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DARPA 12-15-2009 02:11 AM

Color correction
 
This is a somewhat controversial subject. Some people think that a scanned image shouldn't be color adjusted, that you should leave it as is because that's the way it was printed.

My feeling has always been that if the people look orange, yellow, or pink, as frequently is the case with old style porn mags of the late 70s/early 80s done with a cheap printing process, something should be done about it to make it look more realistic.

The problem: How to go about making it look more realistic. There are a several complications to take into consideration here including but not limited to...

1) Monitor quality - is the image being displayed on the monitor accurate. This was a problem back 10 years ago and it's even more of a problem today with the dominance of LCD monitors. For years after they hit the market I kept avoiding LCDs. CRTs, despite whatever inherent flaws they may have in terms of color accuracy, didn't have the additional problem LCDs continue to have to this day in regards to viewing angles. I have yet to see an LCD that didn't do some sort of color/brightness shift in parts of the screen where you weren't looking head on. Do this: plant your head in one direction at your LCD and then move your body left/right/up down parallel to the LCD. You'll notice that the parts of the screen not directly in front of you will shift in brightness and saturation, with the parts of the screen not directly in front of you losing contrast and saturation as you move your head. This plays havok with ones ability to properly assess an image's correct color and contrast.

2) What did the original photograph look like? Since the the vast majority of printed images are either over saturated or tinted badly you really don't know what the photograph was supposed to look like.

What I have been doing is using a rather fluid set of procedures to get the flesh tones more realistic. But it's a process that has produced a lot of hits and misses. Sometimes I just can't get the fleshtones right. This is particularly true for images that skew pink, less so for images that skew red, orange, or particularly yellow.

I start off by de-saturating the image in Photoshop. The amount of de-saturation depends greatly on the level of saturation the image has. Sometimes I have to desaturate by a level of -40 in extreme cases.

I then open up color balance and do further adjustments, usually lowering the amounts across the Shadows and Midtones but being more delicate with the highlights. This is usually a two stage process where I do an initial pass and then make refinements in a second pass, mostly to the Midtones and some Highlights.

I then follow up by adjusting the Levels to add contrast. Only after I'm done color adjusting do I downsize the image to 72 DPI and whatever dimensions I think the image is capable of supporting without losing detail.

This process is far from perfect and I'm constantly looking for ways to improve upon it. I'd be interested in hearing any ideas for color correction. I've dabbled with curves but that's a process I just can't figure out properly.

lenolaman 02-17-2010 09:02 PM

You must have worked in printing!!!

DARPA 03-09-2010 02:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lenolaman (Post 1000798)
You must have worked in printing!!!

Ha!

No. :cool:

I just know crappy/cheap printing when I see it. :p

The worst of the worst are the ones where the color registration is misaligned. Not only does that result in images with little blue/red/yellow halos surrounding everything, it blurs the damn image and makes shapening masks useless. Nothing you can do to fix this but suck it up and put it out as is. I tried messing with the color channels individually and moving the plates around in Photoshop but the results showed it was a lot of effort for a limited payoff and not really worth the trouble.

ulitka 03-18-2010 10:17 PM

DARPA,
when I started scanning in 2001, I tried out almost all corrections you described. But I hardly was pleased with the results because the scanner added also to the color faults. I remember working 10 minutes or more on each scan on color corrections alone, not to speak of other revisions that had to be done (such as removing spots and blemishes or stitching images). Unnecessary to say that the scan did not look better after the color correction, it just looked different.

Today, and three scanners later, I hardly do any color corrections on the scans, with the exception of "Automatic Saturation Enhancement" in Paint Shop Pro 7. I use the "neutral" positions for bias and strength which add or reduce saturation depending on the saturation level in the scan. If pictures in a magazine have a color fault or were intentionally given a "special" look, I leave the colors as they are. A reader of this magazine can't do anything against it either - he won't use a color filter or tinted glasses ;)

Just my 2 cents...

deepsepia 06-05-2010 09:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DARPA (Post 918107)
The problem: How to go about making it look more realistic. There are a several complications to take into consideration here including but not limited to...

"Realistic" is a moving target. There's "realistic" in the sense "looks like something shot today", but that's an illusion, since the film based workflow was very different. And then there's "realistic" in the sense that that you're repairing the artifacts of aging.


Quote:

Originally Posted by DARPA (Post 918107)
This process is far from perfect and I'm constantly looking for ways to improve upon it. I'd be interested in hearing any ideas for color correction. I've dabbled with curves but that's a process I just can't figure out properly.

When I color correct, I usually use LAB mode. Its one of those bits of Photoshop that most people never explore, basically instead of having Red, Green & Blue channels to correct, you have one Luminence channel, and two color difference channels (A & B).

There are a lot of useful aspects to this. One is that with only two color channels to work with, you have fewer adjustments to make to do your color correction. The other is that you can work on the Luminence channel in isolation to sharpen, blur, or remove image details without getting a lot of color artifacts

Xxphd 07-04-2010 02:37 PM

what's happened here..
 
I guess this author recalibrated his scanner during the scanning process, the contast did change dramatically after pic #9 :rolleyes:

http://thumbnails22.imagebam.com/871...5987126831.jpg http://thumbnails33.imagebam.com/871...1c87126838.jpg http://thumbnails26.imagebam.com/871...5587126843.jpg http://thumbnails2.imagebam.com/8713/36962c87126852.jpg http://thumbnails4.imagebam.com/8713/5e13a987126856.jpg http://thumbnails31.imagebam.com/871...3b87126862.jpg http://thumbnails5.imagebam.com/8713/78d17287126873.jpg http://thumbnails27.imagebam.com/871...aa87126883.jpg http://thumbnails7.imagebam.com/8713/75ca1087126895.jpg http://thumbnails23.imagebam.com/871...cb87126906.jpg http://thumbnails27.imagebam.com/871...af87126915.jpg http://thumbnails33.imagebam.com/871...de87126921.jpg http://thumbnails27.imagebam.com/871...0887126925.jpg http://thumbnails13.imagebam.com/871...ac87126931.jpg http://thumbnails15.imagebam.com/871...1e87126939.jpg http://thumbnails19.imagebam.com/871...5687126943.jpg http://thumbnails.imagebam.com/8713/cc795c87126952.jpg http://thumbnails15.imagebam.com/871...1687126959.jpg http://thumbnails5.imagebam.com/8713/3737d387126968.jpg http://thumbnails32.imagebam.com/871...fa87126975.jpg http://thumbnails31.imagebam.com/871...5287126983.jpg http://thumbnails6.imagebam.com/8713/7c99b287126988.jpg http://thumbnails12.imagebam.com/871...c287126993.jpg

donnalangtonukmode 07-09-2010 09:26 PM

I've used adobe PS and corel for years now and corel photopaint
Image , Adjust & auto equelise is a good tool for these problems.
If anything it's a good starting point before trying anything else :thumbsup:

http://thumbnails12.imagebam.com/871...c287126993.jpg http://thumbnails29.imagebam.com/878...7587885701.jpg

Dekoda 07-09-2010 11:21 PM

Adjusting the color in a scan can be frustrating, but it doesn't have to be. First let me say that I think that it's okay to change the colors, because in most of the 3rd rate magazines, the people in them look orange. People are not orange, and that's not the picture that the photographer took.

Second, these third rate magazines have poor printing quality. If you bought the first issue off the press, and someone bought the 20,000th issue, they wouldn't look the same. Those magazines don't have the strict quality control that a magazine like Playboy has.

Third, even if you use a good colorimeter to calibrate your monitor, that doesn't mean that whoever downloads your scans will have their monitor calibrated. What looks perfect on your calibrated monitor might look terrible on his uncalibrated monitor.

When I scanned a picture into Photoshop, the first thing I would do after cropping it would be to use the Kodak ROC filter on it.(a plugin for PhotoShop). This filter removes the reddish cast on the picture. This filter usually removed too much red and the picture looked bad. No problem, just fade the effect. I usually would fade it down to 0% and slowly increase the slider till I got what I was looking for. Once I got the best look from using the fade option, I would then open the levels histogram and adjust the sliders till I got what I wanted.

Next I adjusted the brightness and contrast, if the picture needed it. If I wasn't happy with the results, I would play around with the individual colors in the saturation adjustment box. Sometimes I'd need to adjust the color balance also.

Once that was finished, I'd clone out the imperfections, then I'd resize the picture to the desired size, then apply the unsharpen mask. That was usually it.

The thing to keep in mind, and this is the biggest time saver, is to know what adjustments and filters WON'T work. Once you learn that, you will save time and effort by not trying to make adjustments with those tools and finding that they don't help.

Anyway, I hope this helps.:)

masque51 01-21-2014 07:15 PM

How do I correct the color in this picture
 
I have this picture from Mexican PB that I'm going to merge but as you can see the right side of the picture is much greener than the left. This is not a scanning error. It was printed this way.

http://thumbnails111.imagebam.com/30...f303023240.gif

I use Photoshop Elements 9 as my graphics program. So far I've tried changing the tint, temperature, adjust color for skin tone, and a number of other adjustments. Nothing comes close to fixing the problem. In the picture between the heads of the 2 models the background is brown on one side and green on the other. Is there some way of making the right side of the picture more brown?

burpman 02-16-2014 06:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by masque51 (Post 2779041)
I have this picture from Mexican PB that I'm going to merge but as you can see the right side of the picture is much greener than the left. This is not a scanning error. It was printed this way.

http://thumbnails111.imagebam.com/30...f303023240.gif

I use Photoshop Elements 9 as my graphics program. So far I've tried changing the tint, temperature, adjust color for skin tone, and a number of other adjustments. Nothing comes close to fixing the problem. In the picture between the heads of the 2 models the background is brown on one side and green on the other. Is there some way of making the right side of the picture more brown?

First off, you would obviously have to isolate the offending side. I think what you may need is some sort of color rotation plugin or software. These allow you to rotate specific bands of color from a point of origin. There may be other ways to do this in the major software packages but I'm not well versed in them to speak for how its done. But I have seen the color rotation software in practice and it sometimes works wonders for situations like this.


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