Illustration scans

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DP Official Documentation - Content Providing and Project Management
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The illustration scans are the scans of the illustrations in the book. They will be used by the PPer to produce the images for the illustrated html version.

  • Illustration scans should be uploaded at the same time as the page scans, before the project enters the rounds
  • They will be archived, together with the page scans and the proofed and formatted text, when the project has been posted to PG
  • They should have the smallest file size that is consistent with supplying high quality images for archiving and PPing.
  • If they are pngs, please run pngcrush or a similar utility on them before uploading.
  • Include a cover image if the scanset provides one; provide a high-res image of the title page, either instead or in addition, if one is available, for possible use in creating a custom cover.

When preparing them, the CP and PM should bear the following points in mind:

  • If harvesting, download higher resolution images when possible. If the images are coming from an online source, check harvesting high-resolution images to see if there are tips for locating the best images to use at the site in question.
  • Scan at around 400 dpi, grayscale or color. For many illustrations, anything over 400 dpi is overkill. But for high-quality illustrations, extra resolution (up to 600 dpi at times) is worth preserving. When in doubt, it's better to err on the side of quality.
  • For photographs, find the "descreen" setting on your scanner, and use it. Descreening is defined as "Removal of the half-tone dots seen in e.g. reproductions of photographs." If it can be done in hardware, it should be; it'll save the image preparers a bunch of time. But if you look and look and your scanner just won't do it, that's okay--scan at 600 dpi, and the image preparers can handle it. For line art and drawings, do NOT use descreening.
  • Find the "color correction" setting on your scanner, and make sure you're not using it. It's better to do this manually, later in the process. You don't need to be the one who does it.
  • Crop the image. Uncropped images, obviously, waste space. But be sure to leave a small border around the image, so we can see how far off-white the paper is. This helps improve the quality of the image later on. If the illustration has a caption, please leave it with the image for the high resolution version.
  • Deskewing images is optional. If you're not confident of your ability to rotate the image properly, then it's better to leave the archival image alone. It's common for scanned images to be a fraction of a degree off level. If you can measure the amount of skew and rotate the image so it's perfectly square, it will save the image processors time later on. However, each time you rotate the image, it does degrade the image quality slightly, so it's best not to do it more than once. (So if you deskew by 4 degrees, and see that it should have been 6 degrees, do NOT deskew again 2 more degrees. Instead, undo or revert back to your original image, and deskew once by 6 degrees.)
  • Level adjustment is optional. When you scan, you get a range of colors, from not-quite-white to not-quite-black. The Wiki article, Guide to Image Processing, has instructions for GIMP and Photoshop, telling you how to adjust the image so not-quite-white becomes white and not-quite-black becomes black. This can dramatically improve image quality and reduce file size. It may also be easier for the Content Provider to do, since he can immediately see if any images need rescanning.
  • Don't let these detailed instructions scare you into avoiding illustrated books altogether. Remember that many of the instructions are optional. We'd much rather have good scans that need some work that not have the scans at all.
  • If you do any processing of the image other than cropping, please upload the completely "raw" version of the scan as well. Hopefully we'll never need to go back to the original scan, but if anything did go wrong with any of the steps, then going back to the original is vastly easier than trying to work with the processed image.
  • Naming. When the files are uploaded to the site alongside the project, names should contain only lower case letters, numbers, "-", "_" and the one "." between the filename and the extension (and no spaces).
Within the above constraints, there is no "one right naming convention" that is required. However, it is strongly recommended, where possible to include the physical page number as part of the filename. For example, i_201.jpg would be the illustration that is on physical page number 201 (which might be 209.png). Following this convention when preparing images may save a lot of renaming later (for example, if the project is discovered later to have missing pages)!
To comment or request edits to this page, please contact Monicas wicked stepmother or DACSoft.

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