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Image Clean-up with Photoshop’s Dust and Scratches Filter


The Dust & Scratches filter provides a more powerful way to remove noise from an image. Dissimilar pixels are modified to achieve a balance between sharpening and hiding defects. You’ll want to try different settings on your image because a wide variety of results are possible. It may be helpful to run the filter on only part of your image at a time.

To use the filter, follow these steps:

1. Make a selection or use the entire image. It is a good idea to feather your edges (Select > Modify > Feather) to avoid a visible line when using the filter.


2. Choose Filter > Noise > Dust & Scratches.

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3. It is best to keep the preview zoomed in to 100% and pan to see the scratches.

4. Set the Threshold slider to 0. This turns off the value, so that all pixels can be examined. Threshold is used to determine how different pixels must be before they are removed.

5. Move the Radius slider left or right, or choose a value from 1 to 16 pixels. The Radius determines how far to search for differences among pixels. Overuse of Radius blurs the image; you’ll need to balance how much noise is removed versus when softening occurs.

6. Gradually increase the Threshold to the highest value that still produces the desired effect.

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7. Click OK when satisfied.

You may have a few small blemishes left to touch up by hand (but much less work than you started with).

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About Richard Harrington (43 Articles)
A certified instructor for Adobe and Apple, Rich is a practiced expert in motion graphic design and digital video. Rich is a member of the National Association of Photoshop Professionals Instructor Dream Team, and a popular speaker on the digital video circuit. Rich is an internationally published author. His book, Photoshop for Video, was the first of its kind to focus on Photoshop’s application in the world of video. He is also a contributing author for Apple’s Aperture, iLife ’09 and iWork ’09, Video Made on a Mac, and Producing Video Podcasts. If you want even more Photoshop training, check out his book Understanding Adobe Photoshop CS4. If you have an iPod touch or iPhone, you can get <a href="http://tinyurl.com/upapps">Rich’s Training in your Pocket</a>

2 Comments on Image Clean-up with Photoshop’s Dust and Scratches Filter

  1. Thanks for the tip. I found your site while searching for a clarification on Radius and Threshold functions in that filter, and the explanation couldn’t have been more simple! Cheers.

  2. It would improve your articles if they contained a publish date and/or version of Photoshop used for the articles (since features in Photoshop do change)

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