Finished Linework Scanning


If this has been covered before, I apologize.

I have finished line art that is done on Borden and Riley Marker Paper. It is just inked by hand with Micron pens and is clean and tight.

I want the best reproduction of the original, obviously. I usually scan at 300 in grayscale instead of black and white. for some reason it seems to provide a better scan.

If anyone has mastered this let me know. I am also trying to find the best papers for print from an inkjet printer (what I have).

I mentioned this earlier, but the original is Black line art, and could move into high contrast style rendering. I’ve just noticed that the printed copies from a clean scan are not the same as the original. I realize the difference in paper is also a factor, and sometimes causes bleed. I use laser paper at 94 US Brightness.



Hey did I ask the wrong question??

I suppose a better question might be what res to scan at for line art inked by hand on marker paper. The drawing is tight, and I want reproduce it as closely as possible.


I’d do it the same way that you are. Scan b+w photo at 300. You may have to do some slight color adjustment if your paper comes in a little blue or yellow depending on your scanner, etc.
-Also, you’ll have to experiment with the print settings. On an Epson, choosing the “normal paper” setting will print darker, using the “photo qual” setting prints lighter. You can experiment by purposefully choosing the “normal paper” setting but using photo paper, and vice versa. You’ll get very different looking results depending on the paper/print setting combo. For plain b+w work this shouldn’t be much of an issue though.
-One more thing, adjust your levels once you get it scanned to emphasize the contrast between the black lines and paper if you’re looking for a good crisp looking result. Using the bw photo setting can make your “white” background turn to a shade of gray, especially around the edges of the scanner (if you have a cheap one like me!)


Thanks for the advice. I will try the BW scan.

Normally I use the Grayscale option with my BW Scans because it looks “more smooth”. I’ve scanned a tight inked drawing done in micron before and sometimes it looks a little grainy. I have used the Gaussian Blur, but it doesn’t always correct this without getting too blurred.

Do you use Adobe Streamline, and have a setting you use to get a tighter look? I have had some success but as the drawing gets more complex I have noticed the lines running together and other details/features being smoothed out too much=loss of detail.

Don’t use Gaussian blur. Hit command-L (or m, I forget) for levels. You can move the black and white slider triangles to make the black darker or change where your white points will be. You can easily take that gray graininess and make that plain white, you’ll have good control over your look. If you have some areas (like near the corners and edges) that have a big color change just select those areas and delete those, then go ahead and use levels to whiten up the rest of your background and make your lines crisp. Good luck.

Skinny’s got it. Whenever I’m scanning line work, I scan in grayscale @ 300 DPI slightly underexposed, then adjust the white and black points in photoshop. Usually all this involves is dragging the white slider down a little bit into the histogram and playing with the 50% one. Sometimes I’ll put a little bit of sharpening or blurring on the image (often a radius of 1 pixel or smaller) to make it pop.

I usually use the full color mode even with black and white. The resolution is much better because of the 24 bit (millions of colors) vs 256 grey scale.

If I wasnt it in B&W I’ll change it after the scan.

Frequently I scan a drawing and trace it in illlustrator.

For inkjet printing paper makes a big difference. plain laser paper will be a little blurry. Use at least a coated premium paper.

This might be asking too much, but can you guys post some example of different paper and quality combos or any combos in between…I have an HP scanner myself…but have never been satisfied with quality of images…maybe this will clear up issues i’ve had before with these things.