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SilverFast Ai

SS4000 SilverFast Bundle

Tutorial - 4

Basic steps to batch scanning

By Ian Lyons

 

1 July 2001
 

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A Computer Darkroom Tutorial

 

A question that crops up in my mailbox day after day after day is "how do I batch scan ......... ?". It bugs you, it bugged me. Reference to the SilverFast manual doesn't really help much either. Follow the instructions in the SilverFast manual and the slide or negative holder will at the first step be ejected, not loaded or pre-scanned! That said, once you get the hang of things; batch scans are really quite simple.

 

 

Up until now, I have concentrated this series of tutorials on scanning a single slide or negative. As implied above it was for a perfectly good reason, I couldn’t find an approach that consistently produced results. Typically, I could get a series of four slides scanned into Photoshop or out to file as requested, but the next series ended up as a single image. Finally and after much experimentation, I drew up a sequence of steps that worked every time, but proof that it worked on other scanner models was required, and eventually obtained. The following methodology has been tried and found to be successful on the Polaroid SS4000/120, MicroTek ArtixScan 4000, Nikon LS2000 and LS30 film scanners.

At the risk of repeating myself, again, the screen grabs used for this tutorial are all based on the Mac version of SilverFast Ai 5. Other than a few colours and squared edges to dialogs both platforms are pretty much identical. I have personally tried the methodology on the Polaroid SS4000/120 and Nikon LS30 film scanners using both the Mac and PC platforms, and have been assured by other testers that it works on the other two scanners named above.

SilverFast AI Scanner Set-up

As it turns out configuring SilverFast to batch scan isn't really that difficult, but there are a few quirks and thus you must follow the steps outlined below to the letter, step-by-step-by-step. If you follow the steps in the order given, all should be okay, but deviate or try to outsmart the system and who knows? Again I assume that you are using Photoshop 5 or 6 and are familiar with the SilverFast interface, although use of screen grabs should make things a bit easier to follow.

Step 1 - In the beginning!

Silly as this statement may appear, we must first load the "film carrier" with your slides or a negative strip, why silly? Well SilverFast will batch scan the blank film slots along with those containing film, there's no point wasting time scanning blanks.

With SilverFast NOT open - yes I did write NOT open, insert the film carrier into the scanner. Now you can open SilverFast.

Make sure that all the colour correction tools are cleared, the toolbar should look like the following. If not, press the "ALT" key on the keyboard and at the same time click the SilverFast "Option" button.

 

Image

SilverFast Tools Palette set to default "Off"

 

Actually, a far better option would be make high-bit scans and process them at your leisure later on using SilverFast HDR, but that's a decision you can make. I described how to make high-bit scans and use HDR in Part 2 of the tutorials, so I won't repeat it here.

Step 2 - Prescan or overview

Depending upon your personal preference you can either pre-scan the first frame or do a complete overview of all frames in the carrier.

Personally I prefer to save time and simply choose the Prescan option. This brings the first slide/negative up on the main preview window. However, many users feel more at ease with the "comfy blanket" wrapped up under their arm, so who am I to argue :-)

To obtain an overview of the images simply press the b3 button. The following dialog appears and after pressing the "Refresh Overview" button you should have a series of X images on show.

 

Overview of images in film carrier

 

Click "OK" and you should be returned to the main SilverFast screen.

 

 

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