Scanning my paintings has turned out to be a fairly routine job.
Once I worked out how to get the lid off my scanner, set up my work area and learned how to use the scanner software, the actual scanning didn’t take as much time as I thought it would. My Canon CanoScan LIDE 210 scans fairly quickly and the photomerge feature in my Abobe Elements software is simple to use and works remarkably well.
The only down side so far has been that color management takes a bit of trial and error. Colors were often not dark enough and I had to try out a few different light and contrast settings with the scanner software to get the best results.
So for anyone who would like to scan their own artwork with a small scanner and merge the sections into one larger, complete image file here’s a list of what you’ll need and what you need to do;
First you need a dedicated scanner that you don’t mind altering (and voiding the warranty on it!) What I did with mine was pop out the hinges on the lid and then cut and file off what was left of the hinge to get a flat surface on the scanner. I taped that edge to protect my artwork from any rough edges as I needed to lay my paintings face down and then move them over to scan the large pieces of paper section by section.
A clean work area is a must as you don’t want dust or dirt showing up in your scans, and of course you’ll need a computer that has enough memory to deal with the large files you’ll be creating. To get the best print quality I’ve been saving my files as tiffs and the files are huge. So make sure you have enough space to store your files as well.
- Software to merge your scans into one final complete image.
I used Adobe Photoshop Elements and was lucky that I had a copy of Elements 8 as that’s when the Photomerge feature was introduced. There is likely also a way to merge your scans with the Gimp, which is open source software, but I haven’t tried that yet myself.
In Photoshop Elements go to file -> new -> Photomerge Panorama and choose Reposition only. Then it’s only a matter of choosing the files you want to merge and the software will do the rest.