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Old 30 August 2010, 16:52   #1
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Hints & Tips - Magazine Page Removal & Best Reproduction

There are generally only two methods of reproducing magazine pages

  • Flatbed scanner
  • Digital camera
  • Photoshop or equivalent software

I’ll now explain how to get the best results from your equipment starting with :-

Clean removal of Magazine pages (Glued Spine)
From my own experiences, removing pages from this type of magazine is by far the hardest. Firstly you’ll need a scalpel, or a very sharp hobby knife and some patience.

  • Open the magazine to the page you want to remove, gently hold the two halves of the magazine (all pages) and pull them outwards so you can clearly see the centre of the magazine.
  • Hold the scalpel (knife) at about 45 degrees and gently cut between the two pages. You’ll find that you are cutting the glue that holds the page to the spine. Flip the page over, pulling the two halves apart and repeat this process.
  • This is the tricky bit, make sure the magazine is on a hard and flat surface, the page you are wanting to remove is on the right hand side of the magazine, place your whole hand over that page and gently try and slide the page out from top to bottom. All being well, you should have your perfectly removed page, if it’s a little stubborn, then repeat the above process until you can remove it.

Flatbed Scanner
The standard DPI of a magazine is 150dpi, because of this, you will need to make sure you set your scanner to 300dpi, whatever the dpi of a mag or newspaper (if known), you must always double the initial dpi. Anything less and you’re going to end up with terrible interference, which we call the moiré interference pattern. The greater the scanning dpi (always double the previous number) the less moiré interference pattern you will get.

Although this method will reduce the moiré interference pattern, sometimes it will not remove it completely and therefore you will need to use a descreen filter. These filters are being built in to scanners, or incorporated within the software, these days, but if you’re unfortunate to own an old scanner then you’ll require either a descreen utility that’ll work with your scanner, or the descreen Photoshop plugin (http://www.descreen.net/eng/soft/descreen/descreen.htm).

Digital Camera
By far, this is probably the best method of reproduction, as you don’t get the moiré interference pattern, so long as you follow a set of simple rules.

Things you’ll need

  • Digital Camera with zoom capabilities
  • Tripod
  • Card reader
  • A clip frame which is larger than the page and is of glass and not Perspex/plastic
  • Tape
  • A large flat piece of matt black card

Place all the equipment into a room with a good source of daylight but not strong sunlight. Mount your camera onto a tripod facing downwards at a slight angle, around 15 degrees, at around 5ft from the floor. Set the camera to it’s smallest aperture, say f11 (which is the highest number). Switch off the Vibration reduction if the camera has one, switch off the auto flash if your camera has one and set the cameras timer function to around 3 seconds.

Get the clip frame and remove all the clips, tape the glass to the back on one edge only, so it’ll act like a hinge. Make sure the glass is dust free on both sides by using one of these microfiber cloths, place the page under the glass and close it. Adjust the position of the frame so the page is in the centre of the viewfinder. And zoom in until the page nearly fits the cameras frame. Position the matt black card behind the clip frame on the floor vertically and angle it towards the camera and tripod until all reflections have been eliminated, but not too far so it’ll be seen through the viewfinder. Press the shutter release to first pressure until focus is achieved and then continue pressing until the camera starts to take the picture using the 3 second countdown. Let go of the camera and wait until the picture has been taken.

Measure the actual page and create a psd file this size leaving it open in Photoshop. Load the image from the camera into Photoshop, straighten the page and then crop the image, using perspective, to correct the images real perspective. Drag the magazine page over into the other file you created and stretch or shrink (preferred) the page to fit. Using curves select the black point on the image and do the same with the white point, this will brighten up the colours and hopefully present you with something almost identical.

Now your image may have some noise depending on the ISO setting of the camera, you may need to run a plugin like neat image to remove it (Photoshop's noise reduction is not ideal and tends to harm the overall image). This product is not free, but it’s certainly worth a look and can be found here http://www.neatimage.com/

I think that's about everything I can contribute, for now, but I may update this now and again from my ongoing experiences

Other ideas, methods and experiences are very welcome, just post away.
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