How to Scan images

Do you have artwork or materials for the PAH Foundation archives? This is a brief tutorial on how to scan images properly for our archives

How to scan original art, single piece.

Settings:

  • 400-600 DPI (use 600 for small pieces)
  • Scan in colors even for black and white images
  • Use any unsharp mask or sharpening filter available on the scanner software. If gives the option, set it to medium
  • Do a scan preview and calibrate colors on the preview (unless the scanner is set to do that automatically)
  • Scan to Tiff files (do not scan to jpg and then convert to tiff)

How to scan original art, multiple pieces.

When scanning a large image in pieces, scan as many pieces needed, making sure each piece contains at least 25% of each adjacent pieces – Not just on the sides, but on top and bottom where this applies.
Make sure you have all the areas covered. When in doubt, just do extra scans to be safe.

Settings:

  • 400-600 DPI (use 600 for small pieces)
  • Scan in colors even for black and white images
  • Use any unsharp mask or sharpening filter available on the scanner software. If gives the option, set it to medium
  • VERY IMPORTANT: do a scan preview of the first piece and calibrate colors on the preview (unless the scanner is set to do that automatically)
    Then keep scanning the other pieces WITHOUT doing a scan preview each time (this way the color calibration will remain consistent through all the pieces)
  • Do not make the image edges touch the scanner’s border: keep a distance of 3-4 millimeters
  • Scan to Tiff files (do not scan to jpg and then convert to tiff)

How to scan printed colored art, single piece.

Settings:

  • 400-600 DPI (use 600 for small pieces)
  • Use any unsharp mask or sharpening filter available on the scanner software. If gives the option, set it to medium
  • Use any descreen option available on the scanner software (to get rid of the moire effect) If gives the option, set it to magazine for posters and other general quality print.
  • Do a scan preview and calibrate colors on the preview (unless the scanner is set to do that automatically)
  • Do not make the image edges touch the scanner’s border: keep a distance of 3-4 millimeters
  • Scan to Tiff files (do not scan to jpg and then convert to tiff)

How to scan printed colored art, multiple pieces.

When scanning a large image in pieces, scan as many pieces needed, making sure each piece contains at least 25% of each adjacent pieces – Not just on the sides, but on top and bottom where this applies.
Make sure you have all the areas covered. When in doubt, just do extra scans to be safe.

Settings:

  • 400-600 DPI (use 600 for small pieces)
  • Use any unsharp mask or sharpening filter available on the scanner software. If gives the option, set it to medium
  • Use any descreen option available on the scanner software (to get rid of the moire effect) If gives the option, set it to magazine for posters and other general quality print.
  • VERY IMPORTANT: do a scan preview of the first piece and calibrate colors on the preview (unless the scanner is set to do that automatically)
    Then keep scanning the other pieces WITHOUT doing a scan preview each time (this way the color calibration will remain consistent through all the pieces)
  • Do not make the image edges touch the scanner’s border: keep a distance of 3-4 millimeters
  • Scan to Tiff files (do not scan to jpg and then convert to tiff)

Special instructions for art that has been folded:
Scan keeping the folding lines perpendicular to the scanner optical unit (the light bar that moves in the scanner’s bed).
If the art has been folded in both directions, make sure to rescan the pieces in both direction too (so 2 times with different orientation). This will prevent the shadowing forming due to the folded paper.
See image below

If you have questions, please contact us (it can be useful to send a screengrab of your scanning software window)

Scan instructions

After scanning, do not resize or manipulate the tiff files or try to put them together. If you did everything right, we’ll be able to piece them together ourselves. Please send them using a file transfer service like Dropbox, Google Drive or WeTransfer.

Click here for an Italian version of these instructions