The Incomplete Scanning Guide
this page is on the web at http://users.stlcc.edu/afoster/webteach/scans1.html
Computers are great for manipulating information- but how do you get images into a computer?
This incomplete guide to scanning provides valuable information to anyone who needs to scan or digitize images. It explains the concepts involved in digitizing images, and how to get the best results possible.
How it works
A scanner is a cousin to the copy machine. Flatbed scanners consist of a long table with a glass platen. Under the platen is a light source on a motorized carriage. When you tell the scanner to scan, The light powers up, the carriage moves across the face of the platen. An array of CCD's (Charge-Coupled Devices, or light sensitive chips) pick up the image and converts it to electric current. In turn this information is translated into digital data that the scanner software can understand.
So a scanner works the opposite of a printer with which the computer translates digital data and sends it to an output device.
Where to Start -obtaining photos
Having a scanner opens up a new world of computing, for now you can import a variety of objects into your computer. These objects are most commonly photos,but can be 3-D objects or even text. In fact, if it can fit onto your scanner-you can scan it! Once you have scanned in your objects, they become digital information which you can edit and enhance.
To do all this, all you need is a TWAIN * compatible device such as a scanner or digital camera, and an image editing software such as Photoshop. Images like these can be used for all kinds of purposes... In fact the final use of the image will go a long way toward how you scan it.
*(What's a TWAIN? Nobody knows. The common wisdom uses it as in the phrase "never the TWAIN shall meet". Could it also mean "This Will All Interconnect Nicely"?. Or maybe it's what Tweety Bird takes when going to visit his cousin Larry).
Scanning and Installation -getting your scanner up and running...
Installation is the first step when working with scanners. The installation process itself is very simple and only requires 4 steps: