PaulrusKeaton

Let's talk shop for a second...

Recommended Posts

So last year, I had this grand scheme to start scanning and editing my enormous backlog of gaming magazines, but life/work became imbalanced as all eff. I very much want to contribute to the sites that have kept my blog going, but it turns out the workload may be more than I can manage at the moment. Not only that, but I'm armed with only GIMP, a scanner that loves to highlight creases, and a rusty background in digital editing. So I'm looking for some guidance I guess? I can just start listing some random things.

First off, my scans have been quick and dirty due to my limited free time. For example, here's a scan I cobbled together a half-hour ago:

tumblr_ppwle7lAaI1snhn1io1_r1_1280.jpg

It highlights many of my ongoing problems. In particular, the mirrored creases. I believe they are the result of my heat gun and my scanner just loves to highlight them. I've tried scanning in a dark room but that doesn't seem to work, though I've had some success with putting in the pages upside-down to prevent a white gutter when it comes time to stitch. But that brings me to my next issue: gutter shadows. My last scanner had this wonderful preset that would remove most of the darkness before scanning, but not no more: now I need to learn this, so I like some tips. While just cropping out the gutter portions is an option, my goal for magazine spreads to to create a solid, minimally contrasted image like I've seen in some of kitsune's work. (I'm not assuming it's magic: but acquired skill on his part.)

But of course, this is for my blog stuff. If I want preserve these magazines, it seems all I can do is offer raw materials, as it were, and ask for help from other users, hat in hand. Before starting this rambling post, I noticed some talk about some posting their raw scans into Google Drive and, I guess, offering it up for labor? Or perhaps negotiate an agreement/partnership with someone here? I'm diving headfirst here and... well... again, in over my head and pretty lost.

Finally, there's the copyright issue. Again, I poked my head into another post and noted that what we're doing isn't 'legal'. So does that mean out work has a shelf life? Do we need to expect that all of our labor can be struck down with a single claim? (e.g. 'Nintendo Power') I guess I'm concerned with making a lasting impact.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Upgrading your scanner would solve most of your problems but takes $$. A good scan makes editing go faster without any problems. Which mags are you trying to preserve btw? I would stick to dead mags if you're worrried about copyrights but I dont think thats a big issue. Just stay away from Diehard GameFan mags. lol

If the scans are good quality someone is always willing to help edit it for you.

Edited by MigJmz

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

MigJmz is both right and wrong. 😜

Right, in that a good scanner would be your most helpful tool.  I assume you're using a flatbed scanner, which is both incredibly slow, as well as prone to capturing "real world problems" such as wrinkled pages or curved gutter shadows.  Fixing those problems afterwards in GIMP is probably impossible, or at least very difficult and time consuming.  But not everyone wants to drop $400 on a scanner (that's what mine cost, anyway.)

However, I've got to disagree with his rather optimistic statement that "If the scans are good quality someone is always willing to help edit it for you."  The only person who consistently edits someone else's scans is E-Day, who only edits Phillyman's scans.  And now that E-Day has his own quality scanner and a stack of 1000 donated mags, he's not going to have time for worrying about other peoples' scans for years to come, I imagine.

Unedited scans released into the world have a tendency to remain unedited scans.  Someone out there may pick one or two and edit them, but if you're expecting or hoping to release a large collection of scans, I think you should expect that most of them will remain untouched.  If your goal is to just get them out there in readable form, there's nothing wrong with that.  The Internet Archive is full of unedited scans.  If your goal is to see them hosted here, just be aware that the chances of someone taking on the editing duties to make that possible are very slim.

 

Addressing a lesser point - if your heat gun is ruining your pages, you should perhaps try something else, or perhaps adjusting your technique.  I've never had wrinkled pages when using a heat gun, but then again, I'm using it on Japanese mags printed on quality paper, not American mags printed on crappy newspaper-thin paper.  If your pages are super wrinkled (the same could come from water damage), even a quality ADF scanner will probably pick that up.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, PaulrusKeaton said:

Finally, there's the copyright issue. Again, I poked my head into another post and noted that what we're doing isn't 'legal'. So does that mean out work has a shelf life? Do we need to expect that all of our labor can be struck down with a single claim? (e.g. 'Nintendo Power') I guess I'm concerned with making a lasting impact.

Oh yeah, I forgot to address this one.  Yes, as it says in our mission statement, anyone with a legal claim to the mags shared here who wants to have them removed need only say so, and down they'll come.  In the past, this happened to GameFan and Game Informer, I believe.  Nintendo issued a takedown order to the Internet Archive when someone mirrored all of our Nintendo Powers over there, which prompted a brief cautionary takedown here as well, and special conditions placed upon the method with which Nintendo Power scans are shared.

So yeah, it could all come crashing down on the say so of someone's lawyers.  But our rules are in place primarily to ensure that we don't step on anyone's toes to bring about such actions.  And even if worse comes to worst, just as GameFan, Game Informer, and Nintendo Power scans are all still out there, I don't think you'd have to be concerned about anything disappearing from the Internet entirely.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If memory serves correctly (and it probably doesn't), I have edited other peoples scans in the past. The distant pass mind you. But I have been Editing Phillyman's scans for years since he isn't well versed in doing that. Plus with having more magazines than one person should own, it would be better if he spent his time scanning rather than editing.

I would switch between scanning my own stuff and editing his. For a while I was using the ADF on my HP all-in-one, and that was alright. It was certainly faster than my Canon Lide 210 (CAD$100 by the way), but not better. It had a tendency to take a strip off the top edge of the scan, could only scan one side at a time, and the scans overall weren't as good as the Canon. So I had a lot of my own stuff to work on and fix. Then I went back to the Canon because I found the HP scans just weren't good enough. Since it's slower, I didn't scan as often, so I had more time to edit Phillyman's stuff.

Now I won't have any time for anything but scanning and editing :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, kitsunebi77 said:

MigJmz is both right and wrong. 😜

Right, in that a good scanner would be your most helpful tool.  I assume you're using a flatbed scanner, which is both incredibly slow, as well as prone to capturing "real world problems" such as wrinkled pages or curved gutter shadows.  Fixing those problems afterwards in GIMP is probably impossible, or at least very difficult and time consuming.  But not everyone wants to drop $400 on a scanner (that's what mine cost, anyway.)

I have an printer/scanner combo that I bought for its wider scan bed, perfect for Game Informers and other magazines that went wide. It does have an auto-feed but I don't use it often, as I like to have a more precise control over the output. (Secret weapon, a ruler on the bed.) But again, the creases are such nonsense, and there's still the concern with stitching spreads together into a full, solid image with no obvious splits.

17 hours ago, kitsunebi77 said:

Addressing a lesser point - if your heat gun is ruining your pages, you should perhaps try something else, or perhaps adjusting your technique.  I've never had wrinkled pages when using a heat gun, but then again, I'm using it on Japanese mags printed on quality paper, not American mags printed on crappy newspaper-thin paper.  If your pages are super wrinkled (the same could come from water damage), even a quality ADF scanner will probably pick that up.

I may have found a trick to combat the wrinkles. 

tumblr_ppwllrM7hu1snhn1io1_r1_1280.jpg

While some are still visible, I tried a different approach when putting this together. Instead of blasting the pages with the heat gun, I heated the spine, so only the glue would get heated(?) and the page remains less warped. But paper quality may also be a reason: the HAWX ad came from Game Informer, and I've noticed those pages are glossier.

Another issue I have encounter with this scanner has been these white stripes that appear in some scans.

tumblr_pl0i1kPYr01snhn1io1_1280.jpg

It doesn't matter if the page is removed or still in the binding. Unless I have it at a certain position, the gutter end always gets lit up. I'm wondering if it was to do with it facing the light in the scanner, verses facing away.

16 hours ago, kitsunebi77 said:

Oh yeah, I forgot to address this one.  Yes, as it says in our mission statement, anyone with a legal claim to the mags shared here who wants to have them removed need only say so, and down they'll come.  In the past, this happened to GameFan and Game Informer, I believe.  Nintendo issued a takedown order to the Internet Archive when someone mirrored all of our Nintendo Powers over there, which prompted a brief cautionary takedown here as well, and special conditions placed upon the method with which Nintendo Power scans are shared.

So yeah, it could all come crashing down on the say so of someone's lawyers.  But our rules are in place primarily to ensure that we don't step on anyone's toes to bring about such actions.  And even if worse comes to worst, just as GameFan, Game Informer, and Nintendo Power scans are all still out there, I don't think you'd have to be concerned about anything disappearing from the Internet entirely.

I do have a question about Game Informers in general. Do they already offer an official archive for members? Not just the newer "enhanced" digital issues, but a full collection? If so, that can save me some time and space: I can just butcher the ones I have for the ads and pitch them without much concern.

2 hours ago, E-Day said:

If memory serves correctly (and it probably doesn't), I have edited other peoples scans in the past. The distant pass mind you. But I have been Editing Phillyman's scans for years since he isn't well versed in doing that. Plus with having more magazines than one person should own, it would be better if he spent his time scanning rather than editing.

I would switch between scanning my own stuff and editing his. For a while I was using the ADF on my HP all-in-one, and that was alright. It was certainly faster than my Canon Lide 210 (CAD$100 by the way), but not better. It had a tendency to take a strip off the top edge of the scan, could only scan one side at a time, and the scans overall weren't as good as the Canon. So I had a lot of my own stuff to work on and fix. Then I went back to the Canon because I found the HP scans just weren't good enough. Since it's slower, I didn't scan as often, so I had more time to edit Phillyman's stuff.

Now I won't have any time for anything but scanning and editing :)

But overall, you already have his workload and this partnership, of sorts. I just have myself and a job with obnoxious amounts of overtime and weekend work. I'm actually scheming to leave and start taking college courses in archiving, since that seems to be what I am leaning to these days. But for now, I just need a few tips and tricks in GIMP to work out the creases and other goobers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, also. If someone is already working on the full 2009 Nintendo Powers, I'd like to know. That way I can get rid of my copies and just go with whatever is scanned here.   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, PaulrusKeaton said:

Oh, also. If someone is already working on the full 2009 Nintendo Powers, I'd like to know. That way I can get rid of my copies and just go with whatever is scanned here.   

Those are already scanned and edited. They're currently being released this week. So feel free to donate them to a theft place or sell them. Some retro game stores buy them. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, PaulrusKeaton said:

But for now, I just need a few tips and tricks in GIMP to work out the creases and other goobers.

The first trick is to not use gimp ;). Photoshop is better for this. You can find the "unlimited trial version" like I be of you know where to look ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't recommend the heating gun method. I would use the iron method.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, MigJmz said:

I don't recommend the heating gun method. I would use the iron method.

A heat gun is good for getting really stubborn address labels off of covers. I'm not sure a tool shop calibre heat gun is necessary as they may get too hot, but a crafting heat gun used for embossing does the trick. I borrow my wife's crafting heat gun to get the impossible labels off of magazines because I find the hair dryer isn't hot enough.

I tried the heat gun method for debinding a few years ago but I did not like the results. While you got 100% of the page, you also got lots of glue residue and curling at the edges.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.