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Automating Sensor Spot Cleaning?
Old 03-19-2007, 11:28 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Does anybody know of a way to automate the cleaning of sensor spots on an entire CD or folder of images? I tried to set it up in PS by recording an action and then using Automate to have it batch process through every image on a CD, use the healing brush to take out the spot, and then do a "save as" to a CLEANED folder. Went through the process of setting this up 3 times and each time the files in the CLEANED folder looked untouched - the same spot was still there. I've heard one of the labs we use talk about some software they use that takes the spots out for printing but does not archive the retouched image. Anybody got ideas on how this can be easily automated? I know the new Lightroom from Adobe has this capability but can't it be done in PS or with something less than spending the $199 for Lightroom

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Re: Automating Sensor Spot Cleaning?
Old 03-19-2007, 01:40 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I don't believe you can record something like the healing brush. It makes sense too. The healing brush works by making changes to the spot selected by sampling the surrounding area outside of the spot selected. So where the spot is will determine what correction is made. So if the spot to be corrected was at the edge of a girl's lips, then you'd get a hodgepodge of colors in the correction. So while PS may record, the step, nothing will actually happen when you run the action for that step. I doubt seriously that you can really automate the process you're talking about using actions.

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Re: Automating Sensor Spot Cleaning?
Old 03-19-2007, 02:36 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I could have sworn that the Nikon tools has this feature in it. You locate the spot and the software figures out how to remove it. I have used it before a few times many moons ago.

i realize though that owning a nikon is rare around here and thus my comment was probably useless. oh well. good luck.
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Re: Automating Sensor Spot Cleaning?
Old 03-19-2007, 02:55 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roastdawgg View Post
I could have sworn that the Nikon tools has this feature in it. You locate the spot and the software figures out how to remove it. I have used it before a few times many moons ago.

i realize though that owning a nikon is rare around here and thus my comment was probably useless. oh well. good luck.
There is the ICE tool built into many Nikon scanners than automates spotting and things like that during the scan. So there may be a tool that will fix up a spot on an automation basis. But the healing brush in Photoshop is not going to do this in an action. This would take a script of some sort to make decisions about what the spot is over. If it is over an eye a different scheme would have to be used from when it was over a piece of sky, for example.
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Re: Automating Sensor Spot Cleaning?
Old 03-19-2007, 03:20 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I'm trying to set this up to use only on solid areas - not on detail areas such as the eyes. Usually where the spots are the most noticable for us is on the backgrounds and other larger solid areas. Since sensor spots are going to always fall in the same spot - and can be a real pain in the ass - it seems like it would be common practice to action out solving the problem this way if PS would just allow it by saving the "draw from" area selection in the batch process.
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Last edited by atlantashooter; 03-19-2007 at 03:28 PM.. Reason: added more text
 
Re: Automating Sensor Spot Cleaning?
Old 03-19-2007, 03:41 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Post 3 or 4 of the images somewhere and send me a link and I'll check to see if it will work using some "actionable" technique.
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Re: Automating Sensor Spot Cleaning?
Old 03-19-2007, 03:46 PM   #7 (permalink)
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OK, I'm by no means a PS expert but....

Would saving a small piece of the background as a file and then using the "place" command in an action to overlay that patch (like you would to automate your logo placement) do it?
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Re: Automating Sensor Spot Cleaning?
Old 03-19-2007, 03:55 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Write the action this way...

1) create duplicate layer
2) create layer mask that only reveals the areas that have the dust
3) set "dust & scratches" filter to appropriate settings to remove dust
4) flatten image

If you have to set the filter rather high to remove the dust you may create a new problem of the spotted area looking overly blurred (ie; lack of texture).
If so then add one more step in the action (before flattening) to recreate texture using the texture filter.

Another variation on this approach would be to replace step 3 above with the transform tool. Just enlarge the image enough to move a clean area into position over the spotted area. This solves any texture issues you might get from the dust & scratches filter as long as there is enough of a similar area around the dust.

Hope this helps, David
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Re: Automating Sensor Spot Cleaning?
Old 03-26-2007, 01:24 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Would the frustration of manually removing the spots encourage you to clean your sensor? Just an idea.
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Re: Automating Sensor Spot Cleaning?
Old 03-26-2007, 01:46 AM   #10 (permalink)
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DP -

No brush tool effect can be used in an action. However, Nikon Capture 4 has an Image Dust Off feature which processes NEF (RAW) images to remove the effects of dust in the camera imaging system by comparing the images to data acquired with a Dust Ref Photo. A Dust Ref Photo is a reference image stored in the camera and is created by selecting certain menu options and then photographing a bright, white, featureless background.

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