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Retroreveal - A Great Cancel Isolation Tool!

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Posted 12/11/2012   09:28 am  Show Profile Check revenuecollector's eBay Listings Bookmark this topic Add revenuecollector to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Isolating cancels from stamps, especially if the cancel ink hue is similar to that of the stamp, or if the cancel is lightly struck, can be a royal pain in the butt. Even using Adobe Photoshop and using various color modes and channels, it can be a time-consuming process with marginal results.

Enter RetroReveal: www.retroreveal.org

This free service allows you to upload images, and in under a minute gives you separate channel images using about a dozen different color modes, including many not normally found in commercial software.

You can choose to make your images public or private. I used thee tool this morning on about a dozen different cancels. I've left two public images up there to show two examples of potentially problematic images.

Once I find the best candidate, the only further processing I've had to do is either (1) invert the image if it is white on black, and more likely (2) boost the brightness and contrast to further isolate the cancel from background.

I'm sold on the tool and hope that it remains free (although I would glady donate to support an effort like this). I sent them an email telling them what a wonderful tool it is.

For my work, this is a MAJOR timesaver! I would imagine that it has applications in other philatelic areas as well (detecting flaws and removed cancels, postal history markings, etc.)
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Posted 12/11/2012   11:12 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add tomiseksj to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Looking at a few of the gallery images that I'm sure you submitted, the tool looks as good as you have described it. Thanks!!!
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Posted 12/11/2012   11:23 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add doug2222 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I had a related idea several years ago, freeware in which you could post a stamp image, then remove the colors one by one, by range of Angstrom units, and unless you had a black stamp, eventually you would have only the cancellation. It could also be used to research missing colors.

I pitched the idea over and over, and no one ever seemed even slightly interested. Probably because there was no money involved, just satisfaction.
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Posted 12/11/2012   11:54 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add pjsstamps to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Very Cool! Thanks for sharing
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Posted 12/12/2012   10:53 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add pjsstamps to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Revenue Collector, It works to help see silk fibers in first series revenues too! I put a German stamp that was very faded with heavy cancel up on their public view page. It was hard to identify prior to using this, but this made it much easier for my old eyes.
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Posted 12/12/2012   11:48 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add stallzer to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
This software tool is phenomenal!! A must have for any cancel collector, thank you for sharing it Rev.!
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Posted 12/26/2012   10:20 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add AnimatedFDCs to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
This is a great tool and actually helped me to see some of the detail on an albino stamp
I recently acquired. Highly recommend it.
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Posted 12/27/2012   1:46 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add smauggie to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Still having a devil of a time reading this cancel.

http://retroreveal.org/images/ss/1401
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APS Member #: 222539 AAPE, Maplewood Stamp Club (MN), Northern Philatelic Society, US Philatelic Classics Society, Auxiliary Markings Club, Canal Zone Study Group, Minnesota Postal History Society
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Posted 12/27/2012   2:04 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add wt1 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Still having a devil of a time reading this cancel.


Smauggie: The link provided is no good as it requires a password login.

Please repost the image of the cancel you are looking to identify.
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Posted 12/27/2012   2:17 pm  Show Profile Check Nells250's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add Nells250 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I must be thoroughly stupid... many of the sample photos are still impossible for me to read. Are you supposed to look at all of the images on the Channel Inspector page and try to piece them all together?
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Posted 12/27/2012   2:36 pm  Show Profile Check revenuecollector's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add revenuecollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Smauggie: The link provided is no good as it requires a password login.

Please repost the image of the cancel you are looking to identify.


Actually, what he needs to do is go to the Retroreveal website and make that image public. Then everyone will be able to see it. Images are private by default.
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Posted 12/27/2012   2:46 pm  Show Profile Check Nells250's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add Nells250 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Wellp, I decided the best way for me to figure the site out was to upload an image. I think I chose a good one!

http://retroreveal.org/images/ss/1402
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Posted 12/27/2012   4:16 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add smauggie to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I have re-added it as a public image. Please let me know if you still encounter difficulty.

http://retroreveal.org/images/ss/1405
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Posted 12/27/2012   4:27 pm  Show Profile Check Nells250's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add Nells250 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
smauggie, I think that was mailed from the town of Smudge

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Posted 12/27/2012   5:05 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add smauggie to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
A big help there, Nells.

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Posted 12/10/2013   07:35 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add TinMan to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
What a great tool this would be for Detective Police work.
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I collect U.S. Singles, Se-Tenants, Souvenir sheets and Canadian Singles.
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