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Subject: Help / Tips needed for scanning card ART! rss

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Tragic TheBlathering
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Hello there...

I was hoping I could get some tips from you on how to make my own templates for another card game. Do not worry I am a fairly decent "hobby level" Photoshop user and have a decent idea of how to reconstruct a blank card from a bunch of source scans..

My problem is the scanning itself.

I have borrowed a scanner from a mate, as well as having a scanner built into my printer and I seam to be having a real issue in getting "clean" scans.

For the templates I would like to stay at 300dpi or 600dpi so they are able to be printed out and look all sweet. This is where I am running into problems.


Basically here is the problem
https://s15.postimg.org/ty53rcj97/Problem.png

The top image is scanned at 600dpi and the bottom image is scanned at 1200dpi. As you can see the image is completely covered in these strange "circles" as well as also being covered in coloured spots which are either red, green or blue.

I have a basic cs6 install of photoshop that I bought just before Adobe went subscription and have played with the filters but I seam to only get results form extremely large values which destroy details.

Do you have any hints, or technique tips that could help me?

Anything you think might help me that you have time to impart would be cool!

Thanks again

Have FUN and ROLL HIGH
--Tragic

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John Gosland
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Hi, I don't have an answer for you but how do they look printed? I've had some really crap looking images in the past which printed just fine.
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Timothy Boulan
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Looking at your image, it appears that the scanner did what it was supposed to do. If you looked at your original through a magnifying glass, it would look like that.

From Wikipedia color printing:
Quote:
In process color printing, the screened image, or halftone for each ink color is printed in succession. The screen grids are set at different angles, and the dots therefore create tiny rosettes, which, through a kind of optical illusion, appear to form a continuous-tone image.
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Walt
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tboulan wrote:
Looking at your image, it appears that the scanner did what it was supposed to do. If you looked at your original through a magnifying glass, it would look like that.

That may be exactly right. I used my browser's (un)zoom capability to look at the images, and the 600 dpi image looks fine.

BTW, you're violating copyright.
 
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Jake Staines
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TragicTheBlathering wrote:

As you can see the image is completely covered in these strange "circles" as well as also being covered in coloured spots which are either red, green or blue.


That's because that's how they're printed. Lots of little dots in cyan, magenta, yellow and black in a dither pattern. You can't get around it because that's literally all the information there is in the image. Printing an image is a lossy process - a scan will never have all the information (read: image quality) that the original had, like a picture that's been resaved as a medium-quality JPEG.

Basically, years and years ago when someone wanted to print something in colour they'd take four photographs of the original with colour filters (to capture just the cyan or just the magenta or whatever) using a process camera (which would take a black and white image from a fixed point). These four photos would be used to dress printing screens or plates, and the image would be printed from these screens or plates.

These days, though, everything's digital because the production process is much more efficient and doesn't involve any giant cameras. So the computer has to create a pattern of cyan and a pattern of magenta and a pattern of yellow and a pattern of black to print on the page, the patterns have to not overlap in weird ways (for example, if the black always printed in the same place as the blue, it would cover all the blue completely in mid to dark areas where the black printed and the image colour would look weird). To avoid this, the computer spits out a pattern of dots such that the four colours don't overlap and the eye can take in the full colour. That pattern of dots is what you've scanned.


Generally, when you print something in colour then there's not much point going beyond 300dpi and you can often get away with 150. So scan at 600, resample down to 150-300, and it'll probably look good enough when printed.
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Roberto Lanza
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Tall_Walt wrote:
[q="tboulan"]

BTW, you're violating copyright.


That is not necessarily correct. Unless you know what the intent of the OP happens to be, it may be covered under Fair Use. If he will be using it to make fan art for himself without depriving the original author of any money, then it is not a violation. As long as it is transformative and not an exact copy that he is trying to use in such a way that substitutes his cards for the author of the cards so that he does not need to purchase the actual cards.

The amount and substantiality of the copyrighted work that has been used. In general, the less that is used in relation to the whole, the more likely the use will be considered fair. Like, just using the back of the cards but using your own unique front. (Again, for private use)

For example, if he is making his own cards with different rules for his private use.

For example, if uses a Micro Machines Star Wars Aircraft of which there is no equivalent but then uses the art to make his own maneuver cards, dials and action cards for a space craft that does not exist for his own private use, he is good to go.

If however, he purchase a Micro Machines X-Wing and then makes exact copies of the cards for the expressed purpose so he does not have to purchase anything from FFG, then that is a violation.

Unless we know intent, we don't know.

One more point, Fair Use is different depending on the country you live in.

My point? It is not automatically a violation.
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Tragic TheBlathering
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Bichatse wrote:
TragicTheBlathering wrote:

As you can see the image is completely covered in these strange "circles" as well as also being covered in coloured spots which are either red, green or blue.


That's because that's how they're printed. Lots of little dots in cyan, magenta, yellow and black in a dither pattern. You can't get around it because that's literally all the information there is in the image. Printing an image is a lossy process - a scan will never have all the information (read: image quality) that the original had, like a picture that's been resaved as a medium-quality JPEG.

Basically, years and years ago when someone wanted to print something in colour they'd take four photographs of the original with colour filters (to capture just the cyan or just the magenta or whatever) using a process camera (which would take a black and white image from a fixed point). These four photos would be used to dress printing screens or plates, and the image would be printed from these screens or plates.

These days, though, everything's digital because the production process is much more efficient and doesn't involve any giant cameras. So the computer has to create a pattern of cyan and a pattern of magenta and a pattern of yellow and a pattern of black to print on the page, the patterns have to not overlap in weird ways (for example, if the black always printed in the same place as the blue, it would cover all the blue completely in mid to dark areas where the black printed and the image colour would look weird). To avoid this, the computer spits out a pattern of dots such that the four colours don't overlap and the eye can take in the full colour. That pattern of dots is what you've scanned.


Generally, when you print something in colour then there's not much point going beyond 300dpi and you can often get away with 150. So scan at 600, resample down to 150-300, and it'll probably look good enough when printed.


Interesting....

I took your advise and did this...

• Scanned at a high DPI Resolution (1200DPI)
• Ran a "descreen" photoshop plugin google found for me. (automatic)
Descreen Home Demo Version seems to let you run it
• Resized from 1200dpi to 300 DPI
• Ran "Smart Blur" - R:0.5 / T:25.0 / Q: High
• Ran "Despeckle" (Once)
• Ran "Reduce Noise" - S:8 / PD:6% / RC:100% / SD:25%

I think I have ended up with a passable image that should print (not tested just going off what has been said by people in this thread)

https://s16.postimg.org/w6e9z61ph/test1.png
https://s16.postimg.org/xmpshb4md/test2.png

I end up with a card image - 1460x2945 (600dpi)

So according to you I could actually reduce this more and increase the smoothing?
 
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Jonas Thyssen
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Your test number 2 is passable. The image needs to be so blurry you can't see the dots anymore.

Also be aware that trying to send descreened images to a commercial printer is asking for moire in your images. This is something I battle in my day job a lot. And it's really hard to find the right balance between blurring the image enough and still having something that looks good when printed.
 
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Jake Staines
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TragicTheBlathering wrote:

So according to you I could actually reduce this more and increase the smoothing?


Personally, I would rely more on the resampling than the filters - as in: see how little filter work you can get away with to end up with an acceptable image after resampling down to 300dpi. The reason being that you're already starting with a reduced-information version of the original - if you run filters you're just removing even more information, ultimately. All filters are destructive in information terms - in this case it looks like you're mostly going to be making the image more blurry than it needs to be.

On the other hand, it's quite possible that resampling down to a smaller image will result in an image which is informationally closer to the original image, were the original image also resampled down to the same size. The reason being that the dot pattern is extrapolated out from the original image's information to provide the correct 'average' interpretation (as the eye sees the average colour and not the dots), and resampling down will effectively average all those dot colours into a single point.

If you want to work out the best approach, then test various levels of filter with various degrees of resampling, label each one and then print them out on the printer you plan to use in the long run. The way that printer works will also have some small bearing on how your finished cards turn out, after all, and the most important thing for your homebrew cards is that they look good enough for you.




If you start out with some high-res artwork and print it at 150, 300 and 600 dpi then you'll be hard-pressed to see the difference between the 300 and the 600 and depending on your printer may not see much difference between the 150 and the 300. If you were laying out graphics for commercial printing on high-end presses than it would definitely be worth supplying the artwork at as high a resolution as possible, but for home use working to 600dpi is nearly always excessive.
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The neutral evil villain known as
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Those dots are a moire pattern from the printing process. Higher dpi will make them more noticeable. Try putting the image on your scanner sort of crooked. this mis-aligns the dots and sometimes helps.
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Tragic TheBlathering
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Bichatse wrote:
[q="TragicTheBlathering"]
Personally, I would rely more on the resampling than the filters - as in: see how little filter work you can get away with to end up with an acceptable image after resampling down to 300dpi.


ok.. yeah i have done some tests and there is defiantly something in what you are saying. Basically the filters are destroying high frequency detail.

I think I'm going to aim for 300dpi images, and start the entire process with a resampeling down. Also I think maybe capturing the image at a lower dpi might help as well.

Looks like I just need to run a bunch of comparison tests... I'll pos my results when done..

I'd like to thank everyone that responded.. teh Geek is just one of the best website communities I have ever been involved with!

--Tragic

Bichatse wrote:
If you start out with some high-res artwork and print it at 150, 300 and 600 dpi then you'll be hard-pressed to see the difference between the 300 and the 600 and depending on your printer may not see much difference between the 150 and the 300. If you were laying out graphics for commercial printing on high-end presses than it would definitely be worth supplying the artwork at as high a resolution as possible, but for home use working to 600dpi is nearly always excessive.


The goal is to make templates to drop in text and artwork for a group I am involved with to produce a fan expansion to a dead LCG called "Call of Cthulhu".
 
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