Fanscan 101

This section is for all of who are interested in fanscanning or curious about the process itself.

First of all, the following materials are needed to begin:

  • A scanner (Preferabley flatbed)
  • Graphic editing program (I use Paint Shop Pro, arguably the best shareware graphic program)
  • Dragon Ball Manga
  • Translations if you cannot translate the language the manga is in.

It is necessary to be familiar with the graphic editing program; if new to it, it's a good idea to "practice" on already translated manga.

Scanning the Page
It is preferable to scan in black & white and save as gif. Not only does this save space, it also looks closer to the original manga. However, every volume there is always one chapter that is noticeably darker than the others. This one should be scan in greyscale and saved as a jpeg. Also, the dpi should be set at 150 or 200.

Scanning in b/w does have one drawback - if the page isn't totally flat, a nasty black line will present over the parts that weren't flat. Before, I pressed down on the cover, which really didn't do much to help. It also resulted in the damn cover tray breaking off. =( What I do now that seems to work very well is leave the cover up, and flatten the page by placing a heavy textbook on top. That seems to be the best way of going about it.

SSJ Son Goku Editing the Page
Load the page, and view at 1/3 size. Crop the page, then mirror (don't mirror if you are using french manga). Blow it up to 2/1, and delete the text. The best looking font seems to be Comic Sans MS. Use bold to indicate strong feeling or yelling, and italics to show thinking.

It's usually a lot better to have a methodical way to completing a chapter. My method is two scan half, edit it, and then do the other half. A chapter can usually take anywhere from 30 minutes (when it's all fighting and practically no text) to 2 hours (that's when it's nearly ALL talking).

Lastly, be prepared for all sorts of crazy questions and requests. People will often ask to be sent chapters when they can't download them. (Though I've never had this happen since I moved to silicon-north) You'd also get those "Can you do vol. X" or "When is the next chapter coming out". And just remember: If you want me to host your chapters, I'm willing to do it. All of this may seem like hard work, and it is, but you get a warm fuzzy feeling inside when you get praised by others, and when you realize that you are contributing to spreading Dragon Ball worldwide.

Comments and suggestions are welcome

7/31 - Foobar adds:
"Scanning in b/w does have one drawback - if the page isn't totally flat, a nasty black line will present over the parts that weren't flat. Not if you use the Foobar manga scanning technique (heh).

Android 16 What I do is scan it in greyscale, go into an editor (I use Paint Shop Pro 3 at this step), select and brighten the inside edge and then dither the whole image to 2 colors. Without the lighting done, the difference in color is too great, so the darker edge turns black. If the edge is made brighter that way (in PSP 3), select from the edge to where it starts getting dark and go Colors\Adjust - Brightness/Contrast... then enter 15 for brightness (leave contrast alone) and push enter) then even though it looks strange in greyscale the shade difference isn't large enough anymore to turn into black when you reduce to 2 colors.

I use PSP 3 to convert the 256-shade greyscale scanned pictures into 2 color .bmp, then go to Adobe PhotoDeluxe to erase the original text and insert the english, I export to the same name .bmp (photodeluxe increases depth to 24-bit and don't try exporting to .gif, it hacks them up (.jpg's fine though), batch convert the .bmps in PSP to .gif and finally go to a dos prompt and use a for loop to mass rename the files (152.gif 153.gif etc) to db33pXXX.gif ("for %i in (152 153 etc) do ren %i.gif db33p%i.gif" without quotes).

Photodeluxe... it's unstable and strangely designed :p If you zoom in and use the eraser you risk having random vertical blocks of all layers blanking out (with me at least) but it's what makes the nice anti-aliased text I use".

12/9 - Nick adds:
"I'd like to add a scanning tip. Certain black and white pages have halftones on them, like the one where the sound effects are filled in with gray or in underwater scenes. Scanning this as two color may give the image a "poka-dot" effect where large areas of simulated gray are placed that look pretty bad. A way to work on this is to increase the sharpening on your scanner settings to maximum, that will make smaller dots and give an overall more consistant look. Scanning as a black and white dithered halftone can also work but if parts of your To the top page are inconsistant then it may create an undesired artifact at places where you accidentally spilled coffee. Brightness when scanning line art is important as well. The shadows from the spines can be greatly reduced if you increase the brightness on you scanner setting. This helps because the line art process uses a 50% threshold procedure that makes colors of a certain darkness black and colors of a certain brightness white. Increasing brightness will make the shadow brighter while keeping the actual lineart dark enough to be detected as black. Play around with brightness settings to get the maximum result."


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