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I have this image below:

enter image description here

and I am trying to figure out a way to remove all of the colored dots from the image. Are there any techniques that anyone would suggest to be able to remove this from the image so I just have a regular striped base to this image? I am using photoshop 7

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Something I noticed.. superuser.com/questions/342349/… –  Joonas Oct 10 '11 at 6:14
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6 Answers

You're not really trying to remove dots, you're trying to remove a bunch of differently colored line segments. Each "dot" is composed of at least three, sometimes as many as seven individual elements across alternating light and darker grey stripes.

The easiest way to do this is not to work on the individual color areas, but to completely recreate the light and dark stripes on top of the existing image. You're going to get a much better-looking result if you fill an entire stripe than if you try to do it in small patches. My approach, frankly, would be to keep the cup edge and the frosting, and redo the cup from scratch. It's a lot faster than the alternatives.

IF you want to work with the original, though, here's how I would do it. It is a fairly slow and arduous undertaking, especially with the tools available in PS7. I don't know if what you're showing is the full resolution you have to work with. The higher the actual pixel count, the easier this will be to pull off. Conversely, at a very low resolution it will be extremely hard.

Here's the approach I would use:

Workspace

Make a second window for the image, using Window > New Window. Tile the two windows side by side and zoom way in on one of them. This is the window you'll work in. The other is your reference so you can see the effect at normal resolution, so it should be at 100%, or at the size you expect to use the image. While you work in the zoomed-in window, watch the image change in the normal window to get a proper perspective on how you're doing.

Highlights

  • Use the eyedropper tool to select the top and bottom tints of the highlight stripes as foreground and background.

  • Using the Pen tool set to Path (not Shape), carefully match the outline of one light stripe. Pick one of the larger ones near the middle, because it will be easier than the narrow ones and you'll get some practice before you tackle the more difficult ones. Be sure to close the path. [NOTE: With the pen tool you can tweak the positions of the lines with the white arrow path tool if you need to. If you're careful, though, you can achieve the same result using the Polygonal (straight line) lasso tool.]

  • Press Ctl/Cmd-Enter/Return to make the path into a selection.

  • Press Ctl/Cmd-H to hide the marching ants.

  • Make a new layer.

  • Using the gradient tool set to "Foreground to Background", fill the selection on the new layer. You may have to experiment a bit to get this exactly right, so keep the Undo key handy!

  • Deselect (Ctl/Cmd-D)

  • Repeat these steps for each of the highlight stripes. You can make a new layer for each one (recommended) or put all on the one new layer.

Note 1: On the very fine lines on the left, you may find it fastest to simply go in with the pencil tool or the line tool if they are genuinely only a pixel or two wide.

Shadows

  • Eyedropper the top and bottom greys of the "shadow" stripes" to make a new foreground/background combination.

  • Use the pen tool as before to make a precise selection of one stripe.

  • Make a new layer. Don't put this on the same layer as your lighter stripes!

  • Fill with the gradient as before.

  • Deselect and repeat until all the shadow areas are done.

Note 2: In the places where there is only a tiny bit of color within the darker grey, you could simply clone stamp it out, but do make a selection to restrict the stamp to just the area you need.

Fine Tuning

Now look at the overall composite. You will probably see some color showing through in places. Add another layer and use the Pencil tool or a one or two pixel brush at a high zoom to add light or dark pixels where needed to completely hide the color.

When you're done, save the image, then flatten and save with a different file name.

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In case someone thinks this answer is too long: THIS IS THE BEST ANSWER SO FAR!. It will give the best result. –  awe Oct 10 '11 at 7:28
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Photoshop 7? Hmm, I have no idea was tools you do or don't have, so I'd suggest a rough do-it-yourself technique using the magic wand and paint brush.

Basically, select a "stripe" of color and then paint over it with a soft brush with the color of the rest of that stripe.

In the screen shot you can see I split the painting into stop steps (one for the top half, the second for the bottom half) that's because the stripe is a subtle gradient and it helps it blend. So make sure you use a soft brush when you paint.

enter image description here

I did one dot for you here:

enter image description here

You can see the edges are a bit rough, but it's just a little more work to clean up.

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This technique will most likely leave some traces of the dots no matter you use a brush as the answer suggest, or a stamp. –  awe Oct 10 '11 at 7:43
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I agree that it would be easier to draw over the image in Illustrator. However, since you specified Photoshop 7, I do have a method for you that will work in an earlier version of Photoshop (though I don't remember if it was added before or after PS7.

Image > Adjustments > Replace Color

Over and over and over. Increase the size of the image until you see separate pixels. Select one color area each time, then lower the saturation and increase the lightness until you get a good match with surrounding color. Adjust the fuzziness so that you only select the pixels in one color range, without affecting the brown icing, that's the trick! I also copy/pasted 6 to 9 pixels at a time (remembering to merge layers down often).

Good luck and continue with the image I started for you if you like.

my edited version

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  1. Make a hue/saturation Adjustment Layer and desaturate the image

  2. Select the layer with your image and take the Magic Wand to select a dot (play with the tolerance)

  3. It is time for some levels kung-fu!

  4. When you're done with all those nasty dots use the Magic Wand to select that tasty thing and apply a mask to the adjustment layer

the steps

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It will take max 20 minutes to draw it over in illustrator (or any other program, inkscape for example) — improve your skills! So afterwards you can have a real vector.

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You can use the Select>Color Range tool.. and select the dot color and then replace with an appropriate color. This will give you a better selection than the Magic Wand or the quick selection tool.

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