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Nervous Wreck (II) Inmate

From: MN
Insane since: Aug 2003

posted posted 10-17-2003 16:25

Ok I work for a catalog company that makes Motorcycle Safety gear. I have been making ads for our products for Japanese Motorcycle magazines for about 2 years now. I get the text translated into Japanese Kanji, she prints it out on a laser printer. I then scan in at a high rez, and import into PS5 (work is behind the times. Getting PS7 soon though). I jack up the Brightness/Contrast so that the text jumps out at you, then clean up the grubbies afterwards so that all I have is the Black text, and the White background. What I need help with is, I assemble the ads in photoshop at 350dpi x 4.8cm x 9.5cm. The doc I get after scanning is 600dpi x 8in x 11in. When I use the marque tool to select the portion of text I need to import into the Japanses add, I have to scale it down using the edit/Transform selection. But when I scale it down, it explodes. The text that was albeit perfect, is now pixelated and hazy. If anyone has ever seen Japanese text some of the characters look like little pictures. Well they lose all definition. And even more so when I import the final doc into Quark for output. Any ideas? Is there a way to retain the clarity of the text after I scale it down to fit the Japanese doc?

Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: France
Insane since: Jun 2002

posted posted 10-17-2003 16:38

It may sound stupid, but are you sure the picture with the Kanji is in a color mode allowing pixel interpolation ( e.g. grayscale, rgb, cmyk... )

Can't you get a Kanji font ? There's some available for free on the net, but I don't know if they are complete. But at least you'd have the characters in a vectorial form. At worst, your company could buy a Kanji font when they'll upgrade to Photoshop CS

Mathieu "POÏ" HENRI

Nervous Wreck (II) Inmate

From: MN
Insane since: Aug 2003

posted posted 10-17-2003 16:49

Actually I have done research to maybe get the correct Kanji. But there isnt any that are very compatable or complete. The Japanese translator has software downstairs that translates it. But shes in a PC environment. As for the software for this computer. It costs around $6000 for the translator software from Adobe Japan, which would be the best bet for compatability of PS and Quark.So at the moment Im stuck scanning.

Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Madison, Indiana, USA
Insane since: Aug 2000

posted posted 10-17-2003 17:31

One way around this would be to trace the characters you want with the Pen Tool. You can then scale the path down to 350dpi and copy it to your final image without getting the aliasing you describe.

Unfortunately this is going to take some time because you will have to trace the charactes by hand.

You could also try making a selection of the character, then convert that to a path. I find that this often creates a path with a lot of control points, but it might save you some time.

-- not necessarily stoned... just beautiful.

Bipolar (III) Inmate

From: Mpls, MN
Insane since: Dec 2000

posted posted 10-17-2003 18:08

Well it's mainly that 350dpi is not enough resolution to reproduce the kanji.

But you can try a few things.

1. The Kanji is getting hazy and pixelated mostly because of the interpolation method, my guess is you are using the default of Bicubic. Since most of the strokes with be either vertical or horzontal and you are scaleing down Bilinear interpolation may give better reasults. One could try nearest neighbor.

2. Maybe your type is one dark enough, check to make sure it's at 100%, ofcourse at 350dpi you will need some anti-alising so that will have to factor in.

3. Depending on your scanner you my get better results scanning at 100% of the size an not interpolating down. I doubt it but worth a try.

4. One could also scan and run it through Adobe Streamline to converting it to vector, the high there resoultion the scan the better the conversion.

5. The best technique is to scan the type at 800-1200 dpi and convert it to a 1-bit tiff using the 50% threshold method. That way when you output it to the imagesetter it will rasterize at nearly the same resolution as normal type and vector elements. However 1200+ DPI may be overkill. Infact other then type, most vector graphics rasterize at 800dpi at the RIP as that the default setting in illustrator's preferances. so you should be able to get away with 800dpi, and use 1200dpi for more complex art.

The added advantage is a 1-bit tiff are very small and even smaller if your RIP allows LZW compression. They are colorizable in Quark, and it should give you that nice sharp edge with out much noticeable pixelation.

While I am at it, I should mention there has to be a better way to get the kanji in the first place. If she can print to a laser printer. You should beable to produce a PDF or at the very least generate postscript that could be RIPed to a tiff or PDF.

Check out Ghostscript and Ghostgum. They would allow you to convert postscript to a Tiff, PDF, or PDF and it's are open source. If you luck and have access to a Scitex or Harliquin RIP you should beable to convert it there. OSX would also also you to make PDF directly from the print preview.

J. Stuart J.

[This message has been edited by jstuartj (edited 10-17-2003).]

Maniac (V) Inmate

From: under the bed
Insane since: Feb 2000

posted posted 10-17-2003 18:23

1) I agree that there has to be a better way to get the source that won't kill your budget...

2) It's very possible I'm misunderstanding something, but wouldn't it make more sense to scan it at the size and resolution that you need for output?

And I would recommend waiting until any resizing is done before playing with the contrast.

Maniac (V) Mad Scientist with Finglongers

From: Cell 53, East Wing
Insane since: Jul 2001

posted posted 10-17-2003 18:36

BS: This might be useful to you:

There are some good Kanji fonts out there e.g. there a few on these pages:


The Emperor dot org

Nervous Wreck (II) Inmate

From: MN
Insane since: Aug 2003

posted posted 10-17-2003 18:40

Been fighting with Streamline all morning. I have been doing this for a while with have assed results that everyone around here seems to like. But I know theres a better way of doing it to get better results. Always striving to make it look better than peoples expectations. Im going to go thru the motions again, and scan at high rez, and then resize before I clean it. Maybe that will work. And yes I am using the defaults. Havent actually gotten into that end of Photoshop just yet. But it intersts me, so I will be examinging my manual and any info I can find on the subject. Thanks for the pointers jStuartj. I was trying solely to use PS, but it looks as though this thing, to get the results that "I" want, I will have to do more in various other programs. Its all good. It is afterall all about making the end product extremely good. Thanks again.

Nervous Wreck (II) Inmate

From: MN
Insane since: Aug 2003

posted posted 10-17-2003 21:02

Thanx for all the help people. I nailed it with a combination of ideas put forth by jStuartj and DL. Heres what I did, if you're wondering:

ok I took the laser and scanned it in at 1200 dpi in Input mode (setting for Agfa 3.0 Scanware) @100% scaling.
- Then I built an Actionscript to ease my headaches in the future
-------------- Convert mode - Grayscale
Brightness/Contrast - +66/ +100
Curves Using Current channel (black cause of grayscale), using pointlist
Input @ +159 / Output @ +77
Gaussian Blur - 0.3
Then all I did was clean up the various little bugs laying about, and saved the different sections as seperate EPS files. Then rather than building the whole thing in PS, like I was attempting. I used Quark. Printed a copy out on my laser and there I had it. Crystal clear Kanji text. My department head was even surprised at the clarity. Usually we allow for alittle blurring/pixelating, seeing as Japan isnt our biggest market. But I wanted to make it look like I put some effort into it. Rather than being a Lazy American. Thanks for the post ppl. Until another time. Cya round.

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