Read an Excerpt
Chapter 6: Modifying the Image
Stuff covered here
- Using the scanning program
- Changing image size and orientation
- Adjusting the brightness and contrast and applying filters
- Using your imaging-editing software
- Cropping, rotating, and resizing the image
- Adding text to an image
- Using the clone tool
- Touching up and editing
Scanning is a lot more complex than using a photocopier, which is a good thing. Not every scan is merely a copy of an original. No, thanks to the power and versatility of your computer, you can improve upon the original. This can be done in two places: in the scanning program itself and in your imaging software.
This chapter covers modifying the images you scan. The techniques and examples show you how useful it can be to adjust, touch up, or improve your image before or after it's scanned.
Some Scanning Tricks and TipsYour scanning program allows you to do more than just scan. Already this book has shown you how to preview, magnify, select, and scan an image. Chapter 5 dealt with selecting resolution and color depth, which is also a function of the scanning program. Beyond that, most scanning programs let you do a few other things to an image before it's transferred to the imaging software for further touch-ups.
Using your scanning program, you can:
- Change an image's size
- Rotate or flip the image
- Change the contrast or brightness or adjust color levels
- Apply a filter
There are probably other tricks you can perform in the scanning program as well. The following sections go into detail on why and how you would accomplish these tricks. Note that not every scanning program is capable of these tricks. (Not to worry; nearly all the imaging or photo-editing programs available can easily handle these tasks.)
Running Your Scanning ProgramBefore you discover what wonders your scanning program is capable of, you'll need to start that program.
Activate the Scanning Program
- Run your imaging or photo-editing software.
Popular imaging programs are listed in Chapter 1. Most likely you have either Adobe PhotoDeluxe or Photoshop, though other applications can also work with a scanner.
You must run the imaging software before you can scan. Imaging software merely opens the door to the scanning program, which is where the actual scanning takes place. Refer to Chapter 4 for a review of how to operate your scanning program.
- Activate the scanning program.
You should be able to use a command on the File menu to do this, but in some programs you need to click a button on a toolbar. (See Chapter 4.)
- Switch your scanning program to advanced mode.
If you've been using beginner mode to scan, you should switch to advanced mode now. Clicking an Advanced or More Options button should do the trick.
If your scanning program lacks an advanced mode, that's fine. It probably has all the options you need, although be sure to check for optional menu items or pop-up buttons that may display more information.
Now you're ready to scan an image and work through the next few sections in this chapter. I'm assuming your scanning program is up on the screen and that you're familiar with its basic operation, as covered earlier in this book.
Changing the Image SizeYour scanning program may be blessed with options for reducing or enlarging the image as it's scanned. Remember that the image is normally rendered at its actual size; scanning a 5-inch-by-5-inch original results in an image that is the same size. However, you can change that size within the scanning program.
For example, suppose you're scanning in a 5-by-3 photograph to post on your Web page. You don't want the image to be that large on the Web page, although half that size would be OK. Within your scanning program, you can set the scale to 50 percent.
Change the Size of an Image
- Place an image to be scanned in the scanner.
- Click the Preview button to preview the image.
The image should appear in the scanning program, ready for action.
- Reduce the image's size by half (50 percent).
In the VistaScan program, this is done by selecting 50 percent from the drop-down list, as shown in Figure 6-1. Other scanning programs may have a drop-down list, slider, or text box in which you type the scale for reducing or enlarging the image.
Note that you may not see the image physically change size. Why? Because you're looking at a preview of the image as it sits in your scanner. You'll see only the smaller (or larger) image after it's scanned and transferred into the imaging software...