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In this course, photographer and scanning expert Taz Tally describes how to use the LaserSoft Imaging SilverFast software to scan photos, line art, film negatives, and other printed documents, while getting the highest quality scans possible from your scanner. The course begins with an overview of SilverFast, then takes a task-oriented look at the SilverFast automatic and manual scanning modes, showing numerous scanning projects from start to finish. The course also explores a variety of specialized scanning topics, such as removing color casts and scratches, High Dynamic Range (HDR) scanning, and wet scanning.
Here I'd like to take you through a sample scan and show you some of the impacts, some of the auto adjustment tools so you can get a handle on that, and in the final step discuss naming and assigning a file format and a location for your scan. All right! So let's get started, let's come up here to our source and choose Photo from our input source and then Task. We'll use Print like we've been doing all along, and then we'll choose the standard bit depth of 48 -> 24 and then choose Start. And our pre-scan is performed, and we can watch the pre-scan progress down here.
And we're going to choose our Fix scan frame, and we'll go ahead and choose 5.0" x 7.0", since that matches our image. And we're going to choose portrait rather than landscape. And we'll set the upper left-hand corner there and then the lower right-hand corner here and then we can nudge that up a little bit. And, by the way, if you're wondering why I have this ruler up here, the small six-inch ruler that's about three quarters of an inch wide is I often use that, I snug it up against the top of my scanner, because sometimes the glass at the top of my scanner underneath the glass it gets dirty with dust and so forth and also sometimes the scanner doesn't capture the very top of the image.
So I just put that up there and nudge my images up against them, and then I don't have either of those problems. Just a little workaround for working on flatbed scanners. All right! We'll choose our photo quality of 300 because we can use that on almost any printing device, and if we choose to take that image and downsample it for the web, we can do that as well. And then we set our frame, we set our resolution, and then off we go. And notice it moved to the Auto correction and when you apply an Auto correction, you can see that the image is now brighter and more saturated. Let's just take a quick look at what's happened here.
Notice that the starting position--and I'm going to show you a couple of things about adjusting these tools is this is the Reset button and when we reset this, notice the image has lost its contrast and its saturation, and notice on this tool, the highlight and the shadow are no longer auto-adjusted. What happens during the auto scanning process is you're getting an automatic adjustment where the highlights and shadows are adjusted thereby improving the brightness/contrast of the image and the overall color saturation. So you can see the impact of that. Plus, when we take a look at the Gradation tool, and again, we can see there's a very slight gradation applied to the image. I'm going to click the Reset button.
Watch what happens to the image. See that's a little bit lighter. I click the Auto again and we'll look at the Gradation tool. No, it's just darkened the image just a little bit. So you can see the impact. And of course, if you want to apply further corrections to either of those tools that you can. All right! As we continue on using the various tools that have been supplied to us from the Source and the Print Task output, there's the Histogram and again, we can adjust that if we choose to, same with the Gradation tool.
And then it moves on into Selective Color Correction. And here we can desaturate the image slightly, we can saturate the image even more if we want to, or we can apply Selective Color Correction manually. And we'll dig into this tool more deeply when we get into the manual scanning section of this course. And then move on and we see the GANE tool, which is for adjusting for Grain and Noise Elimination. And again, this is a tool we're going to deal with much more when we move into the manual scanning section of the class. And then finally, because we've chosen the Print tool, we see that the automatic scanning task is going to apply some standard unsharp mask.
And you can turn these tools off and turn them back on again and redo the scan. You can see the impact of these tools. So these are all automatic corrections that are applied to most standard print images. And then finally, as we continue on, we get to the File section. And this is where we will name the file, we'll choose a file format, and then choose a path where want the scanner to save that file. So let's go ahead and name this image. And this is really part of our setup when we're doing automatic scanning is we need to come up with a naming scheme.
And I'd like to give you a recommendation, at least a starting point of how you might want to name your images. And here we'll call this Tina, and we'll call this RGB, which is the color space that the image is going to be captured. And then I'll like to put in a resolution of the file so it reminds me what resolution this is. And so I use a logical name, our color space, and then a resolution. So just by looking at the name of the file, I can tell an awful lot about that file. And then we're going to choose a file format, and we've got several choices. Which one we choose really depends upon what we intend to do with this image next.
If we intend to just print this image like we've assigned in our task, TIFF is a very, very good choice. It's a universal print file format that's uncompressed and will maintain the quality. If on the other hand we intend to go into this image, work on it in Photoshop, add some type, do some compositing, some masking, or some more correction, then you can choose .psd. If we intend to just use this image on the web, or print it on low-quality printers, then going to JPEG or JPEG 2000 is fine. And both of those are compressed file formats. If you intend to use this for both high and low-quality purposes, my suggestion would be to save the original image as a .psd or a TIFF--both of which will not harm the image at all-- and then you can make copies and convert those into JPEG for use on the web.
And our final choice here is PDF, which is Portable Document Format, and if you were just going to place this image in a PDF portfolio or if for adding to a PDF presentation, you can go straight to PDF off of this. Honestly, I rarely do this. I typically save my images out either as .psd if I intend to work in Photoshop, or TIFF if I intend to go right to print. And then I can convert them to PDF later on, and I'll typically use Bridge to do that. So you have multiple choices here. Since we have said we're going to go to print--and I really don't need to do anything else to this image after we scan it, we're going to just choose Print.
By the way, if you do choose JPEG as you see here and you click the Options dialog box, this gives you the ability to control the quality of the print by controlling the amount of compression. And when you choose High, you get higher quality, less compression. And Low will lower quality. I recommend that you stay at 80% or above if you want to maintain the quality of your images. You'll still get a fair amount of compression, that is a reduction in file size, which is good for sending your images over the web and putting them on web pages. Honestly, I rarely if ever display a 5x7-inch image on the web regardless of the amount of JPEG compression, so I typically wouldn't be saving this image out as a JPEG.
I'd be saving it out as a TIFF or .psd if it's going to be this large. And typically I recommend a Standard Baseline format for JPEG because it gives you the greatest amount of flexibility in terms of acceptability of those files on the web. All right! So you have options for some of these file formats. For TIFF, there are no options. It just saves it as a straight uncompressed TIFF that we can then use for printing, or we can open up and save copies and use for other purposes. All right! And then finally, we'll choose a scan path. And here I'm putting this image on the Desktop and into a folder called Scanned Images.
And to reset this, you just click on that folder and you can locate where you would like your images to be saved after the scanning process, and you just click Choose, and then the final step here is complete the scan. And you can watch down here underneath the Scanner status to watch the progress of the scan. And just a word of caution: if you haven't been using your scanner for a while, the scanner tends to cool down, and once you click that final Scan button, nothing may happen. And if you look down here underneath the Scanner status, it will tell you scanner warming up and it may take up to two or three minutes for that scanner to actually warm up.
So don't think that your scanning interface is frozen. Just look down there underneath Scanner status before you start clicking buttons or cursing at your computer or your scanner. So there we go! The scan is complete. And then notice down here as you can just click on this button here--and depending upon how you have set your computer to open up various kinds of files--I've set up my computer so that any TIFF file that I have in my computer is automatically opened up in Photoshop. So when I click on this, that image that we just scanned will open up inside of Photoshop, as you see here. And just to check, we'll go underneath Image and go underneath Image Size and sure enough, remember we set it at 5x7. We want it 300 pixels per inch.
So there is our final scan. This is a sample scan. And we saw the automatic tools were applied to the image and improved the brightness and contrast and the color saturation and saved the dimensions and the file format and the location that we chose.
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