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How to make an image's features look similar to another's?

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Hey everyone,


I re-enacted old photos of mine and want the new versions to look like the 20-year-old pictures. Since I'm a beginner in photo editing, adjusting all the colours, contrast, saturation, brightness, etc. by myself never brings up satisfying results. Especially adjusting features only in specific parts of the image (e.g.: make the background darker) seems quite complicated... My questions now are the following:


  1. In Paint.NET, is it possible, to somwhow read out the features of the old picture and use those as basis for the new one? Something like creating a mask of the old Image's look and putting it over the new one? Maybe there is a plugin for that, I don't know...
  2. How can I adjust only specific areas of the photo (like using less contrast and brightness in the background and brighten my face instead)? Selecting those parts via the slingshot- or magic stick- tool creates too clear borders and visible transitions between them and their surroundings...

I'd be thankful for any tips and tricks! ;)

Best regards,


Edited by fr3shb4ng
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Hi there and Welcome to PDN :) .


That is quite a task to take on, even for veterans of PDN.  Here are two Youtube tutorials by a member of ours, which will at least show you a few ways to play around with changing pictures.




I hope watching them will be of help.

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If you have an existing old photo to use as reference, a certain plugin called Color Match will make you browse to your reference photo and try to color match it with your picture, currently opened on Paint.NET. Sometimes it'll work but sometimes not so reliable.


A good plugin to start would be Olden.





Another great tool is Curves+ as its one of my favorites.




Click its drop-down menu and click CMYK. Uncheck cyan, yellow and key. Leave only the magenta on and gently drag its graph just a little upwards. Increasing the magenta would give it a more vintage look. See what you can do when manually adjusting the individual colors alone but increasing the magenta under CMYK mode and red under RGB mode can produce respectable results for a vintage photo. Curves+ is so good a color correction. See what I did on this post.





Also Cross Process, included in the Ed Harvey Plugin pack will do great as well on certain conditions.






Grain, included on this plugin pack can also add some grain to your photos is you like.





You can also use Guassian Blur with a radius of just 1 or 2 cause older photos tend to be a little blurry.



Making adjustments on certain areas without affecting the rest of the picture is a little more tricky and I have my own technique for that. Its a little hard to explain though. For example, I want to make adjustments only on a person in the picture. What I would do is duplicate that layer, uncheck the original bottom layer then select the top layer (the duplicate).  I'd trace the person using lasso and eraser to delete the background and make my adjustments on this layer. I would then show the original bottom layer again but this time, the traced out person on the top layer would obviously be different from the original. I could then merge the layers if I'm satisfied. Sometimes, I'd copy only a portion or the original picture on the bottom background layer using the selection tools and paste that portion on a new transparent layer on top. I'f I'm done with my modifications to it, I'd use a Transparency mode gradient on this top layer so it makes some kind of transition fade against the original background at the bottom. Hope that sheds some light into you.

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For editing specific parts of an image I suggest cutting them out, and having each part and/or area on it's own layer.
Here are some tutorials on how to cut out images :



As for the coloring and aging of the pictures, playing around with different coloring adjustments and coloring plugins is the best way of doing things, as well as taking notice to your old pictures on what it is that's making them look old, like are they blurry or do the photos have artifacts? You've seen old cinima images, right? Some people call those old cinema artifacts, "film grain". Now, the look you want may or may not be film grain, but by looking at your photos and analyzing them, you can look for effects or plugins that might help you replicate their appearance. Ishi has already given you some good ideas to start with, and although I have ideas, I'm not positive on which "old" look you are wanting, which means I don't know which combination of effects or plugins to recommend. 

If you have a sample of the look you want, maybe uploading that and sharing it would help, because then we could suggest more on how to achieve the specific aged look you are trying to create. If you choose to share images, be sure they are no bigger than 800x600 to keep to the forum rules.  (how to upload images)

If you haven't already, try browsing plugin packs too, they have good coloring plugins and great effect plugins :

If your photos do have artifacts that you want to replicate, effects and plugins are nice, but finding another image to add visual effects can work too. For example, you can find texture images, download them, and then add them on their own layer above your photo, and then change their layer's blending mode to whichever blending mode looks best.

Brusheezy is a great place to find texture images : http://www.brusheezy.com/textures

Edited by Cc4FuzzyHuggles
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