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marktrade

My first magazine scan

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marktrade    614

My production scanner finally arrived and after several hours of re-installing and re-downloading drivers and programs in order to get it working, I think I'm finally getting some work done!

Here is my first full magazine scan, which I've uploaded to archive.org as a test upload. That means it will automatically delete itself in 30 days.

https://archive.org/details/NextGen832001NovTEST

NextGen November 2001 Issue #83

A4 sheet-fed pages scanned at 400 DPI
Resized to 1920 px wide and 72 DPI JPG level 11
295.5 MB CBZ file, zipped using Mac OS X's Finder and renamed.
126 image files
Poster insert not included in this test
I'm not sure what to do with that poster. Maybe cut it, scan it, and then reassemble it in an image stitcher?
So, what do you think? Too big? Pages not lined up well enough? I wanted to scan at 600 DPI because the text looks so crisp but my VRS software maxes out at 400 and I can't get the TWAIN drivers to work, otherwise I'd like to archive at 600 for future hi-res displays.
I chose a magazine that I have a duplicate of in case I screwed it up.
Anyways, if you guys think this is satisfactory, I could pump out a thousand pages a day pretty easily, including large format A3 magazines. Let me know!

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marktrade    614

Okay, I notice the last several pages are out of order. I put them in the scanner reversed, so I gotta pay attention to that. Easily remedied by changing the order of the pages. All the pages are there.

Also the auto-cropping is going a little too far on pages with lots of black empty space near the page edges. I don't even think it looks bad, since all that's cropped out is solid black space, but in the interest of preservation I probably should turn off auto-cropping.

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E-Day    699

I would save them at 300dpi and JPEG level 9. Scanning them at 300 dpi is more than enough, and then there will be no need to mess with the dpi after that.

The difference between JPEG level 9 and 11 visually is negligible and not even really noticeable, but the file size balloons. My scan of EGM Issue 76 is 144 pages, 300 dpi, saved as JEPG level 9, and is 198 megs. Granted it's height is 2100 pixels (about 1600 wide).

Speaking of height, you should be resizing each page to a specific height instead of width. That way if someone is viewing it in a two-page layout, the won't get pages that are different heights, which is far more noticeable and distracting than pages of a different width (thanks to Kiwi for pointing that out to us!)

Most of the automated stuff like auto-crop should be turned off. Pretty much everything should be turned off except the settings to reduce bleed-through, and descreening, and possibly removing gutter shadow if your printer has an option for that.

I couldn't open the CBZ file with CDisplay (Access violation at address 004F8727 in module CDISPLAY.EXE..."), but I unzipped it and took a look. Apart from the sides not being cropped enough and having black strips showing down the sides, the scans themselves look good.

Giving each image a height of 2581 pixels (which will keep the width close to 1920 pixels) and saving as JPEG Level 9 will cut the file size by more than half (132 megs vs your 282 megs). Keeping the dpi at 300 won't increase file size either. Your cover, at 72 dpi saved at level 11 is 2.95 megs. After increasing the resolution to 300 dpi and saving it at level 9, the cover is 1.52 megs.

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KiwiArcader    471

Yep. If resizing then height based adjustments is definitely preferable due to 2 page mode that I use on my PDF's.

I don't resize my own scans at all to be honest but if someone submits a magazine and pages are slightly different I look at resizing to whatever pixel height is most common or very close to it anyway.

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KiwiArcader    471

I saw that re your comment about dodgy cropping.

Auto-cropping is bad ... very bad ... as in my testing unless you have the backlight ON then it buggers up almost all the time on black background based pages and lots of advertising has that right? So best not use it at all. My advice when scanning using a document scanner is:

1. Do NOT auto-crop. Resist ... resist ....

2. Set backlight off to lessen bleed through from the opposite side. This results in a less vibrant white but it's worth it IMHO

3. Where possible spend the time to create profiles for magazines so you can change from one mag to the other without having to play around with settings. It's well worth it.....

4. When creating profiles use a magazine page to test as covers can be cut in a little so it's easier cropping a cover than losing an extra mm or two because you set the profile for a slightly smaller cover.

5. Try and set the edge in your profiles to be a mm in from the edge, especially for top and bottom and outer spines as it stops your page having black edges. I think a 1mm cut on the edges makes for a n ice looking scan and no-one will likely miss it anyway.

6. Don't brightness/contrast adjust as it tends to darken images which offsets the white paper benefits. If you do feel the need use paint software rather than the scanning software as you have way more control over it. In my software I very occasionally increase brightness by +1 and contrast by +10 in Paintshop Pro but that's all. Any more than that has a negative impact on dark images.

7. If the colors seem muted I adjust them, again in Paintshop Pro, by using Hue/Saturation/Lightness settings of Hue -5 & Saturation +15 to bring out the reds etc but generally I only do it on covers if they don't look quite right on screen

8. Use 300DPI. More than enough IMHO

9. Don't alter vertical sizing at all. If a scan is 3500 pixels high keeping it that way makes them look great on high res devices like Samsung tablets, especially when zooming pages. The beauty of using profiles is every page comes out the same size

10. Try and keep the file size between 200-400MB's as bigger files don't tend to work so well on tablets due to limited RAM etc. Believe me, I've tried opening 500MB+ files on an iPad and it ain't pretty.

Other than that just play until you are happy with the results of your labors. The above are just how I approach my scanning so feel free to ignore everything. At the end of the day you are the one who needs to be happy with the output. Let me know if you have any questions.

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marktrade    614

Thank you for the feedback! That's great advice.

I understand that scanning at 300 DPI is enough to capture all the information for printed images, but printed text is a different beast. Even at 1200 DPI there are noticeable improvements in making text look clean and solid without aliasing when zooming in.

So no one should feel they are wasting their time scanning at 300 DPI, but let's not pretend there aren't some archival benefits scanning at higher resolutions either. Right now it's a question of whether those benefits are worth it and that comes down to personal preference, how much space and RAM one has to work with.

As for the matter of saving the image files at 300 DPI or 72, I guess that only matters if the files are going to be reprinted, right? But they're not, they're going to be displayed pixel by pixel on screens that each have their own unique number of pixels per pinch. I just got in the habit of saving at 72 because that was the standard for CRT monitors back in the day.

There's a scanning-to-archive workflow and then there's an archive-to-dististrubtion workflow, from what I'm learning. I will experiment some more and see if I can't get the TWAIN drivers to work, before cutting the spines off more mags!

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E-Day    699

72dpi was fine in the CRT days, but now we have screens that have over 200 pixels per inch. And most people will be using something other than a standard LCD monitor connected to a desktop :) This sort of thing screams portable viewing. :)

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KiwiArcader    471

Oh yeah. 72/96DPI looks fairly horrid on a high res Samsung tablet when you start zooming pages. Ugh!!!

My advice was purely a reflection of my scanning process. If you want to scan at 1200DPI etc and have the space to store it then by all means go for it.

My view of preservation has changed somewhat over the years. Now I am focused on being able to read my scans on my tablet and computer screens, and 300 DPI allows a reasonable file size along with good readability in my eyes. That's all that really matters to me nowadays ... being able to read the magazine. Meppi over at OOPA spends and inordinate amount of time cleaning up pages and generally fussing over an issue until it looks like it was printed yesterday. I find that overly pedantic but different strokes for different folks. If we all did that the amount of magazines preserved would likely be a couple of hundred or so if you look at their release schedule which is generally one every month or two. Being in my 50's I have a finite amount of time left on this planet so pushing them out at a reasonable rate just seems better to me. I haven't had anyone complain about any quality issues either so I must be doing something right.

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marktrade    614

I guess I'm missing something. I thought that DPI settings for image files are essentially meaningless when viewed on a screen or device. In other words a 100 x 100 pixel image at 72 DPI should look the same as a 100 x 100 pixel image at 300 DPI on any screen, since the screen will display the same 100 x 100 pixels at its native resolution. I thought the DPI setting was there for when someone wanted to print the image, because then that determines how it will look on the page.

I'll gladly save the files at 300 DPI if it helps, though!

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KiwiArcader    471

It's when you zoom images that the decreased DPI resolution becomes readily apparent as you are zooming an image that has 4 times less DPI so jagged edges are noticeable. My Samsung tablet has 226ppi unlike standard monitors but UHD monitors are becoming more prevalent and they have high ppi counts as well so in theory the higher dpi count should allow for smoother display on such devices. Note that they are still in the 200+ppi range so 300dpi scans should still be plenty fine even for those displays as far as I can tell.

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E-Day    699

It will look the same at its "default" size when you open the images. One will be at 50% it's regular size on your screen and the other will be 25% or whatever. But when you want to view the images at 100%, the 300dpi will get you in a lot closer to the image than the 72 dpi one.

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marktrade    614

So you guys are both agreed that I should trim the edges to make everything straight and flush with the boundaries, even if that means that some content is deleted?

I suppose that is just fine for distribution workflow. I can preserve the edges in archive.

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KiwiArcader    471

I do it just to lessen the editing I have to do on my scans to next to nothing as I have so many issues from other members that do require editing that I'd grind to a halt on my own releases if I didn't. Do what ever you feel like. I don't miss 1/2 - 1mm that might get cropped. If you were using a flatbed scanner you'd lose 3 times that on the inner spine no matter how much you try and flatten it trying to avoid damaging the issue so no big deal in my opinion.

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JohnSmith    35

Hey marktrade, this is a great scan! I was worried about the quality of a feed scanner based on what I've seen in the past, but this is clearly good quality, and done at a high resolution. I think it's great you're doing this, and I would really recommend continuing on with the project and preserving whatever magazines you have on hand.

As for resolution, I personally do it around 300 dpi, but anything between 300 and 600 DPI is what we should be scanning at. Most everyone has large hard drives and access to high speed internet, so file size isn't as much of a problem anymore. Also, if anyone does want a smaller package, they could just repackage a larger DPI themselves.

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KiwiArcader    471

Fujitsu scanners like mine (fi-5650c) and his (the newer fi-6670) are streets ahead of the older model scanners and even current models from other vendors. They do come at considerable cost however.

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