Software to repair old torn photos

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by ellison64, Oct 9, 2009.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. ellison64

    ellison64 Registered Member

    A relative has asked me to print some old photos of her family from the originals ,which are not in very good condition.On some of the photos theres part of a corner missing for instance.What would be the best and easiest software (free or paid) that i could use to restore such a photo?.Ideally as well as the basic ,clone blur and sharpen tools ,id like something that would allow me to copy the left hand corner of the photo ,and mirror image it to the right,so it looks like the corners not missing.Is there simple software that would allow me to do that?Something simple like photodeluxe but for vista.
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2009
  2. jrmhng

    jrmhng Registered Member

    I presume you mean you would like to scan them in and patch it up? I haven's used it personally but you could try Photoshops Elements which goes for around $100. If you want a free solution, you can also try Picasa. Otherwise there's Paint.NET.
  3. TheKid7

    TheKid7 Registered Member

    I have almost no experience with photo editing/touching-up. However, many people say that GIMP is on about the same level as Adobe Photoshop Elements and GIMP is free.
  4. Pinga

    Pinga Registered Member

    The best way is not the easiest way. I'd use Photoshop (or Gimp) and do it by hand... it's a lot of work but well worth it.

    It is better to copy pixels from a place as close as possible to the missing corner to avoid colour differences. Add a bit of noise, then use Gaussian blur to blend them together nicely. Keep it as minimally invasive as possible; practice makes perfect.
  5. ellison64

    ellison64 Registered Member

    Thanks for all replies.Im currently downloading and trying all those suggested as well as trialing the paid ones.I must say im not finding any of them as easy to use as i expected( compared to my old photodeluxe),but i guess ill persevere.
  6. twl845

    twl845 Registered Member

    I have been using Photoshop Elements v3 for a few years, and recently restored quite a few old photos with it. It did a nice job, but you have to remember that most old photos have cracks, fingerprints, fading and dirt embedded in them.
  7. ellison64

    ellison64 Registered Member

    I havent trialed that one yet.The only one so far that does a little of what i want easily is ashampoo 7 total commander however that frequently stops responding on my setup and i have to close it.I basically have a rectangular photo with the top right corner missing ,and torn at a 30 degree angle.So what i wanted to do was too copy the left hand corner of the photo and flip it over so that it looks like the photo is whole.However there are so many options in the others that ive tried ,that im simply overwhelmed,and finding it difficult to accomplish
  8. Meltdown

    Meltdown Registered Member

  9. agentsil

    agentsil Registered Member

    im using adobe photoshop to restore or retouch the old photos..
    here is some of my samples..
    AgentSil Artworks
  10. JRViejo

    JRViejo Global Moderator

    ellison64, take a look at Photoscape, a little bit easier to work with than most.
  11. bigc73542

    bigc73542 Retired Moderator

    I have been an administrator on two graphics forums for a couple of years and from experience none of the graphics programs are very easy to learn in a short time. it is just the nature of the beast. For a faster learning curve I would recommend or Gimp, both free. All of the rest are kind of a pain in the butt.:blink:
  12. bgoodman4

    bgoodman4 Registered Member

    Maybe so but once you do learn to use them,,,,especially PS, there is very little you could not do. Want to see what a master could do with PS? Check out < > for example and < > for much more.

    Now you do not need anywhere the level of skill that you will find at the previously linked to pages. For the most part if you play a bit with the clone tool (use a feathered brush) to get a bit of a feel for it you could repair most cracks and rips. The corner section could be trickier unless the 2 corners are very similar in colour/tone and physical structure. Copying a section of the image and flipping it, positioning it, and pasting it in is very easy (you would need to flatten the layered image at this point). Then you would use the clone tool again to blend the joint. Sounds tricker than it is.

    ellison64, if you need (would like) some help feel free to contact me directly by PM and I will try to walk you through the process (but check out the links below first, then if you have any questions drop me a line). PS Elements should be quite adequate for this. My Gimp usage has dropped off dramatically over the past few years as PS became ever more powerful so I would not be able to be much help with it (I use some of the tools in Gimp but it really is more a supplemental tool for me these days).

    There is no comparison between the capability of The Gimp and PS. PS is by far the more powerful, especially the more recent releases. You can now work with and in 3D models in CS3 (possibly CS2 as well and certainly the current release). And PS has what is called non-destructive editing capabilities which is really nice to have (but both of these are more advanced than nec for this project).

    bigc73542 is correct though, none of the GOOD programs will be easy to learn to use in any comprehensive way but as noted above you do not need to do this if you are going to focus one one or two specific techniques.

    Now all that being said I just did a google search using the search terms - torn photo repair - and the result can be found below. There may be something there to help you. photo repair.&btnG=Search&meta=

    Also, lots of PS tutorials and how too pages on this subject can be found at photo repair photoshop&btnG=Search&meta=

    Tutorials for repairing torn photos with The Gimp may be found here torn photo gimp.&btnG=Search&meta=

    I hope this helps.
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2009
  13. Pinga

    Pinga Registered Member

    The problem with torn photos is that essential information - relatively large parts of the image - is missing. A technical fix would be more or less the equivalent of trying to fix a faulty Excel spreadsheet by throwing extra digits at it.

    So unlike simple retouching of dust particles and common filtering techniques, it becomes a matter of artistry rather than technology. You have to recreate something that isn't there - and doing so requires human assessment and creativity rather than technical perfection, no algorithm can do that for you.

    That's why good tools are so important - and the learning curve is steep. Another important factor to consider is the quality of the original scan, the more DPI the better. In your case I recommend scanning the picture again at a higher resolution so that you have more pixels to play with.
  14. twl845

    twl845 Registered Member

    Although I agree that PS is the best, I wonder if the poster wants to invest that much money and learning curve to repair the corner of a photo. :p
  15. bgoodman4

    bgoodman4 Registered Member

    PS Elements is not that expensive for what it does and unless the images are very badly damaged it should be sufficient to do the job. Also selection, copy paste & position, basic layer usage, and the use of the clone tool will not entail much of a learning curve IMO. Mind you The Gimp will allow for these basic functions so perhaps that is the way to go in this instance after-all.
  16. ellison64

    ellison64 Registered Member

    Thanks to everyone for replies and suggestions and especially to pinga for sorting the photo out for me.Ive decided to get ps elements 6 which seems cheap enough at amazon resellers,and have a go with that.I dont really want to fork out the extra for the newer versions .So thanks again everyone for links and suggestions.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.