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The Art of Scanning


Wide Format Scanners Safely Capture Fine Art


By Amber E. Watson


Part 2 of 2


Part one of this series discussed speed and other trends found with wide format scanners in architecture, engineering, and consulting; computer aided drawing; and geographical information service markets. In part two, we look at how wide format scanners provide accurate, high-quality images, as well as safe archiving options for fine art reproduction.


Quality and Color Accuracy

Wide format scanners scan works of art, posters, photographs, and other graphic images for reproduction and storage. Output may be reprinted on high dpi printers for profit or display purposes.


According to Maree Joyce, senior marketing specialist, Canon Solutions America, every market looks for quality and ease of use from a color wide format scanner. “Fine art needs a scanner that quickly captures images for reproduction or storage easily, accurately, and with high-quality results guaranteed with each scan.”


With any piece of art, the ability to capture at a high quality with accurate color is a must. “The key to high-quality color scanning is capturing and delivering the largest color space possible,” shares Steve Blanken, GM, the Americas, Contex. “In order for graphic artists to have the most color data available for high-quality accurate color scans, not only must they capture 48 bits of color data, they need to deliver it to their desktop application to ensure optimal quality.” Blanken explains that top quality large format color scanners capture 48 bits, whereas a 24-bit capture means that many colors from the 48-bit captured color space are clipped from the color file, eliminating the capability of pinpoint color accuracy.


“Depth of field is important,” adds Alex Kaneko, president, A-Lex International Marketing, exclusive distributor for Newly Corporation in the U.S. “Users need a scanner that detects depth of field to create accurate three-dimensional (3D) images.” Kaneko stresses the importance of high resolution captures detail and topographic elements often lost by conventional flatbed scanners. The Newly Scanera, for example, contains several special fluorescent lights, the angle of which is adjusted throughout the scan to capture 3D features of the scanned object.


The Scanera scans 3D objects and produces high-resolution images, capturing full depth of focus and true-to-life textures, providing 130 million pixels at 23x33 inches. A four-inch tall object capacity accommodates framed artwork.

Safe Archiving

The ability to accurately reproduce an image without damaging the original is one of the biggest challenges in fine art. 3D images and other art forms lead to the importance of flexibility from wide format scanners. “Art comes on many different types of media, or is mounted on a frame or a stretcher,” explains Blanken. “Flexibility of original types is a big consideration as customers do not want to waste time fooling around with delicate, valuable originals or dismounting art from a stretcher in fear it may cause damage to the original.”


Flatbed scanners, such as Paradigm Imaging Group’s 24x36-inch Kurabo, scan framed artwork, textiles, and delicate originals with the cover open or removed, so thickness is not an issue. The Kurabo flatbed features a maximum resolution of 800 dpi and advanced CCD sensor technology. “With a flatbed, users do not have to spend time perfecting the lighting conditions,” adds Jane Napolitano, marketing manager, Paradigm.


For the safety of fragile and valuable originals, portable scanners, such as the Cruse Digital Imaging Equipment Wall Scanner, scans paintings up to 10x20 feet and larger, at a true optical resolution of 300 dpi without having to move the painting from its location. This is an advantage in safety and convenience when an ancient or valuable piece of art is involved. 


In addition, Cruse Portal scanners are capable of scanning up to 12x15 feet at a true optical resolution of 600 dpi. Valuable and fragile maps, documents, and artwork may be placed on the scanner without fear of damage. A variable vacuum holds the original so that nothing touches it.


The Importance of the Original

Fine art reproduction wide format scanners capture high-quality images and spot-on color. While accurate reprints are valuable, the true source is in the original. Scanners with the capability to capture thick pieces of media without damaging original art are appreciated by artists and printers alike.


Click here to read part one of this exclusive online series, Speedy Scans.


Click on the link above to get more information on the vendors mentioned in this article.

Feb2014, Digital Output DOWS1402

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