Scanning large works

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Old 06 June 2010   #1
Scanning large works

Sorry if this is the wrong place, I looked around for a while and couldn't decide where was appropriate..

I have a couple 24x18 drawings that I would like to upload, but am curious as to what is the best way to do it. It is too large to scan, unless i did it in parts and carefully pieced it together in PS (this is what I am thinking I will need to do).

Is there any other more effective methods to getting a large drawing on one's computer while keeping its resolution? Kinko's? Any opinions will be helpful, thanks!
 
Old 06 June 2010   #2
Just photograph it with a decent camera with good lighting (bright day outside, in the shade, or extremely bright interior). Make sure your lens setting is optimal and without distortion. Do not use flash or it'll cause glare.
 
Old 08 August 2010   #3
You're much better off scanning them in pieces than photographing them. They'll come out alot better. If you feather the joining edges, preferably with a mask, it's pretty quick and easy.
 
Old 08 August 2010   #4
I have to disagree there. If that was the case, artists would be trying to scan in their paintings instead of photographing them. The key is you have to know what the hell you're doing as a photographer--use a tripod, use optimal focal length, aperture, and shutter speed, as well as appropriate lighting. When you have it all set properly, the result will be excellent. Think of it this way--all the expensive and beautifully printed art monographs--how do you think they got the images into the book? They photographed all the artworks--they didn't scan them them in.
 
Old 08 August 2010   #5
I absolutely agree with you. But you need to be quite a good photographer with a good grasp of lighting to do it correctly and light the artwork evenly. I know all about how to do it. You need two lights set up at 45 degree angles. I've done both photographing and scanning of artwork many times. Due to the fact that I assumed the question wouldn't have even been asked if the original poster had been a good enough photographer or had the proper equipment, I still think scanning will produce better results in his case.
 
Old 08 August 2010   #6
Unless you have a top end camera/lens/lighting, etc., all kinds of difficulties step in. Most lens have barrel or aspheric distortion near the edges. You need very even lighting, and make sure the camera is perpendicular to the surface. I have done it with several overlapping shots that I stitch together in Photoshop. I tend to do it with a scanner, in passes. Remember that the scanner has some distortions at the outside edges also, so get enough overlap. Aligning for minor rotation between the plates is usually the hardest part, but there are some tricks with Photoshop to help the process. Multiple layers and masks are essential, but try different settings for the layers, before returning it to normal. Also, turn off the auto adjustments in your scanner or it will adjust for each panel slightly different. Good luck.
Paul
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Old 08 August 2010   #7
You might be underestimating today's consumer cameras. At optimal focal length (this is easy to test--just shoot a grid pattern at different focal lengths and compare the results), there's usually very little barrel distortion, and if you stop the lens down to about f/8.0 or so, use a tripod, keep the ISO around 100~200, and simply shoot it under the sun (put it on an easel and set it as vertical as possible), while making sure you face the artwork in a direction that isn't getting glare, you'd get an excellent photo. No stitching or matching pieces required.
 
Old 08 August 2010   #8
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