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 PostPost subject: [Guide] How to do proper scans for preservation        Posted: Wed Sep 25, 2013 5:14 pm 
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Since so many members upload low resolution scans, damaged scans and in some cases completely unusable scans despite my numerous attempts at explaining the proper quality level we require, I felt it was necessary to make a little guide.

To make a perfect scan for preservation purposes you need to fill these requirements:

  • At least 600dpi. To be able to properly edit and adjust the scan I need a high resolution scan to work with. Many discs and floppies also have small details in their artwork which is lost when you use low resolution.
  • Save as PNG or TIF. Saving the scan as JPG only destroys the scan, even at high resolution. JPG is a lossy compression, PNG and TIF is not.
  • Unedited. Do not attempt to edit the scan after you scanned it. You may lose vital information or change the colors beyond repair. I will do any needed adjustments to the scans after they are uploaded.
  • Use wide margins. Many scans have their edges cut off, or the edges of the discs cut off. This only cheapens the scan and makes it look unprofessional and bad. Use wide margins so I can easily rotate and move around the scan without cutting off vital data. Don't use auto-margins in your scanning software.
  • Clean up. Clean your glass and media before scan. There's nothing more annoying than seeing a good scan with a big hair in the middle or large dust speckles. Use a soft cloth, microfiber etc to clean your surfaces.
  • Align your media. Many discs and floppies have reflective surfaces, if you don't properly align the disc the reflections will be wrong and it will look awful once it's been properly aligned by me. So try to do proper alignment from the start, doesn't have to be perfect but make it as good as possible.
  • White background. Use a white background if possible, if your scanner has a different background color then please put a white sheet of paper between the scanner lid and media. The more neutral background you use the better. This is of course not possible with packagings etc, but with floppies and discs it is.
  • Individual scans. If you got multiple discs or floppies to scan then scan them individually, or make sure there is more than enough space between and around each item.

If you don't follow these guidelines there's no guarantee that I will process your scans and your time scanning your media and covers will be wasted. Do it right from the start and it will be preserved.

Here are some examples of good and bad scans with descriptions:

--------
Alignment:

Image
Rotation is wrong, so reflection on the blank surface will be wrong. Align properly before scan.


Margins:

Image
Make sure you got wide white margins around the scanned object. Do not crop, alter or adjust in any way.

These also applies to floppies and any other material you scan.

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 PostPost subject: Re: == Scanning guidelines ==        Posted: Mon Sep 30, 2013 5:32 am 
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Is it best to use the highest resolution that the scanner supports?

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 PostPost subject: Re: == Scanning guidelines ==        Posted: Mon Sep 30, 2013 12:11 pm 
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I wouldn't recommend it since most scanners will go to silly DPI's and it will just take forever to scan and use up incredible amounts of memory. 1200DPI should be plenty I'd say, and it's double the minimum mrpijey has asked for.

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 PostPost subject: Re: == Scanning guidelines ==        Posted: Tue Oct 01, 2013 6:23 am 
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I wouldn't even go that far. Most scanners have a very high interpolated resolution, which is actually worse than using native resolution. Just as with digital cameras, using interpolated resolutions may actually be worse and cause visual artifacts than using a lower native one. So don't go above 600dpi as your scans will already be quite large when saving them as PNG. And then you will also confine yourself within the native resolution of your scanner. Sometimes more is less...

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 PostPost subject: Re: [Guide] How to do proper scans for preservation        Posted: Sat Oct 18, 2014 7:56 am 
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My scanner automatically crops its pictures and there is no setting to disable and it cuts out sides of the disc. It is a HP Photosmart 6520. Any way around this that you know of?


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 PostPost subject: Re: [Guide] How to do proper scans for preservation        Posted: Sat Oct 18, 2014 6:11 pm 
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Use the scanning software that comes with Windows.

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 PostPost subject: Re: [Guide] How to do proper scans for preservation        Posted: Mon Oct 27, 2014 8:44 pm 
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If the image has to be rotated by 90° or 180°, should this be done by the uploader or is this already considered as editing?


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 PostPost subject: Re: [Guide] How to do proper scans for preservation        Posted: Mon Oct 27, 2014 9:40 pm 
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I'll do all the editing, just scan and leave it as-is, just be sure you don't change any image parameters.

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 PostPost subject: Re: [Guide] How to do proper scans for preservation        Posted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 9:58 am 
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Shall we also scan booklets?


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 PostPost subject: Re: [Guide] How to do proper scans for preservation        Posted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 10:18 pm 
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Yes, scan everything possible.

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 PostPost subject: Re: [Guide] How to do proper scans for preservation        Posted: Fri Jan 16, 2015 2:52 am 
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I was trying to scan a disc once and I couldn't place it the right way. I tried so many times and I honestly can't see how you expect people to make it upright without editing the image.

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 PostPost subject: Re: [Guide] How to do proper scans for preservation        Posted: Fri Jan 16, 2015 10:04 am 
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I usually try to align it as good as I can on the scanner, scan it, estimate how much it is rotated in the image and try to rotate it (without lifting it up) for exactly that amount. Normally the second try is then good enough. You don't need perfect alignment, but <5° is easily doable and with a little practice you can do < 2-3° after the first manual correction

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 PostPost subject: Re: [Guide] How to do proper scans for preservation        Posted: Fri Jan 16, 2015 12:57 pm 
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I've had the same problem. I then used postits to mark a line and another one on the back side that i then could remove - they are now more or less correctly alligned (maybe one or two mm off)


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 PostPost subject: Re: [Guide] How to do proper scans for preservation        Posted: Fri Jan 16, 2015 7:10 pm 
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Listen, it's not imperative that the alignment is 100000% correct, I will edit and rotate it 1% or less if needed to make it right, but the important thing is that it's aligned as good as possible. if it's slightly off then it's fine and I can adjust it anyway. But if you align it by 30-40+ degrees off then you can clearly do better. So you don't need to spend 30 minutes trying to get an exact alignment...

Put the disc in, do a scan preview, then rotate it slightly, do an another scan preview, and once it looks decent do the final scan. Doesn't take more than a minute or so to get it more or less perfect anyway.

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 PostPost subject: Re: [Guide] How to do proper scans for preservation        Posted: Sun Jan 18, 2015 2:03 pm 
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The alignment was always off by a lot every time I tried to adjust it, and there was no way to do a scan preview. HP didn't think things through when writing the scanning tool they include with the drivers.

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 PostPost subject: Re: [Guide] How to do proper scans for preservation        Posted: Sun Jan 18, 2015 8:19 pm 
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Then don't use the HP software. I always used the software that came with Windows instead as it gave me a lot more options without all the GUI bloat.

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 PostPost subject: Re: [Guide] How to do proper scans for preservation        Posted: Wed Jan 21, 2015 7:21 pm 
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mrpijey wrote:
Then don't use the HP software. I always used the software that came with Windows instead as it gave me a lot more options without all the GUI bloat.

What if I'm running before Windows 8.1? No scanning application comes with Windows then , does it?


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 PostPost subject: Re: [Guide] How to do proper scans for preservation        Posted: Wed Jan 21, 2015 10:09 pm 
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It does... I did it on Windows 7.


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 PostPost subject: Re: [Guide] How to do proper scans for preservation        Posted: Tue Jan 27, 2015 1:28 am 
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Yes, Windows 8.1 has scanning software, it's called "Scan" :).

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 PostPost subject: Re: [Guide] How to do proper scans for preservation        Posted: Mon May 25, 2015 11:12 pm 
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Actually I don't have a scanner,
can the preservation still be done with a camera?
I have tried with my Nikon Coolpix P7000 (10.1 MP), but I noticed that even when I set the image quality output to the max, the pics produced are just very big in size (3648 x 2736), but with a resolution of 300 dpi (I can see that from image properties), so less than requested above.
Is that okay anyway? Or please, provide directions to make proper pics... in case of using a camera, if that is accepted!

Thanks


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 PostPost subject: Re: [Guide] How to do proper scans for preservation        Posted: Tue May 26, 2015 12:02 pm 
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If you use a camera, it must be directly top down with good, even lighting over the whole surface (no flash). Unless you have professional photography lighting you will probably find this next to impossible. The outcome must be close to that which you would get from a scanner otherwise it is no good to us for proper preservation.

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 PostPost subject: Re: [Guide] How to do proper scans for preservation        Posted: Tue May 26, 2015 12:29 pm 
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Thanks Andy for your reply. Just for your information I have uploaded something last Saturday... to request Ftp access. Eventually if you can have a look at the package I uploaded, you will see that I have took 8 different pics of the four floppies (5.25") I imaged. I don't know if I will be approved...honestly....
but just in case it will be a No, I red that in most situations the user will not receive anymore a feedback message... so I will not be able to know whether it was a problem with the pics or not...


Last edited by cavallino on Tue May 26, 2015 12:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 PostPost subject: Re: [Guide] How to do proper scans for preservation        Posted: Tue May 26, 2015 12:33 pm 
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According to mrpijey, digital photographs of any sort are not acceptable, only scans are. Here is the post where he says so.

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 PostPost subject: Re: [Guide] How to do proper scans for preservation        Posted: Tue May 26, 2015 12:40 pm 
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Darkstar wrote:
According to mrpijey, digital photographs of any sort are not acceptable, only scans are. Here is the post where he says so.

Thanks for reporting that message! Now at least I know that the pics I tried to take with so much effort were useless for preservation purposes :) Well, I hope to be accepted at least "partially" then :) Or maybe... it's time to buy a scanner.


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 PostPost subject: Re: [Guide] How to do proper scans for preservation        Posted: Tue May 26, 2015 2:11 pm 
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Camera snaps are good only for one thing really: to prove you own the software and didn't grab it off the net. But for preservation needs then not so much as they can't accurately preserve the artwork in a clean fashion. So for a full preservation a scanner will be required.

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