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Old 03-29-2006, 11:59 AM   #1
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 9,216
Default scanning & working with written text

A short time ago, KT posted questions about scanning written text. I had suggested that she scan in RGB mode and then use Photoshop's Channel Mixer to get the best image.

I have recently been working on collaging some old family photos as a gift for my niece and some of the photos either had writing on the front and/or the back.

One of them had writing that was barely legible--there's a "Pedro" there in the upper left hand corner:

Another had a lot of extraneous blobs of old ink and other odds and ends of useless stuff:

I had scanned them RGB at 600ppi/dpi at 150%. I used Channel Mixer with the monochrome option to get the best mix of channels to get the best visibility of the text. I cloned out the extraneous numbers and garbage and then added sepia toning via:

1. Image > Mode > Greyscale

2. Image > Mode > Duotone (using a custom duotone of Ink1=EB8B23, Ink2=000000)

3. Image > Mode > RGB

4. Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer with Saturation=40

This looked pretty good but I thought I might be able to make it better.

I used Magic Wand (Tolerance = 15, Contiguous checkmarked) to select as many of individual letters as I could and then when into Quick Mask and refined the mask (worked at 200% zoom).

With this nicely refined mask loaded, I did a ctrl-J (cmd-J) to place the selection on a new layer and then changed this new layer's blending mode to "Multiply" and here's the result:

"Pedro" is now visible--I used the entire image in my collage:

and then these two:

The first one of these I did using Magic Wand took me a bit of time but once I got the hang of it, the last two didn't take me more than about 20 minutes...

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