Scratch Remover Tool in Paint Shop Pro

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Smoothing Scratches

Smoothing Scratches

Scratches on an image can be caused by something getting in the way of the camera lens, such as dust or a piece of lint, or scratches may be the result of a very old photograph that has been damaged. Sometimes scratches like that are desirable for an antique photo effect, however, most of the time, scratches, like red eyes, are not particularly attractive in an otherwise great photo.

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Familiarize Yourself with Presets

Familiarize Yourself with Presets

When you examine an image on your monitor, you may see scratches that were caused by the camera or you may see scratches that were already part of the image. For example, a lot of times, scanning images will result in unwanted scratches or spots on the digital image. You can easily remove the unwanted areas or scratches using Paint Shop Pro. The Scratch Remover tool has two presets to choose from: Large scratches and Small scratches.

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Take Charge with Custom Settings

Take Charge with Custom Settings

For more control, you can skip the presets and choose a width and a type of selection box to use for removing scratches. To remove a scratch you simply drag the Scratch Remover tool over the scratch and voila! It's gone. Let's try it shall we?

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Open the Practice Image

Open the Practice Image

Right click, copy and paste the image here into Paint Shop Pro. Save a copy of the image to a folder of your choice for safe-keeping in case we goof.

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Examine your Image and Activate the Tool

Examine your Image and Activate the Tool

Examine your image and find the scratches or unwanted areas you wish to remove. If you are using the example image supplied here, I pointed out two of the most obvious areas in need of repair back in step 2.

In your Tools palette, click the Scratch Remover tool.

TIP: If you do not see your Scratch Remover tool click the small arrow next to the Clone Brush or Object Remover to expand the fly out menu, then click the Scratch Remover tool. The tool Options palette will change reflecting the options available for that tool.

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Set your Options and Drag Out Selection

Set your Options and Drag Out Selection

Establish the size of your tool by the size of the scratch you want to remove. In the example here I set the size to 20. Determining the shape will depend on the scratch characteristics. Use the following tips to decide:

  • Square Edged- works best for scratches that are perpendicular to object edges, in an open area, or of uniform color
  • Beveled Edge- works best for scratches that are at an angle to object edges

Place the cursor over your image. The cursor will change into an icon that resembles a spatula. Center the cursor just outside one end of the scratch, and drag to set a selection box over the scratch. The edges of the selection box should surround the area without touching the scratch. Try to leave a width of 3 or 4 pixels on either side of the scratch. To change your selection once you had already started to drag it out you can use one of the following tips to ensure that your selection contains only the scratch and no unnecessary portions of the image.

TIP 1- To move the starting point of the bounding box by 1 pixel, continue to hold down the mouse button, and press the arrow keys.

TIP 2- To increase or decrease the width of the bounding box by 1 pixel, continue to hold down the mouse button, and press Page up or Page down.

TIP 3- To avoid removing important details from areas surrounding the scratch, you can limit the correction by creating a selection. (This would be done using one of the marquee selection tools PRIOR to selecting the Scratch Remover tool.)

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Apply the Scratch Remover Tool

Apply the Scratch Remover Tool

Once you are satisfied with your selection, release the mouse and watch the scratch disappear right before you very eyes! If you are not happy with the results, click the Undo button in your Standard toolbar. Refine your settings and redraw the area to be corrected.

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Repeat the Process for Additional Scratches

Repeat the Process for Additional Scratches

If the scratches lie in a highly textured area or contain many color variations, the result using one large stroke with the Scratch Remover tool may be unsatisfactory. For scratches that extend over several different backgrounds, you will need to remove the scratch(es) one section at a time, or use the Clone Brush tool. Repeat the previous steps for each scratch on the image. While zoomed in, you can easily pan around the image by pressing the space bar. This allows you to temporarily to switch to the Pan tool without actually deselecting the Scratch Remover tool. The cursor will change from the Scratch Remover icon to the Hand icon when in Pan mode.

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Compare your Results

Compare your Results

After you have removed all the scratches you want to remove save your image. Compare it to the original. The scratches are removed without destroying the overall quality of the image.