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Doctor up your image blunders with Alien Skin Image Doctor 2

Added on Thursday 22nd of May 2008 07:12 am EST
Adobe Photoshop CS/CS2/CS3
Operating Systems:
Microsoft Windows, Macintosh

Whether you have damaged photos in need of repair or your images contain unwanted, extraneous information, preparing to retouch images can set your mind in a frenzy. But retouching and restoring images doesn’t have to be a filter combination guessing game when you have Image Doctor 2 at your side.

Image Doctor 2 is a plug-in filter set for Photoshop (and other image-editing applications) developed by Alien Skin Software ( If you’ve never experimented with filter plug-ins, you should know that they offer a great way to expand an already amazing application, often automating and simplifying multi-step editing tasks. So without further adieu, let’s take a look at what Image Doctor 2 can do for your images.

Doctor your images
Image Doctor 2 asserts to restore, retouch, remove, and repair your images, and the plug-in offers five filters to do just that: Dust and Scratch Remover, Smart Fill, Blemish Concealer, Skin Softner, and JPEG Repair. Image Doctor 2 sports a simple Photoshop-like interface, as shown in Figure A.


Each filter offers a list of preset factory settings to choose from, or you can manually adjust the filter settings simply by selecting the Basic tab and adjusting the sliders. One pitfall to Image Doctor 2 is that every filter—with the exception of JPEG Repair—requires that you create a selection in order for the filter to work. For those who dub themselves to be selection-challenged in Photoshop, that may lead to frustration. However, depending on your photo’s subject matter, you can often get away with loosely defined selections that won’t take you too long to create. That said, during our experimenting we were actually very pleased with the results. Let’s look at each of the filter plug-ins.
Note: When using Image Doctor 2, Alien Skin suggests you work on your images one section at a time.

Dust and Scratch Remover
The Dust and Scratch Remover filter provides a quick way to remove dust, scratches, tears, wrinkles, or small areas of text, such as logos or time stamps, from your photos. You can also use it to remove unsightly power lines from your beautiful landscape shots. Overall, we found the results to be amazing. The filter worked quickly to remove image defects and left us with satisfying results, as shown in Figure B.


Smart Fill
The Smart Fill filter allows you to remove unwanted objects from photos, such as “unwanted tourists from vacation snapshots and uninvited guests from party photos,” claims Alien Skin. The Smart Fill filter is a...