Phillyman

Where should Retromags fill holes first?

Where should we fill holes first  

39 members have voted

  1. 1. Which of these should we fill holes on first

    • Electronic Gaming Monthly
      24
    • GamePro
      4
    • Nintendo Power
      9
    • E-Day
      2


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If a mag is listed as acquired, a scanner already has it in their possession, but they may or may not ever get around to actually scanning it (no one has the time to scan everything they own).  Be sure to vote for the mag to be preserved (on its database entry page), since a mag with lots of votes may get scanning priority. 

 

The best way to get a mag not already marked as acquired added to the site short of scanning it yourself is to keep your eyes peeled for eBay sightings and purchase the mag for the sake of donation, since a donated mag is more likely to make it to the top of a scanner's "to do" pile.

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Wish i could change my vote after reading through the entire topic. I voted for Nintendo Power">NP, buuuut since i'll have to wait another oh, 6 years for last Nintendo Power">NP to considered safe to download, i'd like to see EGM get completed.

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As a massive fan of Sendai publications I would love to see these issues added to the site to complete some collections!

Missing issues of EGM2 1-49:

Issue 3

Issue 4

Issue 8

Issue 10

Issue 11

Issue 12

Issue 19

Issue 20

Issue 22

Issue 23

Issue 25

Issue 28

Issue 31-44

Issue 46-47

Issue 49

 

Missing issues of Mega Play 1-28:

Issue 2 & 3

Issue 5 & 6

Issue 8-10

Issue 12-14

Issue 16-19

Issue 22-25

Issue 27-28

 

Missing issues of Super Nes Buyers Guide 1-17:

Issue 2

Issue 4 & 5

 

Missing issues of Video Game Buyers Guide 1989-2000:

1994

1995

1996

1997

2000

 

Missing issues of Super Gaming:

Issue 1 & 2

Issue 4

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1 hour ago, kitsunebi77 said:

Whew!  I don't own a single one of those magazines, so none of the pressure is on me! :lol:

My intention was not to put pressure on anyone. I'm just saying it would be nice if they were available is all. 

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On 10/22/2016 at 1:23 PM, magazine_guy7 said:

Can we start filling holes with the early Tips & Tricks magazine? It seems like that section has been neglected. Same goes for the Game Fan magazines.

Seconded! Tips & Tricks was pretty unique, I'd love to see more of these online. 

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I remember when I first found this site and reading all the posts like this one ("What should Retromags scan next?) and others saying things like "our scanners are working on ____."  I was pretty naive at the time,  but to some degree I still think such wording is misleading, as it creates an impression that there are special people who work for this site whose job or purpose is to scan magazines.  It made me feel as if the people making the scans were different from me somehow.

The reality, of course, is that that Retromags doesn't scan anything.  Our members are the ones doing the scanning.  And if you're reading this, you're probably a member, no different from the ones contributing scans.  Sure, some people don't own any magazines or can't afford to acquire any, and others may own magazines but not a scanner, so contributing might not be possible for them.

But every "scanner" is just a regular member who one day decided to give something back.  They didn't need to be asked or given permission, they just did it on their own and were kind enough to share with the rest of us.  I'd like to think that most of our members are really just scanners waiting to happen.  Imagine how quickly things would blow up around here if everyone who could, would.:)

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I know I haven't done my part. I downloaded some unedited Game Players and began to do some basic cropping+rotation work, but only got through a little more than a quarter of GP80 (Jan 96). It's not even really hard or all that slow, just tedious. I've actually been thinking of making a quick bit of software to streamline the process, but, well, I've been lazy about it.

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Here is one magazine you guys don't have. New Computer Express. Some guy on uploaded a ton of them on archive.org. Here is the link: https://archive.org/search.php?query=subject%3A"New+Computer+Express+Weekly+Computer+Magazine+from+the+uk"

It needs some editing to be done on it also the original file size is way to big for retromags i think. You can just convert it down by 50%. The editing part is just making sure stuff is not tilled when its tilled and make the pages not have stuff past the binding thats for the previous page.

If anything this magazine is not one retromags at all so it make a good start project for some one here.

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On 6/10/2017 at 10:11 PM, MajorLag said:

I know I haven't done my part. I downloaded some unedited Game Players and began to do some basic cropping+rotation work, but only got through a little more than a quarter of GP80 (Jan 96). It's not even really hard or all that slow, just tedious. I've actually been thinking of making a quick bit of software to streamline the process, but, well, I've been lazy about it.

I've stopped doing the editing at my desktop in the basement and started doing it on my Surface Pro while watching television just because I didn't want to neglect one activity for editing anymore. And this way I can do two things at once and not feel like the time spent on something tedious like editing a scan could be better spent elsewhere.

I haven't been watching much TV lately, which is while it's been a while since I edited a scan. But I will start on Phillyman's scan of EGM 64 very soon :)

On 6/11/2017 at 0:48 PM, godane said:

Here is one magazine you guys don't have. New Computer Express. Some guy on uploaded a ton of them on archive.org. Here is the link: https://archive.org/search.php?query=subject%3A"New+Computer+Express+Weekly+Computer+Magazine+from+the+uk"

It needs some editing to be done on it also the original file size is way to big for retromags i think. You can just convert it down by 50%. The editing part is just making sure stuff is not tilled when its tilled and make the pages not have stuff past the binding thats for the previous page.

If anything this magazine is not one retromags at all so it make a good start project for some one here.

Unless the uploader scanned them all himself and allows us to edit them and upload them here (that's a lot of editing work), we cannot add the actual scans to our site. The other option is to create the database entry for the magazine and all the issues. Then you as a user could link to them on archive.org from here using the user download field.

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On 6/12/2017 at 1:48 AM, godane said:

Here is one magazine you guys don't have. New Computer Express. Some guy on uploaded a ton of them on archive.org. Here is the link: https://archive.org/search.php?query=subject%3A"New+Computer+Express+Weekly+Computer+Magazine+from+the+uk"

It needs some editing to be done on it also the original file size is way to big for retromags i think. You can just convert it down by 50%. The editing part is just making sure stuff is not tilled when its tilled and make the pages not have stuff past the binding thats for the previous page.

If anything this magazine is not one retromags at all so it make a good start project for some one here.

There are lots of mags available at archive.org, oldgamemags, outofprintarchive, etc. that we don't have at Retromags.  The reason being that Retromags only hosts magazines that our members have scanned themselves.  We don't just pull whatever we find on the net and upload it here (there are already enough sites doing that, including archive.org.)

So unless whoever scanned those New Computer Express issues is a member here, you won't be seeing those scans here.  (Even if they were a member, as you pointed out, they are essentially unedited scans which would require massive amounts of work to make suitable for uploading here.)

Personally, I don't think there's any reason we need them here if they're already available elsewhere.  Anyone interested in those mags can get them right now at archive.org.  If any of our members want to contribute to our site, I believe their time would be better spent scanning/editing mags that aren't available anywhere else.

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Ok, so I had some surgery recently and consequently some downtime from my usual hobby, so I've finished basic editing on GP80 (Jul 96), at least I think so. Where do I send it for review? Since it's my first edit job I expect there might be some issues.

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16 hours ago, MajorLag said:

Ok, so I had some surgery recently and consequently some downtime from my usual hobby, so I've finished basic editing on GP80 (Jul 96), at least I think so. Where do I send it for review? Since it's my first edit job I expect there might be some issues.

Just upload it to any free filehost and post the link here, or else send the link in a PM to one of the RM curators (those people with names in red) so they can take a look at it.

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On 8/28/2017 at 1:12 AM, MajorLag said:

Game Players Issue 80 January 1996.cbz

The host I used will delete this after 30 days.

Since no one else has said anything, I'll give you my 2 cents.  What follows is as nit-picky as I can make it.  In all honesty, so long as a mag is cropped and straightened, it's good enough in my opinion.  Still, when I do my own scans, I try for "best that it can be," so for the purposes of this critique, I'm going to treat this mag as if that were the intended goal.

At first I thought this was one of Philly's scans, which would mean that even if all you did was crop and straighten, it would till look pretty good (he has the same scanner that I do, and even without Photoshopping, it produces presentable results.

As soon as I looked at the file, though, I could tell that this wasn't scanned by a Fuji Scansnap.  IIRC, this is one of Marktrade's scans he dumped unedited on archive.org.

First things first - the file labeled page 2 should be page 141, since it is the second page of a 2-page Game Boy Killer Instinct ad that starts on 140.  I'm sure the pages being numbered incorrectly was the fault of the scanner, but you should always be on the lookout for pages that are out of order like this, especially if you're editing someone else's files.

Regarding the edit, the pages are a bit dark and yellow.  Really really yellow.  This isn't really your fault, it's the fault of the scanner that was used, although it's also possible that the paper in the mag itself is of low quality or has aged poorly.  The colors in general look quite weak, so I'm going to assume that a great deal of the problem is the quality of the magazine's printing itself.

Looking at the spectrometer in Photoshop, the white levels are begging for adjustment, so I did that and also punched up the brightness a tad.  And although I am normally loathe to adjust the saturation (some people at retromags have a habit of oversaturating everything so badly I want to scream), in this case, the colors were so weak I bumped up the saturation just a tiny bit. 

The result is still somewhat unimpressive, but in my opinion, the original scans and/or magazine pages aren't very good, so you can only work with what you have.

Original on left, new edit on right (I had to reduce the size quite a bit since these forums have a max of 500kb for images)

Game Players Issue 80 January 1996 Page 057.jpgGame Players Issue 80 January 1996 Page 057 copy.jpg

It's not a huge difference, but at full size it helps make the images seem a bit clearer, in my opinion.

Finally, it looks like you didn't re-size the files.  Retromags standard is 2200px high.  I save the mags I scan at 2500px high.  Regardless of what you choose, each file should be resized to the same height (the width will vary.)

 

The only other advice I could give is to beware of gutter blemishes.  There are a few pages (mostly near the beginning of the mag, where you can still see the place where the mag was debound.  If you have content-aware fill on your Photoshop, fixing this is pretty easy, and is the ideal solution.  If you don't have content aware fill (I think it wan't implemented until CS6), you may just have to crop those.

If you happened to have copies of your edited files saved in PNG, then any new adjustments should be done to those.  If all you have are the jpgs you uploaded here, well, those can be adjusted too, probably without any visible deterioration of quality.  Adjusting things like white/black levels, brightness and saturation can be done in a few minutes to all the pages by recording an action in Photoshop and batch processing the entire folder.  Using the same adjustments shown in the image above, I processed the entire mag and saved it at 2500px high - the resulting file was 224MB.

You're free to use my file (all credit would still go to you) or else you're free to adjust it yourself (especially if you have the edited images in PNG).  Or if you feel strongly about it, you can keep the file the way it is (although it does still need to be resized to a consistent height.)  It isn't bad, it just doesn't look like much was done to it besides the minimum of cropping and straightening.  Or heck, you might even think I made it look worse - that's a possibility, too.

Again, I tried to be as picky as possible for the benefit of a first time submitter, so don't think I'm unappreciative or disapproving in any way.  The bottom line is, you did something that only a literal handful of the thousands of people who visit this site have been willing to do and took it upon yourself to give something back.  Those scans have been sitting at archive.org completely untouched for over a year and you took the time to edit one of them and offer it here.  That's awesome, and don't you forget it. :Yahooo:

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Good notes. Since it was my first time, and since I don't have an eye for things like saturation, white levels, and color distortion, I was focused on getting it to the bare minimum of being straightened and cropped (except for the cover, which had some rough spots so I took the time to clean it up). Honestly even with that there were times I wasn't sure if the page was actually crooked or it was just that 90s style. Also I don't have Photoshop and just made do with Paint.net. It had been so long since I'd started the project (because I was lazy) I'd forgotten about the height standard, which I had intended to circle back on and batch. Stupidly, I saved all my output in jpg, no idea what I was thinking there.

I have no problem with using your version. I just want to get the mags preserved.

I have the other archive.org dumps from that set, so I'll probably start on another one in the near future. Anything to add to this list?

straighten and crop (saving to png this time)
keep an eye out for page ordering issues
beware of gutter blemishes (I think I'd started fixing these with the stamp tool at some point)
check and adjust white levels/brightness/saturation (any tips on how to tell 'good' from 'not good' could be helpful here)
height should be 2200-2500px

Is there a standard for jpg output quality?

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10 minutes ago, E-Day said:

I usually save at quality level 9.

Ditto.  I'm not sure if this is applicable in programs outside of Photoshop though?

Btw, saving in PNG is just useful in case you want to make further changes later on, since PNG is lossless.  The files will be bigger, of course, so the final file you release will still need to be comprised of jpgs, but should you need to make further edits to the PNG for some reason, no quality will be lost.  If you edit a jpg and save as a jpg, you've essentially converted a lossy file into a lossier file.  It's like converting an mp3 into another mp3 - the second one will be of lower quality, even if you save it at a higher bitrate.  Still, so long as it isn't done over and over, converting a jpg into another jpg won't give any kind of image loss visible to the naked eye, so long as you don't save it at a low quality level.

Regarding what is good for black/white/brightness/saturation levels...it's kind of in the eye of the beholder.  And whatever display they're using when editing files:P

That isn't a joke, actually.  I think everyone does what they think looks best.  I think my mags look best, just as I'm sure E-Day thinks his look best, Melki thinks his look best, and...er...well I guess that's about it for mags scanned/edited this year at Retromags.  But suppose my monitor is calibrated poorly - when I edit it to make it look good on my display, it might look like crap on someone else's display that has been calibrated correctly.  OR vice versa - maybe my calibration is correct, but everyone else's is bad?  You really have no way of knowing what your file will look like on someone else's computer, so you just make it look good in a way you're proud of, and that's the best you can do.

It's a bit easier if you scan the mags yourself and you know your equipment.  It's how I knew that this Game Players wasn't scanned by the type of scanner I own.  I know what to expect from my scanner and how it handles different paper types.  I never need to adjust saturation at all, for example.  The Fujitsu I use captures colors beautifully, and any adjustment to saturation levels would make the resultant image worse (unless the mag itself was printed poorly and had low saturation, in which case you make a decision about whether you want to preserve the mag as it was printed or if you want it to be "better than the real thing.")

As for white/black levels, that's pretty easy and is the adjustment most commonly needed/used on all pages.  Just find a part of the page that is white and adjust the white level until it looks as white as you want it (keeping in mind that a mag is printed on paper, so blinding pure white would be inaccurate and possibly hard on the eyes), then find a place that should be black and do likewise with the black levels.  In both cases, keep an eye on the surrounding images of all colors and make sure that they don't become washed out/too dark in the process.  It's a balancing act, and the final result you can achieve will depend a lot on not only the quality of the printed page, but the quality of the scanner that was used.  (This is why even after I made edits to this Game Player's, I still think it looks worse than every mag I've personally scanned, since in my opinion, the original unedited files aren't of the same quality I'm used to working with)

Look at the image below.

Untitled-1.jpg

You can see right away that the white level threshhold is in need of adjustment.  There is a large space of nothing between the slider on the right and the start of the spectrogram.  A better scanner would probably not give you this result, but all we can do is slide the right arrow in towards the center.  At a minimum, you want to slide the white arrow to the point where the spectrogram begins, but in this case, I'll slide it a bit further.

Untitled-2.jpg

It honestly doesn't look much different, but sliding it any further begins to wash out the images and deteriorate the quality.  From here, I would use "brighten" which takes out a tiny bit of the yellow, but more importantly makes everything else on the page "pop" a bit more.

Untitled-3.jpg

Finally, I might bump up the saturation a tad, but honestly the difference is negligible.  If I were to bump up saturation to the point where it would be noticeable, it would likely be oversaturated and colors would distort and bleed upon inspection at high magnification.  I can't stress enough that saturation is really the business of the scanner (the machine, not the person), and the editor usually shouldn't have to mess with it, unless trying to compensate for faded pages or something.

The final image is still only so-so, but it the best I can do with the original files.  I could have recorded everything I did as a single action and batch processed the entire archive according to those edits in a minute or two (making sure to re-size in the process, as well.)

 

I'll see about fixing the page order/size and getting this mag uploaded for you later today.  And maybe by the time you get the next one ready, we can see about getting you the permissions to upload it yourself (team member status will do that;).)

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Last bit of advice:

As I was cleaning this up, I noticed that there were a few pages with a small amount of white on the edges that hadn't been filled/cropped out.  This can be hard to see while editing sometimes, but is immediately apparent when viewing the cbr in two-page mode, as there will be a visible space running between the two side-by-side pages.  I went ahead and content-filled those areas and the few gutter areas mentioned earlier.

Also, while I was at it, I corrected around 20 pages that had a scan line running down the side.  Scan lines are the sign of someone being lazy and using an ADF scanner without checking and correcting the results.  It's almost guaranteed that a piece of dust or debris will get stuck to the glass at least once while scanning a mag, and if it isn't carefully monitored and the affected pages aren't re-scanned, you're left with tons of pages like this:

Game Players Issue 80 January 1996 Page 051.jpg

But with content-aware fill, you can correct that pretty easily (though if the scanner paid more attention you wouldn't have to<_<)

Game Players Issue 80 January 1996 Page 051 copy.jpg

Content-aware fill is the single greatest reason to use Photoshop CS6 or newer over all other editing software, including older Photoshops.  Fixing scan lines, tears, scratches, gutter perforations,etc. is fast and simple (*and actually looks good) with content-aware fill.  Using clone stamp instead is like trying to paint a picture by dipping your elbows in paint and using them as the brush.

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On 10/22/2016 at 1:34 PM, E-Day said:

The Tips & Tricks section still needs to be resorted. I have two issues (August 1998 and June 2005) still waiting to be uploaded.

I have a Tips & Tricks "1998 codebook - collectors edition", with lara croft as the main character on the cover. There is absolutely no issue #, or any other way to identify it, which seems typical for these special editions. I also don't see an entry for it on the retromags database. -- I guess my question is, should it be added to the database? (can i add it to the database? i'm still new to using this site). Should i scan the mag? Should i send it in? I'm sure you'd say yes to most of those questions, but i don't want to waste time if this particular issue is obsolete/not wanted. -- But like you said, there's still work to do.

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