Scanning Simplified Scan Guide by Silver Sea

Silver_Sea

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This guide is a simplified version of Ookla's scan guide. The only difference is that two pages are scanned at once, rather than one.
Ookla only scanned one page at a time as he did not debind his tankobons at the time of writing. ( 5 yrs ago..but he later caved in and debinded anyway.) If you do not wish to debind your tank, then follow Ookla's example of laying out your book vertically on the scanner bed to minimize gutter shadow.
CALIBRATING THE SCANNER
What's that?
Practically speaking, it means leveling the RAW as you scan so that the whites are white and the blacks are black from the moment the image is scanned. What you see on the screen matches the printed page perfectly, producing the "perfect scan". No further leveling needs to be done by the cleaner.

How is this done?
By choosing the optimum shadow, highlight and gamma values from the scanner's TWAIN software. (i.e. ScanGear in a canon scanner.) Its important to remove the book from the scanner and compare what's on the screen to what's on the book.

Why is this important?
Because only the scanner has access to the original magazine image. The editor might level the image incorrectly as s/he has no idea how the original looked.
PROCESS
Choose Test Page> Photoshop > File > Import > TWAIN ( eg ScanGear)> Preview > adjust gamma>adjust histogram > record down your gamma, black-point and white-point value> Scan.
Repeat until you get the perfect scan > Save your gamma and histogram settings.

Gamma = Adjust Brightness
Histogram = Leveling.

You only need to tweak the "gamma" and "histogram" settings...or even just either gamma or histo when you become an expert.
LET'S START!
1. Choose a test page with good amount of Black, White and Greytones. Place your debinded tankobon two pages at a time flat against the scan bed.( see appendix for details)

2. Open Photoshop and go file > import > (your scanner name)
eg: file > import > canoscan Lide80

3. The scanning software opens: in this example, it is "ScanGear CS".

4. Do an "Auto" scan @ Greyscale / 600dpi (or 300dpi) / Full Platen. Remove the book from the scanner and compare it with what you see on screen. The results should convince you to manually calibrate your scanner. ;)

5. Always use the "advanced mode". Disable all auto functions as a rule because they were meant for photos, not manga.

6. The first test:
Main :Select Greyscale / 600dpi (or 300dpi) / Full Platen.
Settings: Uncheck everything. Look for the "Preferences" button. Press it, and disable all auto functions that you see on the new page.
Color:
1. Brightness and Contrast
2. Gamma
3. Histogram
4. Special Tone Curves
Only the Gamma and Histogram need to be tweaked in manga scanning.
CALIBRATING = TESTING THE GAMMA/BLACK-POINT/WHITE-POINT
__ScanGear
ADJUSTING THE GAMMA:

Practically speaking, a 1.0 Gamma reading means a brightness level perceived by the scanner as 1:1 to the printed page. 1.2 gamma means more white pixels in the scanned image. 0.8 gamma means more black pixels. Most of the time, I use Gamma between 1.2 - 2.0
So if you are scanning a dark, shadowy night scene, you may want to use a higher gamma to scan, say 1.6-2.0 That would make the image brighter and prevent a clump of black pixels from appearing. If you are scanning a light colored kimono full of subtle tones, you may want to decrease the gamma to 0.8 to pick up all the shadows on the page. But that's only in very rare incidences. In general, 1.0 is the darkest you'd need to go as most scanners tend to scan darker than the printed page even at 1:1.
ADJUSTING THE HISTOGRAM

This is exactly the same as leveling. If you are good at levelling, you'd be good at scanning. You can observe the changes in the preview and its pretty good, but always remove the book after scanning to compare what's on screen to whats on the page.
By all means avoid overlevelling, which makes the image look hard and ugly. But don't level too little such that the whites become grey. Note that changing the gamma value will affect the histo.

RECORD YOUR VALUES:
Gamma=?
Black-point=?
White-point=?

Repeat with a few values, getting closer and closer to the perfect scan each time.

SUCCESS!
Record down your values and save it. You can reload it next time you scan manga. =)

SAVING AS "IMAGE ADJUSTMENT VALUES" (.adc)
When you finally get the calibration values for your scanner, you can save it in a file as an .adc. Be descriptive in your naming conventions or it will bite you hard in the butt!
__"save as .adc

FINAL ADJUSTMENTS:
1. Clean your scanner glass approx. after each chapter because of dust.
2. After scanning the chapter or the whole volume, not all pages will end up perfectly levelled. Fix that with the use of curves or levels.
3. Save as .png-8 adaptive dithered for greyscale images, .jpg for colored images.
4. Use a .png optimizer now if you know how to.
5. Zip it up and upload for your editor!

Congrats on becoming a pro scanner for B&W lineart.Next challenge...color images. ;)

Appendix 1:
DEBINDING
__unhinging__cutting__fail

1. Start by nudging the cover as far as it can hinge. By doing it slowly, you can achieve good results. I've heard of alternative methods of using a microwave or ironing the book. Sounds good, but I've not found that necessary, yet.

2. After you do hinge open page 1, follow with pg 2, pg 3 and so on, nudging the seam open as widely as the glue permits.

3.Once you reach the end of a chapter, take out your small penknife and prepare to cut. [ It's up to you how much you want to cut, but the less you cut, the darker your gutter shadow may be...and the more time you waste cleaning it later.]

4. BE VERY VERY SLOW when you slice the book down its spine. A mistake means damaging the whole chapter. Like my fail cut...:sweatdrop :sweatdrop :sweatdrop

Appendix 2:
PREPARING THE SCAN BED

__a: paper guide__b:unflattened
__c:flattening the spine__d:books on both leaves

1. A guide is useful for keeping the edges straight. You can't press the books flush against the edge of the scan bed because the initial 3mm around the corners do not get scanned. Thick Paper/card/plastic work fine.

2. You can cut out your space for your tankbon anywhere within the full platen, but allow space for the placement of books. [ We will be scanning full platen. Scanning the minimum size B5 is only 2 secs faster, and pushes the books awkwardly to the side].

3. Do not use hands to flatten the spine, use books instead, esp dictionaries. =D That's because the scanner can pick up the uneven pressure of hands as shadowy patches, XD.

Appendix 3:
3 DIFFERENT TONE PROFILES
__Profile 1 __Profile 2 __Profile 3

IMO, there are 3 different kinds of manga profiles to accomodate
Profile 1: Black and Whites, no tones => more leveling needed.
Profile 2: Dark tones dominate =>watch out against overly dark scans. Grey flag may have to be shifted to the left to lighten the greys.
Profile 3: Light tones dominate =>watch out against overly light greys, especially in fabrics.

What does this mean?
One calibrated value does not fit all chapters perfectly. Different series will also have their own specific calibration profile. In practice, I use Profile 3 most often because it can capture all the tones and then I re-level/ use curves as necessary.

Feedback welcome if you have beta-tested this tute. :kukuku
 
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Crayola

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Thanks a lot for the guide, When i get a scanner, I'll porbalby use this technique since it seems a lot simpler then all the other guides "ve read
 

Nami

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This is a very useful guide - easy to understand too. Never know it's a complicated process behind raws. Thanks Silver Sea! :thumbs
 

Jinoh

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I'll plan on using it sometime, I'll be sure to post feedback.
 
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