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Animation Scanning Tips

Here are a few ideas on how to use a flatbed scanner for producing animation on your computer:

• The scanner can be simple & inexpensive.
Since your scans are from line drawings, the resolution of an 8-bit greyscale 300 dpi scanner is more than enough. Scan your images at 300 dpi.

• Tape a pegbar to the scanner's glass surface.
This ensures that all your drawings will be registered correctly in relation to one another. It is very hard, almost impossible, to re-position images later.

• Set your scanning resolution correctly.
This is important. NEVER scan images at a lower resolution than what will be used in the final production. If you do, the result will be jaggy. I usually set the scanning resolution to about 1.5 times the final resolution. If you set the resolution much higher, you just waste memory and hard disk space.

• The final dimensions of your animation should be at 720 x 480, so that means the dimensions of your scanned image should be slightly larger than that (1.5 times that) and set at 300dpi.

• Set contrast and brightness already in the scanner software.
This ensures a good, sharp line, and also lessens your work in your editing software.

• SAVE your scanner settings!
You may have to re-scan an image later. If you save the settings from each scene, re-scanning is a piece of cake!

• Use suitable software (Photoshop, FinalCut, Flash, After Effects, etc.) to make a QuickTime movie (.mov file) of your files.

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