Me and the Scanner at High Noon

Posted: November 22, 2010 in Updates from the Outlaw
Tags: , ,

Back home, computer all fixed, it is time to get back to work on the movie.

If you will recall, I was working on drawings for the opening credits. But I’ve been sidetracked. I will tell you why. Not because I am making excuses (though I am) and not because I am feeling sheepish about how long this is taking ( though I do) but because you might find yourself assembling drawing into a layered image for opening credits and you will benefit from my experience (not likely (shut up, parentheticals) make me (why you little…) that’s what I thought) Um, he he.

What happened was this. I scanned drawing using a standard scanner attached to a regular computer. The drawing were done on paper that is 11″x18″, and the scanner had a 8.5″x11″ tray. So I scanned one half, flipped the page and scanned the other half. That left the middle inch un-scanned. So I then arranged an awkward middle page scan that was skewed, since I couldn’t square it up in the corner.

When I got the images into Photoshop, I tweaked and rotated and transformed like crazy, and could not get my scans to line up. If the bottom of the image worked, the top didn’t. Why? How could this be? Why didn’t rotating the image, even by hundredths of degree at a time work?

Take a piece of paper and put it on a table. Put your finger in the middle and spin it. Now put your finger in a corner and spin it. Oops. It’s different, ain’t it. My rotation wasn’t working because I was spinning around the center of the image, which wasn’t how I spinned the pages as I scanned them. Stupid!

In addition to this, I scanned the pages at 600 dpi. What I was thinking was that I wanted a high quality image to work with. What happened is that my images, transfered into video, were a thousand times too big.

You see, in high quality printing, dots per inch can go into the thousands. But in video, dots per inch are really pixels per inch, and we don’t bother to measure those at all ( though web is 72). What we do in video is count all the pixels down the side and across the top of the image and get 720×480. Or in true high def, 1080 x 1920. This means two things: 1. If you buy a big screen high def TV, you are degrading your image. It doesn’t get more pixels because it’s bigger, it just spreads the pixels you do get farther. and 2. your cell phone probably takes pictures at a higher resolution than high def.

So at 600 dpi, I needed to scan something two inches tall to fit it in to high def. And I already told you how big the paper was. To refresh your memory, not two inches.

And since changing the resolution so drastically would destroy my image quality, I am opting to rescan.

So there you have it. The reason the credits are still not done. This doesn’t make me a bad person. Just a frustrated one.

In other news, I just put my dog on a diet. I bought her low fat food that she hates, and stopped sharing my cheese with her. That might actually make me a bad person.

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