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Halftones and scanning preparartion
 
Most printing presses, including ours, cannot print continuous tones. To effectively print photographs and drawings, we must first convert them to halftones. A halftone is an image photographed through a screen so that the details of the image are reproduced as a series of small dots, which simulate the appearance of continuous tones. The screen pattern and frequency of dots, measured in "lines per inch," will determine the quality of a reproduction.
Scanning Halftones
For best results, scan with a Gamma Curve (we use 1.7) to lighten the mid tones and produce more detail in the scan. Set the Highlight Dot to 2% and the Shadow Dot to 90% when scanning. Scan black & white originals directly as 'grayscale'.

Scanning Color Orginals as Halftones
For best results, scan color originals as 'color' then convert to grayscale.

Determining Bound Galley, Uncorrected Page Proofs, & Ultra Short Run Scanning Resolution
Photos are typically scanned at a resolution (pixels per inch) twice the line screen that will be used to print the photo. Crane prints black and white halftones at 110 line screen, so we scan halftones at a resolution (pixels per inch) of 220. Crane prints black as greyscale color separations at 110 line screen, so we scan color separations at 220 resolution (pixels per inch). Scanning resolution (pixels per inch) is not related to film imaging resolution.

Determining Short Run Scanning Resolution
Photos are typically scanned at a resolution (pixels per inch) twice the line screen that will be used to print the photo. We typically print black and white halftones at 133 line screen, so we scan halftones at a resolution (pixels per inch) of 266. We typically print color separations at 150 line screen, so we scan color separations at 300 resolution (pixels per inch). Scanning resolution (pixels per inch) is not related to film imaging resolution. The fact that we image film at 1200 resolution for 1,2, and 3-color jobs, and 2400 resolution for 4-color process jobs has nothing to do with scanning resolution (pixels per inch). Scanning resolution (pixels per inch) should be set to twice the line screen to be used for printing.

Having Crane Scan Your Images
Crane is calibrated to produce good quality halftones and color separations from photos. We can generally produce a quality halftone or color separation from a slide. Transparencies are more difficult to produce accurate results on our flatbed scanner. We cannot work with negatives. The maximum size photo or piece of art we can place on Crane's scanning bed is 8" x 11". Larger size originals are sent to Scantech, which may result in additional charges and schedule delays.

Scanning, Adjusting, & Placing Your Images
Step 1: Open the Adobe PhotoShop application and place the photo or slide on the scanning bed or in the transparency tray. Select the proper settings for color or grayscale, photo or slide, resolution, and initiate the scan. This will get the image from the scanner to the computer screen.
Step 2: If the original was color, convert to grayscale, then measure and adjust the blackest point, whitest point, and gamma curve. The blackest point should be adjusted to 90%, the whitest point to 2%, and the curve should be adjusted to yield the best detail in the photo.
Step 3: Save the scan to disk in TIF or EPS format and give the scan a unique name that identifies the content or placement of the scan. The name is crucial because you will have to pick the scan out of a large list of names to print it, and efficiency can be affected by poor naming.
Step 4: Open the Adobe PageMaker or QuarkXPress application and create a new, blank page. Locate and select the name of the scan you just saved and place that image on the page. Step 5: To size the scan, refer to the camera ready art and draw a see-through box the size the picture should be.
Move the box on top of the scan and change the size of the scan until it most closely fits the box, but is still slightly larger than the box. Crop the four sides of the scan to meet the edges of the box, or use the Mask feature. Type the page number and location where the scan should be stripped beneath the scan, so the final negative will be labeled and stripping can easily know where to strip the negative.
Step 6: Repeat the above procedure until the page is filled with scans, then print the page to the imagesetter to produce film. When the page is imaged and processed, cut the film apart into separate negatives, place the negatives in a inStrip Inlt Envelope and send the envelope to Camera Ready to be stripped in to the camera ready art negatives.
As you can see from the Six Scanning Steps, sending us scans on disk usually accounts for only two of the six steps - scanning and saving. We typically still have to adjust the highlight dot, shadow dot, and gamma curve, as well as place the scans on a printable page, size, crop, label, output film, and strip the halftone. Crane typically charge $10.00 to scan and strip a halftone. The charge for scans furnished on disk for camera ready jobs is $10.00 each. Scans furnished on disk for disk playout jobs should be sized and placed on the PageMaker or QuarkXPress text page. There is a $2.00 per scan charge to size and place customer furnished disk scans. There is an additional $2.00 per scan charge if we have to adjust the highlight dot, shadow dot, and gamma curve.

Rescreens
Pictures that have been previously printed, including camera copy, must be rescreened to produce an adequate halftone. We must try to match the line screen already in the printed piece, then run the scan through a special 'screen' feature to try and eliminate moire caused from adding more dots. Rescreens take twice as long to scan as a photograph or slide, due to the extra step of descreening. Only marginal quality can be achieved on a rescreen. It is important to note at quoting if your job contains rescreens. The standard halftone charge is $12.50 each, and there shall be no quantity price reduction for rescreens. If quality is not important, halftones on camera copy can be shot as line art on the camera with the rest of the text on the page, if the dots in the halftone are 100 line screen or less. However, there can be little quality control.

Adjusting Scans With Incorrect Gamma Curve, Highlight Dot and Shadow Dot
If an existing scan does not have the proper Gamma Curve, Highlight Dot or Shadow Dot, the scan can be adjusted using the Adobe PhotoShop Curves and Levels features to improve the scan.
ADJUST CURVES - MIDTONE DETAIL
On the PhotoShop menu bar, select Image-Adjust-Curves. The center of the grid should read Input: 50%, Output 50%. Click on that point and drag straight down the center line until it reads Input 50%, Output 35%, then hit OK. The Output value percent is up to you. Most photos scanned with no Gamma Curve require the 50% dot to be lightened. You may go as little as 45% or as high as 25%. The lower the percent, the lighter the midtones in your photo. Remember, you are only looking at the midtone detail (gray areas, especially faces), not the black areas and not the white areas. The black and white areas will be set in the Levels screen. If your halftone does not have alot of gray areas, it may not need a midtone adjustment.
ADJUST LEVELS - BLACKS & WHITES (Step 1 of 3):
On the PhotoShop menu bar, select Windows-Show Info to open the palette with the Info tab, so you can measure the values in your halftone. Select Image-Adjust-Levels. Move the black triangle under the Input Levels diagram until the halftone looks black enough to you. If the halftone is already too black, move the black triangle under the Output Levels bar to make the halftone less black. Move the white triangle under the Input Levels diagram until the halftone looks white enough to you. If the halftone is already too white, move the white triangle under the Output Levels bar to make the halftone less white. (Continue with Step 2 and Step 3 before closing the Levels window.)
MEASURE THE VALUES IN THE 'BLACKEST' AREA OF THE HALFTONE (Step 2 of 3):
Move the mouse cursor to the blackest area of the halftone and look at the Info tab. There should be two percents, separated by a slash, next to the letter K. The first percent is how black the halftone was before the adjustment, and the second percent is how black the halftone is after the adjustment. The blackest area of the halftone should measure approximately 90%. Continue to adjust the Input Levels or Output Levels as needed.
MEASURE THE VALUES IN THE 'WHITEST' AREA OF THE HALFTONE (Step 3 of 3):
Move the mouse cursor to the whitest area of the halftone and look at the Info tab. There should be two percents, separated by a slash, next to the letter K. The first percent is how white the halftone was before the adjustment, and the second percent is how white the halftone is after the adjustment. The whitest area of the halftone should measure between 2-3% (not 1% or 0%). Continue to adjust the Input Levels or Output Levels as needed. Click OK and save your adjusted halftone.
ADJUSTING HALFTONES
In general, faces should measure no less than 5% and no more than 40% to maintain detail, and you should set the white value to 0% only for special effects like dropping a white background. Measure! What you see on your monitor or laser printer may not be what you will really get on film.

Color Seperations
Color separations are made from photos or slides that are scanned and played out to 4 pieces of film and stripped into camera ready art. A previously printed 4-color book cover is NOT a separation, it is a 4-COLOR RESCREEN. It is important to note at quoting if your job contains rescreens. As you can see from the Halftone Rescreen section, 4-color rescreens take twice as long as a 4-color separation from a photo or slide. Scanning 4-color from a printed piece will typically incur extra charges as we typically have to scan the front cover, back cover, and spine separately due to size limitations of our scanning bed, then piece it back together. Additional charges are also typical for adding bleeds, retouching spots, cracks, and wrinkles from a cover being removed from a printed book, and color adjusting because we are usually trying to scan through UV coating or lamination. Only marginal quality can be achieved on a 4-color rescreen, and any rework will be chargeable.

4-Color EPS Scans saved with JPEG Encoding
We request photo scans to be saved in TIF or EPS format. 4-color scans saved in EPS format MUST be saved with BINARY or ASCII encoding. EPS scans saved with JPEG encoding will NOT color separate, and will appear ONLY on the black plate. There is a $5.00 charge per scan to correct this, plus the charge for any wasted film.

4-Color EPS Scans saved in RGB Mode
4-color scans should be converted to CMYK mode for printing. 4-color scans saved in RGB mode will appear ONLY on the black plate. There is a $5.00 charge per scan to correct this, plus the charge for any wasted film.

Making 4-Color Film
Crane outputs 4-color film from PageMaker or QuarkXPress. These are the two applications that are calibrated to accurately produce 4-color. We will sometimes play out 4-color from Illustrator and FreeHand, but that is not preferred. We do NOT play out 4-color film directly from PhotoShop, or any other graphics application. PhotoShop files should be saved in TIF or EPS format, converted to CMYK mode, and placed in PageMaker or QuarkXPress for output to film. Customers may send us individual EPS or TIF files, but there will be additional charges for us to place them in PageMaker or QuarkXPress to play out 4-color film.

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