scanners such as the Nikon 4000ED with its bulk slide feeder and roll
film adapter should find Job-Manager a great
productivity tool, likewise any scanner that has a facility for
holding multiple frames. The Polaroid SS4000 and SS120 can handle
between 1 and 6 frames depending upon film format and so are also good
candidates for Job-Manager. There is virtually no limit to the number of images that can be
incorporated into the "Job".
One thing that should be noted about the operation of Job-Manager is, whilst it's a batch scanning tool, it's
essential that SilverFast is
NOT set to Batch Scanning mode. When using Job-Manager
scan as you would a single
image and all will be well, scan in batch mode and the result will
be one frame only, so be warned.
The step-by-step procedure described in the following pages is
the approach that I have adopted when using both SilverFast Ai
and HDR. It is not necessarily the best or only method, but I know that it works equally well on a number of scanners and SilverFast
HDR. A more comprehensive explanation of how Job-Manager
operates is provided within the new SilverFast user manual.
Step 1 - Configuring the Frame Control
Since using Job-Manager will automate much of what the user
would do manually it's important that we ensure that these processes
are to our liking and not necessarily the SilverFast defaults. We begin by
configuring the: Scan Type:, Filter:, Image
the frame dimensions and resolution. Once each has been set as
required we simply choose Settings: Save and give the settings
a name (red asterisk).
Configuring the Frame Control Panel
SilverFast is now ready to Prescan our images using
these customised settings.
Step 2 - Creating the overview scan
now want to create a palette of thumbnail images to be included within
the "Job". By
the "Overview" window will appear. Simply choosing the "Refresh
Overview" button will cause the scanner to
create a series of thumbnails for each image on the filmstrip.
Overview scan of images available
on film strip
Once all the thumbnails have been created we simply click OK
and SilverFast will produce a preview image of the
highlighted frame. The frame with the wide "white"
border will be pre-scanned. However, the choice of frame is not important.
Step 3 - Creating the "Job"
Press the Job-Manager button
and the control panel shown in the screenshot below should
appear. The "Job" area should be completely
The screenshot below describes the various controls associated with
Job-Manager Control Panel
Step 4 - Previewing the "Job"
To preview/add all of the thumbnails created in Step 2 above into the
Job-Manager overview window we must press the Job-Manager Overview
button. Notice that whereas the Overview button within the main
SilverFast control panel had buttons labelled OK and Cancel
in the bottom right corner we now find Add and Cancel
Overview scan of
Step 5 - Adding Images to the
Highlighting all of the thumbnails requires that we hold down the Shift
key whilst clicking each thumbnail in turn. Don't worry about the red boundary,
so long as ALL the thumbnail surrounds turn "white" they have been selected.
Overview scan with all thumbnails
Click Add. The following dialog will appear and we should
choose our customised configuration (created at Step 1 above) from the
We also have the option of choosing to allow SilverFast to Auto
Correct the images or even apply on of the special
correction algorithms programmed into the software. I tend to keep Image
Type set to Standard and Adjust image automatically
"Checked". Next we click OK and the selected
image will be added to the "Job".
The screenshot below shows the Job-Manager control
panel with four individual frames (pre-scans) preset with the unique requirements
as defined in Step 1 above. Note that whilst Auto Correction
has been applied to each image it is NOT yet optimised,
we'll need to "Crop" and edit each "Prescan"
in turn to match our personal preferences along with any other
requirements specific to the image, such as - adjusting resolution,
colour editing and sharpening. Note that rotating an image can
significantly increase the time required to process the final image.
Pre-scanned Images in
We have now completed the series of steps which make up the
initial Prescan stage of the process. The next stage
involves carrying out our desired image optimisation and the final
A "Job" need not
comprise only those images that can be contained on one loading of the
film carrier. We can actually reload the film carrier as often we like
(subject to hard disk space). Typically, with the Polaroid SprintScan
4000 and 120 I will create a "Job" that
comprises twenty 35mm transparencies. This means that the actual film
carrier must be reloaded up to five times so that all the pre-scan images
can be saved to the "Job". When using SilverFast HDR
with Job-Manager this number can extend up to many hundreds of
images since no scanner is involved, although it can be make a fair dent
in the available space on the hard disk.
Step 6 - Editing "Job" Images
Our next task is to select an image for optimising. This is relatively
simple to achieve since all we need do is mouse click the image in the
"Job-Manager" control window and then choose the "Edit"
button. The screenshot below shows this in red.
Selecting an Image for Editing in
Once the image is selected and the "Edit" button clicked the
image will be pre-scanned into the main SilverFast Prescan window. When the
pre-scan is completed we MUST crop the image. If the image is not cropped
the colour/contrast corrections will include the frame border within the
analysis and so a poor result will almost inevitably follow (especially the
case with negatives). Now we can use all of the SilverFast
colour/contrast/sharpen tools as required to optimise the image. Once
completed we simply select the "Save" button (circled red in the
screenshot below). Notice that the "Save" has replaced the normal
The optimised image is saved back into the "Job". We can now
proceed to the second image and repeat the above process of image selection,
however, this time we do not need to press the "Edit" button. A
quick check of the Job-Manager window below shows that Image 1 has been
cropped, colour corrected, gradation corrected and some Unsharp Mask (USM)
has been applied. Image 2 has also been cropped, colour corrected and
gradation corrected but no sharpening has been applied.
The above process is repeated until all images within the "Job"
have been edited.
Step 7 - Saving the "Job" Images
Once all the images making up the "Job"
have been edited we must "Save" the "Job"
so that it can be scanned at a later time. However, before we save the
"Job" we must tell Job-Manager that the editing
process has been completed. This is achieved by pressing the "Edit"
button so that it is released (see screenshot below).
Now we can choose the "Save" command from
the "Job" menu and give it a name, ideally one that
reflects the content of the "Job".
At this point it's also a good idea to choose the location
to where the scanned images will eventually be saved. However, make sure the
destination disk/folder has adequate space to hold the images. The file
sizes are show adjacent to the thumbnail so calculating the amount of space
required shouldn't present any problems.
Choosing the final location of
Even after saving the "Job" it is still
possible to re-edit any single or group of images making up the "Job".
It's simply a matter of selecting the image and pressing the "Edit"
button. However, this time round the scanner does NOT need to
the image since a copy of each pre-scan has been saved to your hard disk. Of
course, after re-editing we must again save the "Job".
Step 8 - Scanning the Images
Up until this point we have only pre-scanned our images and
carried out the cropping and edits, now we must actually scan the sequence
of images to our hard disk. Select each of the images by simply holding down
the Shift key and clicking the thumbnail. Selected images will be shown with
a "white" surround (see screenshot below). To begin the actual scanning
process simply press the "Start" button.
Scanning the Images
The process of scanning our sequence of images can take
quite a long time, especially if the edits included rotation and the images
are large. However, during this phase we can be doing something else as the
scanner need not normally be attended, at least not until we need to reload
the film carrier. We can also use the "Stop" button to stop
the process and thus allow reloading of the film carrier if that is
necessary. LaserSoft have provided some visual feedback to denote progress
through the "Job". This takes the form of coloured LED's
that are positioned on the right hand side of the Job-Manager control
window. The LED's have the following meaning:
Yellow - the image is currently being scanned
Green - the image has been successfully scanned
Red - Image has failed to scan
Grey - Image has not yet been scanned
If the "Job" is stopped at any point and then
restarted only those images that don't have green or red LED's will be
scanned. Those with a green LED have already been completed and those shown
with a red LED have failed. Always check the status of the LED's before
restarting the scanning process.
SilverFast with Job-Manager is an extremely powerful
and useful productivity tool. Hopefully this tutorial will have provided
sufficient insight as to how it works that you will decide to try it for yourself.