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Screen Ruling & Halftone 

Prepare Files (Dos & Don'ts)

Paper used in the printing process acts like a blotter to the ink. Consequently, any photo or "screened" area will look darker on the printed sheet than what you probably saw on your monitor. This is called "Press Gain". The amount of gain depends on how porous the paper is that is being used. Check with your printer beforehand for advice on how you should scan your photos.

Got a color photo of people that looks real dark in the faces when scanned as black and white? What's happening is that your scanner is seeing the combination of colors in the faces as a dark tone when scanned as black and white. If you have a photo manipulation program like PhotoShop, scan the photo in color and convert to cmyk. Check each individual color channel and you'll most likely find that the Cyan channel has the most detail in people's faces. Delete all the channels except for the Cyan and use that for your black.

Scanning from a printed page? Chances are you are picking up a pattern when you print the scan. This pattern is called "moire" What's happening is that the halftone pattern that your computer creates is conflicting with the halftone pattern that already exists on the printed original. Some scanners come equipped with settings to reduce moire, if yours does check your manual on how to change settings. Sometimes rotating the image on the scanner can decrease the moire. There are also methods of reducing the moire using Photoshop.

They are:

1) Despeckle: Go to Filter, Noise, Despeckle

2) Gaussian Blur: Go to Filter, Blur, Gaussian Blur. Use 1 pixel or less

3) Median: Go to Filter, Noise, Median using 1 pixel

Sometimes when scanning a printed piece, you may see the image on the other page bleeding through. Putting a piece of black paper behind your original can minimize this problem.

Okay, so now you know that you should scan your photos at no more than 300 dpi now here's some more helpful information to make your files more manageable. If at all possible, you should scan your images to the size that they will be in your final printed piece or at least somewhat close to the size and here's the reason why. If you reduce an image in your page layout program, you still retain all the information of the original image. If, for example, you have a 50 megabyte scan and reduce it in your page layout program to ten percent of its original size, the resulting file will be 50 megabytes. If, however, you open the image in Photoshop and reduce it to ten percent its original size (make sure Photoshop is set to resample) then the resulting file is only around 500 K. As you can see, the image will be much smaller and more manageable.

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