Misc Attempt Shoujo Magazine? [Clean]

Huffly Parfait

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Hello,

I need some help about cleaning Shoujo Magazine raw. Uhh idk, they just have a high quality but yet hard to be taken care of... :( Mainly if we're talking about the Grey and tones.
I've tried several compositions such as Blur, Unsharp Mask, Topaz Denoise 5, Topaz Clean 3, making new "Background Copy Layer 2" => Color Burn => Merge, and level, or just straight to the leveling part, and etc etc, but still never able to make them look so HQ!

Sample 1 || Sample 2

results:

Sample 1 || Sample 2

Too much blur, I guess...?
Can somebody give me some advice to make 'em look... better?
Thanks in advance!

Also, I know it always depends on the raw, but does anyone know how to make a raw to be like this? It's not that blur, neither so sharp. Somehow it just gives me an impression how a page should look like.

BIG CHEERS! :derp
 
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hatsuharupeace

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Late reply to your post, but yeah, will critique both pages individually.

Whilst you've smoothed out the page a little too much with Clean 3, there is a lot of detail missing in the gray pattern in a lot of the panels in the first page. What's happened there is probably when the page was originally scanned, the paper may have not been fully flat on the scanner which has led to some detail missing on the initial RAW.

Due to that, when you've denoised it, what was left of the initial pattern was smoothed out, and then further smoothed when you used Clean 3, which has led to that splattering of straight gray colour instead of some nice patterned grays like in that nice page you posted before. How to fix it? Pretty much you'll have to clone it over, but judging from how badly the grays across the page have been damaged, you might have to replace the entire page of grays, or find a better quality version of the RAW.

The best place to kinda compare your clean and RAW to see what I mean is the top left panel, and the gray sky in that panel. Look between the two whilst zoomed in and you'll see what I mean by the lack of patterning in the RAW and then the loss of detail in your clean. What you also might have to look out for is making sure you don't boost up sharpening the lines too much, because it's really apparent in the second last panel. Also, make sure you redraw the left borders for the most left panels because there is a lot of dust running along that border as well.

For your second page, you've really overdenoised the page and smoothed it out way too much, go a little bit easier with those programs especially with shoujo as the RAWs aren't as good compared to shounen RAWs as well as there are a lot more variants of gray patterning which can be easily destroyed by topaz. First example is the guys coats in the second last panel, the whole pattern has been destroyed and smoothed over, and the black dots in the background have also been destroyed, there's actually gray attached to those as well.

For a page like this, you really need to go a bit easier with the amount of program editing and definitely take a bit more time to clean it manually. The grays in the top half again are missing a lot of initial patterning, which has led to a lot of smooth grays after denoising with no patterning in them at all. What I'd really suggest you do is to try cleaning those two pages again, but to use topaz a lotttt less than you initially did with the ones you posted up and see the difference between the two. Spend a bit more time manually cleaning, and I have a feeling that your cleans will definitely improve a lot, and of course, never stop experimenting.

One of the major things which a lot of people, I feel, have a hard time comprehending is that every page is different and therefore needs to be cleaned differently. Even though they may be from the same magazine or tanko and scanned by the same person, it's gonna have slightly different properties in terms of details, grays, dust and so on, and I think that's what has happened with these two pages, so definitely try them again, and see what you come up with.
 

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