In Pictures: How to Clean and Retouch Old Photos with Paint Shop Pro

Ensure your old family photos get preserved for future generations to enjoy.

  • 10. You can also use the eraser and clean up some of your new pixels if needed. Simply select the Eraser tool from the tools palette. Change its size as needed and left-click. You could also turn off the background’s visibility to get a better idea of what areas you need to delete.

  • 8. The second way of using the clone brush is to hold down the left mouse button and drag the cursor to paint your source pixels on to the new layer. The source pixels will change, depending on where you are. A crosshair showing the source moves in tandem with the clone brush.

  • 13. Position your new selection over the right-hand side of the mouth and left-click. Then mirror your selection Ctrl-M and, using the move tool on the tools palette, adjust its position until it looks natural. Ctrl-D and the selection will join your newest layer. Double left-click this layer and name it Raster 2.

  • 7. Next select the raster layer. Move the cursor to the affected area and click the left button. Repeat this as many times as is necessary to paint the source pixels on to your new layer. In the screenshots we’ve shown above it appears as though the scratch and the discolouration are disappearing.

  • 2. Save the image before working on it. You may want to create a duplicate using File-Save Copy As. You can also create a new raster layer to further protect your picture against any unwanted editing and saving mishaps. Choose Layers-Raster Layer, and then click OK to accept the default settings.

  • 5. We will use the Clone brush to copy unblemished areas of our original image on to imperfect areas of the layer we created in Step two. Your new layer is above the original layer so it will cover up the scratches as you work. If you make a mistake use Ctrl-Z to go back a few steps or right-click on the layer to delete it and start again.

  • 12. Choose the Freehand tool. Select the background layer and carefully draw around the undamaged left side of the mouth. Draw around a larger area than you need as it’s easier to delete pixels than to add them. Now copy the selection, Ctrl-C, then create a new raster layer and choose Edit-Paste-Paste as New Selection.

  • 4. Select the Clone brush from the vertical toolbar and adjust the brush size to suit your work area. This will depend on the size and resolution of your picture. A good tip is to set the Opacity on the Clone brush to 50 per cent as this will have a relatively gentle effect and will make it easier to blend the cloned area to the original.

  • 9. As you work you will need to be careful not to paint with affected pixels from a damaged area. Turn off your new layer’s visibility by left-clicking on the eye icon in the right-hand pane. This way you can remind yourself where the good source pixels are before selecting anything from the background layer.

  • 1. Scan in a photo then open your image using your photo editor. Ensure the Tools toolbar, Options toolbar, and the Layers palette are displayed. Choose View-Toolbars-Tools for the toolbar and then View-Palettes-Layers and View-Palettes-Tool Options to display the Layer and Tool options palettes.

  • 6. Begin by selecting your background layer in the layer palette. Locate an area of similar pixels to the affected area (usually close by) and click them while holding down the Shift key. You have just defined the source pixels we’re going to clone in order to cover up wear and tear.

  • 11. Carefully repeat steps six to 10 and you should be able to clean up most of your pictures. Sometimes, however, there may be an area that can’t be cloned. In the picture above, for example, the right of the mouth is both detailed and badly damaged. Here we will need to use a little artistic licence.

  • 14. You can now use the Deform tool on the tools palette to rotate and stretch the mouth as will best fit. Use the eraser to delete the unwanted areas around the mouth. When saving unfinished work save your project as a Paint Shop Pro Image. This will preserve the layers. When you’ve finished save as a JPEG.

  • Let’s face it, there’s always a project to be done! One such unfinished project is sorting out all my old 4x6in photos. These memories hold a real value. Unlike digital camera pics that are backed up and duplicated on numerous hard drives, CDs and free online storage sites, these older, precious pictures are kept on single, eroding, torn and scratched pieces of paper. Then they’re stuffed in numerous drawers, shoeboxes and old albums.

    So let’s get cracking and try to finish turning these torn and scratched memories into digitally cleaned, recoloured backed up files. That way they will hopefully last forever.

    To take this task on you are going to need access to a scanner to digitise your images, and some photo-editing software. Here we show you how to do it with the basic version of Paint Shop Pro 8.0.

    Tips and Tricks: Choosing the Right Scanner Resolution

    Unlike cameras or printers, using the maximum scanner setting doesn’t necessarily produce the best results. Make the maximum optical resolution (rather than a higher, software-boosted one) your upper limit. Check your scanner for details. High resolutions can be cumbersome to work with as unwanted detail starts creeping in. This is especially common with old photographs, slides and negatives where the emulsion may have begun to perish.

    The most suitable resolution depends on what you’ll do with the scanned image as well as the size of the source material. If you’re going to want to print your photo at any stage, choose a setting of 600 or 1200dpi (dots per inch), depending on your scanner’s capabilities.

  • 3. You will need to zoom in close enough to work on the affected area. Do this by adjusting the size ratio on the Overview Palette or by simply clicking the zoom + and - buttons. To view a certain part of your zoomed image move your cursor over the preview image and then click and drag the image.

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