Okay... the following may sound complicated but it really isn't once you have done it a few times.. and a scanned image will always be better than a photo of the artwork. I scan directly into Photoshop 7 and am using their photostitch program but am hoping to buy the Epson stitching software, which will make the process almost foolproof. Any flatbed scanner will do the job, even a small 8 1/2 X 11 one.. but the larger the bit size the better. I have a 48 bit scanner which in effect penetrates the layers of paint and picks up all the fine detail. It is very important to scan at a minimum of 300dpi but not to increase the scanned size of the image ..ever! After stitching the image together... and still in photoshop... I look at the actual pixels to ensure that there are no seams or pixels showing from the stitching and also to check all the edges in order to crop as closely as possible. If anyone has any questions, I will be more than happy to answer them... if I can... so fire away!
and Talya? I get Cathy...Cathie...Catherine... but never Cathleen before... so perhaps I should add it to the mix...lol
How to Scan Artwork With A Flatbed Scanner
You need a flat bed scanner installed and connected to a computer system.
Before use, carefully clean the scanner glass with a damp cloth or glass cleaner and dry.
Put the print face down on the glass. Ensure that the actual print area is parallel to the edges of the scanner.
Start the scanner software. On some scanners there is a scan button, or there may be an import function on your images processing software, or a separate scanner program.
If your scanner software does not automatically run a preview, do so (unless you are using VueScan - see tips.)
If your picture is skewed, line it up better and repeat the preview.
On the preview, use the mouse to outline the desired scan area.
If you are going to use Photoshop (or other image manipulation), scan all images as 'millions of colours'. Otherwise use this for colour and grey scale for black and white.
Adjust the scanner resolution to give an appropriate file size in pixels. For printing, scan to get 300 pixels per inch of final print size. For web, create a scan with largest side around 900 pixels.
Try the auto-exposure button if there is one in the software, then adjust brightness and contrast if needed. On some scanners, resetting to default will give good results.
For colour pictures, set any colour controls to the default values unless you are scanning direct to a printer.
If your scanner has a setting that allows you to improve shadow separation, use it.
Scan the images, saving in TIFF, BMP or PCX, but not as JPEG.
See the related 'How to's' for what to do with your scan next.
Always set the size measurement on the software to read in pixels when making a scan, unless you are scanning direct to a printer.
Third-party scanning software may produce better results than that supplied by the scanner manufacturer.
Never scan at a higher resolution than the actual optical resolution of your scanner. Never use any 'sharpen' command in the scanner software.
Scanning Work Larger Than Your Scanner
Take the cover off the scanner
Place painting face down on scanner.
Scan in the first quarter at at least 300dpi, preferably higher, taking great care to align the artwork squarely.
Continue to scan all 4 quarters with exactly the same settings and again, taking great care to align the artwork squarely.
Open each of the quarters of the painting in Photoshop.
To remove any canvas pattern etc. optionally: Apply Filter -> Blur -> Gaussian blur, have the radius at between 5 - 10 pixels
If you scanned at more than 300dpi, reduce each quarter to 25%
Go to Image Go to Image Size - the window will look like this (Note: Make sure that Constrain - Proportions box is checked:
Change inches to percentage by pressing the triangle next to the word inches.
Change Width to read 25% (when the Proportions box is checked, both the width and height will be reduced by 25%.
Make each of the quarters 25%.
If necessary, go to Image - Rotate - and select the correct number of degrees so that it will be right side up.
Now it is time to put your painting together. Go to Image - Canvas Size - Change the width to 5 inches and the height to 6 inches. This will give you enough room to assemble the painting.
Next, add 3 more layers to the image, one for each of the quarters. Make sure the Layers Palette is open.
If it isn't, go to "Window - Palettes - Show Layers" to open it.
Press the triangle until the menu pops out and choose New Layer.
Using the Marquee tool, move the Bottom Left Side of the painting to the bottom left side of the screen.
Copy each of the remaining quarters and paste it into its own layer in your assembled image file.
You can now move around each of the quarters until they all match up with each other by selecting the layer that it is on and using the Move Tool (Hint: You can use the arrow keys
to move each section by a very small amount).
When you are happy that all the quarters line up, go back to the Layers Paletter and Press the triangle again. This time choose "Flatten Image" and your quarters will now be pasted together.
At this point, you can handle this image like any others you have edited, however you might need to trim it a little, sharpen it, adjust the colors, change the size to fit your web page, etc.
Which Scanner To Buy
Scanner technology is improving all the time, so it's difficult to keep current with recommendations. Apart from following recommendations, the main factors to consider are the optical resolution and Bit Depth, but any new scanner is likely to be able to produce acceptable results.