Monday, October 8, 2007

Enhance Your Mobile Pics

Mobile Phones with camera are widely available, even inside the budget range of 5K, everyone uses it these days, however hardly any one enhances them. I am making this tutorial for everyone who wants to enhance their photos taken from mobile phone.

1) Make sure there is enough light in the area. Sometimes even if you are inside a room with tube light, the light is not enough for a Mobile Phone's camera, in that case, turn on night mode & reduce the white balance.

2) Don't move the cam while taking picture. When you click for a photo, you hear the sound now that is not the exact time when the pic is taken, it takes like half a second more for the real frame to capture. So click on the button, but do not move the cam or the subject, till you see the final pic on the screen. This is because the shutter speed in Camera phones is never as fast as dedicated digital cameras. They cannot be made that fast

3) Do not take full 2 MP or 3 MP pics, unless u have enough light. Like either you are outside somewhere, in a park or market, as there is lots of sunlight. When inside somewhere like a room, take pics at 640X480 or 1.3 MP. The thing is the mobile cams change dark colors to Hotspots, also known as grains or noise. Take a photo in low lights & you will see yourself that maximum noise appears at black color spots

These were tips when taking pics, now to enhance them in computer, you need to learn a bit of Photoshop.

1) Start Photoshop, open the image. Now go to Image menu ->Adjustment->Auto color, for the simplest method.

Advanced method = Apply auto color correction like above. Now make the base locked layer, an open layer. In the layer palate the base layer is locked & named "background". Double click on it & make it a layer. Now drag this layer to the “New layer button” in the layer palate at the bottom, to make a new layer by the default name of “Layer 0 copy”.

Look just above there is a menu with normal as the default selection. If your images are underexposed, like a bit dark, then select the new layer & from the “normal” menu just above the layer palate, select “Screen” & then set the “fill” accordingly as desired.

Now click on the spall circle next to the new layer button, which is half black & half white, to open another menu & select “Curves”. Now click on the line to create set point & set them accordingly as you desire for the color. Usually a slight S shape will do.

Now the second part:

Photoshop : Mobile Phone cam Noise Removal :

when one takes pictures from a low quality or MP based Digital cams or specially Mobile phones, U will notice noise in the image, it is in the form of pixels which are over-exposed, or much brighter then normal, these such pixels are called Hot Pixels, which are over-exposed, they usually appear in low light condition specially in the case of dark color like black, maroon, etc. This tutorial teaches you how to remove that, remember, noise is both subjective as well as required in some cases so use with precaution.

1) First off all you will need a plug-in called Noise Ninja for Photoshop; it can be downloaded from here. It is compatible with Photoshop 7 & CS, & all other software which accept Photoshop compatible plug-ins. Download it, it is a self extracting archive, I managed to remove all the extras as the help file is given in both PDF & normal html format, so I removed the extras & got the file size as low as 2.6 MB, but I cannot distribute it as such. Copy the noisenija_... folder to your Photoshop Plug-ins folder

2) Now open Photoshop, open any image you want to retouch, as a precaution, save it as a PSD first, go to Filters -> Picture Code -> Noise Ninja, this will bring the Noise Ninja plug-in settings windows, maximize if required

3) The left side windows shows the un-optimized, real image while the right side window shows the modified image, now click on the Profile Image button on the right side Click on the Profile tab. A profile characterizes the noise in different colors and tones for an image, in other words, automatically checks where & what settings should be applied. Make your choice from Luminance or Chrome, depending on your image

4) Now go to the filter Tab, here you will see sliders for , Luminance , Strength, Contrast & smoothness, noise removal is basically applying effective blur to the hot pixels only, You will see that the preview windows above is changed a bit, move the sliders in any direction to get the desired results. Donot forget to check the Coarse Noise checkbox. Do not use anything with the USM, (Unsharp mask), set it to 0 & set it accordingly later At the far right side U will see a button like <-, click to see what the image was & what it is now

5) Now, here comes the tricky part, if you think that some part of the image should be sharp as before, with noise, as I mentioned above noise can be subjective, so go to the Noise brush Tab, select Paint mask as the mode, to un-noise the image at the place where U use the brush, like if you have taken a pic of a Saree & with auto tweaking the embroidery is gone, you can use paint mask, to un-noise only the embroidery & leave the other smoothed part as such, you donot need to go to the other tabs, as they are for real pro guys, copyright etc, Click on Ok, when you are done

6) Now go to filter ->sharpen -> unsharp mask & Sharpe as required, this depends on what you are editing, human figure or objects, save the file, you are done.

As an example, I took a photograph of my keyboard from my k500i; it had some noise, but then edited it, mouse over above the image to check the real & modified image. One thing you should remember that this noise gets less as you use a high Mega pixel camera, however above 3 MP this noise is hardly visible even in RAW quality, so it is not like that U will get low noise with a 8 MP cam then a 3 MP cam, as noise also depends on a lot of other factors, shutter speed, lighting conditions...

1 comment:

p@r@Noid said...

nice article..dude..!!gr8 work