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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 continue our discussion of automatic versus manual workflows, and I would like to dig a little deeper and show you some of the advantages and disadvantages of each one and when you might want to work in one or the other. Let's start this session by doing an automatic scan. And we will choose our input, or Source, as Photo and our Task as Color and Intensity, and then we will initiate the Preview Scan. That allows us to set our frame, which we will set regardless of which workflow method we are using.
And then let's step forward and do our automatic correction. Notice the image is much improved, no doubt about it. Better brightness, better contrast, better colors. But now I want to switch over to Manual mode. I want to show you one of the real advantages of working in manual mode. And that is we have access to some pretty sophisticated tools, in this case something called the Densitometer, which is SilverFast's version of the Info tool in Photoshop. With this tool--not only by clicking here and here--can I locate the highlight and shadow areas, but by using these pipettes I can actually place some sampler points there, and I can monitor the RGB values--measure and monitor.
And the reason why we do this is we want to make sure that our highlights maintain detail and our shadows maintain detail. Well, by looking at these automatic correction values, I see my Highlight value is too light. It's in that 250s. I want that down to 240s. And my shadow are bit too dark. I want all those above 12. And not only can we measure and monitor very quickly and easily, using our Densitometer we can make adjustments. Here, going to the Histogram, I can come to the Highlight value. And while I am monitoring these, I can just take that Highlight slider and move it over and get it down to low 240s, which is where I want it.
Then with the Shadow slider, I can move my Shadow values up above 12, which is where I would want them. And not only do we have access to these tools in Manual mode, but I can switch to any tool at any time. So if I decide that I want to change my frame at any point here, I can change my frame. I can go back to my Navigator, my Densitometer, my Scan dimensions, anything at any time. Let's go back to the Automatic mode and let's take a look at a couple of other things. Let's change our Task here from Color > Intensity to Color > Cross process.
And then I am going to initiate the scan. And notice that whenever you want to move backward in this process, you've got to step your way backwards. You just can't go back to those tools like you can in Manual mode. Two things I want to show you here. One is that when we're working with a scanner like the Epson 750 that has a very high optical resolution of 4800 pixels per inch, the lowest resolution I can get with this setup here is 1200 pixels per inch, which is way too much resolution. I am going to have to downsample this to probably at least 300 pixels per inch for any standard use for output.
So that's the first thing is, based upon the scanner that we are using, we may not get as much control over something like resolution, never mind our Highlight and Shadow values. Now let's step forward and let's go to our initial correction. And then with this setup, notice with the Cross process, we get unexpected--in this case very unpleasant results in our images. Point being you have to be very careful what you choose in terms of your Source and your Task. So when would I recommend using manual? Well, if you're using Manual, let's step Back again. And notice when I step all the way back, I lose my frames. I have to reset my frame.
But when we are doing some basic scans, such as going to Photoshop, for instance, and notice how the tools will be reduced when I am going to Photoshop. Now I am just doing a basic scan, where I am going to be doing most of my editing in Photoshop. That's a good place to use your automatic scanning. Or if you have a lot of confidence that Color and intensity is going to give you the scan that you want. And, by the way, you can fine-tune the results that you get, and I will show you that later on in the course. But if you have a process that you know that works, and particularly, if you are going to be applying it to multiple images, then the Automatic mode can work for you.
But the more quantitative control that you want, the more reliability that you want, and the more tweaking you are going to be doing to your images going back and forth from, say, one tool to another, Manual mode is generally going to be a better way to go. One other thing I might mention to you about Automatic mode--something you can use it for-- is you see that there's all sorts of different settings here. The Automatic method is a really great way to learn, because you can see what the histogram or the Selected Color correction, the Global Color correction, how they are applied in various circumstances, and then you can use what you glean from that to adjust the tools when you go into Manual mode.
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