Viewers: in countries Watching now:
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.
In this movie, I'd like to show you how to scan a product shot using the Manual interface in SilverFast. But before we get started here, I'd like to encourage you to, first, watch the two previous videos in this chapter on the Landscape and on the Portrait scanning because I discussed a lot of the foundation and some of the basic tools and here I am just going to use them to save you a little bit of time from having to watch the same information multiple times. If you're interested in even more foundational information, I refer you to my previous scanning class in the Fundamental section, which really goes into a lot of the details about RGB and grayscale values and all of that.
So dig to your heart's delight and then come on back. So we have got a product shot here and the first thing that we are going to do is perform the prescan which we have already done, just click on the Prescan button and then we are going to move our frame just roughly up into here and then we'll click on the magnifying glass to bring it up and this allows us to fine-tune the placement of our frame, if we are going to do this manually. All right! And now let's evaluate the key portions of this image. You always want to ask that question. Well, it's a product shot and the product is the Martinelli's bottle, no doubt about it.
So we want to make sure we get that right. What are the key elements in this Martinelli's bottle? As always, we start with the highlight, because everything is driven from the highlight. We ask ourselves is there diffused white highlight in this image? And sure there probably is right on the label. In something like this, that is so smooth, if there is any texture at all, we want to make darn sure that we maintain that texture so it doesn't just look flat white, particularly like when it's wrapped around a bottle like that. So we likely do have a diffused white highlight here. We'll see in just a moment. But in this image, we have got something we haven't had in the previous two images in this chapter, and that is a specular white highlight that is the reflection that we see off the bottle here. This is a specular highlight. And I'll bet you when we go to our Densitometer, we are going to find that that's the lightest portion of the image.
In fact, let's go there and let's do it. And again, I previously showed you how to use the details of this tool. So let's go right ahead. First, we are going to click on this button which shows us the lightest portion of the image and sure enough, you see that it's right there on the reflection. But also notice right down here in this portion of image, on the label, there is another area that's almost as light and that's obviously in the label and it's an area where we want to maintain detail. So we are going to put our color sampler point right there rather than up here.
So to get started, let's go ahead and just put our color sampler point there. We hold down our Shift key and click there to put color sampler point number one. Then to check out the shadow, to see if we want to put a color sampler point there, we click there and we see, oh, yeah, there is the shadow point right there and that's okay. That's good. That's right on the bottle. So we'll click and put color sampler point number two right there. Now, let's evaluate these numbers just a little bit and while we're at it, let's just bring up our Histogram and let's display the Histogram as three separate channels so we can take a look at this here.
Let's just look at our starting values and look at our Histogram a little bit. Red 230, green 227, blue 226. Now remember, this is supposed to be a diffused white highlight. So all those numbers should be equal and we'd like them up around 242 for a 5% white highlight. While you can see from the numbers, the green and blue are pretty close to each other, but the red is a little high and sure enough when we look over here on the Histogram, we see the red is extended just a little bit beyond the green and the blue. So we get visual confirmation of the numeric analysis here. So there's a little bit of a red cast first of all, so we'd like to neutralize that.
But also look at the values, they are down in the mid-to-high 220s, we'd like them in the low 240s like 242. So we got a little bit of neutralization and we'd like to also lighten that area up a little bit. Just look at the shadow, evaluate that. The red and green, 29, 26, 30, the red and the blue are pretty close to each other, the green is a little bit lower. We ask ourselves, do we want this to be neutral? The answer is probably no, because it's not a black bottle. So are the values okay? Sure, we could darken them a little bit. We can move them down into the low 20s or maybe closer to 15, but we certainly don't want to neutralize it.
Now, instead of doing our manual correction I want to start with the automatic correction and see what the software does to this image. So I am going to click up here on the Auto Correct and notice what the Auto Correction does to this image. It doesn't do a very good job and that's because it has a different set of colors with the bottle and that apple and well, it just doesn't evaluate it all that well. It didn't do a bad job on the highlight because remember we told it to set the highlight based upon the Preferences at 5% and 95% and it's done that, but the rest of evaluation of the image, not so much.
So it's particularly in circumstances like this, you need an alternative to the Automatic Color Correction tool. So we are going to back out of this correction. I am going to hold down my Option key, Alt on Windows, and I am just going to click on the Auto Correct tool and I am just going to take this back to where we started. That's a really handy tool to have when you want to just undo the stuff that you just did without having to go through every single dialog box and reset it. So what are we going to do here? Well, we are going to use our Pipette tool here. We are going to use the White Point, Pipette tool. I am going to click right over here and click right on that highlight; 243, 243, 243, good enough.
Notice the image is nice and bright now. Let's take another look at the Shadow Point and we are going to go over here and I am going to say, okay, we are going to darken it up just a little bit, but we are not going to change the ratio. That's why I am using the Master Histogram here that it's a slider that moves all three of them and I am just going to darken this up a little bit to move it down into the low 20s. It gives me a little bit better overall contrast across my image but maintains the color balance in the shadow. So what else might we want to do here? Well, we could go to the Gradation tool and we might want to overall lighten this or darken this a little bit.
We could choose to lighten it just a tad and let's take the contrast up just a little bit. Remember on the portrait images, I'd like to lower the contrast, but on product shots like this, I'd like to push a little bit more contrast out there. Notice we monitor our values all the time, the Highlights and the Shadows still in the low 220s, nice neutral highlight here. Sometimes when you make larger moves here, the highlight will move a little bit, maybe get too light, you may have to fine-tune that, but in this case, we seem to be doing all right. Remember adjustments on this curve, a little bit goes a long way. Maybe just one note about the Expert tool here and I'll just remind you, never use the Brightness slider, you watch the other videos, you'll see why.
In a case like this if we wanted to lighten just the shadow portion of the image a little bit, see how you can just pull that shadow up. I actually don't like lightening and I'm just going to darken the shadow just a little bit to add just a little bit more contrast on there. I like the way the quarter-tone looks, but I am just going to darken the shadow just a smidge. So, you can see how you can fine-tune if you know which tools to use and in which order to use them. All right! Our correction is good now. So let's go up to the Scan dimensions dialog box and we are going to call this Product_RGB_300 and then we are going to save this out as a TIFF, if we are going to go right to print, or .psd, if we intend to do some more editing or add some type or something in Photoshop later on and we are indeed going to set Photo Quality at 300, just like we have done at all the other images.
Remember, if you want to enlarge or reduce, you can use this Input and Output section of the Expert dialog box to do that and I've done that before in another video, so I won't bore you with that. And then the final thing we really need to address here on this image because it has no special challenges is the Unsharp Mask. And I repeat once again that we make the decision as to whether to apply Unsharp Mask here in the scanning software or later on in Photoshop. My personal preference is I am typically going to look at this and do my sharpening in Photoshop, but there are times when I just let SilverFast do it all.
So let's look at the default values here of 100, 1, Threshold of 1. You know I have got some flat areas here in the bottle and in the label that I want to make sure we don't add any grain to, so couple of things I am going to do. First of all, I am going to raise my Threshold here all the way up to 2.5-3, but because it's a product shot you know what, I am going to take this, the amount up to 150 and there are times when I go up to 200 all the way to 200 and even to 300 in some cases, but I am going to raise this. Let's go ahead and do it at 200, just for the sake so you can see what it looks like in the final analysis.
Because we've got type in here, we have got lots of hard edges and I would recommend at least 150 and maybe up to 200, we'll see what it looks like at the very end. Put the Threshold to 3 to protect the soft areas and then let's go to the Expert dialog box, and as I usually do, I'd turn on my Soft shadows and I am going to back my Sharpening off here to about 90%, so nothing that's darker than 90 is going to be sharpened, any soft shadows will not have any sharpening applied to them. So there we go! We're all ready to scan and after you click the Scan button, check down here in the Scanner status to see if your scanner is ready to go.
If you haven't used it in a few minutes, it's probably cooled off so it's going to warm up that bulb. Once your scan is completed, go ahead and click the Open image button and SilverFast will have whichever program you have assigned to open up, in this case TIFFs, which for me is always Photoshop. And notice that we end up with a nice bright product shot with some nice punch to it. We get a nice beautiful white highlight and that sharpening that we applied makes the text come out right. The thing that you want to be careful of is not sharpening too much, so that you end up with white halos around the high contrast edges but not a problem in this particular case. So, there we go! There is scanning product shots and showing you what to do when the Automatic tools don't work at all.
There are currently no FAQs about Scanning with SilverFast.
Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.
Search within course videos and transcripts, and jump right to the results.
Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.
Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.
Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.