How to Scan Large Artwork? Make It Digital Using This Guide

how to scan large artwork

Regular home scanners only have the capability to scan up to A4 sizes. When it comes to artwork, though, A4 is not always the standard. In order to scan artwork that is large, you may have to take extra steps and work just a little harder because we understand that large scanners are particularly expensive.

Why must we scan artwork?

When we create beautiful designs, why can’t we just showcase those? Why do we have to scan them?

It is for the simple reason of convenience. When we want to showcase our work or share our portfolio, carrying all of it with us does not make sense. Also, with online marketing taking the driver’s seat, we cannot give it a miss. Digitization is feasible and quick, enabling us to comfortably spread the word about our talents without having to go the extra mile.

That’s why we advise that you learn how to scan large artwork.

Why must we not use cameras?

A camera seems like a great option because we don’t have to spend extra dollars to buy a new camera – we all have one already! However, when you compromise like this, we lose detailing and resolution, which are very crucial when it comes to artwork. If the scanned copy does not do justice to our work, what’s the point?

If we can’t afford to buy the right scanner, we must rent one or find shops that can do it for you. There are quite a few that we can locate with ease. However, if you are a professional artist and often make large designs, it is a good idea to invest in a scanner despite the price.
Choosing the right scanner for large artwork
Numerous large format scanners are available in the market for various purposes. You will see differences in optical resolution, the capability of accommodating different types of artwork, illumination, editing options, and so on.

Depending on what type of artist you are and the kind of pieces you create you may compare options and pick out the best. Remember, since they are expensive, you must do your homework before making a choice.

Choosing the right scanner for large artwork

Numerous large format scanners are available in the market for various purposes. You will see differences in optical resolution, the capability of accommodating different types of artwork, illumination, editing options, and so on.

Depending on what type of artist you are and the kind of pieces you create you may compare options and pick out the best. Remember, since they are expensive, you must do your homework before making a choice.

What if my artwork does not fit in my scanner?

Every scanner comes with a manual to help you through the process of scanning artwork. Following these steps will make things very easy for you. While a few steps may be different based on the scanner, the bulk is similar. Let’s take a look:

  1. Set the scanner up by ensuring that it is connected to your system.
  2. Now, download and install the necessary software. A few scanners may come with software CDs, but most can be downloaded online.
  3. Before scanning, there are a few things you should remember such as cleaning the glass of the scanner to ensure it has no dust or particles on it.
  4. Now, carefully and gently place the artwork on the scanner face down. The area you want to print should be parallel to the scanner’s edges.
  5. Good scanners come with transparent sleeves to protect your original copies of artwork as they go through the scanner. Don’t worry; this will not hamper the quality of the scan. Place the artwork in the sleeve and feed it to the scanner.
  6. You may now need to press the scan button on your scanner, or you may need to import on your desktop. Depending on your system, you may take either step. On your PC, you should see the preview of your artwork after this.
  7. If you see any issues with the preview of the improper placement of the artwork, readjust the way you placed your artwork in the scanner and try again. Once you are okay with the way it is appearing, use tools in the preview to make basic edits such as cropping or trimming. For these changes, you don’t have to rescan.
  8. Scanners let you decide whether you want a black and white scan or a colored scan. Choose the option according to your preferences. For those who would like to use Photoshop or any similar editing software on their artwork, color is the way to go. Otherwise, just pick a grey scale for scanning.
  9. Now your pixels need a file size. For this, you need to alter the resolution. This differs for printing purposes and web sharing purposes. For the prior, 300 pixels per inch should do but for the latter, 900 pixels.
  10. Adjust or edit the scan based on your preferences and scan!
  11. Save the scan as PCX, BMP, or TIFF.

How to scan large artwork

For some sizes of artwork, even large scanners may not be enough. Thankfully, there is a way to do this. Keep in mind that it may be slightly tedious, but your artwork is definitely worth it!

  1. Mentally divide your artwork into four quarters and scan each of them separately. You must do this at 3000 dpi or more, ensuring that the corners and the scanner edges are perfectly aligned. Depending on your scanner, you may need more than 4 scans.
  2. Open Photoshop and create a new file, which is at least 10 cm larger than your entire artwork.
  3. Now, open all the pieces of scans of your artwork. You will see that a few looks out of place or you just feel like you didn’t scan properly because they won’t align! That’s normal. Continue opening all them and then we will position them better.
  4. Check the layers, press layer 2 and reduce its opacity by half. This will help you see the top layer clearly enough to position the pieces properly. After this, you can bring the opacity back to 100%.
  5. Stay on layer 2 and select the Eraser and erase the overlapping layer. This will take a lot of time because it is easy to go overboard. Be patient and erase all the scans until you like what you are seeing.

There you go! All you need is the right equipment and technique to digitize your masterpieces! Since large artwork takes time, we advise that you stay persistent through the end. The result will make an effort worth it, trust us!

Which is your favorite scanner for large artwork and what is the process you follow? Do tell us in the comments section.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*