Photo (Scanned etc.) Restoration

Hi Guys.

I’ve been experimenting with the Photo AI demo for the last few days trying to clean up a photo but I’m not having a lot of luck. I’m hoping that someone might be willing to take a shot at it. I’ve included the original photo and the same photo with the background removed. The background is pretty messed up. I would appreciate any help you can provide,

Photo AI is not designed to clean up photos. It is for noise removal, sharpening and upsizing.

You should try to upsize as that may remove some of the speckles and artifacts.

You really need an application where you can repair, fill, blend layers and clone such as PS, Affinity etc.

I’m not very experienced with this sort of thing. I have PS and am currently experimenting with the Affinity demo as well. Have been experimenting with Gigapixel AI as well. Thought that Photo AI would be a better choice as it seems to have all the tools in one place.

Photo AI is not really the program to use for photo restoration. If you want something that is automated then you can try the Photo Restoration filter in the current Photoshop. Open your photo in Photoshop and then go to Filters | Neural Filters. Then at the bottom select Photo Restoration Beta. It is automatic, but there are 6 sliders that you can use to make some adjustments. I have no idea if it will help you, but since you already have Photoshop then give it a try.

If the result is pretty good then you may try Photo AI on the resulting image to see if it can be improved some more.

Thanks for this. I’ll give it a shot. I think I have 2019 but no harm in checking for this filter.

It’s not in 2019…It was only introduced to the Beta users in June of 2022

It’s not perfect but I’ve cleaned it up a bit. Done in PaintShop Pro.

BTW, I left the spot on her forehead as I wasn’t sure if it was an artifact or a birthmark.


It’s a real nice job, Kathy.

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Photoshop 2023 has a new Neural Filter specifically oriented to repairing & restoring photos with scratches, dust spots, etc. (That is Ps, not Ps Elements…which I don’t use).

Ps also has another Neural Filter to Colorize photos. Which is good if you have old BW photos you’d like to give a color handpainted look or clean up color casts.

I’m heading out (in serious California rain & wind) right now. But I’ll give the filter I mentioned a try for you when home again…

Thank you so much for the assistance. This looks wonderful. This is much appreciated.

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Yes I have been reading about this. I have PS 2019 so no help there but I may look into the new version. I would appreciate that, thank you. I’d like to see what the filter can do with this. Safe travels.

@vshanecurtis : re: Testing Your Original w/Ps 2023 Neural Filter > Restore Photo (beta)

I rarely shoot portraits (& don’t have older photos to restore…). so your image of Kathy gave me an excuse to try the new beta Photo Restore Neural Filter.

I’d say the result was okay, but not perfect (& because it’s a beta I reported my observations to Adobe in the feedback feature they incorp with the new Restore Photos filter). It did a really good job on removing the crease that was across Kathy’s face. But I was underwhelmed by how it cleaned up the background behind her. If I was going to play some more (but must move on to a project of mine) I’d definitely make the Face Enhance less severe and plastic looking. But I was experimenting to see what would remove the light leaks (perhaps from how the image was stored) in the background.

I’ll attach the original Kathy shot in the Neural Filter panel for you to see what it looks like controls wise, then a snip of how the pic looked after various slider pulls.

Because there were still some areas in the background I didn’t care for, I tried Content Aware Fill (back in the Ps UI) to try to minimize them. Then I ran that thru Topaz PAI to denoise a bit (with denoise on 1 - there’s no way to do 0 - and Details very low). The final result is attached as a screen snip too. All my screen snips are labelled in the filenames for each snip.

I think Kathy (from the forum) achieved a more successful result.



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Thank you very much for your efforts. It is much appreciated. Yes, the background was a mess. That’s why I posted a copy of the picture without it, thinking that it might be more trouble than it was worth. It also annoyed me because the background blended in with her hair making it very hard to see. This is my friend Kathy’s Senior Portrait from 1986 We have known each other since we were in fourth grade. We are now both 55 years old. I wanted to try and clean this photo up before trying to print a copy for both of us to frame. I’ve attached my Senior Portrait just for fun. Thanks again for the assistance. You all have been very helpful and kind in assisting me with this.

The Ps 2023 Photo Restore Neural Filter (beta) definitely needs some more ‘tweaking’ - it really doesn’t handle white haziness in photos very well…

This time I started with Topaz PAI (as a Ps plugin) to see if cleaning up a bit 1st before using the neural filter helped. I think it helped on the skin & background somewhat.

Then I ran that output thru the Photo Restore Neural Filter. Because of the remaining wht haziness, I added some Burn to the bottom 1/4 of the image after the steps below.

And, back in Ps 2023, did a Hide & Fill (after selecting you) then added a Field Blur to the background (lovely as it was, I thought it detracted from you…). I didn’t spend time finessing a select and mask on your hair, so it’s a bit helmet head. But here you go…


Let’s keep this thread about Photo AI, if you want to talk about Photo restoration there is a thread now.

As I noted above @vshanecurtis - in response to your question - Topaz Photo AI can be an effective 1st step before other processing (photo restoration or other post-processing).

It will not alter your images in any way that will prevent further processing…

Believe me, I’ve stress tested it to see if it would. For a long time. And, over many many hours.

Thanks so much for all your efforts to assist me. It is much appreciated. Is it fair to say that Photo AI is a replacement for the bundle programs? I’m considering purchasing Photo AI and Gigapixel.

I believe it’s still true that if you own the bundle of Sharpen AI, Gigapixel AI & Denoise AI you get Photo AI for free.

Topaz occasionally runs promotions for the bundle & there are guys who regularly post educational videos about those products (who are affiliated but not employed by Topaz) who offer purchase discounts (% off codes). John Barclay might be one. I’m gapping on the name of another guy who regularly posts vids for each update to PAI…if I remember, I’ll update this. It may be Dave Kelly (or, Kelley).

Anthony Morganti has just started a new YouTube series on Topaz products. He has begun with Denoise AI and will move onto the others one by one. I find he and scott Davenport do the best and most honest assessments of editing software.