Jan
19
2012

Digital retouching before photoshop – 25 years ago (in 1987) USSR

Digital retouching before photoshop

Digital retouching before photoshop

Who would have imagined a digital retouching in process, twenty-five years ago (1987)? Yeah, you read it right!

The video below (2:48), takes us through a quick digital retouching process.

If our knowledge serves us right, that’s some three years before Photoshop 1.0 was introduced. Some technology, eh?

With the use of some brilliant technology (for that time), drum scanners, trackball, magnetic tapes and more; the artists, or rather, engineers in USSR were making it happen. Some of us were not even conceived at that time! Are you not amazed?

By the end of first minute (1:00) in the video, a manually processed image is scanned using drum scanners and magnetic tapes. Notice how Z is in function on the screen, to zoom in; and how the cursor coordinates X Y are constantly being refreshed on screen.

At 1:40 minutes, we see the first result of removing damages from the photograph, which is close to what we create these days primarily, by using the clone tool. Further in the video, we see examples of color corrections (contrast, brightness, saturation etc.); and even, increasing sharpness of a picture (2:28).

Was this one of the first step towards the softwares that we use today for digital retouching (photoshop etc.)? It does seem like that!

What is your reaction towards this video? Had you imagined such great detail of digital retouching possible back in 1987? We are waiting for your reactions/thoughts in the comments section below. Let’s talk!

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About the Author:

Himanshu Khanna is the founder of Pixelonomics and a senior designer at Sparklin. If you’d like to connect with him, follow him on Twitter: @SparklinGuy

  • Abhijeet Makhijani

    well… surely there was digital editing before photoshop so its not surprising at all. photoshop and the likes have made it easier/simpler/user friendly etc and BIG thanks to  piracy, its easily accessible by one and all, making it as popular as it is. 

  • deepa

    That’s Photoshop….

  • guest

    how do you ascertain the authenticity of the content you have posted here 

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