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Just the basics please... - Adobe Photoshop Elements

I'm new to Elements and really not getting much of use in the help or tutorials. The state of A's technical writing is low. I am VERY familiar with drafting and graphics software so many of the tools look familiar. What I see as missing and hope someone of Infinite Wisdom can distill is: What are the basic tips for scanning and importing a photo image to elements then manipulating that image into a print? My scanner is capable of producing 170MB (and bigger) image files that slow the program to a crawl. Hours of work to resize /sharpen a ...

  1. #1

    Default Just the basics please...

    I'm new to Elements and really not getting much of use in the help or tutorials. The state of A's technical writing is low. I am VERY familiar with drafting and graphics software so many of the tools look familiar.

    What I see as missing and hope someone of Infinite Wisdom can distill is: What are the basic tips for scanning and importing a photo image to elements then manipulating that image into a print? My scanner is capable of producing 170MB (and bigger) image files that slow the program to a crawl. Hours of work to resize /sharpen a photo and get it to print on my photo printer - and it looks terrible. I'll learn all the gee-whiz features as I go (if ever), for now I need some pointers on just getting a scanned photo to size to a specified size and print(yes the printer works fine and otherwise prints great photos). Just the basics please.
    Raoul
    raoul Guest

  2. #2

    Default Re: Just the basics please...


    "raoul" <memberadobeforums.com> wrote in message
    news:1dea3565.-1WebX.la2eafNXanI...

    | What I see as missing and hope someone of Infinite Wisdom can distill is:
    What are the basic tips for scanning and importing a photo image to elements
    then manipulating that image into a print? My scanner is capable of
    producing 170MB (and bigger) image files that slow the program to a crawl.
    Hours of work to resize /sharpen a photo and get it to print on my photo
    printer - and it looks terrible. I'll learn all the gee-whiz features as I
    go (if ever), for now I need some pointers on just getting a scanned photo
    to size to a specified size and print(yes the printer works fine and
    otherwise prints great photos). Just the basics please.
    | Raoul

    You do not mention the name of scanner, or printer. That would help answer
    your questions.

    The basics of resolution, scaling and printing are explained in many
    different ways, but the result is the same for the end user. You have an
    original of fixed size. The scanner has different settings for sampling,
    such as 100 pixels per inch. Of course there are other settings, and you may
    not see this.

    Your scanner software probably has presets, which are dependent on the
    output device you select. For instance, the software may target a specific
    printer and resolution, and then give you a sampling rate that is not too
    low, and not too high. The software may re-adjust its settings when you do a
    preview scan.

    If you scan an 8" x 10" photo at 100 pixels per inch, the file size is 800
    pixels by 1000 pixels, and probably consumes at least 2 MB on your disk.

    I'll end my intro right there. It takes time to digest and internalize the
    concepts. I have a question for you. If you have an 8" x 10" color print,
    how much resolution should you sample? 100, 300, 600, 1200, or perhaps some
    other number?

    A reference that may help you can be found at:
    [url]http://www.scantips.com/basics01.html[/url].

    Ed



    Ed Wurster Guest

  3. #3

    Default Re: Just the basics please...

    The basics of scanning (pixel size/image size/output size/ppi/etc) are
    very well explained at Wayne Fulton's fine site:
    [url]http://www.scantips.com[/url]

    There is also an excellent scan/print calculator there to show you at
    what maximum ppi to scan for your intended output and the like.

    Highly recommended to understand the basics of pixel pushing.

    Equally valid info there for digcam images also, as pixels are pixels :-)

    Mac
    Mac McDougald Guest

  4. #4

    Default Re: Just the basics please...

    Should I assume you're already familiar with issues of image resolution in relation to printing? Maybe not, so I'll start there. And remember you're asking for "down and dirty" so I won't go into much detail about "whys".

    Most people printing on inkjet printers go for a range of between 150 to 300 ppi (pixels per inch.) Let's use 300 as our optimum, because that's pretty common, although I've gotten very good prints as low as 240ppi. And I mention this because when you're assessing the item you're going to scan, you need to be thinking about what you want to do with it once it's scanned and on your hard drive, and that will impact the resolution at which you scan.

    For example, if you are scanning old 35mm slides, which we'll call roughly 1 inch square, and you want to be able to get a good 4 X 4 print, you're going to have to scan at a resolution high enough to allow you to increase that image size without falling below your optimum 300ppi resolution. That would mean a scan at 1200ppi.

    If, however, you're scanning a 3 X 3 print and want to reprint it at the same size, you can scan at 300ppi.

    You'll also need to make adjustment in scanning resolution if you want to scan a 4 X 6 photo, then crop it down and print, say, only half of the picture. In that case, I'd scan at about 600ppi to assure myself of enough pixels to work with.

    You don't say what kind of scanner software you're using. Some of them can be accessed through Elements File>Import menu. If you have one like that, all you need to do is open Elements, access your scanner through File>Import, do your scan, and the image will open automatically in Elements.

    If you don't have a scanner supported by Elements, open your scanning software, determine the resolution at which you need to scan to give you the finished size you want, and then scan. You'll be asked to choose a location on your hard drive for saving that new image file. After you've done that, open Elements, use File>Open to navigate to the folder in which your scan was saved and select it. It will then open within Elements and you can do your editing.

    I'm a little unsure of what's going on when you say you spend a lot of time resizing and sharpening, only to have the print look bad. Could you go into a little more detail on that, please?

    This site is extremely good for getting information about scanning, so you might want to take a look at it.

    <http://www.scantips.com/>

    And this site has a scanning calculator, which is fast and helpful in figuring out what resolution you should be scanning at for a specific project.

    <http://www.image-access.net/calc/index.html>

    It's a little hard to know exactly what things would be most useful to you, so please look this over and then repost to let us know what you need more information on. We're really a friendly, helpful group here and want you to feel at home!
    Beth Haney Guest

  5. #5

    Default Re: Just the basics please...

    Raoul,

    For Windows...

    PSE is a color managed program. Though you can choose to run it in three modes (Edit>Color Settings); Full Color Management (Adobe RGB), limited CM (sRGB), or No CM, images onscreen within the program will always be viewed through your monitor profile. Could be best to try out 'No CM' first.

    If you have a CRT and have not created a custom profile for it using additional hardware...

    * Run the Adobe Gamma Utility in the Control Panel to calibrate your monitor and create a profile (first step in getting a good match between monitor and printout)

    if need advice;
    <http://www.computer-darkroom.com/ps7-colour/ps7_2.htm>
    (same for PSE as PS7)
    note: if you have a custom hardware-made profile already, run the utility, loading a copy of said profile, don't make any changes to it during utility and save at end of. Adobe Gamma Loader will load this profile when using program.
    * make sure your system has ample free disk space (defragmented) and tons of RAM.
    * open PSE, import Twain for scanner
    * scan at appropriate resolution for needs. A scan at 300 ppi will produce a good printout. If wanting to double printed size of original, scan at 600 ppi.
    * close scanner program
    * if scanned as 48 bit, PSE will reduce
    * Save>Save As, choose .psd format
    * reopen image and Edit>Duplicate
    * grab title bar of image, drag downwards and close original behind it
    * grab tab of 'Layers Palette' and drag out of well to permanently reside on right side of screen
    * double click image layer in palette, answer yes
    * right click layer >duplicate (unless your image is so huge your computer would struggle)
    * click on 'eye' icon of bottom layer to make invisible
    * click on dupe layer
    * Select>All
    * bottom of L.Palette, click on Ying-Yang symbol, choose Levels Adjustment
    * for each color channel in Levels Adj, (drop down arrow) not using composite default RGB; move highlight and shadow triangles to be just under beginning and end of data in histogram. Go back to RBG and adjust middle slider if desired. (Colors can be adjusted by moving any of three sliders in each color channel)
    * check for neutrality of white and black by getting dropper from toolbox and pulling 'Info' tab out of well
    * might want to use features in 'Hue and Saturation' adjustment layer (add with Ying-yang choice)
    * use selection tools in toolbox, magnifier glass will draw box on specific area to zoom in, ctrl and plus or minus signs increase/decrease image size on screen
    * can copy selected areas of image to new layer to edit independently (Ex: select>copy and paste to new layer>select>create Levels Adj layer
    * can sharpen with Filter>Unsharp Mask (small amount, large radius for global or larger amount and smaller radius for fine sharpening)
    * save image in stages as you edit
    * save in .psd format to preserve layers for future editing
    * to resize; Image>Resize>Image Size. Program will interpolate for upsizing if 'Resample' and 'Constrain' boxes are checked in dialog box, otherwise not.
    * Make appropriate settings in printer driver for media type etc...(with Epson) 'Same as Source' for destination output, under Advanced...Color Controls, Gamma 1.8, 1440 ppi works well for me
    * select small area of temporarily flattened image, paste on new layer, make all other layers invisible, print out this little section checking for WYSISYG
    * pull of 'History' tab from well, go back a few steps to before merging layers to return image to layered state

    HTH
    Nancy
    Nancy S Guest

  6. #6

    Default Re: Just the basics please...

    Wow, Nancy, you did good! :) Puts Mac and me to shame. :(
    Beth Haney Guest

  7. #7

    Default Re: Just the basics please...

    Nancy, that was certainly 'Elements in a Nutshell'!! Should be put on the
    FAQ for all to see!

    :-)

    Chuck

    p.s. Ying-Yang...???


    Chuck Snyder Guest

  8. #8

    Default Re: Just the basics please...

    Beth,

    I was just longer winded :)
    Nancy S Guest

  9. #9

    Default Re: Just the basics please...

    Beth/Nancy

    Bookmark and "Tips" files keep growing!!

    Thanks!

    Kyle
    Kyle White Guest

  10. #10

    Default Re: Just the basics please...


    Chuck Snyder Guest

  11. #11

    Default Re: Just the basics please...

    Nancy, you have a point there...!!

    :-)

    Chuck


    Chuck Snyder Guest

  12. #12

    Default Re: Just the basics please...

    Nancy, Huh? What I got out of that was; scan at low dpi (300) or so if I don't want to enlarge. Earlier post said scan at higher dpi (600) for enlarging-like from negs and slides. Remember, I just want to reliably get scanned photos to my printer with some resizing and basic editing - the result easily adjusted to it's 4x6 inche output. Layers, special effects, paintbrushes - no.

    My hardware: Epson 2400 flatbed, Printer HP100 (2400x1200 dpi) The epson twain feeds the scan directly to Adobe elements, and is capable of resolution to something like 3600 dpi.

    What is this 48 bit stuff? How does it effect image quality?
    Thanks,
    Raoul
    raoul Guest

  13. #13

    Default Re: Just the basics please...

    Raoul,

    Since you want images at about 300ppi for printing, to print at original's size, one would scan at 300ppi. If you want to print out your image twice as large as the original, you must scan at twice the resolution. (or make a tic in the scanner's driver for making the outcome 200%, same thing)

    I don't remember you saying if you were scanning slides or prints...

    For scanning slides or film, obviously no one would want a print out at about 1" x 1", so you must increase the scanning resolution tons (factor in the desired increase in print size over the tiny slide's size when figuring scanning resolution, in other words, for slides, scan at a very high resolution)

    Your scanner doesn't really have the capability to scan at 3600ppi, it's upper limit is 2400ppi. The OPTICAL res. is 2400ppi. Manufacturers like to impress people with high numbers to broadcast all over the box....if you set the scanner to scan at anything above 2400, it is increasing the file size with interpolation. This means that all the data is not from true, scanned pixels. It is 'guessing' to add more pixels to the file, they are fabricated by the scanner. The same thing can be accomplished in PSE with resizing if you have the "Resample" box checked, it is called Upsampling.

    It's nice if a scanner is capable of scanning at 48 bits, but try to find a program that can use it....not. But it is advantageous I think for it to do so even though image editing programs change the bit number in order to accept it. The better the scanner, the better your results will be. You have a decent scanner and should get good scans. PSE can do a great job with the scanned image.

    With image open in PSE;

    * Image>Resize>Image Size
    * type in 6 for the longest dimension of your image and let the other fill itself in
    * DO NOT have the 'Resample' box checked
    * depending on the aspect ratio of your scanned file, after resizing you may end up with say 6 x 4.5. (glance at what the res. now says, if it is at least 200ppi, better to be 300 ppi, you are good to go)
    * no problem with a 6 x 4.5 if you really need a 6x4...you need to crop a little off of one side
    * get rectangular marquee from toolbox
    * at top, where it says 'normal', use drop down to get 'fixed'
    * type in 4 and 6, respectively
    * click on your image
    * place cursor inside image and drag box to include desired material (that which is outside box will be discarded)
    * Image>Crop

    There you have a 4x6.

    I suggest you do some reading at
    <http://scantips.com>

    EDIT: if the res. shows as a decimal number after resizing, just backspace to delete it...printers don't understand decimals
    Nancy S Guest

  14. #14

    Default Re: Just the basics please...

    Nancy:
    OK I have the image sized and it is 1200 dpi. Now the issue is printing. I select page setup and select my HP photo printer, go to print preview and the image is the right size, but oriented wrong. The long axis of the image is on the short edge of the paper dimension. Clikn in the center and other help menu fluff doesn't work. I'm burning up paper. This has got to be the most difficult software since AutoCad.
    Raoul
    raoul Guest

  15. #15

    Default Re: Just the basics please...

    Raoul,

    WOW!! You have really scanned at an uneccassarily high resolution.
    Nancy S Guest

  16. #16

    Default Re: Just the basics please...

    Raoul,

    An image at 1200 ppi makes the file size huge to no advantage. I guess I didn't go a good job at explaining that you want to end up with a file, at the size you want, which is about 300 ppi.
    Nancy S Guest

  17. #17

    Default Re: Just the basics please...

    Raoul,

    Or maybe you forgot to set the printer driver paper choices to landscape or portrait???
    Nancy S Guest

  18. #18

    Default Re: Just the basics please...

    Raoul,

    There is a learning curve, but thought you would be familiar with the printer driver settings as you said you were "Very" experienced using other programs and I assumed this to mean that included printing.

    Just look on the 'Paper' tab in printer driver...change the orientation.
    Nancy S Guest

  19. #19

    Default Re: Just the basics please...

    The desktop window in Element says 1200.25 pixels per inch. The print window that the HP printer brings up says 60 dpi. The image was scanned at 600 dpi resolution for a 25 Mb file size going into Element. Yikes. Saved, it shows up as a .bmp 23Mb file. Saved to JPEG (maximum) it is 4.33MB. I can't see a spits worth of difference (on screen) between them. And none of this adds up.

    OK, I just rotated the image on the "canvas" to make it fit the print format in print preview. Got it to print (nice result). If I set up the page in "page setup..." for my print format (it only prints one paper [4x6] in one direction) shouldn't Element orient the image? Sorry for all the questions, but I can not make sense of the Adobe help info.
    Raoul.
    raoul Guest

  20. #20

    Default Re: Just the basics please...

    Raoul, I think you're just confused and frustrated by now. Post a specific "task" you want to accomplish. It'll be easier for us if we can help you through step-by-step. As it is, we're guessing about what size image you're scanning, what kind of cropping - if any - you're doing during the editing stage, and the size print you want to get out of that printer. Instructions just get convoluted and confusing when we have to take "contingencies" into account.

    Once you make it through the whole sequence one time you'll be fine. We just gotta get you a success!
    Beth Haney Guest

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