How to Remove Mega Moire in Photoshop by Jane Conner-ziser

Today we had a challenge; some of the most distinctive moire I've ever seen. I tried everything and though every tried and true method of moire removal minimized it somewhat, nothing even came close to an acceptable fix. In RGB, the moire was visible in every color channel. In Lab Color, it was visible in both color channels PLUS the lightness channel.

Download a hi-res jpg file of above for trying this yourself (500K).

It is said that perseverance pays off and we weren't going to let it go and finally I combined a couple of different techniques to come up with one that worked consistently every time. Record an action of this - it's worth it!

We're assuming you are working with an RGB file.

Image / Mode / Lab Color

Duplicate the Background

Make sure the Background Copy is the active Layer

Open the Channels window

Click on the Lightness channel to make it the active channel

Choose from the Main Menu Bar, Image / Show All Menu Items / Apply

Choose the following settings:

Source: will be the name of your file

Layer: Background Copy

Channel: b, check Invert

Target: will be the Lightness channel of your file name

Blending: Overlay

Opacity: 100% - I TOLD you it was serious moire!

Check Mask to open additional options

Image: will be the name of your file

Layer: Background Copy

Channel: Lightness, check Invert

Click OK

Click on the Lab Channel (the image becomes color again)

Open the Layers window

Duplicate the Background Copy (makes Background Copy 2)

Filter / Blur / Gaussian Blur - adjust until colors blend; we did 25 pixels

Change the Layer Blending Mode from Normal to Color

Hold the Shift Key down and tap on the Background Copy so both are active

Open the More Options fly out menu from the upper right corner of the Layers window and choose to New Group From Layers.

Click OK

Hold down the Option (or Alt for PC) key and click on the Layer Mask icon at the bottom of the Layers window. It will be a black mask.

Use the Brush tool, Normal mode, 100% opacity, 100% flow to apply White paint over the moire. Choose a brush size appropriate for the job.

Choose Layer / Flatten Image

Image / Mode / RGB

You're finished!

Desperate times call for desperate measures and I realize this is a LOT of steps but it worked every time on the father of the groom's suit in an entire wedding. By making the action, the process was set up with one click, one paint job and one more click to finish. We'll be keeping this action just in case we need it again. I hope you like it and that it works for you, too!

Jane Conner-ziser

More about Jane >>

Jane is a photographer, digital artist, independent consultant and teacher for the professional photography industry. With over 25 years of experience, 19 of them in digital imaging and evolving technologies, the techniques Jane developed for facial retouching and enhancement and portrait painting are widely emulated by photographers and digital artists worldwide through her classes and educational products. She was one of Canon's Explorers of Light in their PrintMaster program, is an Adobe Photoshop Expert, a Corel PainterMaster and a Craftsman Photographer of the Professional Photographers of America. In addition, she is past co-chair for the Digital and Advanced Imaging Committee for the Professional Photographers of America.

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Filed under: Photo Tutorials June 30, 2009
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