How to scan your artwork in right print resolution?


Hi guys and welcome to everydayidraw! Today I’m going to walk you through the process of scanning your line art or sketch and I’m also going to explain you just the introduction to resolution, so that you can choose the right resolution for your pictures and scans every time. I’m going to show you the settings that I use with my HP scanner, but they are pretty much uniform and they will be pretty much the same, no matter what brand of scanner do you use. I am starting with positioning my art as straight as I could. With my old scanner I also used to put some weight on the lid, because when I for example draw with the ink or any other technique, that involves water, on a thinner paper it does result in paper being scrambled. So you want to put just a little bit of weight on your scan if you need to. With my HP now I don’t have to worry about it, because the lid is pretty much heavy on it’s own. So I’m starting with type. If your scanner will have different options, it usually involves things like “film” or “document”, but I am going for a “picture” today. If you want to scan documents and then extract text from it, this is also a great option and then I personally love to use ABBYY Fine Reader, because it’s extracting text really amazing, it does a great job. Next thing is I am choosing orientation. Not every scanner has this option and you can pretty much skip it, it doesn’t really matter. I’m choosing “color” mode, even though I can do “grayscale” in scanner. But I want my initial picture my initial scan to have as much quality and as much option for me to later work with it in Photoshop, so I am going to use “color” in here. I do not recommend you choosing “black and white”, that depends of course, but today I am scanning my ink line art and I really want to preserve that ink texture and brush stroke. And when you scan in “black and white”, every pixel will either be black or white, so it doesn’t really have this subtle details. Now let’s talk resolution a little bit – I am going to explain it on “A” paper format, but it doesn’t really matter which paper format you use, it just easier for the sake of explanation. If you will take a look at the A5, A4, A3 and A2 formats, they are done in such a way, that the proportion of the sides will stay the same throughout all of the formats. Meaning that if you take A5 format and put it twice you will get A4 and so forth. Let’s say that you decided that you need to print your artwork as a A3 poster. When we talk about printing and print resolution, every print house will actually tell you that the magical number that you’re supposed to remember is 300 dpi or dots per inch. This is the resolution that will be enough for you to get a high quality picture and be absolutely happy with it. But how do you count the resolution of the scan? Let’s say you are using A5 sketchbook and you really like the line art that you produce, so you now want to print it as bigger poster. Since as I said earlier, A3 format and A5 can be counted as 1 to 4, then you can build a proportion and count the resolution of the initial sketch pretty easily. Because you need to scan in higher resolution, since you are going to be enlarging your initial scan, which means that the resolution will drop. So in this case we need to scan in four times larger resolution, then we will need for final poster. That will give us 1200 dots per inch or dpi. You can use this kind of proportion every time you are going to scan your picture. Since in my case my sketchbook was a little bit larger than A5 format, it was something in between A5 and A4, I decided to go for 600 dpi, which is still a lot. I am also choosing to optimise my scanning process for image quality rather than scanning speed, meaning that it will take more time. With the magic of YouTube it will take me like couple of seconds, but in reality it was about 6-7 minutes for one picture. I then save my scan as a TIFF rather that JPEG, because I want my picture to have the highest resolution possible and JPEG is a format that will compress your picture. So this is it for today, guys! In my next video I am going to show you my method of extracting the line art from the background. If you have any questions, please leave them down in the comments below and I will try to answer them in my next video. Please like me on social medias and I will see you next time! Bye!

Dereck Turner

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