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The Chip Board Archive 01

The best way to scan a chip (LONG)

Hi Mark,

I'll pass along some thoughts on scanning in response to your post. There are also a couple of threads in the archives of this b.b. that you might want to search for and read.

Glass is harder that any chip material. You needn't worry about scratching it.

Any plastic you put between the chip and the scanner has the potential to cause reflections. That said, I scan lots of chips in plastic pages as it's a hassle to take them out and put them back. Using the 30 pocket pages, the plastic over the chip is stretched pretty flat and any glare or reflection is usually outside the image of the chip.

Your monitor will not resolve any higher than about 75 dots per inch. Unless you are going to print on a high resolution printer, you are wasting disk space and unnecessarily increasing the time for an image to load over the Internet to use higher scan resolutions.

To increase the "apparent" resolution of your monitor, you can scan at double size and stay at 75 dpi. That's what I do on most chips you'll see displayed on this b.b. File sizes are typically about 50-75KB.

Always use one of the 'compressed' file formats like jpg or gif. If you store or post images in bitmat (BMP) format you unnecessarily increase the size of the files and resulting load times. jpg typically compresses the files by a factor of 2 or 3. You select the storage format from the software you use to process the image after scanning.

256 colors if fine for monitor displays. More colors are useful only for publication quality printers.

To save time when you have multiple chips to scan, scan as many as you can cram on the glass. If you use an editing program like Adobe Photodeluxe, you can then use the "CUT" feature to clip the chips one by one out of the raw scan and make individual files out of them.

Always use the "Sharpen" feature on a scan. Again this is something that most picture editor programs provide and it makes a great difference in the presentation of things with fine detail like chips. You may even find that applying sharpen more than once enhances things, although at some point, you bring out things you don't want to see, like the surface texture on a Chipco.

Another useful feature of the editing program is to be able to "select" particular areas of a scan to operate on. You can pick different kinds of "tools" for selecting areas; if you pick a circle, you can select just the round chip. To eliminate the distracting background or shadow around a chip, use the circle tool to select the chip, use the "invert" function to select everything that's not inside the chip image, and then "cut". You now have an image consisting of only the chip. If you superimpose this on another picture, or on a background on your web page, the area around the chip is transparent and you will see the background through it.

You can also select just a single chip from a page of chips using this technique. Sometimes a dark chip will not be readable and by selecting only this one, you can use the editor to 'lighten' it while leaving the other chips on the page as they are.

If you don't like the light or dark background you get from the inside of your scanner's lid, remember you can lay something over the chips when you scan. Some people use black, some white, and some colors.

Regarding your question of how to get an image into a note on this bb, remember that you do this by typing the URL (Universal Resource Locator) or address of the image on the web into the box called "Optional Image URL" just below the area where you type your text. This means, of course, that you have to move a copy of your scanned image from the disk drive on your PC to a disk drive that is permanently connected to the Internet. For most people, this means moving it to the piece of disk space that your ISP has provided for your personal web page. How this is done depends on your particular ISP's procedures, but the easiest I've found is to use a public domain program like WSFTP95. This program lets you see directories of your disk and your ISP's disk at the same time, and transfers are just a matter of pointing and clicking.

Let me know if I can help with any specific questions you might have.

DonL

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HELP! What's the best way to scan a chip?
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The best way to scan a chip (LONG)
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