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Old 03-08-2018, 07:40 AM
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Scanning Large(ish) Images

As I am preparing images for print, I have moved past cell phone pix and on to scanning images. With anything larger than 8.5" x 11" (which is virtually everything I paint) I scan multiple images and use the Photomerge feature in Photoshop to stitch them together, which yields a passable image. Passable isn't good enough.

Admittedly my scanner is not the best. It was bought without considering scanning artwork, but it isn't bad either. One problem that it has is that the color depth is 24-bit vice 48-bit. Is this an issue with a watercolor scan? With a photo, I would say yes, but with a watercolor, I don't know.

The other issue I have is that there is a bezel around the glass (for regular papers to butt up against) that causes larger paintings to "float" at the edges, and bow in at the middle, which leaves scan artifacts, something like a halo around the individual images. I can crop these out, but it becomes very time-consuming.

So my questions are:
1) Is there a best practices way to scan images into one?
2) What is a better scanner than the EPSON V19, that is still affordable? (features need to include: larger image size, smaller bezel, greater color depth,)
Thoughts?
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Old 03-08-2018, 08:00 AM
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Re: Scanning Large(ish) Images

http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/show....php?t=1409312
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Old 03-08-2018, 08:07 AM
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Re: Scanning Large(ish) Images

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarialenaS

Thanks, Marialena. I knew I had seen that post before but wasn't able track it down. What are your feelings on color depth?
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Old 03-08-2018, 09:05 AM
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Re: Scanning Large(ish) Images

Take them to a print shop?

Doug
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Old 03-08-2018, 09:44 AM
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Re: Scanning Large(ish) Images

Quote:
Originally Posted by jscottb
Thanks, Marialena. I knew I had seen that post before but wasn't able track it down. What are your feelings on color depth?

The colours you see on your screen will never have the same depth with the colours you see on the original painting and that because your screen is lighted from its back while your paintings reflect the light.

No matter how well you can edit any image after scanning any painting, the original will always have better colour balance and depth, and will always look somehow smoother because the scanner magnifies the images too, and you, on the other hand, don't want them to have such high resolution when you post them online.

So there is no salvation on this matter. You'll have to compromise with something that looks like your painting, and those who see it to keep in mind that this is how about it looks like and not how the original actually looks like.
They can take an idea of the painting. The originals look always better.

P.S Unless you have the super duper high end super expensive equipment and you know on top of that, how to use it up to its limits... there is unlimited budget, time and expertise to have the top quality images.
I personally prefer to spend my budget on art materials and my time to make paintings and not photographing scanning, editing them...
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Old 03-08-2018, 09:48 AM
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Re: Scanning Large(ish) Images

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yorky
Take them to a print shop?

Doug

Who told you that the print shops people know how to edit decently watercolour paintings' scans? They don't have a clue because they don't deal with watercolours and they don't know how to set their scanners in order to scan them decently in the first place.
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Old 03-08-2018, 10:33 AM
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Re: Scanning Large(ish) Images

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarialenaS
The colours you see on your screen will never have the same depth with the colours you see on the original painting and that because your screen is lighted from its back while your paintings reflect the light.

No matter how well you can edit any image after scanning any painting, the original will always have better colour balance and depth, and will always look somehow smoother because the scanner magnifies the images too, and you, on the other hand, don't want them to have such high resolution when you post them online.

So there is no salvation on this matter. You'll have to compromise with something that looks like your painting, and those who see it to keep in mind that this is how about it looks like and not how the original actually looks like.
They can take an idea of the painting. The originals look always better.

P.S Unless you have the super duper high end super expensive equipment and you know on top of that, how to use it up to its limits... there is unlimited budget, time and expertise to have the top quality images.
I personally prefer to spend my budget on art materials and my time to make paintings and not photographing scanning, editing them...

I do have a monitor calibration device (called a Spyder) that calibrates the monitor color to print standards (left over from a previous career) that helps to keep the original "near" the original, but never perfect.

You post helps me to minimize those other artifacts that were bothering me.
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Old 03-08-2018, 10:36 AM
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Re: Scanning Large(ish) Images

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yorky
Take them to a print shop?

Doug

Yeah, Doug, I have to agree with Marialena in my case. My local print shop sort of glazed over when I started talking to them about it. They couldn't scan any larger than 11" x 17" anyway, and even if they could do the scanning, I likely couldn't afford the labor to get it done.
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Old 03-08-2018, 10:58 AM
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Re: Scanning Large(ish) Images

To get the best colour depth, you new a digital camera that supports RAW format and photo editing s/w that also supports RAW. Even then you may/will loose some of the gamut depending of the particular camera. 10 megapixel will work for most size pictures unless you want to do fine art poster size prints in which case start with a 20 megapixel camera or better.

One tip I was taught by a portrait photographer; use a long (longer) focal length lens plus a tripod, and stand well back, 15 to 20 feet, to photograph your art. It flattens the field and reduces distortion near the edges.
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Old 03-08-2018, 11:25 AM
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Re: Scanning Large(ish) Images

I use DSLR camera on a tripod with 2 off-camera lights. I often photograph large oil paintings for other artists using this setup. Most modern DSLRs offer great image quality. If you bracket your exposure and learn to set correct White Balance, you can also shoot JPEG images. I also photograph my paintings under ambient lighting (when doing plein air competitions) and using on-camera flash. You can Google some of these techniques. Artist Richard Schmid's All Prima Book Companion offers his technique.
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Old 03-08-2018, 01:27 PM
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Re: Scanning Large(ish) Images

Quote:
Originally Posted by jscottb
As I am preparing images for print, I have moved past cell phone pix and on to scanning images. With anything larger than 8.5" x 11" (which is virtually everything I paint) I scan multiple images and use the Photomerge feature in Photoshop to stitch them together, which yields a passable image. Passable isn't good enough.

Admittedly my scanner is not the best. It was bought without considering scanning artwork, but it isn't bad either. One problem that it has is that the color depth is 24-bit vice 48-bit. Is this an issue with a watercolor scan? With a photo, I would say yes, but with a watercolor, I don't know.

The other issue I have is that there is a bezel around the glass (for regular papers to butt up against) that causes larger paintings to "float" at the edges, and bow in at the middle, which leaves scan artifacts, something like a halo around the individual images. I can crop these out, but it becomes very time-consuming.

So my questions are:
1) Is there a best practices way to scan images into one?
2) What is a better scanner than the EPSON V19, that is still affordable? (features need to include: larger image size, smaller bezel, greater color depth,)
Thoughts?

I gave using a scanner as a camera a try many years ago and there was lots of info on the interweb then. It might interest you just for interests sake.
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Old 03-08-2018, 02:30 PM
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Re: Scanning Large(ish) Images

Quote:
Originally Posted by jscottb
I do have a monitor calibration device (called a Spyder) that calibrates the monitor color to print standards (left over from a previous career) that helps to keep the original "near" the original, but never perfect.

You post helps me to minimize those other artifacts that were bothering me.

Even if you were able to create the perfect images, you wouldn't be able to affect the settings of each and anyone's screens.

By the time that each screen shows something different your efforts for the perfect image go in vain by default. What I mean is that even if you make the perfect image you don't know if the online viewers will have the well functioning and properly calibrated screen to see it as you present it.
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Old 03-08-2018, 02:32 PM
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Re: Scanning Large(ish) Images

Even if you get a perfect scan you are still in the hands of the printer when it comes to colour balance.

Doug
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Old 03-08-2018, 02:36 PM
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Re: Scanning Large(ish) Images

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarialenaS
Even if you were able to create the perfect images, you wouldn't be able to affect the settings of each and anyone's screens.

By the time that each screen shows something different your efforts for the perfect image go in vain by default. What I mean is that even if you make the perfect image you don't know if the online viewers will have the well functioning and properly calibrated screen to see it as you present it.

I am trying to scan for on-demand print, and that is the only reason to calibrate the monitor. I can take a decent enough image for web display with a cell phone and decent indirect lighting. This is particularly true for me as I never post anything larger than 800px.

I adjust my screen to a standard that is "usually" matchable by a high-quality printer. (Not perfect, but close).
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Old 03-08-2018, 02:39 PM
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Re: Scanning Large(ish) Images

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yorky
Even if you get a perfect scan you are still in the hands of the printer when it comes to colour balance.

Doug

And that is why I try to calibrate my monitors for print work. My experience with other graphics projects is a calibrated screen gets better (but not perfect) printed results than an uncalibrated one. I have two 24" displays sitting next to each other. Same manufacturer and similar models. Uncalibrated they don't look like each other, much less anything coming out of the printer.
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