"Oversized"-Art Scanning and Scanners
February 23, 2005 10:49 AM   Subscribe

I often do line art that is 11" x 14" at original size and I cannot work at a smaller size. Standard Scanners are some variation of the 9" x 11" maximum scanning area, and therein lies the dilemma. Looking for recommendations on "medium" / "B" Size scanners or tips on overcoming this issue with a standard-sized scanner and "oversized"-art.

Currently, I've got an older standard-sized scanner at my disposal. The process, that I'm absolutely tired of, is to scan the work in sections, create a new file in photoshop at the right canvas size, and start copying in the smaller files as different layers for the larger canvas size file, zoom in, then line them up and once aligned merge layers together then proceed with image correction duties. I could eliminate most of this with a larger scanner, but I'm having trouble finding one that is not too large and expensive. Ideally, I'm looking for this (I am hesitant about this vendor) made by canon or epson for around $300-400 USD, but I haven't had any luck in the searching. If anyone else out there has this art-to-scannable area problem and has a better way to deal with it with a standard scanner, I and my pocketbook are all ears. Thanks.
posted by safetyfork to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I have read articles about comic artists scanning in large drawings. From what I remember, they scan the piece in multiple sections and then merge them in Photoshop, just as you described. Any easier process would involve buying a larger scanner.
posted by rhapsodie at 11:16 AM on February 23, 2005

I've done the manual stitching thing you describe and it's not fun, by any means. I've used a program called PanaVue and had good success with it, but I used it to stich together panoramic photographs. It does a decent job of this but it may do some image distorting to get features to match up, and while this would not be noticable in most photographs, might be with a line drawing. I'm only speculating on the distortion, it's probably worth a try.
posted by RustyBrooks at 11:21 AM on February 23, 2005

One option you might consider is to take your artwork to a copy shop. This will be cost effective if you're talking low volume. My local kinko's doesn't have a large scanner, so you'll probably have better luck with an independent copy shop, print shop or blueprint shop.

A workaround using what you already have is to place printer's register marks on a border outside of the work you're scanning. You would then use these marks to stitch the image back together in your paint program. This is a whole lot easier than trying to stitch it back together just by eyeballing it.
posted by SteveInMaine at 12:51 PM on February 23, 2005

We have a "tabloid" size scanner at work and it scans up to 12" by 18". Made by Umax, it cost us about $1,300 a couple years ago. You might find something cheaper but anything that size is going to be expensive (compared to the plethora of letter-size scanners).
posted by lfaren at 12:53 PM on February 23, 2005

Not having seen your artwork, I don't know if this is feasible, but if it's just black and white lines, maybe you could use a xerox machine to scale it down, then scan in the copy?
posted by GeekAnimator at 1:16 PM on February 23, 2005

Thanks for the tips and ideas (I'll need them). It seems like most all the tabloid sized scanners of good repute are at least about 500$ out of my range, and the ones that are in range have me mildly suspicious (Can anyone vouch for the mustek?).
posted by safetyfork at 2:20 PM on February 23, 2005

When extremely large pieces need to be reduced, most places will photograph the work, then scan the negative. You can do basically the same thing, but save a step if you shoot the artwork with a digital camera.

Just be careful about lighting it properly and keeping it flat.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:38 PM on February 23, 2005

I have a Mustek, its been no problem in the 5 years I've had it. Bought it in Germany.
posted by Goofyy at 11:41 PM on February 23, 2005

Thanks everybody (imaginary best answers all around)!
posted by safetyfork at 11:16 AM on February 24, 2005

« Older Recommendations for a do everything boot?   |   get down way up Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.