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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 video, I'd like to introduce you to the manual scanning interface for SilverFast. If you look to some of the previous movies in this course, we've been spending a lot of time in the automatic interface. And the automatic interface has some interesting tools in it, but if you really want to get control over your scan, and you want to have as much confidence as possible, and get the best quality as possible, in the most efficient amount of time, the manual scanning interface is really where you want to be. I understand the interface is a little bit intimidating when you first look at it, but let me give you a quick tour, and hopefully it'll really simplify the interface for you, so you can start to get comfortable with it right off the bat.
First, there are some similarities with the automatic scanning interface, if you've spent some time there. The first similarity is, we typically work from left to right in the manual scanning interface, just like we do with the automatic scanning interface. The difference here is, we also have a top to bottom. In the manual scanning interface, we have some similar tools, like we did in the automatic, where we choose the basic type of medium, and the type of image we want to create, and the bit depth, and framing, and so forth. And then we have a standard set of tools up here, starting with the prescan, and this is how you actually start the scanning process, and it does a low-resolution overview scan, like we're doing here, after you place your image on your scanner. And by the way, we're assuming that you have cleaned your scanner, and cleaned your image, and for more details on how to do that, I'll refer you to my other scanning classes on lynda.com. They have some fundamentals sections in them.
Then there is the automatic Correction tool, the Histogram, and Gradation tool, Global Color Correction, Selective Color Correction, and then the Scan button. And for a lot of images, these are the fundamental tools; you may only need to use those. But for some of your images, you may also want to use some of these more advanced tools that we see here. And I'd like to kind of step you through, and show you what some of these tools are like. First of all, this is the Info tool. This is similar to what we had over in the automatic scanning interface. You can click on that at any time, and this will show you all the setup values that you have set for your scanner.
So instead of having to step back through, and look at all the tools, you can see how they are set up right here. Then notice that this vertical tool palette that we have here is broken up into four segments. The first one just has a single tool in it: the Info tool. The second one has a magnification, and flip, and rotate, where you move things around, and zoom in and out. Then these next six tools are actually tools we'll bring to bear to actually work on the image. And then the bottom two tools; this is the Calibration tool, and this is the Job Manager tool, which we'll use for initiating multiple scans on multiple images. All right; let's take a few minutes, and just take a look at a couple of these tools that we have here, and show you how to access them. And I also want to talk about the menus for just a moment.
First, look at the Frame tool. You notice we have Settings, FrameSet, Duplicate; the same set of settings is right up here underneath the Frame menu. So the menus have, very often, duplicate tool controls. There's just alternative ways of accessing those. For instance, when you go to the Tools menu, and you go to Filters, and Scanner, the same set of tools are available right down here on the vertical tool panel. Notice there's the SRD, there is the IT8 Calibration; there's only a couple of tools that you specifically access from the menus; for instance, the BatchScan, and the PrintTao. Otherwise, almost everything is available to you down here with the icons that you see.
And typically, the combination of using icons and some keyboard shortcuts will allow you to work pretty quickly through the interface. Then, in addition to these horizontal toolsets, and then the vertical toolsets, over here we have some dialog boxes, and these dialog boxes are what we access when we are working in any one of these tools. For instance, if you click on the Histogram tool up here on the horizontal toolset, then you see the Histogram control, and then you can display and hide either one of those tools just by clicking on that little tab there. So any tool that you click on, you can see the controls right over here in these dialog boxes.
Let's just take a quick look at some of these tools; for instance, the Pipette tool, which we use for measurement. We're going to use that in conjunction with the Densitometer tool. And you'll notice that pretty much all these dialog boxes have a little graduation cap that you can click on, and when you do that, it expands, and then shows you the Expert dialog box. And then when you click on it again, it collapses that. So that's the Pipette tool. The Unsharp Mask tool; same thing. It provides us with access to those tools, then there is the Expert tools. You'll notice that most of them also have access to help, such as the PDF files, or videos, and then you can collapse them.
This is the SRD, which is the dust and scratch removal tool. It also has an Expert dialog box, and has access to help. Also, notice this little icon here, which you'll find in most of the tools, and this is the Reset tool. So if you've made a bunch of adjustments, and you're not sure where you started, you can just click on there, and just reset that tool completely. And this is the AACO tool, which is the Auto Adaptive Contrast Optimization tool. We can use that to adjust contrast on images. And again, the standard set of Expert tools, and access to help, and then the Reset.
And then finally, we have down here the GANE, and the Descreen tools, and you'll notice that each of these dialog boxes has two little check boxes right here, and then a little icon off to the right. The little icon off to the right allows us to float any one of these tools that you see, and then you can put them right back if you want. For instance, the Densitometer tool; I love to have that one up all the time, because we use this one with the Pipette tools for monitoring RGB values in our images. Some of the other tools you don't want to have up all the time; just when you need them. And then finally, Descreen tool, and the Grain and Noise Elimination tools work along with the Navigator, which again, you can keep up on screen, or you can put it away to anytime that you want to. And you can deactivate any of these tools by just clicking on the check box, and/or you can click on the X tool to deactivate, and close it, and it just moves right back into here.
So we access all the individual controls, and the Expert dialog boxes, and our Help tools, and our Reset tools, and our ability to float all through these dialog boxes here. And then finally, down here at the bottom is the Scanner status. Whenever you start a scan, you can keep track and monitor the progress of the scan. And then finally, let's talk a little bit about the magnification, and the Flip, and Rotate. Well, the Flip and Rotate is pretty straightforward. For rotating, counterclockwise, and clockwise; and flipping horizontally, and vertically. And notice, there are some keyboard shortcuts for those. If you use it very much you'll probably learn how to use those.
The Magnification tool is an interesting tool, because it allows you to zoom in, after we take our frame, and we set our frame here on the image like this, and then we can magnify, or de-magnify the whole image if we want to, or we can take the frame, and we can move in, and take a close look at a portion of the image, and then we move the frame in; that allows us to zoom right in. Now, you'll notice that I've been zooming way in here, and there is no additional prescan. A good thing to keep in mind is that when you go to Preferences -- the Command or Control, and then Comma -- and you go to General, the High Resolution Prescan; I have this set at 4x.
What that does is, during the prescan, it captures more than just a normal low-res prescan. It captures more pixels, and that allows us to zoom in at least as much as you see here. The greater the number you have here set on the High Resolution Prescan, the more you can zoom in. I rarely, if ever, have to zoom all the way into 8, although sometimes when I am working with small slides, I have to zoom in quite a bit, looking at highlight details. So you can control how much you can zoom in, and if you don't, then the Scanner just does another prescan when you try to zoom in. So there is an introduction to the SilverFast manual interface.
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