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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.
In this segment, I would like to show you how to set up the SilverFast Interface for scanning in Automatic mode. When you first launch SilverFast, it places you in the Full-Manual mode or settings for operating SilverFast. To get to Automatic mode, you click in the upper left-hand corner on this red ball, that says WorkflowPilot, and it's the WorkflowPilot that will take you through the automatic procedures. Once you're in the WorkflowPilot interface, you can see that it's a good deal simpler in many ways than the Full Manual mode. Basically in order to setup your Automatic Workflow for scanning, you're going to want to answer two questions.
The first is the Source and the second is the Task, and basically think of these as Input and Output. So, the first one is very straightforward. When you choose Source, you just ask yourself what kind of image am I working with? Is the original that I'm about to scan, is it a photograph? In that case choose Photo. If it's a pre-printed piece, like something out of a magazine or newspaper, then you'll choose Print. If it's a piece of film with the negative, you choose Negative. If it's a slide that is specifically a Kodachrome slide from Kodak, then you choose Kodachrome. And if it's any other kind of slide, such as Ektachrome or Fujichrome--those are two common ones--then you'll choose Slide.
Here we're going to choose Photo because we're going to start with a photograph. The next setting is Task, and think of this as Output. What are you going to scan your image for? And we have a lot of different choices as you see here. So the folks at SilverFast have created a variety of different presets for very specific output uses. What I want to show you is two things: is one, what happens to your toolset when you go through various settings? And then secondly, just as important is what happens to your resolution choices. Let's start with Color.
So if you had a color photo and you were interested in adjusting the overall intensity or the color quality of the image, this is a common one you might choose, Color and Intensity. Notice the set of tools that is made available to you. There's Resolution and Automatic Color Correction, Histogram, Selective Color Correction. That's one set. Let's take a look at Descreen. Let's go to Fine art print. Notice very few tools here. Why? Because SilverFast is pretty much going to be making all the choices for you-- doesn't give you a lot of things to control.
And then let's go down here to Photoshop mode. If you're going to choose Photoshop mode, notice once again that SilverFast doesn't give you a lot of controls here. It's assuming that most of this work is going to be done in Photoshop, so it basically gives you just the general scan. Here's one that a lot of people would use if you're creating scanned images, or you're scanning images for uses in presentations. Notice there's a wide variety of tools to choose from here. And then finally, Print. That's a very common one.
We have even wider variety of tools, with things such as GANE, which is dust and scratches, and the all-important Unsharp Mask for sharpening your images for printing output. So the tools that are available to you will depend upon the output task that you have chosen. And later on I am going to show you how you can actually customize these tools if you want to. Now the second thing that I wanted to show you is Resolution, because this can be a bit confusing in this interface. Let's go back to our Color and Intensity for instance. And I'm just going to start the process to do the pre-scan.
So I can show you what choices you have for Resolution. And notice it creates a pre-scan of the image. And normally the next step would be to adjust our frame. But I'm just going to show you about the various resolution choices that come up when working inside of SilverFast and you change your output task. Notice when we're in Photo and in Color > Intensity, the resolution choices here are based upon the full optical resolution of the scanner. Full optical resolution 4800, 1/2 optical 2400, and 1/4 optical was 1200. If you're familiar at all with resolution for output images, you know that 1200 which is the lowest one here is four times that you typically need for a standard high-quality print, say a 5x7 image that you scan for printing at 5x7 only needs to be 300 pixels per inch.
The reason why they are providing you with more pixels here is if you want to scan a small image and enlarge it, what people very often do, there's going to be plenty of pixels in there for you to work with. So that's the rationale behind that. Let's step backwards. And remember, in the Automatic workflow you have to step linearly either forward or backwards. Let's stick with Photo, but instead of Intensity let's go to Descreen and Fine art print and Start. And you'll notice that this one actually provides some of the greatest variety of actual preset choices here, from web to Draft to Photo Quality to Typeset quality, or you can set at Custom and set it all by yourself if you want to.
So when you go to Fine art print here, you really have some of the greatest control of your resolution of any of the choices here. Step back once more, and let's try Presentation mode. And remember that this is assuming that you're creating this for, say, going into a PowerPoint presentation. And let's click Start again. And notice that what this has is some presets that you would typically use for a presentation, like Standard TV or high-definition ready, or full high-definition. And then down here to Print.
This is another common one that you might choose if you're scanning images for general printing use. And let's start the process again, and that brings up the dimensional resolution. And notice you can stick to a particular scan frame ratio. And here you can choose two, either Draft Quality of 150 for low quality printing, or 300 pixels per inch for high-quality printing. So, the message here is that you'll choose Source, which is input and then output Task, and then you get a different set of tools and different means of looking at resolution. So it can be a little bit confusing, when you go through these step-by-step procedures of various scans. We'll re-enter these dialog boxes and talk a little bit more about them.
But earlier I mentioned how I would like to move you towards working towards Manual mode in SilverFast so you not only have full, complete, and universal access to all your tools, but you're going to have more control over things such as resolution. You won't be hamstrung by some of the preset choices that you have working in Automatic mode.
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