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  #1  
Old Oct 22, 2008, 07:25 AM
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Default About scans.

So today I was patrolling the site and the various quality of the scans get me a little annoyed.Here's a thought,should we set up some kind of rule to regulate the scan upload?Like quality standard and etc etc.
Meh,maybe it's only me.
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  #2  
Old Oct 22, 2008, 07:30 AM
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eh.. personally, I think poor quality scans are better than no scans at all. I've found the crappier scans to be of some use, occasionally. Perhaps just make threads for the albums with poor scans and ask if anyone is able to provide better ones (I've thought about doing that myself).
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Last edited by Blitz Lunar; Oct 22, 2008 at 07:32 AM.
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  #3  
Old Oct 22, 2008, 07:40 AM
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The standard for scans is just "Best Available." The reason we have a lot of low-resolution images isn't because people are making poor scans, it's because we gather a lot of scans from other places like Yahoo Japan Auctions, and those scans are usually pretty low. They are adequate for display, but we'd never be able to read the credits from them. That's why we encourage people to upload new scans to replace them.
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Old Oct 22, 2008, 08:20 AM
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Apart from that though, there's some people who upload scans that are uncropped, or worse, watermarked. I suppose Cypher's quality standard idea could help prevent that.

A thread to coordinate scan replacement efforts would be helpful. Anyone up for it?
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  #5  
Old Oct 22, 2008, 08:31 AM
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I wish that everyone that register on vgmdb would contribute more.. but it's still and always the same ones who upload/edit informations.

I don't understand why there is not more scan replacements.

What about "SSCX-10008: Final Fantasy Tactics Original Soundtrack", this album is "owned" by 39 members but there is no good scans at all?
This is just an example.. (yes i know the number of collections does not reflect the exact number of legally owned copies), but this album should be owned by dozens of persons.

For the rest, i agree completely with SS, a low quality scan is better than nothing.
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  #6  
Old Oct 22, 2008, 08:33 AM
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or maybe just a scans wishlist/requests thread more generally quite a few on my list. that'd be cool.
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  #7  
Old Oct 22, 2008, 08:56 AM
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Ok,actually from my own experience,make scans sometimes can be a tough job,reduce noise,correct color cast...this could be a real problem for those who want to contribute.
Maybe we should put up a tutorial on how to make proper scans.
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  #8  
Old Oct 22, 2008, 09:19 AM
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A resolution setting of "300 dpi" is optimal since it's large enough to read ALL the fine print of the text, which is important for the translators to be able to clearly make out the JP Characters to make the translations of album details into English.
Using 300 dpi will also give you a handy 1:1 scale ratio for printing, resulting in the same size as the original.

Cropping in Photoshop (or the bounty of free/bundled photo editing programs) is probably the main time consuming part, but getting rid of white borders around your image certainly helps everyone.

Really those 2 steps are about all there is to it, so no tutorial necessary, and there's not much to set as far as a standard other than the Resolution. Just scan with 300 dpi and you're good!

For further reasoning on why not everyone contributes though, some people just don't own scanners. I was already collecting VGM for years before I ever bought myself a scanner, and scanning vgm booklets is still my sole use for it.

My first cheapie scanner gave a horrible green tint to everything, so manual color correcting was a pain until I later upgraded to a better quality one. By that time I had already rotated/sold through a good hundred or so vgm cds by the time I started scanning stuff. (and even then it was only booklets to start with, not trays, or obis, etc like now)

Last edited by Carl; Oct 22, 2008 at 10:05 AM.
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  #9  
Old Oct 22, 2008, 09:25 AM
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Personally I scan at 1200dpi then reduce noise with neatimage(this will make the scan looks smooth,unfortunately this software is not free but it does a good job) and resize them to 300dpi.I use this method to make the scans look better.
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  #10  
Old Oct 22, 2008, 10:00 AM
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If you've got patience for the extra steps that's fine, just be sure to down scale back to 300 dpi at the end, otherwise 1200 is way too huge of a file size.

For most people the preference is to make it as direct and painless as possible, so the majority should go 300 right from the start, as booklets which have 12 pages still take time to process even going the most direct route.
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  #11  
Old Oct 22, 2008, 07:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carl View Post
For further reasoning on why not everyone contributes though, some people just don't own scanners. I was already collecting VGM for years before I ever bought myself a scanner, and scanning vgm booklets is still my sole use for it.

My first cheapie scanner gave a horrible green tint to everything, so manual color correcting was a pain until I later upgraded to a better quality one. By that time I had already rotated/sold through a good hundred or so vgm cds by the time I started scanning stuff. (and even then it was only booklets to start with, not trays, or obis, etc like now)
This is my situation. Anyone who can recommend a really top of the line scanner and editing software feel free to PM or reply to this thread. I've been meaning to start the whole scanning/archiving process of my collection and I'd definitely like to contribute more on some of my obscure discs.

Also, how do people get scans of items non-paper objects? I see box scans and jewel case scans sometimes and I wonder...
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  #12  
Old Oct 22, 2008, 10:08 PM
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If you have a CCD scanner you can scan 3D objects. I have a CanoScan 4400F which can happily take a jewel case.

300 dpi is a piece of cake for the latest scanners, really. Most of them already go up to 4800 dpi or more, and they're just mid-range. Mine cost me $100 or so.


(A little correction to the article I linked to -- it's not true that you have to save the image every time and open it in another application. You can install the scanner drivers without any of the bundled software, then from Photoshop CS3 choose File -> Import, and select the scanner from the list. The scanned image will go straight into PS).
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  #13  
Old Oct 24, 2008, 07:47 AM
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I have a multi purpose scanner printer (Canon MP460) that I used for my scans, I think the scan quality and colors seem right enough, though the black isn't as black as it could be. On the other hand I sometimes see scans which are way too dark, and lots of detail is lost in there. Which is why I don't do color correcting or noise removal at all, sometimes the result just isn't better than before, and I rather keep the quality at the same level for all my scans.

I think my whole collection is scanned right now, I plan to keep it updated when I buy more stuff. Hooray?!

I scanned everything in 300 dpi and kept the size as such for most. Only exception as I recall are few things related to FF12 ost, where the booklet, box etc are larger than regular jewel case size, so I reduced the size to 50% after cropping.
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  #14  
Old Oct 25, 2008, 04:22 AM
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I think the Scans should be Bigger.
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  #15  
Old Oct 25, 2008, 04:52 AM
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They are bigger once you create an account and log in. Only the medium-sized scans show for anonymous browsers and google-bots.
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  #16  
Old Oct 25, 2008, 12:23 PM
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I have a question about booklets. Should I stitch them together and upload as huge files or as individual images? Example:

ragnarok-booklet.jpg (it needs contrast adjustments and such, but you get the idea)

That particular booklet would be at least 15 MB in jpg @ 300 dpi, so I don't know if it's possible to even upload such a huge file. Should I even bother with stitching (which is rather time consuming) or just upload the pieces (2 pages / file)?
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  #17  
Old Oct 25, 2008, 12:54 PM
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I think it makes more sense to split that one up into single or double panels, instead of stitching the files together.
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  #18  
Old Oct 25, 2008, 01:02 PM
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The Soukaigi booklet is the same way as the Ragnarok (one long sheet) and it works good to scan 2 panels at a time.
Just by looking at how the booklet is folded naturally and using that as seperating guideline (into 2 panels for each scan).
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  #19  
Old Oct 26, 2008, 04:16 AM
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I found a interesting fact that reduce noise of your scan not only make them look smoother,but also reduce the file size.Just a note here.
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  #20  
Old Oct 26, 2008, 04:27 AM
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Yeah, the less noise in the image, the better compression you achieve. I generally do a surface blur in Photoshop (it seems to work better than smart blur).
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  #21  
Old Oct 26, 2008, 11:29 AM
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Then here I recommend a good software for reducing noise:
http://www.neatimage.com/
It does a better job than build-in plug-ins in photoshop.
But as I said before,unfortunately it's not completely free,but the demo version don't have time limit and can save pics in jpeg(fixed compression level @ 91/100),enough for general use I think.
Feature map here:
http://www.neatimage.com/featuremap.html
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  #22  
Old Jan 22, 2009, 02:23 PM
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This is following up on some of Secret Squirrel's comments in another thread:

Quote:
We don't want them too large because they take up space and take forever to download, and there's a point beyond which there is no benefit. Yours are readable, and are about 1400 pixels per booklet side (300 dpi?), which is what I use.
300dpi is an archival quality, and it is always best to archive with the highest quality possible - just because there is no discernible benefit today does not mean there will not be a benefit even 5 years from now. So it is always best to do things once than to find you have to do them again later. PNGs can be created for lossless, compressed file size, and are used by Library of Congress and other archives as an image format standard:

http://www.digitalpreservation.gov/f...dd000153.shtml

Despite the popularity of JPGs, they are lossy. I think there are also save-for-web settings for PNG, but some of those are lossy.

Here is additional scanner information from my brother, who has done a lot of work with scanning:

Get a good scanner (Epson, Cannon). Scan at least 300DPI. Have a decent scan bed size something at least 9x12. Make sure that you make previews of the image you are scanning and draw a marquee around the image you want to scan (some things look better scanned in Photo VS Document so play around with the setting and see what looks more accurate to your original source). Also check to make sure the colors on your preview image closely match the colors on your actual source. If the Image is faded, try to play with the contrast and brightness and see if you can try color restoration if your scanner supports it.

If you have a spine there are various ways try scanning. If your whole book fits on the scanning bed you can flatten it on there or scan a page at a time if it doesn't fit and edit the pages together later. If you get darkness near the spine you can either edit it or delete it because there is not much else you can do about it unless you despine your book (The next best thing would be to photograph the spread).

When you are satisfied with your image save it as a lossless (PNG, TIFF) for archival purposes and make multiple backups of your good lossless image then you can save it as a jpg. If you are thinking about making a book type file out of it CBR is the best choice VS PDF (PDF is lossy) and try to put single pages in the book because spreads make the previewing process slow. It also helps if you have a good quality monitor and a program like Photoshop.

Also remember that some things that look great on a monitor can look like crap when you print it out. Also make sure you completely square the image using the ruler tool in Photoshop and edit stuff like creases and junk out. Do not watermark your original images. Yes this takes a long time, but if you have a good scanner and patience you will prevail!
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  #23  
Old Feb 13, 2009, 02:42 PM
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At the same time, I hear that this site is currently using 22GB of space. I'm positive that this is almost entirely used for image scans. Is there any way we can target the biggest hogs of file space and optimize them while keeping the readability and overall quality high?
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  #24  
Old Feb 13, 2009, 03:00 PM
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There are some that could be reduced in size without too much issue, particularly those at 600 dpi. It would be possible to run a script that locates the scans that are deemed to large in kb terms, and downsizes them to something more appropriate. I'm not sure how much of a dent that would make in the total though. It might only shave off a couple of GB depending on how aggressively we decided to shrink them. 40,000 high-res scans are still going to take up a lot of space.
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  #25  
Old Feb 13, 2009, 05:46 PM
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As far as I'm concerned, space taken up by scans on VGMdb is not a problem.
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