Inpainting is a conservation process where damaged, deteriorating, or missing parts of an artwork are filled in to present a complete image. This process can be applied to both physical and digital art mediums such as oil or acrylic paintings, chemical photographic prints, sculptures, or digital images and video.
With its roots in physical artwork, such as painting and sculpture, traditional inpainting is performed by a trained art conservator who has carefully studied the artwork to determine the mediums and techniques used in the piece, potential risks of treatments, and ethical appropriateness of treatment.
More than mere scratch removal, the inpainting techniques can also be applied to object removal, text removal, and other automatic modifications of images and videos. In video special effects inpainting is usually performed after video matting.