Improving scanned images (CD covers)

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by c-Row, Mar 25, 2008.

  1. macrumors 65816


    Jan 10, 2006
    Now that I got almost every CD I own added to iTunes, I am in the process of scanning covers from the original inlays. Yes, downloading artwork from iTunes is nice and all, but not all images are 600x600, others are blurry, then there's the odd album for which I can't find an image anywhere... there are dozens of reasons, really.

    However, due to the way CD covers are usually printed, I don't got nice, even coloured areas, but instead the rasterization from the printing is visible (glossy covers being an exception of course). I am scanning at 300dpi, slightly reducing the final image to 1250x1250, keeping the images at a good size (imho) for full screen coverflow or FrontRow-ing.

    Do you have any good tips or hints on how to improve these images in either Photoshop (office) or Pixelmator (home)? Preferably without having to scan them again... ;)

    It's a bit hard to describe, but I hope you understand what the problem is. If anything else fails, I could upload an image as an example.
  2. Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    Depending on your scanning software, half-toning can sometimes be reduced at the scanning stage.

    If the scans are already done, a little bit of Surface Blur or Smart Blur can reduce some of it, usually fading the filter straight after you've applied it. Experimenting here is the trick so as to not go overboard.

    Menu: Edit>Fade...

    There are some plugins out there, but a quick Google only bought up Windows ones.
  3. macrumors 68000


    Nov 11, 2004
    I find that Gaussian Blur at 1.1 pixels does a good job of getting rid of the printing dots with out losing clarity.
  4. macrumors 6502


    Sep 11, 2007
    Amsterdam, NY
    What you are experiencing is the dot pattern laid down by offset printing. Your scanner software should have a de-screening feature that will help eliminate any accompanying moiré artifacts.
  5. macrumors 68040


    Nov 17, 2007
    das Fort
    A lot of times if you scan at a higher resolution (say, 600 dpi) you can make the half-toning all but disappear when you shrink it down after the fact.

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