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Cleaning up scan of handwritten document

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  #1  
Old 11-23-2009, 05:19 AM
quoddy quoddy is offline
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Cleaning up scan of handwritten document

This historical document was scanned by an archive and placed online. It would be nice if it could be cleaned up a bit for better presentation.

http://quoddy.smugmug.com/Foobar/stu...26_U5ZcZ-O.png

What techniques could be used to make documents like this more legible.

quoddy
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Old 11-23-2009, 11:45 AM
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grannysdc grannysdc is offline
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Re: Cleaning up scan of handwritten document

Once the document is converted to B/W it is very difficult

If the document was scanned in color there would be 10 different channels: R, G, B, C, M, Y, K, L, a, b to work with and possibly be able to separate and eliminate some things by color whereas now you only have black and white with shades of gray blending together
An example would be a big green blob over some black text.. the green could be removed leaving the text visible.. whereas after conversion to gray scale there is a black or gray blob over black or gray text... removal of one removes both

Good luck
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Old 11-23-2009, 12:44 PM
quoddy quoddy is offline
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Re: Cleaning up scan of handwritten document

Unfortunately, this is what I'm left with. There is always the hope that I can visit the archive someday and that they will allow me to scan the images myself. For now though, I'm stuck with the images that they have provided.

I've played with tools like magic eraser but there is little success. Clone tool takes far too long and looks terrible.

quoddy
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Old 11-23-2009, 02:26 PM
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mistermonday mistermonday is offline
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Re: Cleaning up scan of handwritten document

Quoddy, not sure how clean you want to make it but a moderate approach would be to apply a curve to separate the dark writing from the less dark dirt (there is a fair amount of lightness difference). Then on a duplicate layer use the Dodge and Burn tools in the tool bar of PS to Burn the shadows and dodge the midtones. This is a 1 minute job on an area that had a large smudge.
Regards, Murray
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File Type: jpg Quoddy scan Orig Cropped.jpg (145.4 KB, 73 views)
File Type: jpg Quoddy scan MM.jpg (197.1 KB, 78 views)
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Old 11-23-2009, 04:05 PM
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TommyO TommyO is offline
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Re: Cleaning up scan of handwritten document

Quoddy,
... and don't forget to take advantage of converting to CMYK anyway; there is a lot that can be enhanced working in the K channel. After that, experiment with overlay blend mode, as it works nicely when trying to enhance differences. A quick example.... and, you don't have to brush the text, only the area surrounding the text. I could have made it all white around the text, but it starts to look retouched.
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