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Scanning, Printing, Uploading Tips


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#1 Outlaw

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Posted 08 December 2005 - 08:18 PM

A member asked for scanning tips in another thread but after writing this lengthy reply I decided to start a new thread.

QUOTE(pinksocks @ Dec 3 2005, 04:36 PM)
Hey Peeps,

Cool site. Is there a FAQ or guidelines anywhere? I wanna upload some covers to contribute, but wanna do so correctly. Anyone have any scanning tips they want to share?

View Post



I do have some scanning tips I would like to share. You didn't mention which type of covers you are scanning, I will be discussing DVD cover and disk scans which is 98% of my work currently. I am NOT an expert; I just want to share a couple of self-learned tips. The first annoying thing I discovered when I tried scanning a DVD cover was that it did not sit completely flat while being scanned even though the scanner cover was of course closed. That is because the part of the lid that pushes the document down is basically padded (at least mine is). This allows the middle of the DVD cover (spline area) to not sit flat. Depending on the particular cover your scanning, this will usually leave minor to major shadows and slightly distort the image in that area. What I do to completely eliminate this problem is place a large hardcover cooking book on top of the document I'm scanning. I located the perfect hardcover book in my house that is slightly larger than a DVD cover outstretched but small enough to lie flat within the outer ridge on the scanner. I taped white paper on the side of the book that is used to simulate the scanner cover. My book is heavy too, because it's about two inches thick. I've also been taking the original DVD covers out and placing them inside the pages of the cookbook overnight before I make my scan although I don't think it makes any difference other than making it a little bit easier to load the document straight AND KEEP it straight while lowering the cookbook over it, right before scanning. (This does not flatten out the DVD cover enough to scan without the book on top in my experience, with my scanner.) Make sure the scanner glass is dust free, your document clean. Put the document down on the scanner as straight as possible. Carefully put one (long) edge of the book down on the scanner without touching the document, I put mine right against the ridge on the edge of the scanner glass. Bring the book down like your closing a door and the document won't move much, if at all. I'm not sure what everyone else's scanner software is like so I will just assume it works like mine, ha ha. Anyhow, I next "preview" the image and adjust the scanning area. Even if it appears to be lying perfectly straight I still leave a little wiggle room and save the final cropping for Photoshop. If you like high-resolution stuff set your scanner at 300 to 400 DPI, I set mine at 400. I tried 600 once and didn't like the results.
Before I make the actual scan I click the "auto tone" on and off while looking at the little preview picture and decide what will probably make the best results. I do the same with the "backlight correction." Sometimes it's one, sometimes the other, sometimes both and sometimes none. It depends on the image being scanned. I leave all the other settings such as unsharp mask, descreen, reduce dust and scratches, fading correction, grain correction, alone. I recently scanned and printed a couple of covers and I honestly thought mine looked better than the originals in some ways (not counting the fine, fine print resolution) an inkjet just isn't THAT good.
I'm very happy with the Canon scanner I own. It makes wonderful scans, more on that later. rolleyes.gif
Occasionally I can't make up my mind looking at the little preview picture box and make two scans, and decide which one looks best later while comparing the two at actual resolution. After I've saved the image I open it up in Photoshop. The first thing I do is rotate the image, (click "image" and then "rotate canvas") and make it so you can read it without tilting your head. I then zoom in about four clicks and move the image around to the edges of my screen. What I mean is I look for straight "lines" of any type including the edge of the scan to compare with the horizontal and vertical edges of my computer screen while sliding the image around. I hope that makes sense. Sometimes I get lucky and it needs no adjustment, but it's no problem if it needs to be tweaked. With Photoshop again click on "image" then "rotate canvas" and finally "arbitrary." This one lets you rotate the image clockwise or counterclockwise in super small increments. I'm usually using it to the tune of .4 or .05 or somewhere in between. You can do it over and over until it appears damn near perfect. Now you're ready to crop! When cropping, try to cut as little of the image away as possible. You can always crop a little more a second time. I like to use the "clone stamp tool" to fix imperfections, maybe a little dust spot here and there, fill in the edge of the paper that may have been scuffed and maybe even fill in the corners on an image that had rounded corners (on some DVD's) so my print will be complete and I won't need to pull out the scissors and get surgical for that stock rounded look. This is what I've been doing lately, you won't see rounded corners on my uploads any more but that doesn't mean they are cropped off, I just filled in the corners, yeah baby!
A little tiny bit of the image edge is typically lost in cropping and again when the printed image is cut. This doesn't always matter with some covers but others have pictures or information real close to the edge that I don't like to lose. I then save the image, overwriting the original from the scanner because I don't need that anymore. I let Photoshop compress the image a little, usually eight or nine on the image quality options section. I don't believe these images need to be 10 MB as some are. I'm usually uploading DVD covers between 2 and 5 MB I believe.
The disks go a lot faster, I use a different program to crop them before printing or uploading. The disks should be preferably cropped to the edge of the design not the edge of the disk itself.
If all of this seems excessive, I understand, not everybody is this obsessed.
Try to find something to hold your document FLAT, as shadows are sooo unflattering. If you don't have Photoshop or any other way to straighten the image before cropping, just KEEP TRYING to load it straight on the scanner bed. That's what I did before I got a little better with Photoshop. If you can't scan it straight or rotate it properly, don't do a final crop as someone else can do it after downloading before printing. When a "final crop" is performed on an image that is not straight, some of the image is being thrown away. I would also suggest rotating the image 90 degrees if needed before uploading so that it appears "correctly" like 99% of the covers already on this site. Apparently the moderators are not going to take the time to do it for you.
I recently had some unwanted lines show up on a scan that were apparently generated by the scanner. I clicked a button titled "calibration" with the cover closed and document removed, and the problem was solved.
I hope this helps; it works for me.
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#2 Rob

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Posted 08 December 2005 - 08:43 PM

very nice post!

your obsessive i agree taz.gif

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#3 kirchcatch

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Posted 16 January 2006 - 04:39 AM

good tips, I just got a new scanner and will try out your ideas when scanning my covers

#4 DarkCryst

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Posted 20 January 2006 - 04:42 AM

Another point to bear in mind is that on some covers you will end up with it looking messy, or covered in dots.

This is rarer now, but still does happen on occation, and its called moire patterning which is caused by the dots of colour that fool your eyes into thinking its more than 3 colours.

There is a quick and simple way of getting rid of, or severely reducing this: don't scan it straight. A 45 degree (or thereabouts) angle of the cover will reduce this effect, and many scanners have a "de-screen" filter that will help even more.

Other than that: scan at at least 600dpi and size down if needed, there is no excuse for a sub 600px dimension scan if you actually have the cover!

#5 DarkCryst

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Posted 24 January 2006 - 05:02 PM

Another Tip:

If you are seeing a lot of minor noise in the image (minor, not major) then in PhotoShop "surface blur" is often your friend.

Setting the blue to around 6px and the threshold to really low (between 10 and 2) will often reduce the appearance of noise in the file, without decreasing quality (in fact sometimes it improves the appearance - specifically most of the Buddha Bar cd covers hosted here benefit a lot from this technique).



#6 dieseldo55

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Posted 23 September 2006 - 09:05 AM

QUOTE(DarkCryst @ Jan 24 2006, 06:02 PM)
Another Tip:

If you are seeing a lot of minor noise in the image (minor, not major) then in PhotoShop "surface blur" is often your friend.

Setting the blue to around 6px and the threshold to really low (between 10 and 2) will often reduce the appearance of noise in the file, without decreasing quality (in fact sometimes it improves the appearance - specifically most of the Buddha Bar cd covers hosted here benefit a lot from this technique).

View Post


Good tip about surface blur,been using photoshop for 12 years and did'nt know of it,
PS! any more tips? not just for me! clap.gif

#7 newin45

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Posted 30 September 2006 - 09:14 AM

Thanks for the book tips.

I crop the image before the final scan, reduces the file size.
Saved to my desktop, by settings, I also have Canon scanner, that I love.

Double click the scanned image which will load in Windows Picture and Fax Viewer, on my computer and rotate it. It just takes a second.

Load it in Photosuite, to make other adjustments it needed. cheers.gif


#8 musicbuoy

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Posted 08 January 2007 - 03:10 AM

Working on somebody’s computer yesterday and among other things I had to reinstall “Microsoft’s Picture It 10”.

Having never used it before I had a quick look see and noticed in the “Premium” part of it there was a facility to straighten pictures.

Seems all you do is select two points that should be horizontal and it levels the picture for you.

No messing with rotation degrees, two simple clicks and the jobs done.

I thought it was a rather nifty facility.

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#9 Freddie_Fuck

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Posted 17 January 2007 - 12:37 AM

Another good tip for people using photoshop is following, to be absolutely sure your cover is 100% straight and you'r not sure just do the following.

- Load your cover
- In the top menu click on VIEW, there select NEW GUIDE
- Check the box for HORIZONTAL
- Type in '5in' without parenthesis in the POSITION field

now press the V key on your keyboard and you can drag this guided line across your cover, look for a straight line and position your guide 1mm below it so you see a small gap. If the gaps on both ends are the same then your cover is 100% straight:)

Little example to show what I mean,

user posted image

You can see in above example its just a little offstraight as there's a bigger gap towards the right then there's to the left. So we do the arbitrary clockwise turn till both gaps are equal and the end result will look like this,

user posted image

You can see the blue line in above shots, thats the GUIDE and it will help you a great deal.

Have fun with this tip,

Freddie

#10 musicbuoy

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Posted 17 January 2007 - 04:06 AM

I never knew that .............. what an excellent tip.

Any more????
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#11 Riia

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Posted 17 January 2007 - 08:53 AM

very interesting....what percent would you use?

default is 100%........is that fine?

#12 Freddie_Fuck

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Posted 17 January 2007 - 12:56 PM

QUOTE(Riia @ Jan 17 2007, 08:53 AM)
very interesting....what percent would you use?

default is 100%........is that fine?

View Post



As the original poster already stated, I too found out for myself that starting off with 0.05 works best, then if thats all of a sudden too big a turn do 0.01 till you'r spot on target. Just keep doing it till its spot on, sometimes you'll have to move the guide down a bit again to create this gap, you'll know what I mean when you tinker with it.

EDIT : Oooh sorry, I thought you were talking about the turning stuff, no I used around 50% magnification to spot these inconsistenties, problem with 100% is that your cover won't fit your screen so you can't look over a great distance. So 50% is best I feel(for a 3240x2140 size cover). At 50% your cover won't fit screen either but atleast you can have the entire front part visible on screen. As you can see here,

user posted image

#13 Transmit This

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Posted 08 August 2007 - 07:14 AM

Ok This may be a silly question, but...
a CD cover is pretty small Physically, So when someone scans it how come they end up with a Large cover??

surly there just enlargeing it and the quality will be pants?

I've only got 953x953Pixels covers on my Pc at present - but even that viewed at 100% is about twice the size of the original!

Would hate to see what the Bigger ones look like

#14 easy_rahil

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Posted 20 July 2008 - 10:52 AM

nice post

#15 CorkyB

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 05:28 PM


Why go to the trouble of scanning. Any good labeling software lets you export to an image file, either with cropped edges and hub or not.

Uploading scanned images are prolly decent for one who has the same software as the scanner.

Uploading the image without the punched out hub gives everyone a clean copy regardless os hub sized being used.

Just another option

QUOTE(Outlaw @ Dec 8 2005, 09:18 PM)
A member asked for scanning tips in another thread but after writing this lengthy reply I decided to start a new thread.
I do have some scanning tips I would like to share.  You didn't mention which type of covers you are scanning, I will be discussing DVD cover and disk scans which is 98% of my work currently.  I am NOT an expert; I just want to share a couple of self-learned tips.  The first annoying thing I discovered when I tried scanning a DVD cover was that it did not sit completely flat while being scanned even though the scanner cover was of course closed.  That is because the part of the lid that pushes the document down is basically padded (at least mine is).  This allows the middle of the DVD cover (spline area) to not sit flat.  Depending on the particular cover your scanning, this will usually leave minor to major shadows and slightly distort the image in that area.  What I do to completely eliminate this problem is place a large hardcover cooking book on top of the document I'm scanning.  I located the perfect hardcover book in my house that is slightly larger than a DVD cover outstretched but small enough to lie flat within the outer ridge on the scanner.  I taped white paper on the side of the book that is used to simulate the scanner cover.  My book is heavy too, because it's about two inches thick.  I've also been taking the original DVD covers out and placing them inside the pages of the cookbook overnight before I make my scan although I don't think it makes any difference other than making it a little bit easier to load the document straight AND KEEP it straight while lowering the cookbook over it, right before scanning.  (This does not flatten out the DVD cover enough to scan without the book on top in my experience, with my scanner.)  Make sure the scanner glass is dust free, your document clean.  Put the document down on the scanner as straight as possible.  Carefully put one (long) edge of the book down on the scanner without touching the document, I put mine right against the ridge on the edge of the scanner glass.  Bring the book down like your closing a door and the document won't move much, if at all.  I'm not sure what everyone else's scanner software is like so I will just assume it works like mine, ha ha.  Anyhow, I next "preview" the image and adjust the scanning area.  Even if it appears to be lying perfectly straight I still leave a little wiggle room and save the final cropping for Photoshop.  If you like high-resolution stuff set your scanner at 300 to 400 DPI, I set mine at 400.  I tried 600 once and didn't like the results.
Before I make the actual scan I click the "auto tone" on and off while looking at the little preview picture and decide what will probably make the best results.  I do the same with the "backlight correction."  Sometimes it's one, sometimes the other, sometimes both and sometimes none.  It depends on the image being scanned.  I leave all the other settings such as unsharp mask, descreen, reduce dust and scratches, fading correction, grain correction, alone.  I recently scanned and printed a couple of covers and I honestly thought mine looked better than the originals in some ways (not counting the fine, fine print resolution) an inkjet just isn't THAT good.
I'm very happy with the Canon scanner I own.  It makes wonderful scans, more on that later.  rolleyes.gif
Occasionally I can't make up my mind looking at the little preview picture box and make two scans, and decide which one looks best later while comparing the two at actual resolution.  After I've saved the image I open it up in Photoshop.  The first thing I do is rotate the image, (click "image" and then "rotate canvas") and make it so you can read it without tilting your head. I then zoom in about four clicks and move the image around to the edges of my screen.  What I mean is I look for straight "lines" of any type including the edge of the scan to compare with the horizontal and vertical edges of my computer screen while sliding the image around.  I hope that makes sense.  Sometimes I get lucky and it needs no adjustment, but it's no problem if it needs to be tweaked.  With Photoshop again click on "image" then "rotate canvas" and finally "arbitrary."  This one lets you rotate the image clockwise or counterclockwise in super small increments.  I'm usually using it to the tune of .4 or .05 or somewhere in between.  You can do it over and over until it appears damn near perfect.  Now you're ready to crop!  When cropping, try to cut as little of the image away as possible.  You can always crop a little more a second time.  I like to use the "clone stamp tool" to fix imperfections, maybe a little dust spot here and there, fill in the edge of the paper that may have been scuffed and maybe even fill in the corners on an image that had rounded corners (on some DVD's) so my print will be complete and I won't need to pull out the scissors and get surgical for that stock rounded look.  This is what I've been doing lately, you won't see rounded corners on my uploads any more but that doesn't mean they are cropped off, I just filled in the corners, yeah baby!
A little tiny bit of the image edge is typically lost in cropping and again when the printed image is cut.  This doesn't always matter with some covers but others have pictures or information real close to the edge that I don't like to lose.  I then save the image, overwriting the original from the scanner because I don't need that anymore.  I let Photoshop compress the image a little, usually eight or nine on the image quality options section.  I don't believe these images need to be 10 MB as some are.  I'm usually uploading DVD covers between 2 and 5 MB I believe.
The disks go a lot faster, I use a different program to crop them before printing or uploading.  The disks should be preferably cropped to the edge of the design not the edge of the disk itself.
If all of this seems excessive, I understand, not everybody is this obsessed.
Try to find something to hold your document FLAT, as shadows are sooo unflattering.  If you don't have Photoshop or any other way to straighten the image before cropping, just KEEP TRYING to load it straight on the scanner bed.  That's what I did before I got a little better with Photoshop.  If you can't scan it straight or rotate it properly, don't do a final crop as someone else can do it after downloading before printing.  When a "final crop" is performed on an image that is not straight, some of the image is being thrown away.  I would also suggest rotating the image 90 degrees if needed before uploading so that it appears "correctly" like 99% of the covers already on this site.  Apparently the moderators are not going to take the time to do it for you.
I recently had some unwanted lines show up on a scan that were apparently generated by the scanner.  I clicked a button titled "calibration" with the cover closed and document removed, and the problem was solved.
I hope this helps; it works for me.
Outlaw  cheers.gif

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#16 bazzuk

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Posted 15 November 2009 - 06:34 PM

nice post,i needed some tips clap.gif

#17 eyestouch

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Posted 11 August 2010 - 09:45 AM

nice post,i needed some tips <!--emo&:clap:--><img src='http://community.fre..._DIR#>/clap.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='clap.gif' /><!--endemo-->



#18 Joe Cook

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Posted 09 September 2010 - 06:48 AM

I get real anal about my covers as I crop everything and make up a CD case and not DVD cases. I find they store easier as I can fit more into my library taking up less space. I use Roxio to to do all my labels. You only need the DVD disk labels and I use NEATO glossy (full cover) as the pictures come out superb! Yes, I like the center hole in them as it gives me a center point when I am cropping the outer edges off of the label giving me a much cleaner label. As for the covers themselves I use glossy minimum weight 66lb paper. After the covers are scanned onto the paper you just need to cut them out and put them into the cases. Last but not least I scan at 300 dpi minimum.

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#19 vipin

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Posted 01 December 2010 - 05:51 PM

It depends on the image being scanned. I leave all the other settings such as unsharp mask, descreen, reduce dust and scratches, fading correction, grain correction, alone. I recently scanned and printed a couple of covers and I honestly thought mine looked better than the originals in some ways (not counting the fine, fine print resolution) an inkjet just isn't THAT good.
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Edited by tweetybird, 01 December 2010 - 08:03 PM.
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#20 TheOnlyMrVideo

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 11:31 AM

Ok This may be a silly question, but...
a CD cover is pretty small Physically, So when someone scans it how come they end up with a Large cover??

surly there just enlargeing it and the quality will be pants?

I've only got 953x953Pixels covers on my Pc at present - but even that viewed at 100% is about twice the size of the original!

Would hate to see what the Bigger ones look like

 

You need to understand the relationship that DPI has with all images.  In most cases, monitors have a display DPI of 96.  Better scans are posted with a DPI of at least 300.  When you display the scan in a program like Photoshop, setting the displayed image at 100% for viewing means that one image pixel is mapped to one display pixel.  Since there are 300 pixels per inch in the image, it will look 312.5% larger than it really is (300 / 96).  To get the image on the screen to look real sized, you must enter a display value of 32% (96 / 300).

 

So, in a nutshell, the percent value that is in the lower-left corner of the image being displayed (photoshop) is not a real size value, but a image pixel to display pixel relationship.

 

If you want the image on the screen to "look" real sized, you must do the math of dividing the display DPI by the image DPI.