How To Scan Large Artwork for Prints [7 Easy Steps]

In the past, it is tough to scan large-sized artwork. It was an incredible hassle to set the artwork and scan that thing. People also had to go to the professionals and spend money to do it. Now, there are lots of advancements. Some scanners can do a hassle-free large artwork scanning job in less time requirement.  

There are some particular scanning elements and specifications to perform well on scanning large projects. So, you should know how to scan large artwork with detailed specifications. When you learn the process correctly, you will produce high-quality artwork in soft copy by scanning. So, let’s know the necessary steps to scan the large art.

How To Scan Large Artwork : Easy Steps To Follow

For professional purposes, you have to make many arts on hard paper, and then we need the digital format of that art. So, we must know the better way to scan large art. Let’s follow the steps and have a digitized design. 

Step-1: Get Proper Scanner

Since you will scan larger artwork, the scanner should be proper in size, type, scanning quality, and image color format. There are CIS and CID types of scanners. CIS scanners are cheaper than CID. But the CID works better than the CIS. CID can take both smooth surfaces or textured surfaces with acrylic to water-color artwork. If you need high-quality scanning of a thicker and textured object or paper, you should make a budget for a CID-type scanner.

How To Scan Large Artwork

No scanner can scan the entire paper if it is the most oversized format. So, try to find the bigger format scanner how much big you can find. The scanning quality is measured by the unit dpi that is “dots per inch.” Find a scanner that can scan and make at least 300 dpi digital forms of paper. The higher the dpi, the higher will be the quality. If the scanner can scan up to 1200 dpi resolution, it is excellent. The other unit is PPI, meaning pixel per inch. It also should be 300 PPI at least.  

The image format is also essential. There is jpg, jpeg, TIFF, PNG, BMP, PCX format for the image. If your scanner can make TIFF scanned image format, it will be the best. The BMP and PCX are also better than others.  

Step-2: Get the Best Editing Software

The best editing software for artwork, including images or photos, is Adobe Photoshop, of course. Try to get this software and learn to work on this application. This application offers more flexibility, working areas, and simplicity in functioning. Other software can perform ell to like Luminar, CoreIRAW, Capture One, etc. Make sure your software can work with TIFF, BMP, PCX, etc. Your software also has to have the capability to work with layers to perfect your work.

how to get art scanned

Your desktop should have the ability to have software like Adobe Photoshop needs some requirements in the computer configuration. Know them and find suitable software for your work. 

Step-3: Preparation and Testing

Before beginning your job, a little preparation and testing are necessary. Follow the below steps for making all the preparation and testing.  

Preparation: At first, connect the scanner to the computer after cabled with electricity. Then clean it well to remove the dust. Now, open the scanner settings and set the quality measurement at the highest dpi.  

Testing: After completing the preparation test, an image or photo can be small in size. After scanning and saving the digital form, check if the quality is okay. If not, download a scanner software to modify it. After modifying, check if it is perfect. Then open the file to the editing software. If the image cannot open in your existing software, you have to find another software. When you get all settings right, the testing is finally finished.  

Now you can start your scanning job for large artwork. 

Step-4: Scanning

For the large artwork, you have to divide and scan partly and then adjust them. At first, make a plan for how you divide them. Decide a size range of all the parts. It can be ten by 10 inches, 20 by 20, etc., depending on the scanner capability. Now place the artwork paper parts facing it downward on the scanner and keep it flat as much as you can. Try to keep the piece of art in between the border. You have to scan to ensure that the section matches accordingly. Do not repeat scanning one part. You can overlap slightly so that you can have the gap for sewing them together.

scanning large artwork

After scanning every single part, check if it is okay before saving it.  

Step-5: Checking

Open the files in your editing software and check if all of them are neat and clean. You may need to crop, resize, or rotate those images. If required, do this editing but do not change the quality in dpi. After completing editing, it is ready to sew. 

Step-6: Sewing

To sew the parts together, at first, open a new file in your editing software. Set a different background that cannot mix with the artwork. Now upload the scanned and edited files to this project. Now, each of the scanned files is a separate layer, and do not merge them. After placing the layers, align them accordingly. Keep the opacity at 50% while aligning them. After completing the alignment, make the opacity 100%. There should not be any gap or overlapping. 

Step-7: Save the Project

You have to stitch them together while saving. You have to merge the layers now to turn them into a single image. There is a function on photoshop called “flatten,” and it will merge. Other programs can have another name. after merging, there may need some editing like changing the background color, resizing the image, etc. Do not edit if it does not need and do not change the resolution.  

Now, save the image into a TIFF or BMP, or PCX file. A little compression can happen to make them one. Now see a perfect scanned large artwork on your computer.

Also Read:

  1. How to Print Transparencies for Screen Printing?
  2. How Does A Color Thermal Printer Work


Many people think that it is almost impossible to scan larger artworks. You have already learned that it is not impossible though it takes time and some works. If you follow the steps above perfectly, you will have the perfect scanned project of your oversized artwork.  

So, learn how to scan large artwork and then have the digital format of all your art.

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