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Removing Moiré Patterns from Coats, Shirts, Etc.

There are certain fabrics or garments, usually hideously ugly ones (kidding), that create a visible pattern when photographed with a digital camera. Perhaps the most common of these patterns, called moiré pattern, is one that shows up in garments and appears as a rainbow of colors. It's very hard to repair—that is, unless you know this great trick. (Thanks to David Cuerdon who showed it to me.)

Step One:

Open a photo with a visible moiré pattern (like the one shown here).

Figure 3.54Figure 3.54

Step Two:

Press the letter "L" to switch to the Lasso tool, and draw a selection around the areas of the image that have a visible moiré pattern (as shown at right).

Figure 3.55Figure 3.55

Step Three:

To hide our "tracks" a bit, we'll soften the edges of our selection. This will help the correction we're about to apply blend in better with the rest of the image. Go under the Select menu and choose Feather. When the Feather Selection dialog appears, enter 1 or 2 pixels and click OK to soften the edge of your selection.

Figure 3.56Figure 3.56

Step Four:

Press Command-J (PC: Control-J) to copy the selected area onto its own layer above the Background layer.

Figure 3.57Figure 3.57

Step Five:

Go under the Filter menu, under Blur, and choose Gaussian Blur. When the Gaussian Blur dialog appears, drag the Radius slider all the way to the left and then slowly drag it to the right until you see the moiré pattern disappear (you're basically "blurring" it away). Click OK. The photo will still look pretty bad because there's one more step we have to perform before it all comes together.

Figure 3.58Figure 3.58

Step Six:

Go to the Layers palette and change the Blend Mode of this layer from Normal to Color. When you do this, the moiré pattern will be hidden by the blur and the object will look normal again, yet you didn't destroy any of its detail. How cool is that?

Figure 3.59Figure 3.59

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