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Patch up your old creased and torn scanned photos

Added on Monday 18th of January 2010 08:48 am EST
Adobe Photoshop CS/CS2/CS3/CS4
Operating Systems:
Macintosh, Microsoft Windows
Folds, creases, and tears are common ailments of old photographs. But you can use Photoshop’s Patch tool to restore these bumps to their original smooth condition.
To remove creases, folds, and tears with the Patch tool, we’ll:
•     Explain what the Patch tool is and how it works.
•     Make a selection from a damaged part of our photo.
•     Restore the folded photo to its original condition.
Storing photos in a box or drawer over a long period is bound to have some adverse effects on you’re their overall appearance. After a while, the slight bends in the photos become harsh folds or even tears. But repairing these creases isn’t as hard as you might think! When you use Photoshop’s Patch tool, you can easily remove those crumples and rumples and flatten out your cherished memories, as shown in Figure A.

Patch it up
The Patch tool is one of a few different tools Photoshop offers specifically for image retouching. Of course, you can use these tools for whatever strikes your fancy, but the Patch tool really stands out from the rest of the photo restoration tools. The Patch tool occupies the same space on the Tools panel as the Healing Brush, Spot Healing Brush, and Red Eye tool, as shown in Figure B.

How it works: The Patch tool repairs selected pixels with pixels from another image area or pattern. It does this by matching the texture, color, and luminosity of the sampled pixels to the source pixels.
Choose your options
First, you need to select the Patch tool from the Tools panel. Then, because there are different ways to use this tool, you need to choose one of three options from the tool Options bar. These options are as follows:
        Source. When you select this option, you should select the area that you need to fix and then move that selection to an area of the image you want to match it to.
        Destination. When you select this option, you should select an area of your image that is desirable and in good form, and then move that selected area over the damaged part of your image. This is helpful when you have to match up a pattern in your restored section.
        Use Pattern. Use this method when you have an image blemish that resonates through the entire image.
Which option you choose depends on your image and the type and intensity of the repair you need to do.
Patch on the fold
The best way to understand how the Patch tool works is to try it out. To follow along with our example, download the file from the URL given at the beginning of this article and extract the files patch1.psd and patch2.psd. Launch Photoshop and open the files shown in Figure C. (Images provided by Kara Hiltz. Some images modified for educational purposes.) Because this is a personal photo, we’re only able to offer you portions of the image for download. However, it’s enough to understand how the Patch tool works.

Patch from Source
We’ll show you how a patch from Source can patch up the long diagonal fold in patch1.psd.
To patch from Source:
1.       Click on the image patch1.psd to make it active.
2.      Duplicate the Background layer. This will preserve the original image in case you’re not satisfied with your retouching efforts.
3.      Choose the Patch tool from the Tools panel.
4.      Select the Source button on the tool Options bar.
5.      Select a portion of the fold, as shown in Figure D. You should work on sma...