What is the best scanning DPI for 3-views?

Discussion in 'Tips, Tutorials & Tools' started by jlinscheid, Aug 16, 2005.

  1. jlinscheid

    jlinscheid Member

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    I have a book called Paul Matt Scale Airplane Drawings Volume 1.

    The book contains about 100 exquisitely detailed aircraft drawings that I'd like to scan and burn onto a DVD. What I'm wondering is what is the optimal DPI to scan at. I can do anything from 75 up to 1200. More is better, but 1200 seems overkill. I'm kind of settled on 600, but I'm wondering if there is a best practice, or recommended value before I get started.

    Thanks

    James

    Edit - Also, is there a recomended graphics format that I should save in?

    I was going to save as png, but I'm not sure if there might be a reason to save, for instance, as TIFF as I've seen on some of the Russian sites.
  2. jlinscheid

    jlinscheid Member

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    I have a book called Paul Matt Scale Airplane Drawings Volume 1.

    The book contains about 100 exquisitely detailed aircraft drawings that I'd like to scan and burn onto a DVD. What I'm wondering is what is the optimal DPI to scan at. I can do anything from 75 up to 1200. More is better, but 1200 seems overkill. I'm kind of settled on 600, but I'm wondering if there is a best practice, or recommended value before I get started.

    Thanks

    James

    Edit - Also, is there a recomended graphics format that I should save in?

    I was going to save as png, but I'm not sure if there might be a reason to save, for instance, as TIFF as I've seen on some of the Russian sites.
  3. k5083

    k5083 Member

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    First thing you should know is that that book is also available as a CD that would save you a lot of time and trouble scanning. I have v.2 and the scans are pretty good. If you scan the book, you'll have to crack the spine in order to get the pages to lie flat. In fact, to get distortion-free scans, you may have to tear out the pages.

    But the answer to your question is, it depends on what you're using the scans for. If you want to preserve all the information, I would think 600 dpi and any non-lossy format including tiff or png (but not jpeg and probably not your graphics software's proprietary format) would be fine.

    If you have a specific use in mind such as using the drawings as backdrops in your CAD program for designing a paper model, probably a much lower resolution will suffice, maybe 150 dpi, and you can even use jpeg format if you want to because the compression artifacts won't be serious enough to matter.
  4. k5083

    k5083 Member

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    First thing you should know is that that book is also available as a CD that would save you a lot of time and trouble scanning. I have v.2 and the scans are pretty good. If you scan the book, you'll have to crack the spine in order to get the pages to lie flat. In fact, to get distortion-free scans, you may have to tear out the pages.

    But the answer to your question is, it depends on what you're using the scans for. If you want to preserve all the information, I would think 600 dpi and any non-lossy format including tiff or png (but not jpeg and probably not your graphics software's proprietary format) would be fine.

    If you have a specific use in mind such as using the drawings as backdrops in your CAD program for designing a paper model, probably a much lower resolution will suffice, maybe 150 dpi, and you can even use jpeg format if you want to because the compression artifacts won't be serious enough to matter.
  5. nx13688

    nx13688 Member

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    600 dpi is usually sufficient. I usually save as a B&W (1-bit color) .gif file, which keeps the size reasonable. A 600 dpi TIFF will be massive.
    JPG is worse than useless for line drawings.
  6. nx13688

    nx13688 Member

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    600 dpi is usually sufficient. I usually save as a B&W (1-bit color) .gif file, which keeps the size reasonable. A 600 dpi TIFF will be massive.
    JPG is worse than useless for line drawings.
  7. jlinscheid

    jlinscheid Member

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    k5083,

    I already had the book. My sister bought it for me when I was into Flight Simulator and I made a couple of models for FS using FSDS and later GMax (I really wish I could use GMax for card-modeling).

    I did exactly what you describe. I cracked the spine and pulled the pages out. I then trimmed them up nicely with an Exacto knife. I also cleaned up the book's cover, gluing a piece of card-stock along the spine making the cover into a nice folder for the now loose pages.

    Scanning is a bit time-consuming, but not that bad. The real work will be correcting the pages for scale and rotational defects, and developing proper 3-views to use as modeling backdrops. But that can be done on an as-needed basis.

    nx13688,

    Sounds good. The reason I was wondering about Tiff, is like I said, that's what the Russian scans are and I was wondering if there was a reason for it.

    I've done all of this for modeling Flight Simulator, but I pretty much made up things as I went, and figured now would be a good time to see if my way is the right way, or if there even is a right way.

    It was actually the Russian sites that spurred me on to do this. The Russian scans are OK, but suffer from a lot of scale and rotational problems, as well as appearing to be copies of copies. In some cases it is difficult to tell if a detail is a part of the plane, or a scanning/copying artifact. Since I have many of the books that these scans come from I figured I'd just make a set of first generation scans for future use. So far I'm very pleased with the results.

    Thanks for the advice guys. I appreciate it.
  8. jlinscheid

    jlinscheid Member

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    k5083,

    I already had the book. My sister bought it for me when I was into Flight Simulator and I made a couple of models for FS using FSDS and later GMax (I really wish I could use GMax for card-modeling).

    I did exactly what you describe. I cracked the spine and pulled the pages out. I then trimmed them up nicely with an Exacto knife. I also cleaned up the book's cover, gluing a piece of card-stock along the spine making the cover into a nice folder for the now loose pages.

    Scanning is a bit time-consuming, but not that bad. The real work will be correcting the pages for scale and rotational defects, and developing proper 3-views to use as modeling backdrops. But that can be done on an as-needed basis.

    nx13688,

    Sounds good. The reason I was wondering about Tiff, is like I said, that's what the Russian scans are and I was wondering if there was a reason for it.

    I've done all of this for modeling Flight Simulator, but I pretty much made up things as I went, and figured now would be a good time to see if my way is the right way, or if there even is a right way.

    It was actually the Russian sites that spurred me on to do this. The Russian scans are OK, but suffer from a lot of scale and rotational problems, as well as appearing to be copies of copies. In some cases it is difficult to tell if a detail is a part of the plane, or a scanning/copying artifact. Since I have many of the books that these scans come from I figured I'd just make a set of first generation scans for future use. So far I'm very pleased with the results.

    Thanks for the advice guys. I appreciate it.
  9. wunwinglow

    wunwinglow Active Member

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    Try and get the scans lined up when you do the scanning. Using the rotate and de-skew tools in your paint program on a scan that is already squiffy will just make things much worse, distortion-wise. A lot of those drawings have real dimensions on, so you might be better off using them and building the structure in your 3D program' for real' rather than trying to trace over a bitmap image. Then you might discover how far out some paper drawings are! Remember, they never built aircraft according to the lines on the paper, they used the dimensions and angles. All real drawings have 'DO NOT SCALE' prominently on them, to remind workers the lines were just illustrations. It is the dimensions that really matter!

    Of course, if you don't have any dimensions, tracing may be your only option. I did exactly this in my Sukhoi article in the knowledge base.

    Those Paul Matt drawings are beautiful, by the way. Peter Westberg is another draughtsman to look out for. There are others, no names no pack drill, which are truly AWFUL. Several well known models have been designed from these, and it is such a shame!

    Tim P
  10. wunwinglow

    wunwinglow Active Member

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    Try and get the scans lined up when you do the scanning. Using the rotate and de-skew tools in your paint program on a scan that is already squiffy will just make things much worse, distortion-wise. A lot of those drawings have real dimensions on, so you might be better off using them and building the structure in your 3D program' for real' rather than trying to trace over a bitmap image. Then you might discover how far out some paper drawings are! Remember, they never built aircraft according to the lines on the paper, they used the dimensions and angles. All real drawings have 'DO NOT SCALE' prominently on them, to remind workers the lines were just illustrations. It is the dimensions that really matter!

    Of course, if you don't have any dimensions, tracing may be your only option. I did exactly this in my Sukhoi article in the knowledge base.

    Those Paul Matt drawings are beautiful, by the way. Peter Westberg is another draughtsman to look out for. There are others, no names no pack drill, which are truly AWFUL. Several well known models have been designed from these, and it is such a shame!

    Tim P
  11. jlinscheid

    jlinscheid Member

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    I've run into those scaling problems in the past. For instance a top and side view won't be the same length, even though the scale bar on each page has been matched up perfectly.

    Some rotation will impossible to avoid as the drawings are actually at a 45 degree angle to make them fit in some cases. I'll just do the best I can.

    I agree that they are fantastic drawings. I've considered framing some of them as artwork.
  12. jlinscheid

    jlinscheid Member

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    I've run into those scaling problems in the past. For instance a top and side view won't be the same length, even though the scale bar on each page has been matched up perfectly.

    Some rotation will impossible to avoid as the drawings are actually at a 45 degree angle to make them fit in some cases. I'll just do the best I can.

    I agree that they are fantastic drawings. I've considered framing some of them as artwork.
  13. RyanShort1

    RyanShort1 Member

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    That might be an understatement... I've been collecting P-51D drawings for a while now and have yet to find one I'm completely happy with. Lately with the redraw I've been doing some things just looking at photos and doing trial and error builds to get the right "look".

    Ryan
  14. RyanShort1

    RyanShort1 Member

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    That might be an understatement... I've been collecting P-51D drawings for a while now and have yet to find one I'm completely happy with. Lately with the redraw I've been doing some things just looking at photos and doing trial and error builds to get the right "look".

    Ryan
  15. 46rob

    46rob Member

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    The Cd's are better than the books. The images are sharper than what I can scan, and the bonus is all the additional photo's of the planes that are included. For instance--in addition to the two three view drawings of the P-80, there are also nineteen other pictures for reference. I have both--the books for quick reference--and the CD's for the normal work.
  16. 46rob

    46rob Member

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    The Cd's are better than the books. The images are sharper than what I can scan, and the bonus is all the additional photo's of the planes that are included. For instance--in addition to the two three view drawings of the P-80, there are also nineteen other pictures for reference. I have both--the books for quick reference--and the CD's for the normal work.
  17. k5083

    k5083 Member

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    I have both the books and the CDs also. The CDs to use, and the books mostly to look and marvel at.

    Matt's drawings are great, both as reference and art. Granger's stuff used to be very good too. Some of the older artists like Wylam stand up well as art, not so much as reference, depending on the subject.

    Re. P-51D drawings, I agree there is no set that strikes me as perfect either, but Caruana's from the old Modelaid mags were not too bad.
  18. k5083

    k5083 Member

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    I have both the books and the CDs also. The CDs to use, and the books mostly to look and marvel at.

    Matt's drawings are great, both as reference and art. Granger's stuff used to be very good too. Some of the older artists like Wylam stand up well as art, not so much as reference, depending on the subject.

    Re. P-51D drawings, I agree there is no set that strikes me as perfect either, but Caruana's from the old Modelaid mags were not too bad.
  19. wunwinglow

    wunwinglow Active Member

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    Well I wasn't going to mention Wylam, but since you have.... Thye were the ones I was thinking of. I have quite a few REAL Bristol Fighter F2b drawings, and the Wylam efforts have the same number of wings, but beyond that any common points are purely coincidental. They are TRULY AWFUL. So without evidence to contrary, I would treat any others from that particular draughtsman with the utmost suspicion. Worse, they have been used (cos they look neatly drawn I suppose) for several plastic and paper models. Ah well.....

    If you want to see some good drawings, check out any by Arthur Bentley, for example his Focke Wulf Fw190, Hurricane and Dornier Do335 sets are just fantastic. I'll dig out a current source, but they used to appear in Scale Models Magazine published by MAP/Nexus.

    Tim P
  20. wunwinglow

    wunwinglow Active Member

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    Well I wasn't going to mention Wylam, but since you have.... Thye were the ones I was thinking of. I have quite a few REAL Bristol Fighter F2b drawings, and the Wylam efforts have the same number of wings, but beyond that any common points are purely coincidental. They are TRULY AWFUL. So without evidence to contrary, I would treat any others from that particular draughtsman with the utmost suspicion. Worse, they have been used (cos they look neatly drawn I suppose) for several plastic and paper models. Ah well.....

    If you want to see some good drawings, check out any by Arthur Bentley, for example his Focke Wulf Fw190, Hurricane and Dornier Do335 sets are just fantastic. I'll dig out a current source, but they used to appear in Scale Models Magazine published by MAP/Nexus.

    Tim P