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Scanning product shots

From: Scanning Techniques for Photography, Art, and Design

Video: Scanning product shots

In this movie we are going to address scanning photographs of product shots. We are going to do a continuous tone color image. Products not always but very often represent some unique challenges in terms of scanning and particularly in terms of highlights and shadows and sharpening issues. So let's just dive right in. I've already set our Frame here. The original image was 5x7 so we are going to put out Output at 5x7 because maybe that's how we want this to go in the catalog as a 5x7 image. And while we are here let's go ahead and set. We are going to go to print. Let's set our Quality Factor at 2 and we will set our Line Screen say at 150 so we will get a 300 pixel per inch scan and hold down the Ctrl key.

Scanning product shots

In this movie we are going to address scanning photographs of product shots. We are going to do a continuous tone color image. Products not always but very often represent some unique challenges in terms of scanning and particularly in terms of highlights and shadows and sharpening issues. So let's just dive right in. I've already set our Frame here. The original image was 5x7 so we are going to put out Output at 5x7 because maybe that's how we want this to go in the catalog as a 5x7 image. And while we are here let's go ahead and set. We are going to go to print. Let's set our Quality Factor at 2 and we will set our Line Screen say at 150 so we will get a 300 pixel per inch scan and hold down the Ctrl key.

We will actually scan at 320 because we've got a little bit of a scale of about 101.4%. And we will name it Martinelli's Bottle_RGB_300. So that's all squared around. We will go up to our Scan Type. Go 48->24. Again if you want to do a bunch of editing afterwards in Photoshop or if you wanted to print high bit depth images then you could scan in 48-bit. But we are going to go 48->24 and I think these results will be just fine. Thank you. All right, So let's look at our image and do a visual eval first.

Since it's a product shot one of the key things about product shots is there is usually logo and/or type and here we have both. We have Logos and we have Type. We want to make sure that's sharp and just as a side note as far as photography is concerned if you are in-charge to the whole process and you are doing film based photography and then you are scanning that make sure that you have got enough bit depth so that you get good sharpness of the logo all the way around a bottle, a three-dimensional object like this and make sure that you capture plenty of data all the way from the highlights to shadows.

So the highlights aren't blown out and the shadows aren't filled in. And this is an example of a very good product shot. One of the things we run into quite frequently in product shots is reflection such as we see here and very often these are what we call specular highlights. There are two kinds of Specular, which tend to be blown out pure white with not much detail in them and then Diffused highlight which is the lightest portion of image that still has detail. To this point in the course we have been primarily dealing with diffuse highlights, first of all I want to do this product shot to discuss it. The other thing that we often have in product shots is attention to shadow detail where in some other kinds of images it may not be all that important but in these kinds of images is it and with a bottle like this where we have got shadows and highlights and specular highlight it's kind of get the whole package in here for us to worry about.

We've got reflective surfaces like the foil and this is all about getting the proper lighting. These reflections are fine. If you get too much of reflection off the foil that's not good. So, good photography needs to be done. And this is a nice product shot that was done by Lucas Deming the photographer at Lynda.com. So thank you Lucas. Good job. All right, So we've done our visual evaluation, our qualitative evaluation so we know what's important. Let's go ahead and start setting our sampler points and let's do our Shift+Click on our favorite tool right the Highlight Shadow tool here. Click and it's not unexpected that the highlight is going to go right there in the reflection.

Before I go any further though I know one of the key portions of this image I can do it usually is this white area on the label right and I know I've got some light coming from this side because well, I can see the reflection here. So I'm going to go ahead and put a color sampler point right here as well because that's the one I really want to pay attention to. When we look at these two values notice this one is at 228, 227, 225 and this one is at 233, 228, 223. Interesting! They are almost identical. We have just kind of switch to couple of values here like there, they are identical.

Well, good enough but we are going to monitor number two. Why? Because that's the diffuse highlight. In an image like this we have specular and diffuse. If you take care of the diffuse properly the specular will normally take care of itself. We will see what happens. All right, Then of course we want to get a Shadow Point in here and we will Shift+Click on that Shadow Point because we want to make sure we maintain shadow detail there. Let's look at the value. 27, 24, 26. All right, We've got a little bit of room. We can darken up a little bit but don't want to go below 15 on that one, most likely that's about 96% shadow.

How low we go once again depends upon the output device. If I am going to my Inkjet printer I am probably not going to go below 20 there. If I am going to a process color press with just cyan, magenta, yellow and black I can take it little bit lower. My Inkjet are now pinched to fill in those shadows little bit more than a commercial printing press does. So it's all based upon the output device we are going to. So we are going to prepress with this one. So let's go ahead over to our tools and start fine-tuning our settings and these aren't bad settings all the way they are because the photography is so well-done. So what would do here? First of all this is a white label. Isn't it? Maybe that's the point that we are going to pay attention to.

233, 228, 223, little bit of a red cast here and you know what probably because of the reflection of the light of the apple is casting a little bit of a red cast right there. So difficult to see that visually but we can see it numerically. So to make sure that label pops, what we are going to do is we are going to take out that little bit of a red color cast here. So we are going to go and work on these individual channels and the highlight separately. If you go to the red channel and we are going to punch this up to 238, 239 because I am thinking ahead a little bit I think I am going to be lightning this image a little bit.

It's not bad but I would like to lighten it and add a little bit more contrast. So I think I am going to just take this to 239 thinking that we'll get the rest of the way to 242 when we go into our Curves tool. And then we go to the Green. We will take that to 239 as well and the Blue take that to 239. And see by getting these three numbers to equal this is called neutralization of course we take out any color cast, any red color cast because we don't really care about the apple what we care about is that white bottle. There we go. Now let's look at the shadow and to do the shadow, point number three, we don't want to neutralize that.

It's got some color to it. We want to maintain that color. So we are going to do the shadow adjustment on the Master RGB channel. Now let's say we can drop that down to maybe 15. So I will drop this down to the lowest values at 15 which is going to be the green. There we go. So none of these we have increased the contrast here a little bit by lightening up the highlight, darkening up the shadow looking pretty good. Let's look at these three values here 233, 237, 241. They have hardly changed although the Blue came up a bit and these came up a little bit but notice they are all still actually printing as a diffuse highlight.

But we don't really care if that one's neutral what we care about is this one being neutral. Our eye doesn't expect that to be neutral gray, the eye does expect this to be neutral gray. All right, There we go. And then we will go to our Curves tool. And in a case like this where we've got lots of darkness in here instead of going with just the normal I am going to go with a logarithmic curve to lighten my image. So I am just going to move this up maybe about 5 points here and notice we've gone from 239 to 240 over here. See the brightness of the image just a little bit and it brightens the shadow a little more than it does the highlight.

Then we'll go to our Contrast tool and I am just going to add little bit of contrast between 5 and 10 and notice that boom, they are all perfect. Our white highlight is right at 241, 242. Perfect 5% white highlight. And we will just check our shadow here. Make sure we are around 15. All right, It's bumped up a little bit. We are fine. Yeah, we are good to go there. So we've got a nice neutral label. We've got good brightness, good contrast. We will click OK. Now since we are going to scan this and go right to press, we are going to go ahead and do some sharpening here.

I know shock and surprise, I am actually going to sharpen during my scan. Now you could use some of these built- in sharpening and honestly SilverFast sharpening algorithms are pretty darn good but no matter how good they are I never trust them. So up comes the Unsharp Mask tool which is SilverFast's very sophisticated sharpening tool. Let's call Unsharp Mask because it comes from prepress and remember all the knowledge and wisdom that goes into its program comes from the prepress world. So the first thing we want to do is check off Monochrome because we really want to see the impact of the Unsharp Mask on the color portion of the image and then if you have watched some of the earlier videos on sharpening in this course you know that when you click Prescan nothing happens.

It waits for you take that little rectangle and click on where you want to see the preview. And I am going to click on a critical area here and also show this reflective gold band which we want to make sure is not too overly affected by some sharpening we might apply. The left side shows the unsharpened version of the image and the right side shows the sharpened version of the image. What we are going to want to set first is some starting values of Intensity and typically that would be between 50 and 100% particularly for a product shot. Remember we are emphasizing, making the type pop because it's a logo.

So right and this is one of the things that product shots tend to have and very often the logos have line art and sometimes we both like we have here. So we want to make sure we end up with nice sharp edges and notice at 75% look at the difference in sharpness between these two. That's pretty significant. But we want to be careful of is applying too much sharpening so that we start getting modeling in areas like this and see there is a little bit in here. We don't see here. All right, And then this is one of the values we can adjust here and that is Threshold with the Intensity of 75% increase in contrast along high contrast edges.

So it's going to increase the contrast between adjacent pixels. Then Threshold says and we are going to set this at about 3 and what this means is there needs to be at least 3% difference in grayscale value before the sharpening will be applied. And in some cases I will go as high as 5 on an image like this in particular. So we can go all the way up to 5 if you want to. So that soft areas are like this and the white background will not be modeled by the sharpening. Notice by putting 5% this now appears very smooth whereas the high contrast type edge is still sharpened.

The other adjustment you can make here is this Over Sharpening slider. You won't find this in a lot of scanning programs. Its kind of unique to SilverFast but if you have SilverFast and you are using it notice you can take this all the way up to 100% and then you can back it off and you can watch those smooth areas. By putting this at 5% that's pretty much taken care of it. If I put this back down at 2% notice at 34 see the modeling if I go higher and higher we get more and more modeling. By reducing the Over Sharpening I remove some of that modeling My experience teaches me I would rather do with little bit higher Threshold and then move the over sharpening up until I just start to see some of that modeling up here.

Here we go. So 75, Threshold to 5. I can maybe even take this up to 100% after a while. So I start between 50 and 100, maybe move up to 100 and get some nice sharp type here. Threshold to 5, Oversharpen. Now this is very important, the Sharpen and the Dark Contour. Why? Because we've got important shadow area here that we want to make sure is not modeled. So if you recall our shadow point here was down at about 95%. So I am going to say let's sharpen up to about 80 or 85% and after that don't sharpen at all.

That way the very dark portions of the bottle will be left alone. And on the dark and light Contour I am pretty much going to leave those just the way they are set at 50% equalize them because there aren't any light areas that I want to emphasize and certainly no dark areas that I want to emphasize, which I would raise them about 50% on one of the other if I wanted to do that. I'm going to click on soft shadows particularly on an image like this. What that does is create smooth gradations on any of the dark shadow areas in the image and which in this case there is lots of in this bottle. All right and keep the Matrix at 3x3. and if I use this a couple of times, and I am doing a lot of these kinds of shots and I like this and I can save this is a preset and label it and call it bottles whatever I like. There we go.

So I am going to click OK and we are ready to scan. So we are just going to check our values here. These one needs your one more check as sometimes when you apply sharpening, sometimes the highlights move up and the shadows move down a little bit. In this case, we are good to go because remember we put that threshold which protected the white area in particular and we would make sure that not too much sharpening was applied to the shadow area. So this tells us that we've accomplished our task and then we will go ahead and click Scan. And there we go and well, look at this at 100% and notice we end up with some real nice sharpening of our image.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Scanning Techniques for Photography, Art, and Design
Scanning Techniques for Photography, Art, and Design

58 video lessons · 8670 viewers

Taz Tally

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  1. 6m 48s
    1. Welcome
      1m 11s
    2. What you should know before watching this course
      3m 54s
    3. Using the exercise files
      1m 43s
  2. 1h 0m
    1. Scanners and digital cameras
      3m 6s
    2. Types of scanners
      5m 2s
    3. Scanner location
      3m 19s
    4. What scanners and digital cameras create
      7m 22s
    5. Understanding grayscale values and channels
      3m 19s
    6. Understanding pixels and vectors
      4m 1s
    7. Choosing pixels or vectors
      2m 27s
    8. Resolving resolution
      6m 32s
    9. Working with interpolation
      3m 31s
    10. Understanding the effects of compression
      2m 4s
    11. Evaluating and correcting images with histograms
      8m 26s
    12. Saving to different file formats
      7m 4s
    13. Color management
      4m 23s
  3. 33m 22s
    1. Cleaning your scanner
      7m 31s
    2. Cleaning your images
      7m 47s
    3. Calibrating your scanner
      9m 13s
    4. Creating and applying a color management profile
      8m 51s
  4. 20m 55s
    1. Evaluating your scan challenges
      9m 46s
    2. Reproducing vs. assigning colors
      6m 20s
    3. Recognizing continuous tone (contone) vs. dot pattern images
      4m 49s
  5. 36m 32s
    1. Understanding bit depth
      8m 49s
    2. Selecting a scan mode
      8m 20s
    3. Sharpening and its effects
      10m 40s
    4. Creating and assigning color management profiles
      8m 43s
  6. 2h 25m
    1. Taking the Tazmanian Oath!
      3m 38s
    2. Choosing your weapon
      4m 2s
    3. Setting up your scanning preferences
      12m 14s
    4. Performing a prescan
      2m 53s
    5. Assigning a scan frame
      5m 40s
    6. Determining scan resolution
      7m 57s
    7. Choosing a scan mode and bit depth
      5m 53s
    8. Naming images
      1m 49s
    9. Scanning simple logos and line art
      12m 21s
    10. Scanning complex line art
      7m 33s
    11. Scanning grayscale contones
      13m 22s
    12. Scanning color contones
      13m 54s
    13. Sharpening
      9m 39s
    14. Scanning printed/screened or patterned images
      7m 1s
    15. Scanning positive transparency film
      12m 33s
    16. Scanning negative transparency film
      9m 11s
    17. Capturing high dynamic range (HDR) scans
      1m 47s
    18. Setting up wet scans
      14m 29s
  7. 1h 48m
    1. Scanning, converting, and using simple line art
      5m 32s
    2. Scanning and using detailed line art
      10m 52s
    3. Scanning landscapes
      15m 50s
    4. Scanning product shots
      11m 58s
    5. Scanning combo/complex images
      9m 3s
    6. Adjusting distressed images
      11m 12s
    7. Scanning images with no neutrals
      11m 57s
    8. Post-scan touch-ups
      2m 7s
    9. Scanning images for multiple uses
      10m 44s
    10. Automatic scanning
      10m 40s
    11. Streamlining big jobs with batch scanning
      5m 22s
    12. Using your manufacturer's scanning software
      3m 14s
  8. 27s
    1. Goodbye

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