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Old 06-04-2005, 03:09 PM   #1
Andrew B.
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Default AKVIS Retoucher

AKVIS Retoucher is a plugin that runs in Photoshop and other graphic applications. The description on the web site says "Retoucher allows removing dust, scratches, flakes, stains, water spots and other defects that appear on damaged photos." After reading this, and seeing the examples, I thought: "So what, I do this all the time, and it is quick and easy by hand."

But after seeing how well one of their other plugins performed, I decided to see what Retoucher can do. So I grabbed some photos with text that had detail behind them, to see how it removed the text. IOW, not simply scratches in old black and white photos. My tests were cases where Retoucher would have to create texture, shape, and color to match the surrounding areas.

Retoucher did much better than I expected. In fact, it is the best tool I've tried for doing this. Even better than Image Doctor's Smart Fill on most of the images I tested. And well ahead of using dust and scratch filters. But definitely not a magic bullet. In the worst cases it made a splotchy fill, that would require fixing by hand. But not so bad that I'd revert to the original as the starting place. And then there was the tennis court net with text on it. Well, I guess that is an unfair test, but why not try. But there were cases where the repair was flawless. Including text on fabric that had folds in it. Another with ocean waves breaking under the text. And another with sand that had been turned up in some spots.

As I watched Retoucher work, it appeared to extend what it sees as the pattern. On one picture it did a pretty amazing job with this. The image had a ten pixel black border on the left and right sides. I selected these along with the text in the image, just to see what Retoucher would do with these. Retoucher extended the picture into the borders so well, that only the closest inspection, zoomed in, gave clues that this was done.

Anyway, these were only a few quick tests. And Retoucher was not perfect. but on the tests where it fell short, at least it had done enough to make the hand work easier. So if you do this kind of repair, you might want to test the demo version.


Last edited by Andrew B.; 06-04-2005 at 10:02 PM.
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