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  #1  
Old Mar 15, 2011, 08:48 AM
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Myrkul Myrkul is offline
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Default How-To - Nice Folded booklet scans

HOW TO - FIXING LARGE SCANS

Here's a short guide on how to make these large booklets look nice.
(note: this also works for sheets, posters, large pictures..)


First, i have to say that vgmdb never asked anyone to make such "proper" scans, as we will never ask anyone to do the following.
I only give advices here, on how you can contribute to "better" scans.



Pages (paper), always have 2 sides, the front side and the reverse side.
I call these sides "exterior" and "interior" (exterior being the one with the front "display" cover).

Most of the time, it's not possible to scan a large booklet or picture in a single time, because the picture or the booklet is too large for the scanner.
But scans looks much nicer when they are "unfolded" and you can see all the pages in a single scan.

Here's how you can HELP (i don't mean you have to do the "fixes" yourself, but taking scans properly can help someone else to "fix" them)

The KEY is to always scans pages with the visible edges. (what i could call "fold marks")
Even better, make a scan for each page of the booklet, surrounded with the other pages (with visible edges)
It's important to keep the same scan settings for all the pictures.


This for example, is for a 2x3 booklet, but if the booklet have more page to the sides, just take more pictures.
If the booklet or sheet/poster is also folded vertically, make sure to take the center page with all the edges visible (up, down, right, left).

Scans taken this way can be uploaded directly to the database, and i will personally try to fix them. They also can be posted in the discuss thread related to the album.

And this is all you can do as a scanner/scan contributor!





The following pictures just show how (simply?) i do fix the pictures (if they were taken correctly).
Again, you do not have to do this yourself.
You can try if you are used to it and have the software(s) to do it, but we never asked anyone to do this himself.

Also, i want to say that i am no professionnal, and i am sure some of you could even do better than me.
I am using Photoshop CS3, but there's probably tons of softwares that could be used to do the following simple tasks.


I'll take the example of the Soukyugurentai Original Soundtrack booklet.
The scans were taken by Cedille, in a way i could fix them myself.

When completely open (unfolded), the booklet have 3 pages (3 pages front side, 3 pages reverse side).


1) This is how the booklet was scanned at first, and most of the time, how it's scanned for such kind of booklets.
Single pages.. odd naming.. "Booklet Exterior p. 01 (Front Display)" / "Booklet Exterior p. 02" ?? We do not see clearly where each page are placed in reality.


2) Just open up "a complete side" booklet pictures.


3) Make a new picture with dimensions large enough for the future unfolded booklet single scan.


4) Try to superpose both pictures, guide yourself with the printed text or the picture itself, this is a delicate and hard task.
You have to make them the most semblable as possible. (Some manipulation could be needed, like rotation..etc..)
[left is original picture 1 (layer 1), right is original picture 1 (layer 1) with original picture 2 (layer 2) on top of it]


5) Now you can see, the big difference comes with the "fold mark" between page left & center page.
Most of the time, there will be a difference between the 2 pictures.
The task here is to determine where it is, and how to remove it "properly".


I won't go into details here, i am sure there are lots of professionnal ways (or at least better ways) than simply erasing a complete zone of the scan.
I do sometimes use other methods to make the scan better (like a grading blur, or playing with the opacity, color hues or saturation.. or in very very rare case working on pixels very closely)
But in 70% of the time i just hit the erase key and it works like a charm if you choose the very right place.
Doing it too closely of the edge and you will see a difference.. like in this example and i choosed to erase the left part of the 2nd picture near the text.


6) Here are the results
[left is original picture 1 (layer 1), right is original picture 1 (layer 1) with original picture 2 (layer 2) on top of it]


Again, i am no pro.. but i find the result very satisfying. You should not be able to detect the process with the current uploaded pictures (unless trying to be picky and zooming up to pixels).

7) Now, i can upload the pictures back. It does look better this way, isn't it ?



Thanks to Cedille for the original scans.

Last edited by Myrkul; Mar 15, 2011 at 09:00 AM.
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  #2  
Old Mar 15, 2011, 09:32 AM
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AcidBeast AcidBeast is offline
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That's a very nice description. Unfortunately I don't seem to be able to scans large sheets straight, even if I put a heavy book on it.
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Old Mar 15, 2011, 11:01 AM
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Gigablah Gigablah is offline
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I hate to say this, but it's recommended not to do that. You're more or less undoing the efforts of the original scanner who separated the pages. Plus the scans take longer to load.

If you have to join the pages back together, upload it as a separate image, don't remove the original scans.
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Old Mar 15, 2011, 12:05 PM
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Myrkul Myrkul is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gigablah View Post
I hate to say this, but it's recommended not to do that. You're more or less undoing the efforts of the original scanner who separated the pages. Plus the scans take longer to load.

If you have to join the pages back together, upload it as a separate image, don't remove the original scans.
I did not see the problem like this..
What do you mean by separating the pages ? Removing the staples ?

It's not like this operation should be done for all the albums, it's only usefull for folded booklets (or accordion booklets).
The big majority of booklets have 2 pages and should not be concerned about this post at all.

I am agree the scans are longer to load though.. which is probably only annoying for retrieving the credits, but probably less painful for all the others.
I'd rather load 3 big images than 9 smaller ones.
Also, the order of the pages is much clearer this way.

What do you guys think about it?

Last edited by Myrkul; Mar 15, 2011 at 12:09 PM.
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  #5  
Old Mar 15, 2011, 02:57 PM
Cedille Cedille is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gigablah View Post
I hate to say this, but it's recommended not to do that. You're more or less undoing the efforts of the original scanner who separated the pages. Plus the scans take longer to load.
As far as myself is concerned, I really wanted to scan all the pages at once, but my scanner screen was too small, and the separation was just the end result of compromise. I know it's a matter of preference, but I honestly can't see much merit in separating them. It only redoubles one's mouse clicking, while it can potentially make users lost, as the overall structure of the booklet obfuscates.

That said, I agree if the booklet consists of more than 4 pages in a transverse direction, it's a bit too longer to read (and it can already surpass VGMdb's maximum scan size unless you drop dpi). In that case, maybe we should separate pages at an appropriate point (e.g. 1x4 -> 1x2*2). I like an idea of keeping both joined and separated images sounds, though I know some members much prefer to maintain the simplest gallery.
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Old Mar 16, 2011, 12:09 PM
LiquidAcid LiquidAcid is offline
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When reading the guide, I also through of this:
Maybe we should implement some sort of 'navigation' system for the scans?

What I think of is this:
When having one of these foldout booklets we could display some sort of minimap that shows how the booklet layout looks like and what we're currently looking at. Additionaly display some navigation arrows to quickly change to adjacent areas. Same thing when clicking on the minimap.

EDIT: Adjacent areas could also be preloaded (like some of these online manga readers do it), so that switching to these areas doesn't take too long.

Last edited by LiquidAcid; Mar 16, 2011 at 12:11 PM.
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Old Mar 17, 2011, 04:49 AM
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Gigablah Gigablah is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Myrkul View Post
It's not like this operation should be done for all the albums, it's only usefull for folded booklets (or accordion booklets).
The big majority of booklets have 2 pages and should not be concerned about this post at all.
Oh okay, I misunderstood your post then. I was afraid you would stitch up the 2-page booklets as well (which isn't that feasible anyway because most scans crop out the gutter / center fold mark)

LiquidAcid's idea is nice, I'm thinking maybe we could specify the booklet layouts (insert, n-page standard booklet, n-page foldout etc) and let people "fill in" the scans (which would standardize the captions).
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Old Mar 17, 2011, 05:29 AM
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suicider suicider is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Myrkul View Post
It's not like this operation should be done for all the albums, it's only usefull for folded booklets (or accordion booklets).
It's also very useful for big posters or Insert Sheets, as I don't want to load like 4+ separate pictures, especially for picture artwork (bad example). Though loading time is of course longer, but I guess Internet connections are capable nowadays anyway. Good example: Darius Poster Front. Took me four pictures to scan (2x12" poster size), but I'm quite satisfied with the merged result (Poster back was photographed though, too hard to scan without damage ).

Last edited by suicider; Mar 17, 2011 at 05:31 AM.
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