palette, drag the layer onto the Create a New Layer
button or select Layer, Duplicate
to create a duplicate of the original Background
layer. Rename this new layer Shifted
If the good information you want to use to repair the hole or tear is located in another image, open that image, and adjust its size and resolution to match the image you want to repair. Choose Select, All , and then choose Edit, Copy . Change to the image you want to repair, and choose Edit, Paste to paste the image with the good data onto a new layer. Rename this new layer Shifted .
Shift the Top Layer
On the Layers palette, change the Opacity of the Shifted layer to 50% . This setting lets you see the Background layer as you shift the top layer. You're going to use good pieces of the Shifted layer to cover the holes and tears in the Background layer.
Click the Move tool on the Toolbox . Click the Shifted layer in the image and slowly move it left, right, up, or down until its good portion covers up the area on the Background layer that you want to fill in.
Move the Background Layer to Top
In the Layers palette, reset the Opacity of the Shifted layer to 100%. Convert the Background layer to a regular layer (a process also known as "simplifying") by choosing the Background layer in the Layers palette and choosing Layer, New, Layer from Background . Name the converted layer Image . Simplifying the background layer enables you to move its position in the layer stack.
Click the newly created Image layer in the Layers palette and drag it above the Shifted layer. The Shifted layer is now on the bottom, with the Image layer on top. Notice that the hole in the original image is noticeable once again.
Erase the Damage
On the Layers palette, select the Image layer. In the Toolbox , select the Eraser tool. In the Options bar, set the Mode option to Brush , select a soft-edged brush, and adjust its Size to fit the size of the hole or tear. Set Opacity to 100% .
Start brushing over the damaged area, erasing the top image layer to reveal the undamaged area of the Shifted layer under it.
Merge All Layers
If the shifted data happens to line up with another hole or tear, you can repeat step 4 to repair that damage as well. If not, you'll need to merge the layers, and then repeat steps 1 to 4 to repair any other damaged areas. To merge the layers, choose Layer, Flatten Image .
View the Result
After you've made all necessary repairs to the holes and tears, make any other changes you want, such as removing small spots and creases. Save the PSD file, and then resave the file in JPEG or TIFF format, leaving your PSD image with its layers (if any) intact so that you can return at a later time and make different adjustments if you want.
This old photo of my grandparents and aunt has been through a lot, as you can see. There was a tear in the middle and in one corner; small specks and spots adorned various areas, and it had lost its tone. To repair the damage, I borrowed a good spot in the fence and, following the steps in this task, repaired it. I repeated the process to fix the missing section in the upper-left corner. After merging all layers, I adjusted the contrast and used the Spot Healing Brush on the specks. The result, as you can see, is much improved.