Changing Scanner Brightness (Shallow Thoughts)

Akkana's Musings on Open Source, Science, and Nature.

Tue, 22 Nov 2005

Changing Scanner Brightness

It's Mars season (Mars was at opposition at the beginning of November, so Mars is relatively close this month and it's a good time to observe it) and I've been making pencil sketches of my observations. Of course, that also means firing up the scanner in order to put the sketches on a web page.

Last weekend I scanned the early sketches. It was the first time in quite a while that I'd used the scanner (which seldom gets used except for sketches), and probably only the second time since I switched to Ubuntu. I was unreasonably pleased when I plugged it in, went to GIMP's Acquire menu, and was able to pull up xsane with no extra fiddling. (Hooray for Ubuntu! Using Debian for a while gives you perspective, so you can get great joy over little things like "I needed to use my scanner and it still works! I needed to make a printout and printing hasn't broken recently!")

Anyway, xsane worked fine, but the scans all came out looking garish -- bright and washed out, losing most of the detail in the shading. I know the scanner is capable of handling sketches (it's a fairly good scanner, an Epson Perfection 2400 Photo) but nothing I did with the brightness, contrast, and gamma adjustments got the detail back.

The adjustment I needed turned out to live in the "Standard Options" window in xsane: a Brightness slider which apparently controls the brightness of the light (it's different from the brightness adjustment in the main xsane scanning window). Setting this to -2 gave me beautiful scans, and I was able to update my 2005 Mars sketch page.

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[ 13:13 Nov 22, 2005    More tech | permalink to this entry ]