Critique my leveling please?

Rosella

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Hi there! So I just got accepted into Chibi Manga. I am still very new to cleaning though, so I need to ask some questions.

1) First of all, did I overlevel or underlevel the page? I'm always worried about this :XD.

Raw: http://i.imgur.com/DQcJd1w.png
Leveled: http://i.imgur.com/XQhcsI3.png

2) Second of all, should I remove the page numbers for the pages in a project?

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Thank you!
I am not used to this and tend to worry over something, so any help will be appreciated :D!
 

Obsidian

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1.I'm not much of a cleaner, but I think the page is a bit too "bright" overall. Making the blacks a bit darker would improve it.

2.Look through the rest of your raws. If there are page numbers which would require a redraw to erase, just leave the page numbers as they are. If not, it's all up to your group's preference.
 

Gradonil_Ral

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You could perhaps level the whites a bit more, but not too much. To 245 max.
Actually the patterns will get slightly damaged already if you do that, but there's still quite a bit of dirt left. Otherwise, you can keep the current white level, but you'd have to manually dodge the dirt away.

I agree with Obsidian - the page is too bright. No, not "bright" - too "bleak".
Going by usual standards, to achieve black lines and panel borders you'd need to level the black too about 100. Yes. That's 0>100.
Actually, they won't even be entirely black then either. However some of the details such as hair and eyes will already get overleveled by then. So you can choose to leave the page slightly underleveled at about 70, or copy the damaged areas to a new layer and use different settings for them.

Or... redo the page from scratch. Since the raw is that small, try enlarging it to about 3000px high, then use smart sharpen to deblur the page (0.8-1.2px + 150% should do the trick).
Then, you can try using surface blur to blur the dirt a bit, level the page, maybe try a little bit of topaz denoise, reduce the page height to the original size, level a bit to remove denoise leftovers and you should be done.
If you haven't used too strong settings for surface blur and denoise, you should already have better results than what you got. If not, make a few more tries. It's all about trial and error (and correct :P).

~~
As for removing page numbers... my preference is this: remove them for magazine raws, leave them for tankoubons. Just make sure your filenames match with the page numbers inside.
 

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