Articles, Blog

How to Repair and Colorize Old Photos (Adobe Photoshop CC Tutorial)

August 11, 2019

Hey what’s up you guys it’s Premiere Gal
here and welcome back to my youtube channel here on this channel I make
Premiere Pro tutorials on video editing as well as After Effects tutorials and I
also produce just general video tips and tricks to make you a better video
producer but I like to think of Premiere Pro as my hub right and off of that hub
I have spokes of all the different software I use to achieve my final edit
so I use Photoshop Illustrator Audition a whole bunch of different Adobe
software to achieve my final edit so in this tutorial I’m going to be showing
you how to restore an old photograph in Photoshop and also bring it to life by
colorizing it so this would be a great technique to use if you’re producing a
documentary and you have some older photographs that you want to bring to
life after you colorize it you can do the before and after with like a
parallax effect and it’s a lot cooler than just using the standard Ken Burns
effect to add motion to still photographs so I have this photo here of
my grandpa from 1950 on his wedding day and I’m going to show you how to restore
it and then colorize it so let’s go ahead and jump into Photoshop and I’m
going to give you the play-by-play Hey you guys so I have the image here of my
grandpa inside of Photoshop CC 2017 and I have the first layer here of the
original image called original and what I’m going to do is copy that and hit
command J to copy it and I’m just going to call this by double clicking I’m
going to label that restore because we’re going to restore the image here
and get rid of all of these scratches and blemishes that are on the image from
just being old I mean this was from 1950 right so we’re going to use a
combination of the patch tool here as well as the clone tool to get rid of
some of the blemishes here so the first step that I want to do is just crop the
image to get rid of some of the border issues and we can just use the clone
tool to then fit some of the leftover element so let’s
just crop first of all and let’s just select this area here just to get rid of
some of that torn to fix that and then let’s hit the checkmark so now we have
the cropped image and they’re still areas that we need to fix let’s start in
this upper right hand corner here let’s just zoom in here for a second use H for
the hand tool to move it in place so we’re going to use the patch tool to fix
this go ahead and select the patch tool and then we’re just going to draw a
lasso around this area and then come back and then close it off and then what
we have to do is then click and drag this area down and what it’s going to do
is fill the area that we just got rid of with with the selected area just below
isn’t that pretty cool so then what we can do is just use the clone tool to fix
that so go ahead and select out of the selection area here and then we can use
the clone tool if you guys have never used the clone tool before it’s
generally better to increase the brush size so it’s less noticeable and also
keep the opacity a little bit lower to forward like this around 50% it’s okay
to go above but let’s increase the brush size to about 150 is probably good for
this so what we’re going to do is hit alt and click to copy this region and
then we’re just going to click over this area to fix it up see it’s
looking a little bit better and now we can clone overtop this part as well just
click until it disappears so that corner is done I’m going to do the exact same
method here just sort of cleaning this up so I’m just going to fast-forward
through this bit as I clone so then this area down here gets a
little tricky because of the shaded lightness on the left and the darkness
on the right so what I can do is just quickly reduce the size of the brush
really quickly and fix just these blemishes here but I don’t want to clone
all of this because it’s going to look kind of funky to sort of have to copy
and it’s a lot of work to have to copy the different tones so what I’m going to
do is use the patch tool here and actually draw a lasso around this entire
area like so and then I’m just going to click and move it over to copy the area to the
right and then that’s fixed so if you click over it looks pretty good and then
down here we have another issue we can do the exact same thing but first let’s
use the clone tool really quickly let’s increase the brush size just a tad and
let’s go ahead and alt-click that area and let’s just get rid of this crease
here by cloning that that looks pretty good
great and now let’s just get rid of this area here using the patch tool let’s
just go ahead and lasso around that area like so and then let’s click in move
that over like so and now that’s fixed and just to finish this off here I’m
just going to use the clone tool again alt option click and then just click and
cover up and now let me just show you what it looked like before and now after
so there’s still a few more blemishes I’m just going to clean up so I’m just
going to fast forward using the clone tool to do that all right so that’s looking pretty good
here so now if I click the eye off on the restore layer you can see what it looked
like before if I click it back On you can see that it’s nice and cleaned up
now the last bit of restoring that we have to do is actually create a smart
filter to remove any last-minute dust or scratches from the image so to do that
you first have to right-click on the restore layer and convert to smart
object and then up to filter select noise dust and scratches and here you
can indicate how big you want the radius of the dust to be removed keeping it
around one and two is safe otherwise you’ll get some distortion and threshold
we can keep that at thirty just hit OK and that’ll get rid of any dust or
scratches in a radius of around two so now that that is done now we need to
neutralize the color tones so to do that first you need to go down to adjustment
layer and select black and white and now the colors are neutralized in black and
white now we need to add some contrast between the white and the blacks in the
image so let’s add a levels adjustment layer and then using this graph here for
levels you’re going pull in the blacks to make it a bit darker and pull
in the whites like so to have some contrast so that’s looking a lot better
now you can see the lines on the edges a lot better here great so the next step
is to select a color mode we’re going to select it to CMYK also smick as some
people say because you’re good after you select it you’re going to select merge
and it’s going to make one layer the reason why we change it to see CMYK is
because not only is it better for printing but it blends better when we
start adding the color so now we’re set to begin adding color to this image so
the way that we do that is we actually create a solid color adjustment layer
for each color that we’re going to paint on to my grandfather here so we need a
skin color we need an eye color hair color
tuxedo color let’s see what else this rest
it’s probably like a dark brown color and the background which I don’t know
the original color but I’m going to guess it was probably a gray so let’s
start painting so to do that you’re going to select this adjustment layer
here it’s like solid color and here we just are going to guess on a skin tone
so it’ll be a lot darker because we’re going to apply a soft light blend mode
so let’s do about that and now we’re going to change the blend mode to soft
light and then you’re going to select this mask here and hit command-i to
convert it to black and this will enable us to start painting in the color which
will appear as a mask in this box so make sure that white is selected because
this enables you to paint and click on the brush tool or hit B and then we can
zoom in hit C to zoom in and for B back to brush we can adjust the brush size to
be a bit bigger and now I can just start painting in that color like so and
notice the overexposed area here on his forehead that is not going to get any
color just because it’s overexposed but that’s ok and it’s just gonna work
out to be seem more natural because in the original image it’s also blown out
so then you just go ahead and paint here I’m just going to fast forward as I
finish his face all right so his face skin is starting
to look a bit better you can always change the color by going back over here
clicking on the color and adjusting it until you feel like you get the right
skin tone again we can go back in and add some blush to it as a final touch to
really get that sort of warm skin color so this can be a look feel a little bit
more you know less alive at first cause we can add more
color as a different layer later on but this is pretty good for now so you know
all we have to do now is just continue to carry on and create a new solid layer
like we did before I still have to paint in his hands but let’s just go ahead and
make a new first let’s go ahead and rename this to skin color and now let’s
go ahead and make a new solid for let’s say his eyes a new solid color let’s
make the eyes blue because he had blue eyes like so and we’re gonna change this
to soft light like before and then click on the white mask and hit command-i on a
Mac its command its control I on a PC and let’s rename this eyes and I’m going
to create a new solid color for his tuxedo which will be black change it to
soft light command-I and so I’m just gonna fast forward as I create all the
different layers here all right so I have a layer for pretty
much every color now from background skin color eyes black tuxedo black
tuxedo all the way up to lips and gums and what I’m going to do is just select
the color that I want to start using and start painting so I’m just going to do a
time lapse as I select the color remember you have to select this bit the
mask part to begin painting and then you just have to hit B for brush control
click to adjust the size and to to the size that you want and then begin
painting so let’s just go ahead and start painting his hands here so I’m just adding some blush to his
skin to make it seem more natural here and again it’s set at a 35 percent
opacity if I increase that it’s going to look like too much right so I’m just
gonna set that and around 40 and it looks perfect
so the blush makes it just seem more natural all right on to doing the eyes
and other parts of the body I’m just going to do a time-lapse here
of this if you make any mistakes at all you can
always switch these colors so now it’s a black color and then you can erase what
you’ve done so I’m just a switch so I’m going to switch back to white to begin
painting again so that’s a really nifty tip I’m just changing the color the
background so it’s easier for me to see when I’m painting in I’m not actually
going to keep it blue so now we can change the background
color to anything that we like let’s change it back to here this darker gray
color hit okay and now it’s time to fill in his tuxedo color let’s go ahead and
click that and hit B for brush let’s make it a bit bigger and let’s begin
coloring that in all right it’s almost done here we’re
just gonna fill in this armrest here below and then we may be able to do a
before and after let’s go ahead and zoom in to this armrest select the color here
we may have to change the color later on and then we have to do the ring and some
touch-ups so let’s just zoom in here select the mask and let’s make the brush
bigger now let’s begin to color this armrest kind of darker brown color all right let’s zoom out here this is
looking pretty good I like it and because there are some blotchy areas
that’s just from the original image some of the damage I mean we can clean that
up and I want to make this pant leg just a
little bit darker so what I’m going to do is rather than create a new solid
color I’m going to create a new layer bring this up to the top here and on
this layer I’m just gonna paint black so I’m going to switch back to black here
make the brush a little bit less hardness increase the size a bit say
about there let’s make opacity around 61 and then I can just paint black over
this area so it’s not as white and it looks more natural and so this is pretty
much done here I think I probably just want to add a bit more color to his skin
so I may click on that color and probably darken it up a bit actually
lighten it up a bit just to bring more color in let me bring it down that looks
a bit better though he doesn’t look so pale and so to pull up a side-by-side
here what it looked like before and after let me just pull this out you can
see here on the left the damage is there it’s Sepia tone and on the right it’s
coloured and restored so Thanks so much for watching you guys if this video
helps you out give it a Thumbs Up and if you have any other questions please
don’t be shy and leave a comment below please be sure to Subscribe to this
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video editing templates at Thank you guys so
much for watching and I’ll see you all very soon bye you


  • Reply Premiere Gal July 18, 2018 at 10:31 am

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  • Reply C.H.B March 27, 2019 at 8:17 pm

    Amazing tutorial! i am just starting to learn photoshop and i can't wait to put this tutorial into practice restoring some old family pictures!

  • Reply lisa corimbi March 29, 2019 at 1:00 am

    ehy, genius…wooooooooooooooooow. i will follow you!

  • Reply Dola HY March 29, 2019 at 2:04 am

    Good video learning . thank youi

  • Reply darwin dela cruz March 30, 2019 at 5:15 am

    ahhhh. . . <3

  • Reply Sophia Munari April 2, 2019 at 1:08 am

    I just found an old picture of my grandma from when she was 14 and I can't wait to try it.

  • Reply flomotion April 4, 2019 at 12:07 pm

    Really helpful! Thanks a lot!!

  • Reply Matias Goinheix April 7, 2019 at 2:39 am

    That is a great picture.

  • Reply Bullet Time April 7, 2019 at 12:10 pm

    Thanks a lot Gal now i can fix pics of my grandma and grandpa 😊

  • Reply Steve Barlow April 7, 2019 at 11:51 pm

    Good video, thanks for making 🙂

  • Reply Shakeel Ansari April 8, 2019 at 3:35 pm

    You looking cute mam

  • Reply Jose Gutierrez April 8, 2019 at 10:09 pm

    Wow this is amazing! Thank u

  • Reply Danny Gamer April 11, 2019 at 2:59 am


  • Reply Jesse Newell April 11, 2019 at 8:33 pm

    Awesome! Thanks so much!!!!

  • Reply Nirvan Naik April 15, 2019 at 6:16 am

    Your voice is like cortana

  • Reply Tom Tom April 15, 2019 at 1:59 pm

    If you have to do it manually it's no magic at all. I wonder if PS has a plug-in for these kind of colorizations.

  • Reply VacuBlaster April 18, 2019 at 1:35 am

    I would have removed the bright spot from his forehead as well

  • Reply DELTA DJ April 18, 2019 at 1:20 pm

    Great work

  • Reply Swarnava Modak April 22, 2019 at 4:09 pm

    thankin you… are you add another background? please leave a suggestion on it…

  • Reply praneet matkar April 24, 2019 at 4:01 am

    # piximperfect

  • Reply Jocelyn Kish April 26, 2019 at 5:16 pm

    so glad to have found you after an interview with Think Media! Awesome stuff. Thanks!!!

  • Reply qwqwqwqw Borodmit May 2, 2019 at 3:52 pm

  • Reply rahul rupavtiya May 6, 2019 at 6:22 am

    Awesome video….***

  • Reply M D May 9, 2019 at 5:47 pm

    I start learning from your videos, how do you get the original photo on the screen ? Did you scan the photo.? Did you shoot the picture again

  • Reply Souljhas bro May 12, 2019 at 12:22 pm

    9:33 ??

  • Reply sajith purusothaman May 12, 2019 at 3:58 pm

    There is another shortcut to resize the brush Ctrl+Alt+Right click and hold the keys move right and left to resize.

  • Reply sajith purusothaman May 12, 2019 at 4:01 pm

    To switch between colours press X.

  • Reply Andy Au May 17, 2019 at 2:23 pm

    Difference is night and day, thank you so much for the upload. Very informative, not just one of those speedy videos with no voiceover!

  • Reply Twins And Sarah's show May 19, 2019 at 8:24 pm

    Hey Gal, thanks for your video, big fan of yours…

  • Reply andre reyhan May 27, 2019 at 6:50 pm

    nice and clearly explanation tutorial in english .. gretting from indonesia

  • Reply John Mav May 28, 2019 at 4:59 pm

    Thank you!

  • Reply Steve o June 1, 2019 at 6:44 am

    ColOr Ted Bundy pictures

  • Reply Konrad Kolasa June 1, 2019 at 1:26 pm

    I can't change layer mask color to black, can somebody help me ?

  • Reply Lorenzo Latino June 1, 2019 at 6:12 pm

    Would I be able to hire you for a few old pictures of my grandparents (Who have passed back mid 1990s) and a few pictures of my father.

  • Reply J S June 3, 2019 at 6:41 am

    Thank you for sharing 🙂

  • Reply Cameron Kirby June 14, 2019 at 5:51 pm

    So… I’m recreating a very pixilated and blurred picture for a project and I’m new to this kind of stuff… have any tips?

  • Reply Crystal Hale June 15, 2019 at 7:38 pm

    sis this is it love it 🙂

  • Reply Mehboob Hasan June 20, 2019 at 4:39 am

    Thank you dear it's very useful to me…………

  • Reply Paxus June 20, 2019 at 5:29 pm

    Not making premier vids anymore? : (
    I have a problem? My project area… all my project files… after i made an adjustment layer and added it to timeline… i can't see my project files in the project area anymore…
    I have the project tab selected, but the little box below, is empty… just the words 'Import Media to start', like when you first begin a project….
    What gives? Anyone? Please Help!

  • Reply AJ Graphics June 23, 2019 at 9:53 am

    Thank You

  • Reply Aviad Kel June 23, 2019 at 9:02 pm


  • Reply YanxaW June 26, 2019 at 2:24 pm

    The only bit I have trouble with is blending the colours – i.e. where the hair and skin meet – it looks really painted on. Any advice?

  • Reply Darryl Washington July 3, 2019 at 11:31 am


  • Reply KOKARDA July 3, 2019 at 12:54 pm

    9:34 What did you squeeze out to get out black?

  • Reply mirandazar July 4, 2019 at 6:31 am

    So when you did flesh tone layer it changes all the black facial details to brown especially eyes..Also what to do about the hair line details?

  • Reply chefhawk July 6, 2019 at 5:02 pm


  • Reply Anthony Hazlewood July 6, 2019 at 9:04 pm

    Very useful and interesting tutorial, thanks

  • Reply CSERA Studio July 6, 2019 at 11:02 pm

    Maybe edit it after in lightroom and use luminance tool? Would get rid of some of the fuzz 😂 great tutorial!!

  • Reply Jade Smith July 7, 2019 at 4:47 am

    Of course there are different ways to do things. Nowadays I could use content aware fill, spot heal and color replacement tool. For this background I would make a path around the person and the chair and either replace the background with a nice gradient or make this gradient blend with the background. As for colors i would do some research on internet to find colors that would match. But before i would do anything I would make a guide to align (rotate) the photo. Usually I would make the eyes align horizontal. And before making a path I will temporary turn up the contrast to see the edges better. Hair is always a problem, so fix that in the end.

  • Reply Lazar Ristić July 7, 2019 at 5:09 pm

    thank you so much! I have colorized my picture of my grandfather near Stalingrad with your help!

  • Reply King Uncle July 8, 2019 at 6:54 am


  • Reply Lorenzo Gabriel Tan July 10, 2019 at 3:19 pm

    Any tips on clothes with pattern?

  • Reply Golden Hand July 12, 2019 at 8:50 am

    the photo is already in good condition

  • Reply Chaz Madge July 12, 2019 at 5:41 pm

    CMYK IS NOT best for printing unless you talking offset publishing most watching will need RGB

  • Reply Hosne ara Bristy July 13, 2019 at 1:11 pm


  • Reply Dennis W July 14, 2019 at 12:52 pm

    Photoshop Elements will do just about everything a photographer needs. The spot healing brush is handy too. I use it all the time to remove power lines. I have fixed pictures worse than this one

  • Reply Fozia Khan July 14, 2019 at 5:53 pm

    Very easy and understandable video 👌👍

  • Reply zura zukito July 15, 2019 at 1:14 pm

    Hello ^_^ can you One picture make me please <3

  • Reply Ahmed moneeb July 17, 2019 at 1:00 am

    Really nice work, i know its weird but u look alot like yr grandfather

  • Reply Andyan Raharja July 18, 2019 at 12:11 pm

    thanks, this is helpful

  • Reply Arkady Ivanovich July 19, 2019 at 5:11 am

    You are the best. I fall in love with you

  • Reply Kalaiselvan Vignesh July 21, 2019 at 1:26 am

    THANKZ for thz video…its help me..thankz a lot sister

  • Reply MRxWOWx CHANNEL July 29, 2019 at 10:56 pm

    thanks for the clear instructions.

  • Reply Jackie Stevens August 1, 2019 at 1:08 pm

    New subscriber here, I found you through your stop motion video now I have to watch everything!!!! Thank you so much for being so knowledgeable and personable! Love it. Sending all the Likes.

  • Reply Matthew Proffitt August 1, 2019 at 2:55 pm

    I ran into problem where I'm creating new layers but its not editing when I use the brush tool. Any help?

  • Reply Jessie Exsteen August 2, 2019 at 7:58 am

    I don't usually comment on vids but you did a VERY good job explaining this process!! You are the real MVP

  • Reply SN CHannel SN CHannel August 3, 2019 at 5:09 am

    Thank you for you

  • Reply Carla Erasmus August 3, 2019 at 7:03 am

    Thanks for your video.

  • Reply XGP Anime/Game OST's August 3, 2019 at 11:38 am

    I liked it until you painted the Tuxedo black, it looks obviously painted and I think it looked better and more natural prior too. Maybe just turn the contrast lower/higher on it to make it darker?

  • Reply Godo Gomez August 3, 2019 at 1:10 pm


  • Reply michelfrance75 August 3, 2019 at 4:29 pm

    Thank you for this interesting and educational video. The process is nonetheless to be emulated with other software in the market because the excessive commercial conditions of Photoshop CC for the occasional use that most subscribers who watch these videos do. I do not think this product will survive for a long time by the only subscription of professional photographers or amateurs very informed !

  • Reply Dennie van Dijk August 3, 2019 at 5:54 pm

    great looking girl

  • Reply Roland Lawrence August 4, 2019 at 5:18 am

    wont be long before AI does it in seconds.

  • Reply Jitendra Pastaria August 4, 2019 at 7:53 am

    your lips and nose are more similar to your grandfather, as you said don't be shy are you single

  • Reply Ian McRoman Sr. August 4, 2019 at 8:19 am

    A day of learning … THX a lot …

  • Reply petrosros August 4, 2019 at 9:28 am

    nice vid.

  • Reply Joseph Waters August 4, 2019 at 4:56 pm

    Excellent video, thanks for your time in putting this together.

  • Reply Gyani Admi August 4, 2019 at 6:21 pm

    Your grandpa was a really good-looking man.

  • Reply Zhenhao Guo August 5, 2019 at 9:25 am

    Jumpscare at 8:30

  • Reply Carlos Casais August 5, 2019 at 11:00 am

    the old photo has more style

  • Reply Sharon Newman August 5, 2019 at 11:35 pm

    so you pay evil adobe a never-ending subscription just to loan PS . Creative cloud scam ! I bought Creative suite and cannot use it now Adobe put a stop to it.After paying alot of money for it . I cannot use my own program!! I think having age marks and scratches to. photos looks far better, gives it character.

  • Reply Vincent Westberg August 6, 2019 at 2:38 am

    This video is well done I just made a masterpiece. You should join redit /r/picrequests/ you could make a lot of people very happy 'subbed'

  • Reply stell bass August 6, 2019 at 11:35 pm

    Amazing talent.

  • Reply Coolestmovies August 7, 2019 at 4:50 am

    Seeing the ‘soft’ clone tool render gorgeous photographic film grain into blurry smush is always painful. Otherwise, solid work!

  • Reply CaptGamer 101 August 7, 2019 at 5:26 am

    Wow. Now thats what I call Photoshop skills

  • Reply Sajid Ismael August 7, 2019 at 11:18 am

    Awesome tutorial

  • Reply hakam soufan August 7, 2019 at 10:23 pm

    great work thank you

  • Reply Perzokat August 8, 2019 at 6:54 am

    8:30 – an EVP?

  • Reply Dax Young August 8, 2019 at 8:40 pm

    Good video but the hair isn’t a solid colour, made up of highlights and shadows. Retouching photos always look like they’ve been colourised

  • Reply ANMI37 August 8, 2019 at 11:33 pm


  • Reply bigapple August 9, 2019 at 11:23 am

    Muchas Gracias ! Eres una Genia!

  • Reply Ed Vaioli August 9, 2019 at 12:23 pm

    Unless Grandpa wore his wristwatch and wedding ring on his right hand, the photo is flipped.

  • Reply balleaucanon August 9, 2019 at 2:07 pm

    super ! beau travail merci beaucoup

  • Reply Spider August 9, 2019 at 6:36 pm

    OMG that clonning was childsplay

  • Reply Spider August 9, 2019 at 6:39 pm

    Piximperfect is the best Ps youtube tutor. watch his channel than this trash.

  • Reply Bigg Boss 11 August 10, 2019 at 4:10 am

    AMAZING …… <3

  • Reply Mike Hudson August 10, 2019 at 6:18 pm

    Excellent video.

  • Reply WIlliam Dusseau August 11, 2019 at 1:32 am

    Doesn't Adobe Photoshop have a blending brush?

  • Reply TFrax August 11, 2019 at 4:20 pm

    Your grandpa looks like Kenny Bania from Seinfeld.

  • Reply Vincent Jansson August 11, 2019 at 5:04 pm

    Old photos should not be colorized.

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