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Creamstar's Work In Progress


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I've been scanning like the First of North Star. Super Metroid complete.

Now I have to figure out if they're good enough and how to upload it.

I personally have no complaints about the quality of the scans. They look awesome.

Did you join the OOT Poster? If so, that is really good (there are some Nintendo Power Posters needing joining and you seem to be really good at it...).

The only problem I see with your scans is that right now the standard width is 1440 (your scans should be bigger than that if you are using 300 DPI). You simply scale the image in your editing software.

Anyone else got an opinion here?

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They are actually quite a bit smaller than 1440 in width, except for the joined ones.

If you're scanning at 300DPI, the images should indeed be quite a lot bigger and can be scaled down to 1440 after they have been edited.

They do look very good though, even at this size.

The only small notes I could give you at this point is to apply a bit more pressure to the scanner lid when you scan a page, but then again most look just fine. It's only n64_power_tips_19 that suffers from this. So it might not be that easy to get that particular magazine right.

Oh and if you would up the saturation and perhaps contrast a little bit, the colors would be much more vibrant and really bring out the images. :)

Depending on what kind of program you use, you might even have a vibrancy option which is even better.

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Hehe, don't worry about it.

This single line actually reminded me of myself when I just started out:

I did not want to use any kind of processing on them as I feel that would degrade the quality, and personally I feel the charm is in all the wrinkles, dust, hair, etc of our beloved analog medium.

Actually, I said just about the exact same thing. :D

I've been through several revisions of the way I used to do things myself and in the end came to the conclusion that I wanted to present the magazines in the way that the original editor would have preferred. No spots, tears, dogears or discoloration which have been built up over the many years the magazine have been around.

I do indeed agree that when you're working with colored background that it's a very bad idea to clean them up too much. Meaning something like sampling the color and using the bucket fill tool on it. That kind of stuff looks horrid.

But when I look at a magazine which has either a pure white background or a completely black one and compare it to the way the scan comes out, there seems to be quite a bit of difference.

When looking at an actual white page it's pure white, but on a scan it's very easy to see yellowing of the pages for instance.

On a black page, again the magazine itself is just about completely black, but in scans it shows up with various ranges of grey as well due to the way the paper reflects the scanning lights.

So the way I'm doing things now is to take the white or black pages, copy the images which might be compromised by a bucket fill of the background of either black or white, and paste those images on another layer.

That way I can fill the underlaying one with just the right setting so the text doesn't gets "eaten", while also preserving the screenshots and artwork at the same time.

I've actually just started on making a new editing guide as my old one is a bit out of date.

Been looking for better ways to do the scans and editing for quite a while now. ;)

I'm using a CanoScan 70LiDE and PS CS4 on a Mac, so the setup is very similar.

I believe a vibrance setting of 50 and an added saturation of 8 would look very good on your scans as well.

I keep my scans in PSD format up until the very end when I run them through an automated batch process that changes the saturation to 50, vibrance to 8. Resizes the pages to a width of 1440 (the height depends on the magazine. I take an average of about 10 pages and apply that to all), and finally save them as JPGs at a quality of 9.

I even keep the PSD files and save them on DVDs, for in a couple of years when screen resolution might be quite a bit higher than today and we all have a 2.5gig/sec internet connection, I can simply run them through a JPG convertor for making them into 2200 width versions or even non resized ones without having to scan the magazines all over again.

Not that this is the be all, end all way of doing this, but it is a procedure that I've been trying to perfect over a couple of years.

At least there should be some helpful things in there. :)

Seeing you have CS4, the warping of the binded magazines shouldn't be too much of a problem.

You can do as I do, as I hate to debind magazines.

Scan the mag first the way you would normally do it, making sure you use the top of the page to align it with the scanner plate. Then move the spine of the magazine about 3/4ths over the scanner and scan the same page again. Make sure it's also aligned correctly, and that you put enough pressure on the top of the scanning lid.

You should be able to use the File-Automate-Photomerge option about 95% of the time without any trouble.

This also works great when a magazine is a bit too tall for the scanner and you have to scan the bottom strip separate as well.

I understand what you're trying to do with the bi-cubic down sampling.

But most people will not get any benefit from this as they set their cbz program to show the pages full screen, so they will get distorted anyway.

And the distortion you get when resizing the pages to 1440 or 1600 is very negligible in the end. I wouldn't break my head over it.

The only way it starts to get noticeable is when would start to resize the pages in a way that the width and height are not win proportion to each other.

As for bleed through, it can indeed be a big problem especially with early 80s magazines which are printed on very thin paper.

People have been looking to tackle that problem with putting black paper underneath the scans for instance, but that's one part that I can't say much about as I never tried that.

I've been using the line of thought that, if there's a little bleed through in the original magazine, then it's okay to have it in the scan as well.

We're in the middle of getting some new guidelines together for the scans, so you can't go wrong with using a standard width of 1440 or 1600 and keeping the scans at 300DPI.

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At least it's still every early on.

Just think about it this way, if you would have scanned and fully edited say, about 50 magazines or so, and suddenly you realize certain mistakes you've made which you can improve upon tenfold. And you're bummed enough by it to decide that you'll do them all over again, that would have been much worse, no?

PS don't look in my work in progress thread or anything, the person I'm describing above is purely fictional. ;P

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To avoid all doubt I will scan them at 1200dpi and keep them at that size, so that in the year 2107, we can bask in the full glory of each CMYK dot.

That could work. :lol:

Meppi, are you sure about cleaning up images? You'll notice the left is cleaned up with pure whites and blacks, but look at Yoshi's cheek. That subtle shade was completely wiped out. That's why I mentioned before about contrast already being limited, and why I prefer just leaving them alone.

I know, that's one of the things I need to address in the editing guide.

That's the way I tried it a couple of years back, to the same effect. So I never did it again.

Until a couple of months back when I was experimenting once again, as I had been manually cleaning up the backgrounds with the clone stamp tool in the meanwhile.

Besides this taking a huge amount of time, it also meant that you couldn't do it between text, unless you were willing to spend 2 hours per page. (which I'm embarrassed to say, at one point I actually did...)

So the best way to tackle this problem is to use the lasso tool, or the polygonal lasso tool and encircle the parts you don't want to have painted over like on the image below.

Then just do cmd+c and then cmd+v (can be alt or ctrl or something on windows, I can't tell) which copies the selection and pastes it onto a new layer which sits on top of the old one.

I know, in this example you don't actually need to do this as Yoshi's black outline will protect the inner parts from the bucket fill you're about to do on the white outside of Yoshi.

But when you want to do the white parts of the eyes and cheek as well, this will be the best way to do it.

But it's the same technique which can be used for everything, especially if it isn't protected by a dark outline.

Then select the background layer and take the white bucket fill tool and fill the parts you want to be white. You should immediately see the result.

It's best to use a tolerance of 24 and an opacity of 100 while keeping the anti-alias option off for painting white backgrounds. That way it doesn't eat into the black text that might be on the page.

For black it's the same setting, only switch the anti-alias option on.

You should end up with this: (did it in red so it shows up better)


After all this is done don't forget to flatten the layers as well.

Now you can use the brush tool or clone stamp tool to remove any tiny spots that the bucket fill might have missed.

This technique can even be applied when you have an image that sits underneath text on a page.

That was one of the biggest problems for me to deal with when starting to use the bucket fill technique, but in the end the solution was just as simple as the one I just described.

Might sound longwinded, but once you've done it a couple of times it quickly becomes second nature and you'll save lots of time you'd otherwise spent manually correcting the backgrounds.

I must add though, that if you feel that an image, especially if it's artwork looks better without messing with it this way, then by all means leave it the way it is and simply do the background.

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