I am going to use this space to give you some of my extra special tips. Watch here and learn as we explore some of the new features and add some of my own wisdom, humor, musing, ramblings, and chipping anecdotes.
I've been given quite a few compliments on my scans and wanted to share some tips on how I am able get clear straight scans with clean white backgrounds. Here are some steps that I use.1) Open Photoshop Elements
2) Do your scans with your scanner. But first…. some notes:
|I use an Epson 4494 photo flat bed scanner, which has excellent color depth. Most all-in-one scanners do not have good color depth, which then results in poor quality reproductions of orange and pink colors.
I have my scanner set the following way:
Fixed size: 200 dpi, 100%, 322 x 322 (this just for the initial scan, it’ll be 316 x 316 for the final product in Elements). You can go a little bigger still if you like. Fixed crop size: Height: 41.0 mm, width: 41.0 mm (locked)- this is the crop box size. This allows us a little extra room for the chip to be within the box. Again, you can go a little bigger if you like, but this size works perfectly for almost all chips.
Placement of the chip: I have made it easy on myself by putting a black sharpie marker dot on the scanner bed glass. I will always place the chip approx ½ inch to the right of this mark to make it a perfect placement in the crop box. Doing this eliminates the need for a preview followed by a zoom. Placing the chip by the dot, and having the crop box placed to the correct spot I can go directly to zoom. You only need to be adjusting the placement of the cropped box the first time you set the scanner up.
Epson scanners come with “ICE” technology, and ICE scanning software. Depending on the scanner you have, your scanning software may or may not have the ability to make adjustments, and even then, sometimes the software is not the best for making quality adjustments.
With Epson, I increase the levels on contrast, which also makes the image sharper and brighter. Since I want to keep the color and brightness true, I will have to back down the brightness to the realistic levels. Usually, it is about equal brightness decrease number to the contrast increase number, i.e. contrast +15, brightness –15.
Do your Zoom, (not scan). If you scan, the image is sent to elements and you won’t have a chance to do adjustments with the crop box and contrast.
Adjust your crop box, making sure the entire chip is inside of the lines.
Adjust your contrast and brightness. If by any chance you need color adjustments, you can either do it here in your scanner software, or you can do it in Elements if your scanner software does not do an adequate job.
You’re now ready to send the image to Elements for cropping, rotating and final saving → hit SCAN.
As you run through the procedure for the first time just do one scan to start with. Once you are familiar with everything you’ll be doing numerous scans one after another before you go to Elements for final rotating and cropping.
Close your scanning software.
Once you have clicked on the Elliptical Tool, (cropping tool), click in the image window and a circle crop will appear. Increase the image size by using the center wheel of your mouse. This will make it easier to be more precise in your adjustments.
Click inside the circle and drag the circle to exactly cover the chip. If there is still chip showing outside the circle, you’ll need to make the width and height numbers higher. If the circle is bigger then the chip, you need to lower the numbers.
|Hold Control and X (windows cut function) this will cut the selected cropped circle and the chip within from the background.|
|Hold Control and N (new window function) a window will appear for dimensions settings. You can make the image window as big as you like. I use width = 316 x height = 316, and resolution= 200. Don’t bother with the image name or other information…. it’s not needed. Click “ok”|
|Hold Control and V (windows paste function) to paste the chip you previously cut into the new window. You now have just the image of the chip…without all of the shadows and darker background of the previous original scan.|
|Select the rotate tool (looks like a plus sign made of 4 directions of arrows. This is the top icon of the vertical row running down the left. Increase the image size using the center wheel of your mouse. Again, this makes it easier to be more precise in your adjustments. A box will appear around the chip, as well as a little o under the chip window. To rotate the chip, click and drag that o to the left or right and the image will rotate. When you have the orientation aligned perfectly click the green check mark to apply your change. The image will then “snap” to the newly adjusted orientation.|
by special guest tipster Ross Poppel
If you were watching during the convention I was using it on a Mac. It can be done by using a program like Parallels or VMWare Fusion.
These are what are called virtual machines allowing you to run an operating system inside an operating system. Basically you need a relatively recent Mac (within the last 3-4 years) that is based on an Intel processor. If you have a question about that let me know.
After that you need two things --
- VMWare Fusion (http://www.vmware.com/products/fusion) - about $80.00
- Parallels (www.parallels.com) - about $80.00
- Wine for Mac (http://www.winehq.org) - FREE
If you use VMWare or Parallels you will also need to have any Any flavor of windows such as XP, Vista or Windows 7. These aren’t too difficult to come by. You may already have an unused license or can purchase an OEM version from eBay.
Install Parallels, Install XP (or Windows 7), Install Collector's Assistant. Poof... running on Mac.
If you are asking if Collector’s Assistant Plus will ever be a native Mac or Cocoa application? Probably not.
A new feature in version 8 is the “pack n go”. This feature allows you to take your program along with your data and settings and move everything onto another computer. It will then install the program along with all of your data including the desktop icon. It allows you to work back and forth from one computer to another. All you need is a USB drive with at least 1 GB of capacity.
You can copy chips from the built in reference and paste the item right into your own collection. All of the informational fields will already be complete as well as scans of the chip. Remember….if you use the built in reference, make sure to mark the “borrowed scan” check box. This way you will know that the scan is not of your chip. This can make a difference if your chips happen to be in weak condition, or in the event that you ever want to sell the chip. Another reason is that as the TCR evolves, they have changed numbers for chips that may be either long cane version or short cane version.
Please remember that unfortunately, computer hard drives are not known for giving you advanced warnings when they are planning on dying. It is for that reason that I recommend that you make a back up of your database whenever you have made changes. It’s only a matter of time…..all hard drives will fail at some time or another. Maybe it’s in five years, maybe it’ll be today. There is also the very real threat of computer virus as well as unforeseen acts of nature, such as fires, power surges, floods, etc. You do not want to risk losing your work.
It’s also a very good idea to make frequent backups of your other important documents and pictures. If you would mind loosing it from a hard drive crash, Back It Up!!
Collectors Assistant Plus has a built in back-up function, but you can also do a simple copy and paste. Many people, including myself, do back-ups on a portable external USB hard drive, but burning to a blank CD works just as well.
Welcome to the first in a series of tips to help you get organized with you collection. Let's start off with a one that will help lay the groundwork for organization.
I can say with all honesty, that this is the most complete and versatile program for collectors available anywhere in the entire civilized world. Since it has been made with the pre-thought of having it completely customizable, there are many modifications, adjustments and tweaks that you can make. It all comes down to just how adventurous you’d like to be. If you can imagine it, the chances are the Collectors Assistant Plus can do it. Don’t be afraid to play around. Just make sure you do back-ups of your data just in case you mess things up. That way you’ll be able to restore things back the way they were. If by any chance you can think of something useful that is not presently an option, please let me know, and I’ll look into possibly adding the features or function into an upgrade or service pack.
1. Install the program onto your computer.
2. Download the latest service pack/updates from Carlisle Development download area.