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Old Mar 15, 2011, 07:48 AM
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Myrkul Myrkul is offline
VGMdb Staff
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: France
Posts: 3,025
Default How-To - Nice Folded booklet 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 08:00 AM.
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