VGBounceHouse

My Xbox Documentary Progress

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Posted (edited)

Howdy!

Long time no post lol

I'm working on a documentary about the original Xbox and of course it will include archiving every magazine with coverage. As part of my launch I picked a random issue of Official Xbox Magazine I had multiple copies of because I wanted to try a new debinding method using a hair dryer. All pages but two came out smoothly (those two had glue remnants on artwork) and I waited a day before starting scanning for the pages to cool and flatten. Then the horror as all the pages appeared skewed at severe degrees. Did I warp the pages? I took the second copy and did my by-hand debind, bending the spine and slowly loosening clumps of pages that I could then smoothly, for the most part, pull out. Not quite as smooth at the spine as the hair dryer version but for the most part pretty good, so let's scan those.

Same issue, skewing. I hold the two copies covers up and see they both are skewed and to different degrees. They cut the magazine at an angle. This is ridiculous! I check other issues of the mag and the same thing. Oh man, this is gonna be fun.

So at this point I check RetroMags and see the issue I picked, 29, March, 2004, was not allowed. I had made sure what I picked was 15 years old as I thought that was the rule. So going forward I guess I need to know a few things. Is this issue acceptable at this point? Is 15 years not the cut-off? Here's the 300dpi CBZ without the RetroMags trailer or numbering:

http://vgpavilion.com/mags/2004/03/oxm/200403oxm.cbz

Another reason I haven't finished all steps is related to the scanning guide that I followed for my previous contributions. I had converted the three after-image guidelines into three adjustment layers that I then grouped. Using those adjustments seems to take the white out of the pages and revel a shadow of the other side of the page that is otherwise not visible. I created a ZIP with some sample pages if anyone wants to take a look and tell me how to alter the adjustments to get the RetroMags look while maintaining the white I see when looking at the mag under normal light:

http://vgpavilion.com/mags/2004/03/oxm/200403oxm.zip

I'm working on the preview page at the moment and hopefully it will be viewable by the time you're reading this:

http://vgpavilion.com/mags/2004/03/oxm/pages/

Let me know if this issue can be added to RetroMags and anything I can do to improve the look of the pages. I will be doing all of OXM, XBN, EGM, Play, Game Informer and every other magazine with original Xbox coverage over the coming year. I know some of those won't be usable here so I will concentrate on those that are first.

Thanks,
Chris

Edited by VGBounceHouse

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I am just behind on moving the dates forward, we still follow the same 10/15 year cutoffs .For defunct magazines like Nintendo Power and GamePro we are up to 2009 (10 years back) for ongoing magazines like OXM we would only preserve up to 2005.

Also I will be making a post about this later, but one of the members of Retromags just donated the first 52 issues of OXM to me. So they will be going thru the scanner very soon.

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These pages seem dark. Have you tried to Increase Contrast in "Curves"? The page merge on the 2 page ads are very nice. To prevent page bleeding I use a black piece of paper behind each page while scanning each side.  This will eliminate some of the bleed thru for the most part.

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2 hours ago, VGBounceHouse said:

I created a ZIP with some sample pages if anyone wants to take a look and tell me how to alter the adjustments to get the RetroMags look while maintaining the white I see when looking at the mag under normal light:
 

I don't know how long we've had a "look," but with Phillyman's recent scans coming from the same type of scanner I've always used and E-Day soon to start releasing scans from his own (similar) scanner, I suppose it's fair to assume there will be a more uniform look going forward.

That said, the key to attaining that look would be for you to get a different scanner, most likely.😉  The less you have to fix in Photoshop, the better.

Here's a raw page off of my scanner (unedited aside from resizing so I can embed it in this post).  As you can see, although I will ultimately tweak it to make it look even better, I could release it as it is and it wouldn't look too bad:

PlayOnline009__060.jpg

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I use black paper as well. If you were to toggle off the Group of Adjustment Layers in the samples you’ll see a brighter white and less to even no bleed through. That’s why I’m looking for some advice in regards to the standard three adjustments in the Editing guide.

the paper is definitely a little cheap in OXM which is affecting bleed through.

as always I am very particular about full bleed and facing pages which is why it takes me a bit longer. Some day I’ll figure out an easy way to color match facing pages and then I’ll be real happy lol

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I wanted to show some comparisons to try and find where things are changing the most. It appears the lowering of brightness and contrast is the biggest culprit.

The original edit scan:

50-51a.jpg

My group of Adjustment Layers (in reverse order oops)

50-51b.jpg

My group of Adjustment Layers (in the right order)

50-51c.jpg

Original scan with Step 1: Levels

50-51d.jpg

Original scan with Step 1: Levels + Step 2: Brightness/Contrast

50-51e.jpg

Original scan with Step 1: Levels + Step 2: Brightness/Contrast + Step 3: Hue/Saturation

50-51f.jpg

Original scan with Adjustment Layers only Levels & Hue/Saturation:

50-51g.jpg

I like how the colors pop because of Levels & Hue/Saturation, but like the page color of the original.

Chris

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I ended up altering my adjustments layer and think the issue came out great. An updated 300dpi CBZ is now available:

http://vgpavilion.com/mags/2004/03/oxm/pages/

I have finished 2 more scans. One is for Game Informer which if I remember correctly can't be hosted here.

December 2004 Game Informer 300dpi scan pages and CBZ download:

http://vgpavilion.com/mags/2004/12/gi/pages/

The other one I finished is Xbox Nation, Issue 2, Spring 2002, available here:

http://vgpavilion.com/mags/2002/sp/xbn/pages/

I ran into an issue I'm curious for fgeedback on in XBN. Some people know that I'm focused on the original graphic artists intent which is why I work from hairdryer separated perfect binding and in facing pages mode. As always with perfect binding you have to deal with overlap meant to be hidden by the binding, or missing content done when the magazine is of a different size than an ad was designed for and they try to hide the missing bits in the fold. Here's a case where the overlap was messed up and part of the image was printed on both sides. The first image is an edit of the original, the second where the center image is edited to show the proper image.

082-083.jpg

082-083alt.jpg

It has a big impact on white space but otherwise is preferable. I've included the original in the CBZ for now, but what would you do?

I'm off to work on Issue 1 of Official Xbox Magazine, December 2001. If any of these 3 that I've finished recently are wanted here I can make the necessary changes to the CBZs for upload.

Chris

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