How to SCAN your drawing

Posted: July 9, 2012 in Pencil Drawing Tips
Tags: , , , ,

When I first started drawing, I used to take PHOTOS of my work, but it was never 100% in focus, and the room lighting affected the contrast. I’ve been using a scanner for over 2 years now, which has it’s limitations. First, the scanner bed size limits the size of the paper that can be scanned. My glass scanner bed is approximately 8 x 10 inches, which works for 99% of ALL of my drawings. I realize every scanner is different, and the default settings are also different, so I will just go over what I have and use.

I have an HP Officejet 6500A Plus (All in one fax, scanner, copier, printer). When I start a scan, it opens a software menu which allows me to adjust various settings.

Save As: JPEG
Output Type: COLOR
Resolution: 200 dpi
The only other setting are for BRIGHTNESS AND CONTRAST. I have BOTH set a ZERO.

Once I scan the area, it shows me a preview of the scanned area, which includes the “entire area” beyond the drawing borders, so it will need to be cropped, which I do using different software.

IMPORTANT: I don’t know about ALL the scanners out there, but mine seems to make the drawing contrast look LIGHTER than the contrast and tone in my drawing, so AFTER the SCAN PREVIEW, I leave the Brightness at ZERO but adjust the CONTRAST to about 15, which makes the scanned image darker, and closer to the contrast values in my drawing. I then click SAVE file and it saves to the DEFAULT LOCATION I have in my scanner software. Mine saves to my computer desktop.

NEXT I open the scan using MGI PhotoSuite II SE and crop the image to the borders I had drawn. There are hundreds of software programs out there that will do this. Then I RESIZE the file. When I click RESIZE it opens up a menu that allows me to Re-Adjust Width and Height. I reduce it just a little, so if the original scan was at 1200 wide, I change it to 900 or so. This removes some of the roughness created by digitizing and reduces the size of the file.

The drawing is STILL lighter that I’ve drawn it, so I then use Picasa image software, which allows you to adjust FILL LIGHT, HIGHLIGHTS, SHADOWS and COLOR TEMP (you can download Picasa FREE from Google). THE ONLY SETTING I ADJUST A LITTLE IS SHADOWS. I take my actual drawing and hold it up next to my computer screen and adjust the Shadow slide bar until it looks as much like the drawing as possible. Then SAVE and CLOSE.

  1. Just what i have been after! 😀

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