The way most new scanners work these days is
through regular graphics programs using TWAIN. What is TWAIN? TWAIN
is a protocol developed
by leading imaging hardware and software companies and is now an
industry standard. Depending of who you hear it from, TWAIN was
an acronym developed
playfully from "technology without an important name." However,
the TWAIN Working Group says that, after the name originally chosen
turned out to be already trademarked, the group came up with TWAIN
at the last minute, deriving it from the saying "Ne'er the
twain shall meet," because the program sits between the driver
and the application. The name is not intended to be an acronym.
Lots of graphics programs use TWAIN, even GraphicConverter
3.8 can nab graphics off of scanners. Look under the "File/Acquire" and
do a "TWAIN Acquire". Or in Photoshop do
a "File/Import" and
do a "TWAIN Acquire" or do a "TWAIN select" from
the same menus in either graphics programs and select which of the
scanner programs you want if you have several scanning programs.
- In general
In general, when you get your scanner software
running and you want to scan a graphic or a photo, make sure you
scan with your scanner
set to Flatbed reflective, color RGB, 300 DPI (Dots Per Inch),
no descreen, and the size should be 100% if you have that option.
can mess with these settings when you get a chance. The descreen
functions allow for better looking scans from newspapers and
Eek! Now, what is "descreening"?
Descreening is a way to optimize your scan by altering the LPI (Lines
you scan. There are 3 main descreening settings. These are only
guidelines, use your scanning software to tweak these settings.
fun, make your own rules.
Here are the settings:
- Magazines - should should
be scanned at 133 lines per inch. This smoothes the dot pattern
in glossy magazines.
- Newspaper photos - should
be scanned at 85 lines per inch, This smoothes the coarse grain
in newspaper images.
- Art prints - are scanned
at 175 lines per inch. This smoothes the fine dot pattern found
quality art prints.
- Resolution revolution
One more thing, I do all my tweaking and cleaning
and touching up while the image is 300 DPI. Why 300 DPI? Well, it
is best to
a high DPI and reduce it to a lower DPI for 2 reasons.
graphics program has more information to work with, your
filters and other changes will look better when worked with at
a high resolution.
- File size. A 300 DPI file that is 20
Megabytes can reduce down to 800K when it is converted
to 72 DPI.
Why 72 DPI? That is the resolution of your computer
monitor and we are talking about graphics that will only
be seen on a CRT.
A 300 DPI
image looks huge on a 72 DPI monitor. 4.166
times as big as a matter of fact. Here is a trick you should
and divide it by your higher DPI and you
will have the
you need to tell Photoshop to reduce your
image by. EX: 72 divided by 300 equals 0.24 which gives you the
Now hold that
thought. Your eyes are starting to glaze,
patient, you will
see where I am going with that.
- OK ready?
Here is how I use Photoshop to scan. I scan
at 300 DPI and RGB colors, these settings are on your scanner software,
although Photoshop will import these settings automatically when
In Photoshop use your square selection tool or crop tool
to select which part of the scan you want to keep then select "Crop" from
the "Image" menu.
Next, if the image is black and white I can save a lot
of file size by going to the "Image" menu and
selecting, "Mode", "Grayscale".
Otherwise if it is going to be a color JPEG leave it at "RGB
if it is to be a GIF then select "Indexed Color" See
Optimize Your Graphics to determine if you want to make a
GIF or JPEG file.
After I have touched up the scan and I have what I want and
I am ready to save to disk, I reduce the DPI and image size
above. In Photoshop, select "Image" and "Image
you will go to a dialog box. Do this in THIS order: (order
- click the constrain proportions check box
so that it is on.
- Set the print size width to "percent"
- Set the print
size width percent to 24
- Print size height percent is set automatically
- Set resolution to 72.
- Click OK.
Pixel dimensions are set automatically by Photoshop. You
will have to reset your view to 100 percent down in the
bottom left corner
of the window your graphic is in in order to see how it
looks full size.
Save your work. If you can do this in Photoshop, you can
do it in GraphicConverter or other graphics program, the
concept is the
If you want it to be a JPEG or GIF then you would do much
better setting it up in ImageReady or Fireworks. Fireworks
does it best.
when you do a "Save As..." you can specify it
to be a JPEG and you have an options button to set the
amount of compression but
you cannot see the results of your compression until after
you have already done the deed. Image Ready is better at
making jpegs and Fireworks
rules at it. To make a GIF out of your graphic, make sure
Color" as shown above and then you use the "Export" command
from your "File" menu. Here is more information
about optimizing your graphics for presentation on your
- See that spider below?
That was scanned out of a book I use to identify
spiders. I used the techniques outlined here. In addition, to grab
just the spider and not the leaf he is on, use your magic wand tool
with the tolerance set so that
it grabs just the spider and not the leaf. putting it onto a color
that matches the web page background it will appear on does the
rest of the blending. When I converted it to GIF format,
I made the background color of the GIF transparent. Why? It makes
the outlines of the
image blend into the background it appears on. You can avoid the
tacky look of an outline or halo of colors or "sparkly whites" around
your image. It makes it look like it is sitting on your web page
very cleanly and professionally. Try it out.