pixels per inch: measure of scan or INPUT resolution (often confusingly called dpi instead)

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1 HOW A SCANNER WORKS; INPUT & OUTPUT A scanner has a sensor array that runs the width of the scanner and is one pixel deep. As the carriage moves, it scans a band wide enough to make one line of pixels at a time. The scanner picks up the varying intensities of light from the image and records these as values of electrical current which are then converted into binary data. In color scanning, the scanner head separates each color sensed into red, green, and blue components and converts each of these 3 colors to its own pixel value. When the image is shown on screen, the 3 values are mapped to the 3 different phosphors that make up each pixel on the monitor screen. This is done either on one pass or, on better scanners, 3 separate passes. RESOLUTION bitmap/raster vs. vector: pixels vs. curves. Bitmap means raster, but bitmap is now more generally restricted to 1-bit images (black/white). pixels per inch: measure of scan or INPUT resolution (often confusingly called dpi instead) dots per inch: resolution of OUTPUT device (e.g. printer) standard resolution settings include: dpi: monitors 300 dpi: many old laser and inkjet printers 600 dpi: newer laser printers 360, 720 dpi: recent laser/inkjet printers 1270 dpi: linos and negatives for standard commercial printing 2540 dpi: top-quality linos and negatives for high-end commercial printing lines per inch: measure of rulings for SCREENS used in printing, both desktop and professional printing. standard line screens include: 100 lpi: quick offset shops; often use cardboard master and have limited run (under 500) 150 lpi: good offset printing; eg. most magazines, catalogs 300 lpi: art books 600 lpi: high-end art books

2 Example: Say your laser printer prints at 300 dots per inch using a 60 lines-per-inch screen. Imagine a 60 x 60 grid placed over your image. The holes in this imaginary grid each correspond to one blob of ink. The righthand image below shows a small area of these blobs of ink. Notice that these blobs are only black and white, no grays. Gray is an optical illusion, created because the eye cannot resolve the individual blobs of ink and so sees them blurred together with the white of the paper into continuous shades of gray, Where the blobs are very small, with lots of white paper showing between, we see light gray. Where they are large and merge together, we see black. At left, we see three of these blobs blown up to demonstrate how each one is created from a small and variable cluster of tiny ink dots. If we divide the 300 total dots the printer is capable of outputting in each linear inch by the 60 lines per inch, we get 5 dots. But since it s a two-dimensional grid, each blob is actually composed of 5 dots across by 5 dots down. (Note: the example at left above actually shows a different resolution; this is just an example.) The smallest blob has 1 dot of black ink and is very light gray. The largest blob of ink is a cluster of 25 dots of black ink (5x5) and is black. In between are the other shades of gray, plus white, for a total of 26 tones. Blobs are used rather than neat little squares because it turns out they blend together better optically and are much easier to produce, since ink spreads slightly when it strikes paper. Here s another example: Let s say we are printing still at 300 dots per inch, but this time with a 100 lines-per-inch screen. Dividing the 300 total dots by the 100 lines, we get 3 dots. But since it s two dimensional, 3 dots across by 3 dots = 9 shades of gray and black, plus white = 10 shades total. In the first case, there are more subtle effects from the more numerous tones (26 vs. 10), but there are fewer lines per inch (60 vs 100) and thus larger blobs of ink in each inch, making a coarser visual effect. At 60 lines per inch, the individual blobs will probably be visible, as with bad newspaper halftone photos. As you can see from this, it s a bit tricky to get both fine resolution (>100 lines per inch) and an adequate number of gray tones (>25). It s for this reason that commercial

3 offset printers have very high dpi compared to desktop printers, on the order of 2400 dpi. At 2400 dpi, with a 300-line screen, it is possible to have 8x8 = 64 gray and black tones, plus white. GRAYS High line rulings mean sharper images but fewer grays. # grays = 1 + [printer res in dpi / line screen in lpi] squared Example: 300 dpi printer, 60 lpi screen= 26 grays Example: 300 dpi printer, 100 lpi screen= 10 grays Example: 1270 dpi printer, 100 lpi screen= 145 grays 1.5 RULE Rule of thumb: scan resolution in dpi = 2x desired lpi Example: if print using 150 lpi screen, scan at 300 dpi Best rule: lpi x dimension x 1.5 = scan resolution Example: 100 lpi screen x 4.5 inches high (original/repro) x 1.5 = 675 pixels high 100 lpi screen x 6 inches high x 1.5 = 900 pixels high SCALING When size is set to 100%, image is scanned at actual size in whatever resolution. Example: a 1-inch square image scanned at 200 ppi = 200 pixels x 200 pixels When size is set to 200% image is enlarged FOUR times Example: a 1-inch square image scanned at 200 ppi and 200% is the same as a 1-inchsquare image scanned at 400 ppi and 100% = 400 pixels x 400 pixels Always scale before scanning when possible. If unsure of final dimension of work, try to scan larger as it usually works better to downscale later. COLOR & BIT DEPTH BITS GRAYS COLORS k k k M M

4 Scanners take in data as RGB values. Many printers will print in either RGB or CMYK mode, and different images will look better in one mode or another. Try both. Difference between RGB, CMYK, Grayscale, Bitmap HALFTONES Best scans come from, in order: [transparencies], photographs, original flat art, halftones. Halftones usually acquire a moire pattern from scanning. TYPE OF WORK On most scanners you can set the type of original: Line art: all drawings that use black and white only. If there is ANY gray, it is: Grayscale: all works that uses only black, white, and gray. Also for color originals that will be printed in black&white. Color: all work with any color; and black&white images that will be collaged with color images. GAMMA Try to do basic gamma correction before scanning, especially if scanner is way off. May have to do some afterwards in any case; the less the better. 2-D IMAGE FILE FORMATS NB: Photoshop opens & works with all of the below TYPE EXTENSION MEANS USE Photoshop (native).psd Photoshop document use for: Photoshop, Painter master files. Uncompressed format. opens in: Photoshop, Painter has layers JPEG.jpg,.jpeg joint photographic experts group GIF.gif graphic image file format PNG.png portable network widely used for: web pages; digital prints; slideshows, etc. 24- bit only. Lossy compressed format. use for: InDesign, websites, PowerPoint. use for: web pages; best for flat cartoon-style art and line art. 8-bit only. CompuServe GIF; GIF89a. can also use for anim. Lossy compressed format. use for: web. multiple bit depths (8, 24, 32), cross-platform, better

5 graphics TIFF.tif,.tiff tagged image file format EPS.eps encapsulated PostScript interlacing, alpha channel possibilities. introduced by Aldus use for: some files headed for commercial offset printing. normally includes 8-bit PICT preview. Can be compressed or uncomporessed. Compression is lossless (LZW) preferred by: Quark, PageMaker. use for: files headed for commercial offset printing. most common vector (scalable) format. Much used for logos. EPS is a reliable and powerful objectoriented page-description language for printing; some EPS files may now include bitmaps (e.g. Illustrator files). normally includes 8-bit preview. opens in: DTP apps (import or save as), Ill, FH. changes to raster in PS. Illustrator/ASCII eps.ai native Illustrator file format use for: files headed for PC or between Mac and PC opens in: Ill, FH PICT.pic,.pict common but unreliable Mac format from earliest days of Macs; some PC software supports it. two types: PICT (grayscale), PICT2 (color) not used much anymore. formerly used for rawing apps (Painter, MacDraw, ClarisDraw, CorelDraw); Premiere; Slideshow; SimpleText, MSWord, Quark previews; Ill. & Fontog. templates; Mac OS. PDF.pdf portable widely used cross-platform

6 document format format, especially for printing. Many kinds of word-processing and DTP software support pdf. Need Distiller to make high-end versions. opens in: Adobe Acrobat, Preview RAW.raw lightly compressed image format supported by recent digital cameras and recent imageprocessing software Bitmap MacPaint. bmp.mpt obsolete

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