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Cover Scanning Tips

Here are some general scanning tips that have proven to yield the best results.

  • Scan in at least 200 - 300 DPI.
  • If you have a descreening option to your scanning software, set it to "Magazine" or 150 LPI.
  • Set the scanner software so that blacks are blacks and whites are whites. This is usually called "Levels" and is very important to ensure that the image is scanned properly.
  • Don't make any corrections such as color, sharpening, filters, contrast, etc.
  • When scanning a case cover (keep case, jewel case, etc.), please remove it from the case before scanning.
  • When scanning media, use a white piece of printer paper behind the disc/cartridge to create a white background.
  • Once the image is scanned, use a paint program such as Paint Shop Pro or Photoshop to align the image straight up/down. Try picking a straight line on the image and line it up with the cropping lines. (In Photoshop, you can use the Ruler tool to trace a line on the scanned image, then go to Image- > Rotate -> Arbitrary and the correct rotation angle will automatically be input for you, calculated from the ruler measurement.)
  • Once the image is aligned, crop the image so only the desired area is shown. For example, on a Keep Case game cover, crop so that the spine does not show at all. On a disc, crop so that a little bit outside of the disc's edge is shown, leaving a little bit of a white border.
  • Do not resize the scanned image down to a set size; we would like the actual optical scan resolution. Resizing introduces artifacts when shrinking, and doesn't add detail when expanding.
  • Keep the image uncompressed during scanning and editing until the final conversion to JPG for the best quality.
  • After scanning a Keep Case cover, you must split them into a Front and Back cover, do not include any part of the spine (middle portion).

    Detailed How To prepare scanned covers using Macromedia Fireworks MX.