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Asking for feedback on conference syllabus: Do It Yourself Photo Restoration


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I am presenting a session at a national genealogical conference next spring. The subject is historic photograph restoration within the capabilities of Paint.NET. (It is not a users' guide to Paint.NET.)

 

If anyone is willing to give feedback about the extended syllabus (37 pages!), I would greatly appreciate it. Most of you know more about Paint.NET or photograph restoration than I do.

 

Presentations are 60 minutes and the official syllabus can be no longer than 4 pages. I have to limit the number of topics, techniques, and plugins I mention. But I'd like to know if I've really missed the mark.

 

The syllabus is currently in outline form, but I wanted your feedback before I reduce it to paragraph form.

 

The syllabus in PDF format is available at https://dl.dropbox.com/u/40666431/Do%20It%20Yourself%20Photo%20Restoration%202013-01-01.pdf

 

Thank you very much,

 

The Ancestry Insider

http://ancestryinsider.blogspot.com

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First of all, thank you SO much for adding the notice about the download buttons. If you read through the general discussion threads, it comes up quite often because the ads are so deceiving (yes, they are simply very sneaky advertizements).

Very comprehensive tutorial on photo restoration! It reminds me a lot of this tutorial from a while back, but with a lot more detail.

I think you can lump together a lot of the large spot/scratch/dust/fold removal into this method (I'm not sure if the images in that link are gone or if they simply aren't loading) and the small ones into this one.

The first one takes the guesswork out of cloning, so I prefer it to the clone tool

The second on works well for small spots because, within a small area, there usually isn't much color variation so instead of worrying about picking a good anchor point, simply select the color of a nearby pixel and airbrush over the spot. Nobody will ever know the difference.

In short, the simpler the better. Keep the number of ways to do the same thing at a minimum, and try to make one method work for more than one purpose. The less your audience has to memorize, the more they will absorb.

As far as missing the mark goes, you were spot on for most of it...I only disagreed when you said GIMP was more powerful than Paint.net. Paint.net's power comes from its plugins. With the right plugins, you can do everything GIMP does and more. Name one thing GIMP does that Paint.net doesn't (other than vector paths...paint.net is strictly a raster image editing program), and I'll find a way to do it in Paint.net. Examples from your outline: Fuzzy brushes can be imitated, there is a feather selection plugin, and...I'm sorry; I googled "selection mask" and got nothing helpful unless this is what you were talking about--in which case that is the main purpose of selections in paint.net to begin with

Adding to that, when you say "but we can’t do what professional software or professional restorers can accomplish," you really mean to say some of the things professional software can do are difficult to accomplish in paint.net. When talking about raster image editing, you are talking about pixels containing color data. Image editing software simply manipulates that data in different ways. You can manually do all the manipulations if you have the patience, but software makes it easier. In other words, MS paint can do everything Photoshop can if you have the patience. It's just a minor detail that I wanted to point out mostly because I feel statements like that make people underestimate paint.net and wave it off as an "upgraded MS Paint."

Edited by pdnnoob

 

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No, Paint.NET is not spyware...but, installing it is an IQ test. ~BoltBait

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I only disagreed when you said GIMP was more powerful than Paint.net. Paint.net's power comes from its plugins. With the right plugins, you can do everything GIMP does and more. Name one thing GIMP does that Paint.net doesn't (other than vector paths...paint.net is strictly a raster image editing program), and I'll find a way to do it in Paint.net. Examples from your outline: Fuzzy brushes can be imitated, there is a feather selection plugin, and...I'm sorry; I googled "selection mask" and got nothing helpful unless this is what you were talking about--in which case that is the main purpose of selections in paint.net to begin with.

 

Gimp supports color management. Selection masks are providing a simpler workflow. ...

Sorry, but to compare Paint.NET, Gimp, and Photoshop is useless. All depends on your personal experience and the time you like to spend using the software.

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What a great document!  You should be very pleased with it.  I know I would be if someone gave me a copy.  Some notes...

 

1. Paint.NET is free, however donations are welcomed.  Perhaps a hint about donating to fund further Paint.NET/plugin development?

 

2. You might wish to point out that your screenshots show Curves+ - a plugin by our very own Pyrochild and not the original Curves dialog.

 

3. Provide a link to the Plugin section of the forum for those users who want more.  Feel free to link to the Plugin Index as well (forum and/or pdf download).

 

4. PNG is a lossless format - it should be preferred to the JPG format which always causes data loss - even at 100%.  JPG should be recommended ONLY where file size is critical (i.e. web or email).

 

5. Re: TIFF  -  The major drawback for TIFF is that there is a serious lack of support from modern browsers.  The format is therefore a poor choice for web graphics.  Unless you have a critical reason for using TIFF, PNG is always preferred.

 

6. Rotate using Rotate Zoom or Ctrl + A then Move Tool (shortcut M) + right mouse button.

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You may want to check out this plugin: http://forums.getpaint.net/index.php?/topic/25458-remove-dust-from-scanned-photos

Also, you may want to mention that lowering the opacity of the primary color prior to cloning softens the clone. I like somewhere around 10-20%.

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You may want to check out this plugin: http://forums.getpaint.net/index.php?/topic/25458-remove-dust-from-scanned-photos

Also, you may want to mention that lowering the opacity of the primary color prior to cloning softens the clone. I like somewhere around 10-20%.

BoltBait,

 

First let me thank you for your tremendous contributions to the Paint.NET community.

 

I've tried your Remove Dust plugin and decided that it might be designed for a different ppi than I'm using. What dpi should a 4 x 6 photograph be scanned to optimize the effect of your plugin?

 

I'm scanning photographs at 300 dpi (or 600 or 1200 dpi if enlargements are desired). I'm scanning slides at 2000 dpi.

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