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Correcting a Photograph of an Oil Painting: Removing White Micro Reflections - Spot Remover Not Enough

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40 comments

  • Robert Farhi

    Hi Timothy,

    A new release of Capture One, namely 20.1 is expected before the end of May, which could overcome your issue. Just have a look on the new heal/clone tool performances. No more limitation...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-E8OsQrAOPk

    Robert

    Edit : this is not a NDA breach, as it has been announced officialy by the Capture One Product Manager, Alexander Flemming, through a Capture One video last Tuesday.

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  • Ian Wilson
    Moderator
    Top Commenter

    The trouble with a heal layer, though (until we have the new heal layer enhancement tenmangu81 referred to above) is the lack of multiple source points. I suspect the new tool will do a great job on this, from what I saw on the video, but until then I think it's a better prospect to use Photoshop or Affinity Photo.

    Ian

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  • Robert Farhi

    Yes Walter, but the problem of the running (20.0.4) heal layer is that there is only one possible relation between the source and the target per layer, which means that you have practically to create a new layer for each dot (or micro-reflection in that case).

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  • Ian Wilson
    Moderator
    Top Commenter

    Yes, you can use lots of heals on a layer and I do that too. Nevertheless, it is not always practical to find a suitable source point that will deal with every blemish, as in the hundreds that Timothy has in this case. Th offset from the source point to the blemish has to be the same for every one on that layer (until we have the new tool, which I eagerly await).

    Ian

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  • BeO
    Top Commenter

    Most often for such background blemishes two heal layers each with a different source point is sufficient for me. 20.1 will fix this anyway.

    Meanwhile, did you try the Noise Reduction Single Pixel slider?

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  • Timothy Allen

    All: thank you so much for your suggestions.

    Robert, I look forward to the update.

    Ian, what would I do in Affinity Photo?  (I have it.)

    Also, is there no way for me to go about this by selecting a value range (meaning, all light dots within a mask area) and then just darkening them some how?  Just wondering if it is possible to find a fix without have to click every dot, but instead do so through a "select color/value" method.    

    Thanks again.

    Tim

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  • Robert Farhi

    Hi Timothy,

    It depends about the difference in brightness between your micro-reflections and the rest of the painting. If it is large, you can try a layer with a Luma range, which selects a luminosity range to work on (or out).

    Robert

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  • Timothy Allen

    Robert,

    Right.  In my detail, imagine that area is a mask.  You can see that all values––except for the white reflections––are dark.  My problem is, I don't know how to do two things:

    1. Select the white dots (the color selector doesn't seem to do it).
    2. Once I have selected them (however that is done), make them dark.

    Ideas?

    Thanks,

    Tim

     

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  • Timothy Allen

    PS: Robert, I did just watch the video.  Yes, the next upgrade will be a good solution... BUT, it would be great if I had a way to do as describe above... as then I could do it without having to click everywhere.

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  • SFA

    Timothy,

    Firstly, in the png they are not white dots. They are in the mid tones. N.B.  toneS

    Secondly, in the sample area, because so much is darker or lighter, one can reasonably well pick the main part of many of the dots with a Luma mask. BUT it also picks up areas on the skin side of the hair line So whether the Luma mask approach would really offer anything is difficult to say. However at least being not burned out white they have some colour and thus some potential for colour change.

    If you are working with a RAW file you could try Noise Reduction and the single pixel adjustment. Pure speculation. It does nothing for the png.

    Also maybe try with a linear curve on the RAW file to ensure the light dots are not being enhanced in some way before you get to start trying to remove them.

     

    Edit. ...

    Ah, good. Got one past the filter this evening. Though maybe not the Auto suggest for the spelling.  ;)

    If the mask could work and not end up picking up a whole mass of other areas of the image it might be the best way to go but the Single pixel (the slider makes it more than single) NR option works it might be better.

    For a better idea of what the mask can or cannot do turn on the grey scale option.

     

    HTH.

     

    Grant

     

     

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  • Ian Wilson
    Moderator
    Top Commenter

    To do it with Affinity Photo:

    I would choose Edit with... Affinity Photo in Capture One, and choose to export as a TIFF (8 bit or 16 bit as you prefer).

    In Affinity Photo, I would

    (1) Create a new pixel layer to do my retouching on (so that it is non-destructive). Makes sure in the Layers panel that you then work on that layer and not on the background layer. You are aiming to put your retouches in that layer.

    (2) Select the inpainting brush tool.

    (3) Change the parameters in the tool's tool bar at the top of the screen from sampling from Current Layer to Current Layer and Below.

    (4)  Adjust the brush size to suit (the [ and ] keys are a quick and easy way to do that).

    (5) Paint out each blemish. 

    (6) When you are finished choose to Save (Cmd-S) and when the dialog box comes up accept the option to save with layers. That way the TIFF will update in Capture One to show your retouching but it can always be opened again (Using Open With this time, not Edit With) if you want to do more.

    I suggest you practise on another file first just to see how it goes.

    DON'T forget the Current Layer and Below thing - without that you will see no changes because it will be trying to find pixels from the empty pixel layer to use. 

    Ian

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  • SFA

    Timothy,

    Firstly, in the png they are not white dots. They are in the mid tones. N.B. toneS

    Secondly, in the sample area, because so much is darker or lighter, one can reasonably well pick the main part of many of the dots with a Luma mask. BUT it also picks up areas on the skin side of the hair line So whether the Luma mask approach would really offer anything is difficult to say. However at least being not burned out white they have some colour and thus some potential for colour change.

    If you are working with a RAW file you could try Noise Reduction and the single pixel adjustment. Pure speculation. It does nothing for the png.

    Also maybe try with a linear curve on the RAW file to ensure the light dots are not being enhanced in some way before you get to start trying to remove them.

     

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  • Timothy Allen

    Thank you, Ian!!  I'll give it a go and report back.

    Cheers!

    Tim

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  • Timothy Allen

    Ian!  That did it!

    THANK YOU!

    And thanks again to Robert and Walter for also responding.  Much obliged.

    Stay safe, everyone.

    Cheers,

    Tim

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  • BeO
    Top Commenter

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  • B.O

    Timothy,

    Did you try the single pixel slider in the Noise reduction tool?

    My posts didn't come through so it might be too late, but it if works you might have further images where this can help

    regards

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  • Michael M

    Maybe image stacking in Affinity Photo - assuming that you have access to the painting and can shoot multiple photos of it with a tripod.

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  • SFA

    Way too many spots to deal with, IMO, even though heal/clone functionality would work.

    A generic adjustment that at least deals with most of them would be preferable surely? Just a matter of finding a method that can be used for repeats of the requirement (assuming the problem is unavoidable at capture time which I suspect it probably is) and gives the best results with the least amount of time consumed.

    I'm not sure the NR "Single Pixel" approach would work  - but if it did for most of the spots that could be a great starting point.

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  • Timothy Allen

    I'm still surprised that there isn't an easy way to dynamically identify all of the spots within a mask area––as I would a color–– and then blend them into the surrounding. 

    I have tried to manage this with the NR "Single Pixel" but nothing happened.  So, either it doesn't do anything OR I'm not doing it right (which is likely).

    Note: I do have these images in RAW... showing you the PNG was the result of taking a screenshot.

    If anyone has any other ideas and could give me step by step instructions, I'd be happy to try it, meaning, if anyone suspects there could be a dynamic, 'select all' fix; else, Ian's instructions regarding Affinity Photo indicate the fix... at least until the next update comes with the new healing layer.

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  • SFA

    Tim,

    If you could share the (or a) RAW file I would be happy to take a look and try the options I have in mind. I will understand if that is not an option.

    I'm not at all sure they would work but IF the spots are not entirely without any form of colour (per my comments re the png) there is some some potential that whatever data is there could be isolated and changed on a selective basis via some approach to masking. It would be easier to eliminate large areas of unwanted automatic masking than it is likely to be working on hundreds of small spots.

     

    IMO.

     

    Grant

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  • Cyril de Ricou

    Hello Tim, I'm a restorator. And I shoot a lot of painting. It's very difficult to take a picture of a paint because of the varnish. Did you try a polarized filter on your lense . Sometimes it's working. But definitely you must have two sources lights on the left and on the right of the paint.

    But there is almost always these white spots. I edit the picture from Capture One >edit in : Photoshop in TIFF 16 bits, it's the quicker solution I found.

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  • Timothy Allen

    B.O. - Thank you for your input.  I did try the noise reduction filter; I couldn't get it to work.

    Cyril - I knew I wasn't alone!  Yes, as a restorer, you know exactly what I am wrestling with!  Isn't it strange that there isn't an easier fix for this?  Yes, I do have a polarized filter.  ;-)

    Grant - I'd be happy to share a section of the RAW file (like the section seen in the PNG screenshot), but how do I create a copy of the RAW file and then add a permanent crop? (When I crop the RAW, then try and export it and 'include adjustments', it exports the entire RAW file...?)

    Thank you all.

    Tim

     

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  • B.O

    Single Pixel in NR sometimes works for the smallest spots. Was worth a try.

    I tried another approach (based on your PNG initially provided)

    • New adjustment layer
    • Fill mask
    • Set Luma range of that mask to cover the spots (use M and Alt+M for fine tuning)

    You can erase the parts for which you do not want to have the mask but which also might get selected (i.e. on the subject of the painting). You can erase this after setting the Luma range.

    Then I tried to reduce exposure, brightness, levels or curves. Whilst it can reduce the spots, it does not look very good. But this might be better when working on the RAW file instead of the PNG.

    On a side note,
    the Luma range masking on the PNG was 1 pixel off (shifted to the left). Maybe a bug. I tried to reproduce it with an exported tiff file of mine, with stars in the night-sky (because you can better see the mask shift), it can be reproduced. Does not occur with raw files, then when preparing a set of files for the support team I recognized it also can happen with raw files, but not that often. This was done with OPENCL off as I know this might be a source of strange things sometimes. Then I tried it to reproduce again with raw files in a new catalog, with copies of the raw and different C1 engine versions (base characteristics) but no success so far.

    What could be an ideal (new) feature:

    If you could copy a mask from an adjustments layer to a heal layer (and then you re-select the source point). Then you could mask the spots as described above and let C1 heal it, depending on the surrounding area of each spot it should give a good result. One or two such heal layers mostly do the job.

    regards

     

     

     

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  • SFA

    Hi Tim,

    You can't export just a part of a RAW file and keep it as a RAW file.

    You could export it as a tiff file and that might be close but what I am thinking about trying will, I suspect, only work with a RAW file if it works at all.

    That said if you want to crop part of the image to a tiff file I would be happy to see what might be useful If it works, great. If not then we would still have the unanswered question about using the RAW.

    Grant

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  • Timothy Allen

    Grant,

    I don't see a way for me to send a private message, so, in the spirit of community and trying to find an alternative solution––one that hopefully cold be more dynamic and efficient––I've decided to share the RAW:

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/6qm4v4bc5m7yfjm/tja-portrait-roman-actress-2020.RAF?dl=0

    Many thanks for your help.

    Cheers,

    Tim

    PS B.O., perhaps you could see if your NR and/or Luma range idea works with this... I didn't have any luck using either.

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  • B.O

    Hi Tim

    I created an adjustment layer, filled the mask, then defined Luma Range as shown below. Quickly, without tweaking.

    White is the mask (see checkbox "Display Grayscale mask"):

     

    The mask also contains some of the face - which you can then erase with the eraser brush.

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  • B.O

    It works good for the background.

     

    Of course in the face and hair some more manual brushwork is needed, if the Luma Range settings affect these areas too much.

    Layer disabled:

     

    Layer enabled:

    Note, I adjusted the Exposure correction, I think I like it better on the canvas background.

     

    Quick and dirty on the upper parts of the face took a few minutes (and I do not show the face, I don't know about copyright issues...).

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  • B.O

    The other idea, the single pixel noise reduction, did not do anything on this RAF file.

     

    So, the idea with the Luma Range adjustment can give a good baseline, relatively quick, especially for the dark background; and then on the critical parts like the face etc. one or two healing layers (or one healing layer with the upcoming version) could give you a result which you possibly can live with.

    Otherwise, external pixel editor...

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  • SFA

    Hi Tim,

    Thanks for sharing.

    None of my ideas have shown any merit with this file. Which is interesting because I was not able to generate any useful sort of changes, fully effective or not, that I would expect to have created.

    The problem spots are all in a range of values that are mid tones to the edge of darks and as such, with variance, do not lend themselves to any approaches I was considering. So far as I can tell.

    The NR idea does not seem to apply (it is intended for stuck sensor pixels so not a complete surprise) and the luma range sort of works but takes with it so much of the rest of the shot  that it seems, at least to me, not so helpful.

    I suspect, as a previous commenter hinted at, that alternative ways of lighting the subject may offer the greatest time saving.

    That said the portrait very strongly reminds be of a photo that I picked up from a web site for testing purposes a few years ago.

    The sitter for that shot has a similar face, a similar pose and the colours in the composition are extremely similar. As is the 'lighting'. Similar in the sense of almost identical other than for the design of the clothing and the difference between oil painting and digital photographic image.

    Makes me wonder of it had the same creative source.

     

    You are correct that there is no PM option in the forum. Dropbox a good option.

     

     

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  • B.O

    I was in a hurry yesterday, and made a mistake.

    I did not adjust the exposure of the raw image (which I think should be around +1 stop).

    So I was looking at an image too dark and did not notice that the masked exposure correction does not produce a nice result (if image exposed correctly), and in addition the tones across the whole image are very different which means the effect of the masked adjustment may be nice in one part of the image but not in another.

    One can try to rasterize the Luma range mask and feather it afterwards, also I found that the negative Structure slider is better than neg. exposure (in fact I found it the best of the single sliders), but even any mixture of tools I tried did not result in a sufficiently nice result.

    Apart from optimized lighting, maybe multiple expsosed images and stacking and blending in a pixel editor could be a better starting point.

     

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