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   Resources Scanning Basics


  1. Setting Up 
  2. Scanning the Object
  3. Editing Your Image and Formatting It for the Web

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Tutorial for the scanner in the Transcriptions studio: this tutorial gives students who are new to Web authoring a step-by-step introduction. Though the instructions are customized for a particular scanner, they should also provide users of other equipment with a good sense of the overall process. (Other equipment is also available to Transcriptions / LCI students at various locations in the UCSB English Dept. and elsewhere on campus.)

Step A. Setting Up

1. Look around the Transcriptions Studio and locate the computer that is attached to the scanner. (Currently the scanner is a UMAX: Astra 4000U.)

1a. Turn on the scanner (flip the switch located at the back of the machine from "O" to "I". After its initial startup, the scanner light (at the front of the machine) should be green. If the light is flashing, turn the scanner off for a moment and then turn it on again. When the light is solid green, proceed to step 1b.

1b. If the computer to which the scanner is attached is already running, you must restart the computer so that it will recognize its attachment to the scanner. (To restart, go to the "Start" menu on the bottom left of the computer, choose "Shut Down." When the options window pops up, choose "Restart."

2. When your computer has finished restarting, open Photoshop. To do this, double click on the Photoshop icon on your desktop, or go to the "Start" menu and select Programs>Adobe>Photoshop 5.5.

3. To open the Scanner software within Photoshop, choose File>Import>Twain_32. The "Vista Scan" software will pop up on your screen.

Step B. Scanning the Object (photo, drawing, etc.)

1. At the top of the Vista Scan screen, there are two options: "Beginner" and "Advanced." If this is your first time scanning an image, choose Beginner.

Note: The difference between the "Beginner" and the "Advanced" options is that in the former you defer to the default setup for the various settings needed for scanning, such as digital colour complexity, resolution (dpi), filters (blurring and sharpening the image), and size of the image (percentage of the image you want to reproduce in relation to actual size), whereas with the latter you choose these settings yourself. If you become interested in manipulating these settings in order to create specific aesthetic effects later on, you can choose Advanced and play around with it.

2. Next, become familiar with the "Beginner"'s Vista Scan screen:

Scanner Software screen

a. On the top right hand side of the screen is the "Preview" button.

b. Below this button is a series of choices (Color Photo; Printed Matter; Text/Lineart, Web Image); the selection of one of these buttons (whichever best matches the image you wish to scan) will give the actual Scan command and manipulate the default settings to accord with the given description you have chosen.

c. Finally, the left side of the screen is your workspace; this space will be where you view your preview scans.

Note: You may see preview scan images that do not belong to you on the left side of the screen. Don't worry, this is simply a result of the fact that this software remembers the last preview scan the computer/scanner performed. When you perform your preview scan in a few moments, this image will be replaced by your image.

3. Open the scanner and place the image you wish to scan facing downward at the top left corner of the glass frame, flush with the scanner's ruled edges. This will ensure that you scan your image in straight (rather than crooked).

Note: You don't need to worry too much whether your image is spatially oriented in the way you wish it to be viewed on your web page (right side up, in other words). You will be able to manipulate your image to be oriented correctly in Photoshop after the image has been scanned in.

4. Now you are ready to perform a preview scan, which can be thought of as a dress rehearsal of the actual scan. Click on Preview. A small window will pop up showing you the progress of your preview scan and giving you the option to "abort," which you do not want to do. You will hear the scanner whirring as it performs this preview.

Note: Preview scans are by definition "low resolution," (meaning not digitally complex, not requiring a lot of information memory/storage), so this action should take less than a minute to perform regardless of the size of your image.

5. You will see a small representation of the image you preview scanned on the left side of your Vista Scan screen. A long rectangular blinking box will encompass your image.

Scanner Preview

The entirety of the contents of the rectangular box represents what you will actually scan in when you perform the actual scan in a few moments. Your goal is to make this space as small as you can while still allowing room for your image to be scanned in its entirety. To do this:

a. Move your cursor to the bottom of the blinking rectangle (the farthest lower point from your image).

b. You will see your cursor turn into a bi-directional arrow. This arrow will allow you to drag the rectangle to a disired position.

c. Move the rectangle until it is flush with your image on all sides. Manipulate the blinking rectangle with the arrow cursor until the rectangle is flush around your image on all sides.

Note: If you wish to scan only a portion of your image, you can move the blinking rectangle to whatever portion of the image you wish to scan. For instance, in the illustration below, I have chosen to scan only a framed portion of the photograph I have Previewed (that which is inside the blinking rectangle):

Selecting a Section of the Image to Scan

6. Now you are ready to scan the image for real. Choose one of the four scanning options. Choose according to which of these options (Color Photo; Printed Matter; Text/Lineart, Web Image) best describes the image you wish to scan.

Note: Here is a list of the default settings which define each of the four options:

Color Photo is meant for color photographs, obviously, and will scan with "True Color" at 300 dpi (dots per inch, which refers to the density of digital data defining your image, otherwise known as resolution).

Text/Lineart is meant for unprinted matter (for instance, drawings or hand-written text documents) and will scan with "Black and White" at 300 dpi.

Printed Matter is meant for printed documents of all kinds and will scan with "True Color" at 150 dpi.

Web Image will automatically adjust your image to be web-safe by scanning at "216 Colors" at the most popular resolution for web images, which is 72 dpi.

Note: There are reasons both for and against choosing "Web Image" at this juncture in your scanning career. If you simply want to play it safe and know that your image will be the scanned in an appropriate file size for the web, then choose this option now. On the other hand, choosing from among the other three options according to which best describes your image will scan your image in at a higher resolution, giving you more editing leeway as you manipulate your digital image. You will be able to save it in an appropriate file size for the web later in this case.

Note: A rule of thumb when dealing with digital images is that you can always degrade the resolution of the image, but you cannot upgrade the resolution.

7. Click on the scanning option you have chosen. This will give the command for the computer and scanner to perform the actual scan of your image. A small window will pop up and keep you updated on the progress of the scan until the process is complete.

8. You will see the representation of your image pop up behind the Vista Scan window when the scan is complete. In order to begin editing this image, you must close the Vista Scan software.


Step C. Editing Your Image and Formatting It for the Web

1. The first thing you will want to do is save your image to a drive (probably the D:\ drive: your zip disk), so that if you do not complete your work in this sitting or if the computer crashes you will not have lost your work up to this point. It is smart to set up a folder on your zip disk called something like "Photoshop Images." Use this folder to store images in the .psd format, which is the format native to Photoshop.

Note: Eventually you will have to "Save As" the document in either a .jpg or a .gif (which are the web-compatible formats), but it is a good habit to keep your original .psd file too.

Note: The .psd format is extremely valuable to you if you wish to make alterations to your image. For one thing, this format saves your image as a large file with a great deal of digital complexity (whereas a .jpg or .gif compresses your image into a much smaller file with much less digital complexity). For another thing, you can save your image file (as you continue to alter the image) continuously without degrading it (whereas each time you save a .jpg or .gif file, it re-compresses and degrades). Until you are ready to place your image in a web page, then, it is a good idea to work with it as a .psd file.

In order to save your document as a .psd file, go to File>Save. Navigate to your "Photoshop Images" folder on your disk, give your document a name, and make sure you select ".psd" as the file type. Then press "Save."

2. If necessary, rotate your image so that it is right-side up on your Photoshop screen. To do this, go to Image>Rotate Canvas, and rotate your image in whatever direction and degree is appropriate.

3. The next thing you will want to do now is to resize your image so that it is an appropriate size for the Web. Since most monitors display 800X600 pixels, your image cannot exceed these dimensions. Go to Image>Size on the Photoshop menu at the top of the screen. A window will pop up containing the data of your image's size. Choose the "pixels" option for both width and height and then make sure your image's width is no more than 600 pixels. (If it is larger than 600, erase the width shown, type in 600, and press "OK." Feel free to make your image smaller if you wish.

Note: Notice the representation of a chain between the width and height of your image. This chain represents the fact that the width and height of your image is "locked together" in Photoshop, meaning that when you change the width of your image, Photoshop will change its height automatically such that the proportions of the image's original size remain intact.

4. Next, detect the percentage of your image's true size Photoshop is currently representing to you. Look around your Photoshop screen for a small box titled "Navigator," within which is a small version of your image. If you do not see this box, go to Window>Show Navigator and it will appear on your screen.

Note: Sometimes you must look carefully to find the Navigator box (and other similar items) on your Photoshop screen. If you go to Window and can only find a "Hide Navigator" option on the pull-down menu, then the Navigator box is most likely lurking beneath something else on the Photoshop screen. You can drag these small boxes around to different places on your screen to see if anything is hiding beneath them.

The default setting in the Navigator box for the percentage of your image displayed on the Photoshop screen is 66.6%. It is a good idea to slide the arrow to the right on the Navigator box until the image reaches 100%. This way you will know exactly how large your image actually is.

Note: After you discover the actual size of your image, you may wish to adjust the Navigator box again to suit the particular needs of the image you are working with. For instance, iIf you are working with an especially small or especially large image, this percentage-shown function can come in real handy. You can enlarge the given image beyond 100% in order to see the details of the image better; conversely, you can shrink the image if it is too large to fit on the Photoshop screen in its entirety in its actual size. Once again though, if the image is a manageable size at 100%, then it is perhaps most convenient to keep the adjustment there to remind you of what you are actually working with size-wise.

5. Photoshop offers many tools for altering the properties of your image. To browse your options or to look up directions for how to use a tool in Photoshop, go to Help>Help Topics.

6. When you are pleased with the outcome of your image and are ready to place it into a web page, it is time to save the image in a web-compatible format. Go to File>Save As. Navigate on your zip disk to the "Images" or "Graphics" folder you have created for the page or site into which you wish to place this image. Give your image a name (this can be the same name as it carries as a .psd file) and make sure that you select either the .jpg (best for photographs) or .gif (best for most other things) format. Then press "Save."

Now you are ready to place your image in a web page. If you need help with this, please see the Transcriptions Getting Started with Dreamweaver page.

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