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View Full Version : Scanner is murdering my lineart


Eliseu Gouveia
10-12-2017, 04:53 AM
Hi, guys,

I wonder if you guys can share some of your wisdom, it's a subject that's been bothering me for years.
Whenever I finish a piece, be it pencils or inks and I scan it, what appears on the screen somehow loses that je ne sais quoi.

I take all the usual steps like ensuring maximum resolution, 300, 400, 600dpi, I tweak levels in Photoshop... nothing.
Lines appear as if I drew with a marker or something.
Thin lines made on a Rottring 0,2mm look like they were done with a 0,5, the line variation fades... maybe it's just my subconscient but it's always depressing.

For the last few years I got myself a MFC-9120CN, which is a pretty decent machine (I hope?) and still the result persists.
Between the paper and the screen, it feels like something is lost in translation.

Bishop
10-12-2017, 09:16 AM
Can you post a before and after? Maybe a sample scan along with a photo of the same art?

Eliseu Gouveia
10-12-2017, 03:43 PM
I suspect a photo would be even worse. :)

sevans
10-12-2017, 11:41 PM
I have heard that a lot of pros scan their linework in at 1200dpi (bitmap or grayscale, cant remember). the dpi can be decreased later.

Eliseu Gouveia
10-13-2017, 05:20 AM
1200.... yikes! :blink:

Thanks, Sevans, I'm gonna give it a try.

DCdraw
10-13-2017, 10:56 AM
Hi, guys,

I wonder if you guys can share some of your wisdom, it's a subject that's been bothering me for years.
Whenever I finish a piece, be it pencils or inks and I scan it, what appears on the screen somehow loses that je ne sais quoi.

I take all the usual steps like ensuring maximum resolution, 300, 400, 600dpi, I tweak levels in Photoshop... nothing.
Lines appear as if I drew with a marker or something.
Thin lines made on a Rottring 0,2mm look like they were done with a 0,5, the line variation fades... maybe it's just my subconscient but it's always depressing.

For the last few years I got myself a MFC-9120CN, which is a pretty decent machine (I hope?) and still the result persists.
Between the paper and the screen, it feels like something is lost in translation.


Sounds like your scanning with the pre-packaged software that came with your scanner and the editing in PS, is that right? If so try scanning through PS directly and see what happens. Sounds like it could be an issue with your settings...maybe default your scanners settings and work from there...?
I don't think scanning at a higher dpi is going to help....and holy shit, 1200 dpi would cause my laptop to crash lol. Even 600 slows everything down for me.

B-McKinley
10-13-2017, 05:01 PM
Make sure that the scanner settings are all set to manual. It sounds like some sort of automatic image correction is tweaking the histogram. I would actually scan in color and then convert to grayscale or bitmap manually in Photoshop. Scanners think BW means text so it's likely trying to beef up thin lines that it thinks are small type.