Repairing a Torn Photograph - (v2.x)


Sadly my father died recently and it was while going through his effects that we found this old photograph of him which bad been taken in Greece during the Second World War. I can only imagine how the print came to be so badly creased and this is a pity because it is a very rare photo showing my father in the uniform of his regiment - the Royal Liverpool Scottish and has, at least to us his family, great sentimental value. Half an hour or so of careful work in Satori will enable me to restore this print to a quality suitable for reproduction and framing. The first step is to scan the image and open it in Satori.

"Before - so badly damaged that digital restoration is really the only option."

Let’s take a closer look at a small area of the photograph to see what problems we face. Use the MAGNIFIER icon on the SHORTCUTS TOOLBAR or the ZOOM AREA button from the ZOOM PALETTE to create a new zoom view. Once you have selected the area you can press HI-REZ to resolve the detail appropriate to the level of zoom. If we look closely at the glass panelled door on the left of the photo we can see that the crease there has left an ugly scar that will need some careful work to remove without trace. The CLONE tool is going to be of use here. From the PAINT ACTIONS PALETTE click CLONE and then, with the cursor inside the zoom window, click the pen/mouse right button to access and select SET CLONE OFFSET. To repair the glazing bars of the door we can copy (clone) from a nearby, but unspoiled, area to that which has been damaged by the crease.


"The CLONE tool has two cursors. One for the source and one for the destination."

Provided that we are careful to determine that the source (unspoiled area) selected will copy to the destination (spoiled area) correctly we can go ahead and start cloning. Any mistakes can be removed at will by use of Satori’s interactive UNDO slider (use the keyboard shortcut CTRL+ Z to access this). In this particular example it is necessary to ensure that the line of offset drawn between the two clone cursors is parallel to the angle of the glazing bars.

"Repeat the process above for all the glazing bars."

Repairs to the panes of the glass themselves actually present less of a problem here as they do not contain much in the way of detail so our cloning can be carried out quite easily from adjacent areas which happen to match.

"After 5 minutes work with the CLONE tool the door is repaired."

At this point we can move on to a new area of detail to repair using the same technique of cloning from nearby, undamaged areas. In all I spent a total of 30 minutes repairing this photograph and the final result is well worth the relatively little effort required. The final acts are to SAVE the canvas file for future editing and to RENDER a bitmap at the size/resolution/format required for output.

"After - no evidence remains to show how badly scored and creased this photograph had become."