If like me you have a love/hate relationship with technology – love it when it works, hate it when it all turns to custard – you may be using your computer more and more in your scrapbooking. I don’t think I’ll ever become a solely digital scrapbooker. I love making things and having some texture (3D) on the page. But I love learning new computer techniques to enhance and improve my pictures, although I’m the first to admit I’m still a complete novice. Being part of Paper Pesto has meant learning quite a few new computer skills, one of which is scanning and stitching. Now that I can do it, it’s so easy!
So I thought I’d write a little piece on scanning and stitching 12 x 12 layouts. I have a HP Photosmart All-in-One, just a cheap middle-of-the range model, but it’s fantastic. I realise not everyone has that brand, so I’ve done a little research and found some other sites you may want to link through to:
www.creatingkeepsakes.com/mag/article.ihtml?index_field=1958 – this links you to an article that came out in Creating Keepsakes July 2007 issue, and talks about scanning and stitching using various versions of Photoshop.
www.bellaonline.com/articles/art7487.asp – links you to an article from Bella Online, written by Lawanda Kress, which looks at stitching using Microsoft Paint, which most computers have as a standard program.
www.scrapjazz.com/topics/Computer_Center/Scanning/38.php – this article has some great tips for scanning layouts, as well as instructions on stitching together your scans.
And finally there is an article from the HP website, which also contains some tips for scanning, including lumpy 3-D layouts.
In any case, I thought I’d quickly share how I scan and stitch using my HP Photosmart printer and scanner. The first step is relatively easy – scan the two halves of your layout. The main thing to watch here is the fact that most 12 x 12 layouts slightly exceed the length of the scanner flatbed. Your layout will stick out maybe ½ inch off the glass scanning surface. Just pick the end of the layout which will have the least impact not being scanned, and when you flip your layout around to scan the other side, make sure the same end is off the flatbed. Or centre it as best you can.
I use my HP Solution Centre software to scan, which automatically sends the two halves of the scanned layout to HP Photosmart Premier (unless I specify otherwise).
Once the images are in HP Photosmart Premier, I then select the images on the View tab (by clicking on them).
Click the Create tab.
To Arrange Images either click Add All from below the frames, or drag the images you want from the Selection tray to a frame.
At this stage you want to make sure the two halves of your layout are both facing the same way (click on the rotating icon on an image as necessary), and that the left hand side of the layout is on the left, with the right-hand side of the layout on the right i.e. in the right order.
Having arranged the images, click step number 2 on the left hand side – “Stitch”, and the magic begins. You can then save your newly stitched image or edit it further (crop, re-size etc).
I haven’t used any other scanners and stitching programmes to be able to tell you how they work step by step, but the process looks to be very similar for other programmes and scanners from what I’ve read in the above links. Those of you who already scan and stitch will know how easy it really is. For those of you attempting it for the first time, persevere – you too will be marvelling at the simplicity of the process within a short time.