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- Understanding grayscale values and channels
- Evaluating and correcting images with histograms
- Saving to different file formats
- Managing color
- Cleaning the scanner and images
- Reproducing versus assigning colors
- Recognizing contone versus dot pattern images
- Understanding bit depth
- Scanning logos and line art
- Scanning transparent film, positive or negative
- Capturing high dynamic range (HDR) scans
Skill Level Intermediate
Taking our image evaluation process to the next step really kind of completes our whole analysis and evaluation of our scan process and how it fits into the rest of our creative process. I want to be really clear before I even start the scan what I'm going to do during the scan and what I'm going to be doing later on, maybe in Photoshop such as an image editing program. So I don't just think about the scan. I think that whole process all the way through, and here's a variety of images will demonstrate that whole process. Let's take a look at this first image in Antigua Iris image.
I shot while I was down in Central America. For this image the composition, the cropping, the brightness, contrast, the colors, I'm pretty happy with it. So I'm going to do nearly all the corrections for this image during the scan. In fact, I might be able to just scan right to a tiff in print with this image. The second image, it's a portrait and this one as well to continuous tone color image, so I'm going to plan to capture nearly all the color. I might apply a little bit of brightness and contrast and change that from the original image, but again, I can perform all that during the scan. So these first two images I know in my mind what's going to come off the scanner is going to be pretty much what I'm going to end up with.
For the third image, again, continuous tone color image can do most of the color capture during the scan, but when I look at this image, I think I'm not real happy with the contrast between the darker green background and the colored flowers and particularly between the green flowers in the background. So I'm thinking I'm going to do most of this color capture during the scan, but then I'm going to plan to take this into Photoshop and mask this image and then darken that background. So I'm thinking during the scan, I want to make sure that I get good enough contrast as much as I can between these foreground flowers and the background grass, so this is going to be easy for me to do that masking and conversion of Photoshop.
So what we're going to start with and hopefully capture during the scan is this image and then with the full intent of taking and masking that background and darkening it a little bit to create more contrast between the flowers in the background. So I know I'm going to do that in Photoshop right from the get-go. This fourth image, this is a photo I took from porch of my house in Homer, Alaska looking across Kachemak Bay and my intention was to focus really on the sunrise and reflections and kind of use this foreground area as a frame. But notice this image detail in here, I could try to take some of that out during the scan, but some of it's lighter like the snow on the roof.
So what I'm going to do is focus on capturing this part of the image during the scan and then remove the foreground detail here and take all of that to silhouette in Photoshop. So I know where my concentration is going to be. So this is what I create during the scan with a full intent of editing the foreground and darkening to a silhouette working in Photoshop. So this is what I concentrate on in my scan image. Moving onto these line art images, we've talked about this image quite a bit so far in this seminar so we know what we're going to do with it.
We know this is an edge-based image. We're going to scan this at the optical resolution of the scanner at 100% with the full intention of converting that defectors and then editing the vectors. Well, this really comes into play if instead of having just a black-and-white image that we have here, what if we have a colored line art image? When I see an image like this, I'm thinking right away, I'm asking that question, am I going to capture this color during the scan or am I going to assign this later on either in Photoshop or in Illustrator. When I look at this image, I see this kind of an image here.
my eye doesn't even look at the color. I'm looking at what kind of an image is this. this is an edge-based image. So my job during the scan is to define those edges, clearly that's the job. So I really look at this image. When I look at it, I see this over here in my mind's eye and I'm fully intending to convert this, because it's a simple edge based line art image into a vector and then assign the colors in Illustrator. So when I look at this, I see this, this is what I'm going to scan and then I'm going to convert that image to vectors and then just quickly, we can see how this works in Illustrator, then each of these areas is assigned to color.
Now I can come in here and I can adjust these colors to my heart's delight working inside of Illustrator and no matter what colors we assign, I notice that the type is treated just like a vector just like anything else. We end up with super high-quality edges and the colors assigned exactly as we want them. So back to looking at our original image, when I'm capturing an image like this, I ask a really critical question, either of myself or if the client that I'm working for is, do you know what the values of these colors are.
are they Pantone spot colors, are they metallic colors, do they have CMYK or RGB values or web values assigned to them? So I try to get what those specific values are. Then I don't have to worry about trying to reproduce those during the scan which I likely cannot if there are specific values. I just worry about reproducing the outline, getting a nice sharp outline, optical resolution to scanner, scan at 100%, convert to vectors and then I can just assign the colors in Illustrator. And boy, that's a much easier process than trying to reproduce those colors during the scan. So with these kinds of images, absolutely our goal is to reproduce the color during the scan.
With these, it's not. these are going to be assigned color products in which we will capture the line art portion during the scan, but assign the colors later on. And finally, going back to a continuous tone image where we'll do most of the conversion where editing or adjustments afterwards, here's an image of sea star legs I shot at the Homer in Alaska and my intention from the beginning even when I shot the image was to convert this to a black-and-white image. I knew I wondered these to be very high contrast against a darker background in my final product.
So I shot this with my camera in this case to do that and if I had a print of this image in the same fashion, I would scan this image with the intent of creating as much contrast between these legs and this background and capturing as much sharpness as possible and the final result of this image in my workflow would be, here's the original and then there's the final version that I end up with in Photoshop. Here I capture the image focusing on the contrast between the foreground and background in capturing the detail fully planning to do most of the work in Photoshop.
So it's really a good idea to not just evaluate the image in terms of itself, but look at that image in terms of your entire creative workflow and very often, you can make some decisions during the scanning process such as an image like this where you really don't focus on the color at all. you just focus on the form fully intending to apply the color later on.