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Old 06-25-2010, 11:00 PM
daphnesacre daphnesacre is offline
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Scanning colored pencil work

Hey all! I don't believe I've posted here yet ( colored pencil that is), but I've got a burning question! Scanning colored pencil work is the devil! So I see putting a piece of acetate -is that right? -- would/will help smooth it out?
Any other suggestions? The scan looks awful!!!! when compared to the original.
Thanks so much!
C&Cs appreciated.
ks
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Old 06-25-2010, 11:34 PM
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Re: Scanning colored pencil work

Welcome to the forum! I've never tried to scan mine, but I know a lot of people have trouble with it. Some try to make adjustments in photoshop or similar program. Others just take a picture of the work, which is what I do b/c I don't own a scanner. So while I can't help you with figuring out how to get a better scan, I can suggest that you just take a picture instead. You've got some great detail in your drawing.
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Old 06-25-2010, 11:43 PM
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coffeecup12 coffeecup12 is offline
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Re: Scanning colored pencil work

I scan most of my pictures at a 300dpsi, then make any adjustments in a photo editing program, then resize the resolution to something lower like maybe 100dpsi. That makes the image close to the real thing. I think the brand of scanner makes a big difference too. I'm very unhappy with the hp I have now. Wish I could take good photos of my work instead but usually get too much glare from the shiny colored pencil surface.
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Old 06-25-2010, 11:45 PM
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coffeecup12 coffeecup12 is offline
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Re: Scanning colored pencil work

By the way...your picture is very good. Great wire and wood grain.
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Old 06-26-2010, 12:26 AM
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Re: Scanning colored pencil work

daphnesacre, you have done a great job with that colored pencil work. Can't help either with scanning. I have a very hard time with it too. My drawings can't even be resized enough to post. Don't understand it at all!
Sandybells
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Old 06-26-2010, 01:48 AM
daphnesacre daphnesacre is offline
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Re: Scanning colored pencil work

Hey all! Thanks for the kind words. Coffeecup12, I did scan at 300dpsi and did adjust, but I will try the 100dpsi! And I agree with you about the glare of photos. And Sandybells, I drag the photo or image onto the desktop which gives me a preview and then I can duplicate the image and resize it and then label it with a name and save it in a separate folder.
Thanks again
cheers
ks
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Old 06-26-2010, 06:19 AM
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Re: Scanning colored pencil work

I don't own a scanner, but I do want to say I really like your picture. The detail is wonderful!
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Old 06-26-2010, 06:42 AM
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Re: Scanning colored pencil work

Interesting that this subject should crop up (no pun intended) now ..

In my last piece ("Flavio") I both scanned & photographed the work to better demonstrate the WIP ..

I found that despite my best efforts, some scans just didn't show the detail which I wanted to highlight .. So, I resorted to photographs ..

Provided you take your photos either outside, or near a natural light source (close to a window, patio etc) you shouldn't get much (if any) "glare" from the pigment .. Obviously, a nice sunny day is preferable to a dull or overcast one ..

However, in doing a little research, I stumbled across this article ...

http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=572823

I haven't tried it yet, as I'm going through a "dry" spell & have nothing on the drawing board at the moment ..

Bye for now,

Kev ..
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Old 06-26-2010, 09:29 PM
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Re: Scanning colored pencil work

Thanks, Kev for the link. Very helpful article.
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Old 06-27-2010, 11:41 AM
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Re: Scanning colored pencil work

Cp is notoriously difficult to scan--
a sheet of acetate/drafting film *can* help to cut the glare/grainy look issue, although it may dull or mute some colors.
My scanner (this one, if anyone is curious: CanoScan 8800F) has an LED instead of a fluorescent bulb in it, and so the light is "cleaner" (although it may run a bit coolish) and requires far less color correction/fiddling than any other scanner I've had.

The best thing I've found is to scan at the highest resolution possible, pull the image into photoshop, and save a copy that I *won't* touch so if everything goes horribly wrong I don't have to re-scan. So then I'll adjust the contrast or color balance if needed (once you figure it out for one piece, the amount you need to adjust rarely changes too much. Unless you're scanning a piece done on black paper. Then all bets are off. ). Once I've done that, I'll reduce the size to a web-friendly 72dpi. If it still looks grainy or wrong, I'll undo the resize & apply a "blur" filter or (I know, counter-intuitive!) a "sharpen" filter. Just experimenting to hit on what looks best 'cause for this, it seems like each piece is different. Once I'm happy, I'll resize & that usually takes care of it.

If you're scanning a piece done on black or on a very dark paper, scanners will struggle to get it right. One thing that can help is putting a piece of white paper in the scanner, so just a bit of it will be picked up by the scan (you can cut it out of the image later). While it doesn't always work (depending on how finicky your scanner is), it can *help* get the contrast/colors right.

Most often, photographing does the best job. If you can get the lighting right. And the camera squared away to the piece correctly (my downfall! Can never seem to get that part right. ).

If you're scanning to create prints at home & what prints is *way* different from what you see on the screen or the original, you'll need to get the scanner, the monitor, and printer all callibrated so what info the scanner gives the monitor will also be what spits out of the printer. It's a mystical/magical/miracle laden-process I have yet to wrap my brain around.

If you haven't yet, you may also want to spend some time in the Computers & Technology forum-- lots of good info in there!

Good luck! Looking forward to seeing some of your work soon!
Rosemary
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Old 06-27-2010, 11:37 PM
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Re: Scanning colored pencil work

When I first started scanning, the pictures came out okay. At that point I was just fumbling around with the scanner and I don't remember/was not aware of the settings I used. Recently the scanner has taken over and uses different software or an "upgrade" of the old software and things just don't work as well. I've read that it is better to scan with your photo software instead of the scanner software but I haven't figured out how to do that. I'm working on a setup to photograph instead of scan.
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Old 06-28-2010, 08:11 AM
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Katherine T Katherine T is offline
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Re: Scanning colored pencil work

The quality of your scan depends on the quality of your scanner

If you're having trouble with creating digital images, I recommend buying one which gives you the maximum dpi that you can afford. My multifunctional Canon PIXMA MP630 scans as follows
  • Scanner Resolution Optical Up to 4800x9600dpi
  • Scanner Resolution DigitalUp to 19200 x 19200dpi
That's way in excess of what you need to be able to create 300 dpi but I've always found the better the scanner, the better the image you get to work with

Plus all my problems scanning coloured pencil disappeared when I learned how to adjust levels in PS

Basically do as follows:
  • Go to Enhance
  • Go to Adjust lighting
  • Go to Levels
  • Now you can see an RGB profile of your image (like a chart)
  • Look at each of the colours in turn (Red, Green, Blue) in the drop down menu and you will see a chart of the profiles for each colour
  • Now look at each colour in turn and pull in the black and white markers at the bottom left and right edge of the profile to the edge of where the profile starts in the chart for that particular colour
  • adjust as required to get the best match with the colour of your CP drawing
  • save the profile when you've done all the adjustments
  • save with a new file name
You'll find this helps enormously with getting more natural looking colour and you rarely need to do anything else.

I also only save at 300 dpi for images which I know I might want copies for print purposes in future.

Otherwise I scan @100-150dpi and then adjust to 72 dpi or 60 dpi for posting to the web - mainly to keep the file size to a minimum now that Google is factoring in load times to websites re ranking.
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Old 06-28-2010, 12:58 PM
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Re: Scanning colored pencil work

Quote:
Originally Posted by cjc45
I've read that it is better to scan with your photo software instead of the scanner software but I haven't figured out how to do that.

In photoshop, under the "file" menu, there is an option to "import". On mine, my scanner is one of the choices. For the life of me, I can't remember how that got set up. Even though ps is really smart, I don't think it's quite smart enough to auto-detect a scanner! Finding out how to set up your photo software should be as easy as a google search for it and the type of scanner you own.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Katherine T
all my problems scanning coloured pencil disappeared when I learned how to adjust levels in PS

Great tips, Katherine!
Folks should note the "enhance" option is only available if you are using photoshop *elements*, not the full-blown photoshop program.

I don't have photoshop elements, so I can't speak for it, but in regular photoshop it's better to use *curves* to adjust things (image menu, adjustments, curves). Using curves allows greater control over contrast & color balance.

Personally? I find it easier to adjust those separately (image menu, adjustments, etc.) 'cause I tend to get the contrast right, but send the color wonky or vice versa if I use curves. However, my photographer friend *swears* by it. To each his own, I guess.

Rosemary
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Old 06-30-2010, 09:52 PM
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Re: Scanning colored pencil work

I always scan my work, and seldom have problems.
I started with an Epson which was kind of slow but worked well.
I currently have a Cannon 8400F and have been scanning at 75 dp and then adjusting a bit tighter most of the time.
Very rarely have I felt that I needed color adjustment and only occasionally do I make light adjustments.
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Old 06-30-2010, 10:38 PM
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Re: Scanning colored pencil work

I don't like scanning my works. I usually take pictures with my digital camera, then fix color adjustment with adobe photoshop. Scanning watercolor painting is easier than any medium.

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