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Author Topic: Photo Scanner Software  (Read 8519 times)
Coeluh
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« on: May 24, 2009, 04:04:28 AM »

Hi There,

some time ago I was looking trough photo books with my girlfriend, and I thought: What if the house burns down. Those memories are extremely valuable. I've a scanner, this one:

The problem is: What software should I use? Could I use software so that I could scan like 3 pics at the same time? What is the most efficient way to do this?

There are many pictures, like 500~1000 of 'em.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2009, 04:09:40 AM by Coeluh » Logged
cmpm
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« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2009, 07:03:38 AM »

Look up the model number at hp.com for the software.
If you already have the software, it's hit and miss for other software that will work with your model.
Some are free and some are not.

I had a nice 14 inch flatbed scanner given to me once, but no software. And I couldn't find any that would work for it. The software for it was around $60, almost the price of a new decent scanner. So I never did get the software.

Here's a list, there isn't much.

http://www.google.com/sea...cial&client=firefox-a
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Coeluh
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« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2009, 10:32:14 AM »

I was more tlalking about alternative software, which allows me to scan more than 1 image at the time because the default software sucks big time.
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Shades
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« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2009, 12:48:26 PM »

Look up your scanner on the VueScan site. And I do understand your pain from using the default HP software.

I used to work with a similar sized and shaped model some 14 years ago. The software was a simple executable which had a basic looking layout and was fast. You could by a hardware device for it in which you could bundle a set of photographs, set the software settings up and the only thing you had to was pushing the start button and wait a little bit.

It was expensive and I don't know if HP still sells such devices for their current crop of scanners.

The funny thing is that my Windows installation is "nLite'd" and internet explorer has been removed. None of the current HP scanning software works without IE, I can tell you that much.

[rant]
Also why an update for scanner software has to be 124 MByte? And the work flow of the HP software has been "stupified" too such a degree it is not funny anymore and there is no option to turn this behavior off. Besides that, the result of scan is stored in several obscure places before it is stored in the default location. After it is copied the file is deleted from the previous storage location.

Why is this mess necessary?

Now I really want to know what the guys and girls and HP were smoking when they created this, maybe then I can see some fun in using their software.
[/rant]

Maybe you can find here what you are looking for:
http://www.twain.org/
http://www.dosadi.com

With the first link you can get a free TWAIN development kit, which includes a very basic tool (Twack) to scan with. But the software is old...to say the least.
The last one is far from free, but it supports script based ADF (Automatic Document Feed) when you have such a unit attached to your scanner.

Both links are more intended for programmers but with a little bit of luck all the tools you require are already there.
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Coeluh
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« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2009, 12:52:34 PM »

I'm not a programmer... I would like to have software which is already done for me
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Shades
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« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2009, 01:46:05 PM »

There is the problem, there is very little available and most of these option carry a hefty pricetag.

VueScan:
http://www.hamrick.com/vsm.html

PaperPort:
http://www.nuance.com/imaging/products/paperport.asp
Years ago I got an older version (six, I believe) from this software for free on a PC magazine and that worked well with my scanner, YMMV though.

QQScan2Disc:
http://www.topshareware.com/QQScan2Disc-download-61878.htm

SilverFast:
http://www.silverfast.com/

Scanitto:
http://www.masterslabs.com/en/scanitto-pro.html

More alternatives:
http://www.scanhelp.com/


Here is some freeware that may do the trick as well:
FreeKapture:
http://www.freewarefiles.com/FreeKapture_program_32165.html

Scan & Sorteer:
http://www.retsoft.nl/producten.php

EDIT:
Added freeware options
« Last Edit: May 24, 2009, 01:56:35 PM by Shades » Logged
dspelley
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« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2009, 10:48:20 PM »

I've done this many times using the Adobe Photoshop Elements Editor. Elements uses my scanner's Twain software to scan multiple prints I put on the glass into one Photoshop Elements image.

Once the image with the multiple prints is scanned into the Editor, from the Editor menu choose "Image - Divide Scanned Photos." Elements looks for the borders of the individual photos and separates them into individual files that can be edited or saved. I usually have my individual photos lined up pretty well, but I think it will auto-straighten them if they are tilted a bit.
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Darwin
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« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2009, 11:12:20 PM »

FWIW, I own a licence for PaperPort Pro 11 but use Vista's built-in scanning engine with a four or five year old (or older?) HP ScanJet 3970. Vista tags my scans and places them in a folder of my choosing and I then use PaperPort's amazing SET tools to tweak them... It's not a cheap solution by any stetch, but it works well for me.
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mouser
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« Reply #8 on: May 25, 2009, 12:37:33 AM »

if you have tons of normal sized photographs, you may be better off spending your money on a dedicated mini photo scanner.
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4wd
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« Reply #9 on: May 25, 2009, 01:32:28 AM »

Assuming the photos are all the same 6x4, (etc), size:

Wouldn't the most efficient way be to scan three at a time and then slice'n'dice with a macro in a paint program?

Or, actually, since it's basically for archival why not just leave as composite scans of three pictures?

EDIT: eg. Use the GIMP with this script.  Basically the same as dspelley mentions above but a fair bit cheaper Wink
« Last Edit: May 25, 2009, 02:03:23 AM by 4wd » Logged

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Coeluh
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« Reply #10 on: May 25, 2009, 03:39:31 AM »

My mum says she might have the negatives. That would save a heck lot of time!
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tomos
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« Reply #11 on: May 25, 2009, 08:05:49 AM »

My mum says she might have the negatives. That would save a heck lot of time!

have you got a software solution for that ??
I've never scanned negatives but imagine you'd need something fairly specialised ...
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Tom
Coeluh
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« Reply #12 on: May 25, 2009, 08:06:58 AM »

My mum says she might have the negatives. That would save a heck lot of time!

have you got a software solution for that ??
I've never scanned negatives but imagine you'd need something fairly specialised ...
I thought it was possible with the scanner I have.
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Darwin
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« Reply #13 on: May 25, 2009, 08:45:34 AM »

Some scanners (including mine) come with an insert that will allow you to mount negatives and scan them six or so at a time. The bundled software will also handle separating the negatives into individual photos.

YMMV of course!
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Lutz_
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« Reply #14 on: May 25, 2009, 01:28:01 PM »

Especially if you have the negatives, this solution might save a lot of nerves:     embarassed

http://www.scancafe.com/

For lazy people.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2009, 07:14:36 PM by Lutz_ » Logged
4wd
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« Reply #15 on: May 25, 2009, 06:59:07 PM »

This thing crops up reasonably regularly on the local deal sites: 35mm Film/Slide scanner



There's also the original version without LCD and a card slot that's a bit cheaper at around AU$100.

And ebay has a few, (well actually a bit more than a few).
« Last Edit: May 25, 2009, 07:02:14 PM by 4wd » Logged

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mikiem
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« Reply #16 on: May 29, 2009, 05:17:52 PM »

Generally you're left to whatever drivers your scanner manufacturer develops -- the software provided, & it's level of expertise, is a selling point when you get into the upper mid-range. Better software might have something like GEM code built-in, while pricier scanners might have it in the electronics. Normally whatever GUI other software might provide, you're still using the scanner's drivers underneath it all.

That said, what you want to focus on is getting the truest picture, no matter how close or far it is from ideal. If you capture all the data, software can handle the rest after the fact. One problem area is grain, where you either buy a plugin or try one of the free graystoration alternatives -- or struggle with whatever your image editor provides.   Sad 

Spot / dust removal software is also useful & popular, and you might want or need some sort of color adjusting -- Corel for example has long had ICM profiling of your own scanner.

Scanning negatives vs. prints is a minefield of a topic, depending a LOT on the condition of what you've got to scan -- few people ever store negatives as they should. And the picture you'll get from negatives will often bear no resemblance to the print -- the automated process at the developers is actually quite involved, & now you have to mimic it manually. You'll also have to deal with more prominent grain issues. A print however might have discolored, and depending on the processing & paper, might not offer great resolution. I've had better luck with a dedicated slide scanner than an adapter for a flatbed, but those adapters are usable if you must... be careful though as the adapters themselves &/or negative holders are usually rather flimsy.

As always, if you want to buy hardware google 1st... There's some real junk out there, & not reading semi-pro or even pro reviews first could find you struggling to fix problem photos that are un-fixable & due to your hardware.
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mikiem
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« Reply #17 on: May 29, 2009, 05:35:57 PM »

Quote
Especially if you have the negatives, this solution might save a lot of nerves:     embarassed

http://www.scancafe.com/

For lazy people.

If you want to pay for the software, there really is an awful lot that can be done (near) automatically, so this sort of service can offer great results for a fair price. If you have the right software & hardware all you need 90% + of the time is someone to load & unload the negatives / prints. That's the basis for all those photo kiosks in everything from the grocers to the pharmacy.  The downside is if you've got negatives, there is a huge leeway on what the result can look like & still be technically very good...

If you've got the time & inclination to play with the results after negative scanning, you might get something truly remarkable. The web site linked to provides the endorsement of a prize winning photog, & for his work it probably is the best way to go [though today I'd find it hard to imagine a pro going non-digital]. On the other side of the fence there are photographers that focus more on their art, often using more everyday subjects, instead of trying to capture those once in a lifetime moments. You're not going to get those sorts of results only trying to make the picture technically good.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2009, 05:37:28 PM by mikiem » Logged
mikiem
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« Reply #18 on: May 29, 2009, 05:48:02 PM »

When looking for a scanner, if you're thinking about the <$100 range, & if you're not after a slide / negative adapter, you can find the best deals by buying an All-In-One refurb, model closeout, or clearance. I've picked up 6 of them now -- the cheapest <$20 & the most expensive ~$35, all shipped prices BTW. In fact every year after the 1st I go on the lookout... I think of it as buying new ink cartridges that come bundled with a printer.

Yes I know it'd be cheaper to refill, & I've got the ink, but if you don't print often enough the heads clog, & that's been a constant problem with the printers here, & sharing printers hasn't worked out too well either.  Angry
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4wd
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« Reply #19 on: May 30, 2009, 08:34:00 PM »

If you're bored and want to flex your handyman skills a bit here's an article that was in the local electronics mag, (Silicon Chip), a few months ago:


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