Sunday, July 09, 2006

Lesson 204, Digitizing "Flat" Art and Paintings

Two dimensional "flat" art such as a photographs or illustrations are probably most easily and quickly digitized with the use of a scanner - that is, up to the size of your scan bed. Larger photos and drawings can be easily digitize by a simple copy setup using two EGO lights as shown above and your digital camera.

The usual thinking is to center and cross light the art with each light source placed at about a 40 to 45 degree position in relation to the art on a copy board. Several important considerations:

NEUTRAL COPYBOARD- Copy board should be covered with a middle value neutral color such as middle grey so as not to influence the exposure and color balance.

COLOR CARDS- Again, reference to some known standard is important for reproduction or the understanding by the viewer.

SIZE- Rule of thumb is that the art should be equal or smaller than the light sources, but you can certainly sneak up to about 150% before the falloff of the light at the top and bottom become objectionable - so with 16 inch EGOs - to art work up to 24 inches tall - the width is not the problem. If the art is taller, then consider using four EGOs positioned to direct light across the four corners of the art - a post we will make later on.

PAINTINGS - Paintings, also considered "flat art", are more 3D with additional qualities of texture or gloss that the artist would like revealed or suppressed. You may need to add a white card to show up a gloss area or a piece of black velvet (or velvet paper) surrounding your camera position (cut much larger than the art work) to kill a gloss area. Pushing the EGOs back to a 30 degree or less postion will deaden possible highlights of textured paintings.

SQUARING- You need to be dead straight on to the center of the flat art inorder to have four parallel sides - this one task can take hours - see the next post for a easy solution.

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