Monday, April 3, 2023

Teen-Age Romances 042 cover (Darwination Before and After) / Cover Restoration Tips

For tonight's short post, I'm gonna have to send you to Flickr here so you can see what we are looking at because Blogger images suck which is the last time I'll say that.  I'll find a workaround or shut up about it but it *would* be a good reason to move on from their platform if I didn't have to leave everything behind 😒

I had a long couple days involving anal probing (doctors not aliens, though I may have preferred Aliens), and have run out of steam after writing an unexpectedly long note for this Flickr image I just posted.  Just routine check up stuff, but 36+ hours of no food followed by six hours of no water pre-colonoscopy and whatever the junk is they use to flush your system was a little discombobulating to say the least.  They say you should go to the doctor to stay healthy, but why do you only see unhealthy people at the doctor's?  The things I do to keep my wife happy...The Veg burrito I had on the way home, however, almost made up for the rest.  Never has food tasted so good.  Ever.

I'll cut and paste the placard from the Flickr image here, too.  I've gone back and looked at some of the posts where I give some scanner "how to" and they still hold up pretty well even if I need to fix the dead image links. I'm getting the hang once again on the restores, even if my speed isn't quite there yet.  On the other hand, I'm a patient man, so it's all good.  

From my Flickr:

My current technique is a total repair with heal stamp, clone stamp, and occasionally content aware fill.  I'll use bits of lower res covers as a guide layer in back for missing sections and use textures and ink work from the rest of the cover to fill it out.  Often you can rotate, invert, and otherwise manipulate parts of the cover you do have to clone from and complete lettering and art that you don't have.  Areas with lots of line work (Casanova there's pants for example) need special attention as the heal stamp will obliterate the art.  You should be careful not to "smudge out" the intricate printing patterns on a cover like this if you are looking for a true high resolution restore, but working with lower resolution images has advantages too in ease and quickness just not necessarily end result.  Of course, at screen width you can get away with a lot that only becomes visible with magnification, so lower resolution restorations can work in a lot of situations and can be completed much faster.

Only at the very last minute do I do any color alterations.  The last step takes almost no time, although we have many tools at our disposal to do the job.  Level changes, curves, selective color modifications, vibrance, or the sledgehammers I usually recommend against with brightness/contrast/saturation changes.  Picking the right tool(s) is the hardest part, as I never know which method or methods I'm going to go with until I tinker with it.  The artful part has to do with taste.  If a cover pops too much, it doesn't even look like paper any more.  If it pops too little, you are doing the art a disservice in translating it to the digital age.  You have to Goldilocks that shit.

There are times where parts of the periphery of the cover have to be fudged.  I do this as little as possible, but it happens.  Sometimes you use a little illusion for the sake of presenting the more important parts of the art.  The danger, of course, is that, for a truly rare publication, the only representation we might end up with has been altered in important ways.  Because that paper is gonna crumble, but my image is gonna last forever, you dig?

Well, I've posted 16 days in a row now which has been fun but a little tough to manage.  I'm likely going to pump the brakes just a little so I have more time to finish some of the scans I've been working on.  It's fun to post the old ones, and I'll keep it up, but the fresh ones are where my current research lies and that's one of the motivators that brought me back to scanning in the first place.

The readership may or may not return, but it's all good, I'm going to just do my thing even if it's me and the crickets and I do intend to sort the image thing out.  Flickr is so damn amazing to use as a gallery, it puts the images here to shame, even if I suspect most of that viewing goes on via phone screens which isn't the point either.  

Back soon, just not tomorrow ---

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