Need some scanner advice 4 scanning artist canvas

Discussion in 'Artists' started by michaelws, Sep 17, 2014.

  1. michaelws

    michaelws Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    I just purchased a Plustek Optipro A320 A3 scanner. I bough this to scan my paintings for printing gicles. I am tired of paying $300 to $500 per canvas and holding my breath that it doesn't get ruined in shipping.

    Scanner works great. A slight color shift but that is or seems correctible in Photoshop or lightroom.

    What I am having trouble with is that the scanner is picking up all (ALL) of the weave highlights of the canvas. Plustek has it's own scanning software but it seems barebones. I haven't tried all the options but all the ones I did try did not alleviate this problem. Bringing it in to PhotoshopCC and appyling an unsharp mask filter or one of the noise filters doesn't work either.

    Is there any artist here who might be doing this and or can recommend a good third party scanning software that would have more options.

    I have a friend who has a small 8.6 by 11 epson scanner and it's software has a number of filters, including unsharp mask that seems to get rid of all the textural highlights that mine is picking up.

    Thanks for any heads up on this topic. Or if anyone know of a forum where scanners are dealt with...hopefully for use by artists/painters.

    Thanks..
     
  2. thatcomicsguy

    thatcomicsguy Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    I hear you!

    Scanning is practically an art form in and of itself.

    Though, Photoshop offers a number of filtering options under, "Image, Adjustments" -I used "Threshold" to successfully remove unwanted artifacts from scanned black & white images, (though I don't know how well it would work with color. You might end up having to spend a few hours selecting areas in your paintings for specific adjustments. Sounds like a pain.)

    Another option is to use a high-grade camera and shoot your paintings under light conditions which you can control better than the scanner's bulb. (Shooting outdoors using sunlight can go a long way toward solving the problem of needing expensive lighting rigs. I have friends who have done it, but to be frank, I've not had much success. I don't think my camera is really good enough.)

    On a side note wrt scanning, one of my personal challenges is that I've never found a scanner or even an expensive third party scanning service which has been able to pick up subtle color shifts in the far blue end of the spectrum. I did a whole series of water and dye cloud paintings with lots of pastel blues, and so much of that gets lost in the scanning process that I've yet to succeed in getting anything back worth printing.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2014
  3. michaelws

    michaelws Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Thanks comicsguy. I will experiment with threshold under adjustments. I realize after doing my homework that one reason I got so many highlights is that I varnished the canvas. Might even have to add more gesso next time and sand it to a smooth finish.

    I am trying to make the switch to painting finished pieces digitally so reworking this scan in Corel Painter 2015 is giving me a chance to experiment with different brushes and brush variable settings...so it could prove to be an asset in the long run.

    Thanks again for taking the time to reply.
     
  4. michaelws

    michaelws Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    I just tried "Threshold" under Adjustments. How does that work with color? It took me to a black and white. I made an adjustment and clicked okay and it stayed black and white. I guess I had better Google it for more info.
     
  5. michaelws

    michaelws Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    I learned a bit about Threshold..but still could not figure out how to apply this to removing or diminishing hot spot highlights. I thought if I posted a section of my scanned painting you could see what I need to get rid of. One is the original scan and the other is of my hand painting over it with Painter. Hope these give a better idea. Again thanks for any help with this. I don't mind painting this entire piece it would be nice to know a way to cut time in the process.

    Corrected_painted_001.jpg originalScan.jpg
     
  6. balistic

    balistic wacom jock

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    BP_CleanedUp.jpg I was able to make a bit of an improvement. My process was:

    1 - duplicate the painting onto a new layer
    2 - on that layer, run the "Reduce Noise" filter with Strength set to 10 and everything else set to 0.
    3 - run it again
    4 - change the layer's blending mode to "darken"

    Here's a link to the image:

    http://brianprince.squarespace.com/storage/forumimages/BP_CleanedUp.jpg

    The canvas texture is still there, but it's much less intense, and most of your painted detail is preserved.
     
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  7. balistic

    balistic wacom jock

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    You could also follow the Reduce Noise filter with a Minimum filter, but this muddies the details somewhat.
     
  8. Yoyobuae

    Yoyobuae Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Corrected_painted_001.jpg
    GIMP, Filters > Enhance > Despeckle with these settings:
    snapshot17.png
     
  9. michaelws

    michaelws Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Thank you both for taking the time to actually work with my sample. That was over and beyond the call. I will play with those two ideas. I don't have GIMP installed but will try it later.

    While on this topic...is there a noticeable difference in the scanning quality of Epson's Expression large format scanners and the regular workhorse large format scanner? I don't scan my pieces over 300 dpi so I don't need the higher resolutions. Right now I am using the Plustek OpticPro A320. It picks up all the detail but it doesn't have a good front end interface with scanning filter options.

    Thanks again for that amazing input you gave me. Humbled.

    EDIT: Just ran the reduce noise as per your instructions and it worked great! I am still going to hand paint...but this was pretty effective and got rid of 90 percent of the hot spots. Thanks...you saved me a ton of hours in what I want to do with this piece.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2014
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  10. thatcomicsguy

    thatcomicsguy Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Photoshop also has a "De-speckle" feature somewhere under Filters/Noise. "Dust and Scratches" is a bit more in tune with dealing with that kind of artifact.

    I've used it to smooth out color scans before which picked up a lot of paper fiber and small fragments of hard paint.
     
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