Sign in to follow this  
VGBounceHouse

Help getting started

Recommended Posts

Howdy!

My name's Chris Rowley and as part of #GamerGate I'm working on creating a new game site. In the meantime I have being doing floods of ads from my collection of first gen mags. Looking to fill in a few holes I came upon your site and figured I could contribute. Doing a less than thorough browse I couldn't find a "Getting Started" guide.

I have a complete collection of Electronic Fun and near complete runs of Electronic Games and Video Games. As I bought these from the newsstand as a teenager with no thought of preservation there is some aging as well as missing covers on a few. I am willing to take the staples out for better scans but here are my questions:

If I pull the staples any advice on putting new ones in when I'm done?

What resolution do you prefer for the images?

Do you prefer me doing color correction or saving images "as is"?

Can I submit pages one at a time or do you only want complete issues?

Where do I upload the pages/issues?

I have also found some of my missing issues on eBay and was wondering if there were other sites worth checking for mags from the pre-1985 era.

Thanks!

Chris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
KiwiArcader    471

Hi Chris,

Welcome to the site. Although I run another scanning site I think I can answer some of your questions

Scanning Resolution - 300DPI is preferred for most sites nowadays as with the advent of high pixel tablets like the iPad/Galaxy lower resolutions result in poor viewing of small type when images are expanded. Additionally when it comes to

Page resizing - best you leave the page size at the same size that it was scanned at for the same issues above.

Color correction - This is a tricky one. Older mags with yellowing can benefit from a small amount of brightness/contrast correction to eliminate the yellowing but there's always a trade-off and that is usually darkening of the images on pages. Then there's the fact that monitors display images differently so brightening a page could make it quite garish on an iPad. Try it on an individual basis but if in doubt don't do any adjustments as someone like E-Day will likely play around with it to suit the sites requirements.

Uploading content - Not sure where that is to be honest as I run my own site now and I can't see an upload facility when viewing an issue other than putting a 3rd party link in. E-Day can comment on that .....

Pages vs. full issues - submitting magazines ensures they are preserved for future generations but check that they comply with date restrictions. Each site have their own views on what is less 'risky'

Staples - That's a tricky one. Depending on the thickness of the issue some use bloody tough staples and trying to find a stapler with an A4 or larger width action to allow you to re-staple them up again is tricky. Personally, I de-staple mine, scan them and then throw the originals out in recycling as I don't really have collector bones in me any more and I found trying to sell mags again wasn't worth the aggravation of having to post them for the pittance I got for most of them so I just couldn't be bothered any more. If you are careful you could re-use the original staples but I tried that and found the issue wasn't "tight" anymore

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
E-Day    698

We have new guides, but they have not been added to the site yet. The old ones are located here: http://www.retromags.com/guides

As Kiwi said, the scanning resolution here is 300dpi. When scanning, scan the pages at full size. During editing, it is up to you if you want to keep them at the full deminsions, or if you want to reduce them. If you reduce them, the standard is 2100 in height. If reducing, I would recommend saving a full sized copy as well for futurproofing in case 2100 pixels tall becomes too small in the future. This can be done in a Photoshop action, so after initial setup it's no extra work to do so.

Right now, Retromags has a FileFactory filebox that holds the magazines that have an official link (http://filefactory.com/filebox/retromags). You can upload your content anywhere else and add those links to the magazine download page as well. It does look like the site will be moving to a dedicated server, so we will have direct downloads again.

For colour correcting, the steps in the Editing Guide in that link is still accurate, but the individual settings will differ depending on your scanner. I also stopped using the scanner to do some colour correction since if it turns out to be too much, it can be a pain to dial it back in Photoshop. It's easier to take the scanner's default output and tweak it from there.

Generally you do not need to remove the staples from a staple bound magazine, unless you plan on throwing it out and want to make scanning quicker. That is the only time I have removed the staples, and I have never attempted to put new staples in.

On a side note, you mentioned that you are part of GamerGate. Because of the incidents that have occurred in the last year that have been wrongly or rightly attributed to GamerGate, we do not want to be associated with the "movement" in any way. It's become too politicized and has received a lot of negative publicity because of the actions of some claiming to be part of GamerGate. This site does not get involved with anything beyond scanning and making old game magazines available. So if you could not mention us in association with GamerGate, it would be greatly appreciated :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for all the info, that answers all of my questions. I have just purchased an Epson WF-7610 and need to test its quality compared to my other scanners. My hope is it's comparable (if not better) as the larger bed means I can scan two-page folds at once (and possibly use the ADF as we're talking about dozens of 100-page mags here that you don't have).

I will review the guides before I begin but absent that knowledge at the moment my plan is: remove staples, scan two-page folds with only de-screening active at 600dpi, follow de-yellowing guide with Photoshop saving each page individually after crop, then render a separate file for each page at your desired resolution. If anything in your guides suggests alternatives or if anyone here has suggestions based on that plan of action I hope to start next week so I'll be checking back.

As to the stapling issue, these magazines were bought personally as a teenager with no thought of preservation. Some have damaged (or no) covers, others with torn ones. While running my ad floods on Twitter I ran into a number of issues with straightening due to folding the issues and that was just for some nostalgic fun. I think in terms of preservation my only option is to remove the staples not only because of gatefolds but also because of the old printing techniques where I found many full-page ads not properly rotated in the space leaving very little margin when cropping if any. Also Electronic Fun with Computers & Games used a much tighter stapling process and I see back-fold creases. I do plan on retaining the originals, there is more than a little sentimentality beyond seeing the young me filling out in-mag questionnaires, so if I can't re-staple them I guess I'll go for bag storage.

Finally in regard to your side note, I only brought that up as I can't help but tell stories and my new website is meant to follow in the tradition of these older magazines in terms of representing the enthusiast press. While I do tweet on the hashtag I also do so under the gamedev, indiedev and crowdfunding ones where appropriate. As a gamer for 40 years I'm trying to find solutions and ensure more people know of the rich videogame history and in doing my ad floods I found this site. That was the context, I never meant to imply I had any intention of linking your important project to me personally, my site or any "internet kerfuffle".

Chris

Edited by VGBounceHouse

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
E-Day    698

Good to know!

I strongly recommend not using the ADF. The scans never turn out as vibrant as on the flatbed, the bleed through is a lot worse, and pages have a tendency to come out very crooked now and then, to the point of needing to be scanned again. It is a million times faster, but the quality suffers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
KiwiArcader    471

That's interesting. I think it depends on the scanner more than anything. I only use the flatbed now if a page won't feed reliably in the document scanner as the speed is so much faster that the benefits way outweigh any perceived disadvantages. On the Fujitsu bleed through is eliminated by setting the background color to 'black' rather than 'white' and the speed is so quick I can set the jpg quality setting to maximum and it doesn't impact speed at all. The other benefit with i8t is the fact that fluorescent colors on covers are way, way more accurate than those scanned on EVERY SINGLE flatbed scanner I have ever owned. I guess it boils down to cost. My scanner or its later variant costs around $4500US brand new, quite a bit more than the common versions floating around, most of which are A4 only.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's interesting. I have doing my scans for the floods with an Epson V300 and I have been very happy with the results but certainly never considered how much better they might be on a high-end scanner. It's a 1200dpi optical so when I needed to replace my printer I found a great deal on the Epson WF-7610 which included an A3 2400dpi scanner and an ADF. Am I making a mistake with this kind of hardware, should I wait until I can afford a higher-end scanner?

I guess I'll do some samples both with the ADF and without and place original, color-corrected and resized versions on my website if anyone has the time to take a look and give me feedback. I just ordered a batch of preservation sleeves and boards for the de-staples issues so I am ready to hop in on this but would hate to go too far down this path if it's the wrong direction.

Chris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
KiwiArcader    471

This is the difference between my flatbed scanner on the left and the Fujitsu .....

AmigaFormat 101-colortest

As you can see the Fujitsu handles the fluro orange rather well :-)
Anyway, this is a hobby. No-one is paying you to do this so they have no right to expect any more than you are prepared to give. If that means you use you Epson ADF in the interests of making it easier for you then just go for it and more fool them if they complain. Anything is better than nothing when it comes to preserving magazines, especially those that have until now never been scanned previously.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm only seeing one image so I'm not seeing a difference but I understand what you're saying. None of the three mags I'm working on have gloss covers if that makes a difference. 10 years of publishing advances are really apparent from an issue of Electronic Games and your scan.

After I'm done with those looks like I should check the other mags I wasn't thinking about Amiga mags. I have a pretty extensive collection of those including UK ones. I even have two probably not listed since I was the publisher lol

Chris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
KiwiArcader    471

If you click on the image at look at it you can see the wording on the left side of the cover is pink where as on the right it is orange. The cover text is fluro orange but normal flatbeds just cannot handle pretty much any fluro color.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Phillyman    403

Welcome VGBouncHouse,

In addition to what everyone else has said, we also are missing quite a few of the covers for Electronic Fun and Games. Please feel free to upload any covers that might be missing, or better versions of existing ones. Our Gallery is at the following location....

http://community.retromags.com/gallery/category/48-electronic-fun-with-computers-and-games/

Which once any covers are uploaded, we can then attach them to the records in our Magazine Database at the following location.....

http://www.retromags.com/magazines/category/usa/electronic-fun-with-computers-and-games/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have my existing 300dpi scans I did for my ad floods. I can upload those immediately but I will be re-scanning at 600dpi and playing with color corrections when I do my archival de-stapled scans. Would it be possible to overwrite with the updated versions later if I upload my existing ones now?

Chris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Phillyman    403

I have my existing 300dpi scans I did for my ad floods. I can upload those immediately but I will be re-scanning at 600dpi and playing with color corrections when I do my archival de-stapled scans. Would it be possible to overwrite with the updated versions later if I upload my existing ones now?

Chris

We can always replace them out, I have the ability to bulk import hundreds to thousands of images. The most important thing is their filenames, as it gets crazy when you try to do a search for EGM Issue 49, and all the covers are named image1.jpg, image2.jpg....etc. Oh and I can import them and assign them under your account.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We can always replace them out,

Cool. I'm resizing now to 96dpi. I am confused by one note:

Please adhere to the naming standard in each section

I couldn't seem to find what is meant by each section. My planned filenames were:

Electronic-Fun-002-198212-001

Name of mag, issue number, year and month, page number

I have also been doing all my lo-res archive saves as PNG rather than JPG. I'll re-check the guide but I'm assuming you want the least amount of compression?

Chris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Phillyman    403

Cool. I'm resizing now to 96dpi. I am confused by one note:

Please adhere to the naming standard in each section

I couldn't seem to find what is meant by each section. My planned filenames were:

Electronic-Fun-002-198212-001

Name of mag, issue number, year and month, page number

I have also been doing all my lo-res archive saves as PNG rather than JPG. I'll re-check the guide but I'm assuming you want the least amount of compression?

Chris

Yeah, I wrote a good deal of that years ago and at this point it could use a refresh. When scanning magazines we usually liked to stick to this naming convention

Nintendo Power Issue 001 July-August 1988.cbr

But with the upcoming Retromags file auditing program, we will be able to mass rename and organize via the program. On the Gallery side, again we were asking for a specific name convention so that files appeared in the correct order. SQL is funny with sorting on the file name. You have to use three digit issue numbers, otherwise they go out of order. Again this is somewhat outdated, because now if you upload a magazine cover to our Gallery and attach that image number to our new Magazine Database, we can then run a script to clean up all the names in the Gallery after the fact. With us going to a dedicated server, I might also up the resolution on images that can be submitted to the Gallery, since now we are going to have 5TB of bandwidth per month.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nintendo Power Issue 001 July-August 1988.cbr

Ok, I went ahead and did a sample one so I could nail everything down. I assumed that was an example of the naming convention for a full issue rather than the cover Gallery.

I followed that structure for naming the uploaded file (though the filename is in the format I described above) and put in tags for the magazine name, year and month. I left Description and Copyright blanks as I wasn't sure what should go there and only now thought of checking the existing covers for examples.

I have finished creating all of the JPGs (only missing one cover that you needed, have the issue but the cover's off somewhere) but will wait to upload the rest until I've nailed down the procedure.

Chris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I uploaded all of the missing Electronic Fun covers I had. I now understand the Gallery section naming convention but it was too late in regard to this magazine and I couldn't find any way to edit my content to change the names.

I believe I followed the proper names with my uploads to Video Games and Electronic Games as they appear in the right sort order.

As for full issues I will place samples on one of my websites to get feedback before I start forging ahead next week. Thanks again for all the help.

Chris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just a quick update before I can really get started. Since my previous scanning runs were all about ads I wasn't prepared for the bleed-through I'm finding in VIDEO GAMES which used very thin paper that is also off-white frustrating my color correction. I'm hoping when I put up samples of all three magazines side-by-side someone will have a suggestion regarding getting this magazine right.

I have ordered my black construction paper and double-sided tape to hopefully deal with the bleed through. I tried looking up the reason for the white on scanner lids but couldn't find an answer. Anyone know?

I'm also dealing with bubbling issues on my de-stapled issues. Despite the heavy lid on the scanner it doesn't appear to be flattening pages like I assumed. Right now I have a stack of books sitting on the issues trying to flatten them more, but if anyone has a quicker method I'd appreciate any advice.

Finally I just won an eBay auction for five issues of Electronic Games. I already owned one but four are from when I had moved on more computer-focused publications. Of the five four are in need of preservation here so that was good. Hope I wasn't bidding against anyone here on the same mission!

Chris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
KiwiArcader    471

Bleed through is a real problem on magazines that used the thin glossy paper stocks quite common on mags like GamePro, Computer Gaming World etc. Getting black hard paper stock and taping it to the white scanning back plate is a good idea on flatbed scanners. On my Fujitsu document scanner I just tell it in the scanner settings to use a black background and all's good although on really thin paper stock you usually cannot remove all of it.

I put books on the lid of the flatbed when scanning covers etc. to try and eliminate warping

Goodness knows why scanner manufacturers only use white back plates. You'd think they'd put white and black in the box together and let the user choose which was best but that would require them to find a way of easily detaching and attaching them and would likely cost a little more. I guess every dollar saved counts ...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
E-Day    698

I assume by bubbling issue you mean the magazine is not lying as flat as it could be because of the spine? I found what helps with that, especially when one side is much thicker than the other, is folding part of the thick side over the back of the thinner side so that each side is about the same thickness. Imagine reading a magazine on the train or bus and folding it back so you can hold it with one hand; it's that idea, but without folding the entire magazine over.

When scanning magazines I don't take apart, I found I have to push down on the lid with one hand (sometimes two), to get things flat. It basically means you can't do anything else, but I will pop in a DVD and watch something while I scan.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Zarxrax    2

Before you go scanning a bunch of magazines, it might be worth noting that there are a lot of other scans out there besides just what are posted on this site. In particular, since you mentioned both Electronic games and Video games, it's worth noting that I recently posted a torrent in another thread here that contains issues 1-34 of Electronic Games and Issues 1-20 of Video Games. I believe those are both complete.

However, they are not necessarily the most high resolution (but they are certainly readable), so you may well consider still scanning them again if you like, if you think your copies would be improved.

Edited by Zarxrax

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have seen two different complete runs of Electronic Games and Video Games on other archive sites, both with major color issues. They are definitely readable but they didn't seem archive quality. They do have issues I dont (or where I'm missing a cover) so they would be more complete than I can contribute.

This site is looking for original scans, though, or else someone would just post existing scans for the missing issues? If that's true that's why I'm here, to contribute. If that's not the best use of my resources please let me know.

Chris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Zarxrax    2

Yea, I would say if you can provide them in better quality go right ahead. I just didn't want you to feel like you might have wasted your time or something if you found out they were already scanned.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
KiwiArcader    471

Pardon the French, but shitloads of scans on the net are totally crap in that they are either low DPI, resized to low resolutions, are raw scans or a combo of any or all of those. That's the very reason I have been scanning my collection, to enable good quality scans to be available instead of those others.

My view of it is "Do I want to read crap versions on my iPad or spend the effort to read good quality PDFs?"

If I don't have the magazine in question I will settle for anything but if a better version comes along here or somewhere else I will grab those. IF I have the issue myself I would rather scan it myself unless the quality is right up there. But that's just me.

I understand where Zarxrax was coming from though. Sometimes we scan mags because we don't know they already exist so being made aware of it allows you to investigate and see if those are at a quality level you are happy with. If not at least you know and can then make an informed decision on where to go with it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, this will be my last post in this thread. I a ready to finish up my first project so the question is where should I post work-in-progress threads? I have over 50 issues to contribute so should they all be in a single thread or should I start a new one for each project.

My current work-in-progress can be seen here:

http://hulkercafe.com/vg198403/

Is this type of progress worth sharing each time to get feedback?

Thanks again for all the help and I hope to have a bunch of updates through the week as I finish up my first three contributions.

Chris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this  

  • Similar Content

    • By Sternosaur
      Hello everyone, I was going through the Video Game Guides and noticed that Paper Mario: The Thousand Year door was missing.  Finding it on other sites, I noticed that the quality of the scans were crap compared to some of the high quality scans I've seen on Retromags.

      I purchased the Official Guide from Nintendo Power Paper Mario The Thousand Year Door, and my friend is coming over later today with her hair dryer so I can take apart the guide and scan each page individually with my own scanner.  I was wondering who I might have to get in contact with in order to get this thing uploaded or sent in a winrar or zipped file after I'm done scanning them.