REMOVING AND FIXING
new: added hints and
tips for Corel Photo Paint 8 and similar programs
|Some digital cameras have help for "red eye"
before you take the photo. But once the photo is taken and
the people have gone home, you will simply have the photo to
(Photos on the right - the
left one is zoomed in, and the right two are before and after fixing
- at a more normal size.)
click on rightmost, fixed photo, for larger
image. Note that larger image shows the fix more
I find that if the persons eyes are small relative to
the overall size of the photo, that you can vastly improve red eye by
simply painting over the red portion of the eyes. To do this,
first of all save the photo in a safe place with a different name just
in case your artistry does not meet your approval when done.
Touching up is an art after all and may take some practice.
Before attempting touching the eyes up, I would first of
all see if your photo-paint program allows you to zoom in on an area?
If so, I would recommend working on tiny areas at approximately the 600%
size zoom. But adjust to suit. It is just much easier to
work on a blown up version of the item you are trying to fix.
While many of us speak of blue eyes, and brown eyes, and
green eyes, I have not seen many digital cameras that show that detail
clearly - at least at a distance. It seems to me that when a
digital camera is working right that the peoples eye pupils are dark
(mostly); when there is a problem, the pupils are red. Well, I
tend to simply use a dark shade such as dark gray and color over the red
parts. I would first of all suggest adjusting the brush size to
the right amount you need before beginning to allow you sufficient
detail. Note also that sometimes "red eye" even escapes beyond the
pupil area and overshadows even the eyelids and more. If that is the case, you
might need to reconstruct just a tiny portion of the eyelids or eyebrows
When done painting over the red, look at the pupils and
see if they are all dark now. If they are, you might consider
adding just a dash of a lighter color - even white - near the center of
each pupil. Since eyes reflect, this whiteness will often
look like a normal slight reflection. When complete with that,
view your final work at normal 100% size and see if you like it. If not you
might try again a little touch up at 600%. If you like the work,
then of course, save the result. If not, you can always go back to
the original photo which hopefully you have saved before starting.
Blemishes (small fixes)
If there is a blemish in the photo, you might be able to
repair it. The last blemish I fixed was a bright reflection off a
lady's chin, tooth and nose at a wedding. While just a reflection, it seemed to
detract from her and the picture. Now a bright reflection may
start out as complex bright light. However, on a photo, it is just
a white color where you wish a different color to be.
|In this case as above, after saving a copy of the
photo (just in case), it is best to zoom in on the area and enlarge
it before working on it. Again, about 600% size seems to work best
for me. If the blemish is small, sometimes just painting the
blemish in the same color as the skin next to it will fix it. To do
this, see if your photo-paint program has an eyedropper type tool.
What these tools do is pick up the color already on the photo
somewhere and that is the color that the brush will paint if used.
eyedropper to pick up skin tone as near the blemish as possible and in
as average a color as possible to match. Then size the paint brush to
the right size for the task and just paint over the blemish - or
reflection in this case. You may find you have more touchup to do
- using smoothing tools or the paint brush. Fix as needed.
When done, again look at your photo at 100% size and see if you like
your work. If not, consider zooming in again at 600% and trying
If you wish a more subtle change than repainting the
blemish away - such as a partial coverup, see if your photo paint
program has an air brush. An air brush often can be adjusted to
spray a color partially over an area - sort of like makeup does on a
real face. The result then can be a combination of the original
blemish plus a partial cover -something more subtle and perhaps even
If you like your work, then save it. If not you
can always go back to the original photo.
Removing Items, (Making
This is really similar to the last item "blemishes"
except for size. If a problem in a photo is small, then by
zooming in on that area, and using your paint brush and similar tools,
you might be able to fix it. But what about larger areas?
Once I was asked to make a tv antenna on a house go
away. Another time, I was asked to make computer cords go away.
Of course one cannot simply erase the items, since the photo has no
memory of what was originally behind the item. One can make large
items disappear if they are on a "reasonable" background - a background
that is somewhat easy to work with. A sky with clouds, perhaps a
carpet or grass, things like that may make it possible.
|The general technique is to copy over another area
of the background over the area that you wish to disappear - and
then touching up the edgings after the copy. Remember to save
a copy first of your original photo in case you need to go back to
it again. Look for a background area on your same photo that has a
similar area to one which you would like where your object is.
Then use the "mask" tool to cut around that new piece of background
that you wish to copy. Then "copy" it (do not use "cut" to
copy since it will eliminate the background where it now is,
and you wish that area now in two places) then "Paste" it as a
disappearing garbage - done with Corel's
tool, copying background over the garbage
(and not a new
document). You should then be able to move the "new" background
copy and place it over the item to disappear. Once you have done
that you may have to save the redone photo in order to complete the
patching process. If you have to do that, save it under "temp.bmp"
or something similar just in case you are not happy with the end
results. (note that saving intermediate work as a ".bmp" format will
provide the most detail).
Re-open the photo and now the item that you wished to
disappear is now covered by the new background. Zoom into the area
where the new background meets other areas of the photo. Use you
paint tool and smoothing tools to blend this area in better. When
done, see if you like your work on making the item disappear.
If not, of course you can try again, or revert back to the original
An alternate means for copying backgrounds over may be
provided by some photo-paint programs. Corel 8 does have a
wonderful tool called "clone". What it does is target two
areas on the screen. One is a cross hair that one must set first, and
that will be the area (either on that photograph - or even another
copy FROM. Then the other item is a brush. That brush when
used transfers whatever is at the crosshairs to the new area; plus the
brush and the crosshairs move in the same directions at the same rate as
you brush. In
this case, one can copy a background to cover up an item more easily and
in almost any form instead of rectangular only. Of course even
with this wonderful tool, when background is now applied over the item
to disappear, it is still time to zoom in and do repairs at the edges
with a paint brush or smoothing tools.
For the above picture "making garbage disappear" - the
clone tool was used. The clone tool was used to transfer pavement
over the garbage, then some of the white building over the garbage, then
some of corrugated door over the garbage, as well as blackening the
doorway. Admitingly, the clone tool is even more powerful than
copying and moving masks.
We had talked above of using a "re-size" adjust to make
pictures smaller for the internet or printing. We also suggested
that one should always ensure that if there is an aspect ratio control on that
"resizing" control that one use it. The aspect ratio ensures that the
height and the width remain always to the right proportions.
Of course, if one wished to be devilish, they could
modify a picture with the aspect ratio control off. Then if one
makes the width decrease faster than the height, people will be thinner.
If one makes the height decrease faster than the width, then the people
will seem fatter. Of course, beyond a certain amount of change,
people will see that the photo had been tampered with. I do tend
to almost always keep the aspect ratio the same for photos I work with,
but suit yourself. Fun is in the eyes of the beholder.
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