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Prune

Photo-texture: removing shading?

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What's the least manual labor intensive way to minimize baked shading from photographs to make them into textures? Simply retaining chroma and removing luma doesn't work since some areas are pigmented darker, not simply shaded darker. Any Photoshop tricks that would give a decent looking result, even if not quite correct? Also, surely given the thirty year history of shape from shading algorithms (Woodham and onwards), there's some computer-vision based approach...

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Have you tried Crazybump? there is a free trial of it out there, it actually does have some shadow/highlight removing features I have used minimally to good effect in the past, but it takes a good deal of tweaking , try it out in any case.

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A nice, but not physically correct Photoshop technique is to apply a high-pass filter, and then fade the last operation using "color" blend mode.

If you're using CS3 or CS4, you can get more control by copying the original layer to a smart object, apply a high-pass filter to it and set its blending mode to "luminosity" so that the final hue and saturation values are inherited from the original image. This approach has the benefit that you can adjust the high-pass frequency parameter afterwards so as to tweak the result.

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Ultimately the best way is to do some hand painting and photo manipulation work to create a usable replica, that as it happens is more customizable and more likely to be what you want, but yes it is a little more work.

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