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# Hmmm, photoshop~

My sleeping schedule is quite badly messed up. Mostly because I've been sleeping at 4-ish, getting up at 10 or 11, studying the day away, napping a bit in the afternoons, etc.

It's crazy. I should probably take better care of myself? I am getting 8 hours of sleep though.. just split to two chunks of sleeping time.

But the main point of this post is to say that I'm actually taking part in a scanlation group. Mostly because I want to read more of the manga (Hayate the Combat Butler). No, it's probably not the best thing out there - a bit like the reverse of He is My Master.

Yeah, so my bit in this is cleaning~ I clean the raw scans - rotate the scan to match, and do any skewing necessary, fix the b/w levels, clean up the dust... I also do a bit more and clean up the boxes, and occasionally the dialogue bubbles. I may start dropping the latter thou - it can consume quite a bit of time.

So here's what I've learned so far... / the process I follow.
Rotating is easy. Use the photoshop measuring tool to draw a line along the bottom of a box, then rotate the canvas with the "arbitrary rotate" command and read off the angle if necessary. Photoshop CS2 does that for you automagically~

At this point, I create two guide lines. One vertical, one horizontal. I zoom in a bit and check to see if skewing is necessary (matching vertical - we've already taken care of horizontal using rotating. The horizontal guide line is just to make sure we rotated correctly.)

Skewing is also done with the measuring tool, drawn against the side of a box, then skewed using free transform and filling in the correct value.

Next is levels. Levels is easy, since I've been given the approximate input numbers [115 - 1.00 - 250] for our scans... Not that I really know what they mean, but they make it look pretty decent. I prefer to make a new adjustment layer, instead of applying the change to the image - better for undoing in the future. Seems the usual target point for adjusting levels is a bit past the first hump on the left side, and a bit inwards from the right...

Then cleaning off specks of dust - This is done with another adjustment layer to darken levels to a pretty high amount, around 200 - 3.00 - 250, or whatever I feel like working with - this makes any abnormal dust show up pretty quickly, and catching it just requires zooming in a decent amount and checking the page.

Finally, retracing the boxes and dialogue boxes... I don't always do every single one - just the ones that look really bad...

Tools that I've become proficient at:
-magic wand (set to 10, "anti-alias", "contig.", and most importantly, "sample all layers") + delete button. Several applications will clean a decent area.
-rectangle select tool - for trimming the sides of boxes, cleaning the spaces between them, and the sides of the pages. Usable with delete, or with pen/pencil/fill to limit the scope of what you draw.
-magnetic lasso tool - for getting those really dirty dialogue bubbles.
-adding/deleting selected area. Absurdly helpful. (shift and alt, on mac)
-Paths. Also helpful for rapidly drawing box borders. As well as dialog boxes as necessary.

Approximate time required per page: 30 minutes - 1 hours. Mostly it's the dust removal and redrawing of boxes... the rotating and leveling takes at most 5 minutes, now that I'm used to it.

If anyone's curious, here's the raw images (yes, Korean. Apparently they don't have a japanese to english translator person, or they don't have Japanese sources...), the psd files I saved my work in, and the final jpegs

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In other odd news, I'm downloading the first two seasons of Digimon. 104 episodes, 54 in the first season, and 50 in the second. Unfortunately, they're turning out to be raw. (Yeah, it did say raw. I was hoping they would be english dubs raw. Hoping, really really hard. But audio's in Japanese, and there's no subtitles to be found.)

I am considering subtitling them with my very minimal knowledge of Japanese. Am I crazy?

(Yeah, my conscience is throwing a fit in the back of my brain. Something about school and you know, more important things.)

Google's quote of the day says otherwise:
If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts; but if he will be content to begin with doubts he shall end in certainties.
- Sir Francis Bacon

 post cut to save space. Didn't realize it was so damn long.
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