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Damaged hair

Started by ophiuci, June 23, 2006, 05:37:51 PM

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Hello everyone,

Working on my first photo here and having some trouble reproducing the damaged hair.  I'm curious to know how others would have handled this photo. Any tips or techniques you'd like to share?

The problem looks a lot simpler when the resolution is low, please check out the high res images too.


For one, really nice work there, the only thing i would have done different would be to add more detail to the left side of the picture, by maybe breaking up the two main patches of light brown hair with a few strands of dark brown...

but thats just my opinion,


First off I think you did a exelent job on this... as for your concerns of being able to notice changes on the higher resolution images.. I wouldnt worry about it as the image will probably be made to a standard size image anyway.

That being said its not that easy to notice the changes, I find I usually am able to spot them on my own work as I knew what the image was like before and after staring at it for a few hours its like it burns the damaged image into your breain hehe


I think you did a really good job also.  Hair is really hard to keep looking natural.  I was considering making some of my own 'hair' brushes when I found 'Nagle brushes' at the following link:

Under the Photoshop CS section of the Tips, Dr. Brown has one for Creating Digital hair and a link to these brushes.
If it's artsy or Photoshop, I'll give it a try!
aka Betty


Thanks for all the comments and advice!

The Russel Brown link was really helpfull.

Found that using a scattering flattened oval brush with opacity set to pressure and angle to direction worked really nice. Only needed the one brush setup to do a large majority of the work below. It's still not perfect, or if it is an improvement at all to what I had before, but it's time to move on.  :D

Mark Wilson

Nice job!

You know what always strikes me when I work on damaged hair .... Photoshop really needs a Rotated Cloning tool. Remember where you heard it first!!!  ;)

"There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs." - Ansel Adams 1902-1984.


This is quite a well done retouch, but the faded color just breaks my heart, so I'm going to dive right in here and risk a quick color correction.

What do you think?

Here is the hi-res, I also reblended the background to eliminate banding, added photo texture to the very well done hair(too well done, as it had more detail than the original) to match the rest of the photo and I did a mild blend of the skin tones to play down the contrast of the texture from the original print.



I think it looks a little mettalic personally, maybe its my monitor - I only have it configured for photos when im using photoshop hehe :)


Quote from: Dave on June 26, 2006, 05:42:22 PM
I think it looks a little mettalic personally, maybe its my monitor
It looks that way to me too.  Wouldn't it look better in black and white or sepia?   The hair fix is amazing from where I sit.  I tried to reproduce what you did and had no luck.  Great job.


Good work on the restoration - the hair looks nice - thanks for the links to the tips - glad to have 'em.  I agree that the faded color seems to flatten the pic a lot.  I tried some quick color changes and had a tough time getting anything close to useable - so kudos to chazcron for the attempt - going in the right direction (and way better than I'm able to do) - but it still feels somewhat non-genuine.  The idea of a sepia tone seemed like a good one - so I did a quick test - it allowed for some density changes without the color shift that I was getting when working with the color pic so may prove to be a viable solution.

Mark Wilson

I believe this is a photo of a painting. The colours used, the pink on the shoulder and the blue on the forehead are not what you'd get from a photograph.Just look at the necklace, brush work clearly visible.

I think Chazcron's is pretty close. If the coplours are off ... blame the artist!

"There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs." - Ansel Adams 1902-1984.


Thanks to everyone for the replies and work!

There is definitely something wrong with the color in the photo. I don't think it was a painting however.. looking at the high resolution original (see first post) the color is damaged less in some areas. If you look closely near the hair line you will see that there were patches of yellow. I think they were scanning artifacts. Maybe the photo was stacked with others while wet. When I repaired this area I think I let some of these colors infect the entire region. It's a lesson to be carefull where you are getting your colors from.

Here is my attempt at a toning / contrast fix. Of course the background needs fixing again now ;)

Here is the high resolution version if anyone wants to go further.

We're definitely off topic now tho ;)

Thanks again.


Russell Brown's tips on hair were a life saver for me.  I'm working on restoring a portrait of an approximate 3 year old boy with that soft, willowy hair.  I was at the point of exasperation until seeing the suggestion for Russell Brown's brushes.  If anyone is having hair problems, this is a good resource.