How-To's for the Scholars' Commons Digitization Lab

Back to Digitization Services

These pages contain instructions for how to use the equipment in the Scholars' Commons Digitization Lab to digitize materials of various kinds. If you need assistance, ask the consultant on duty or email Kara Alexander, Digital Media Specialist, or Caitlyn Smallwood, Digital Imaging Specialist.

How to digitize a document (print, book, photo, etc.) using the Epson Scanners

If you have any questions about SilverFast or scanning, the consultant on duty is able to explain further. Otherwise, consult the Help section of the SilverFast software. 

  1. SilverFast is another program used to scan documents, and one that gives more control than just using the Epson Software. If you want better quality scans, use this program instead!
  2. Open SilverFast (it should be on the desktop; if not, look for it under Programs). It looks like a rainbow eye.
  3. In SilverFast, there is a “prescan” option at the very top of the program, used to see what the scan is going to look like before you actually scan it. This means you will not have to scan a page multiple times to get it the way you want, and you will not have to use Photoshop to edit it later.
  4. On the top left there are several options: Positive; 48 -> 24 Bit; and Frame.
    • Positive is for pictures and print documents. Clicking “Positive” will show you two other options, Kodachrome and Negative, which are both for slides and film.
    • 48-24 Bit means your scan will be in color. Clicking this option gives you other color options, from greyscale to black and white. This choice depends on the kind of scan you want to make.
    • Frame refers to the red marquee around your picture. Clicking “Frame” gives you several options for this feature, including reverting any changes you have made to the frame.
  5. Under these options is:
    • Name (the name of your image),
    • Path (where your image will save to),
    • Format (how large you want your frame to be) and
    • Preset (the DPI or PPI of your image – basically, the quality of your image. The higher the Preset the better the quality). Mess with these to see what you prefer for your scan.
  6. Under this is where the color correction options will appear. There are several color editing tools: HistogramAuto CC (Color Correction), Global CC, or Selective CC. You can use any of these to change the colors of your image to suit your needs. Play around with them until you find something that you like!
  7. To the right of this is another bar with more options:
      • the magnifying glass will make the image in your frame area larger or smaller;
      • Rot/Flip will rotate or flip your image to make it appear upright
      • Pipette is for finding the levels of colors
      • USM is unsharp masking, and changes the “sharpness” of your image
      • SRD is dust and scratch removal, for when your pictures or slides have minor flaws you want to remove
      • AACO is Auto Adaptive Contrast Optimization, to lighten up dark areas without changing your midtones
      • GANE is Grain and Noise Elimination, which influences the "graininess" of higher-resolution images
      • The rest of the options are not for primary use, but you can look at them if you would like.

How to digitize a document (print, handwritten, etc.) using the Sheetfed Scanners

  1. Open PaperStream Capture, either by clicking the icon on the desktop or searching for it in the Start Menu.
  2. Click Config in the upper left corner. This will allow you to choose a profile and edit it to fit your project. You can also create your own project. Choose a profile to edit or choose to make a new profile. 
  3. When you click Edit or New, your configuration options will appear. 
  4. Under Name, name your profile. Either with your project name or with some other important factor. You can describe it if you wish, but it is not necessary. The same is true of choosing an icon to represent your profile.
  5. Under Scan, there are three options:
  6. Scanner Name is the name of the scanner. There should only be one option.
  7. Driver Profile gives you color options and also a Details button.
  8. Scan Options allows you to choose Enable Continuous Scanning (good for long items), and two options to Mark Pages. Mark Pages is not a necessary setting to change.      
  9. The Details button allows you to fine tune your scan:
  10. Paper Source allows you to choose whether you want the Sheet Feeder, which you can use to scan only the front or back of your pages or both sides simultaneously, or the Flatbed.
  11. In the upper right hand corner of this new box, there is a small green figure with a gear. Click this for further options.
  12. Basic allows you to change color settings under Image Mode, your Paper Source once again, your Resolution (typically we suggest 400 dpi for typescript like books, and 600 dpi for images), and your Paper Size to ensure that your whole item is scanned.
  13. Image gives you options to change your Tone Adjustment (for things such as Contrast) and Cleanup (to get rid of small unwanted blemishes on your scan). The other options are not important.
  14. Page allows you to choose how the scans are automatically cropped under Cropping, Rotation to make sure your item is right-side up, Hole Punch Removal, and Blank Page Skip.
  15. Paper Feeding allows you to choose Multifeed Detection, where the computer will automatically detect if there is more than one item to be scanned.
  16. Batch, Endorser, and About are not important to the settings! You can ignore them.
  17. Hit OK when you are done with your settings, and it will take you back to the original settings screen.
  18. Under Release you find File Settings and Upload To.
  19. File Format allows you to choose what you want to save your file as (PDF, TIFF, JPG) and whether you want to compress it.
  20. Under Destination, the Output Folder is the folder you are saving it to – usually one you made on the desktop for this purpose.
  21. File Name lets you name your files when they are scanned, rather than having to rename them afterwards. If you choose Auto, then your scans will name themselves automatically. Clicking Settings beside this option will give you naming options.
  22. Upload To allows you to upload to the folder you specified above or to another application.
  23. Separation and Index are not important and can be skipped.
  24. Test is good to make sure your settings will actually look right, and to make sure you have remembered all of them. At the top left of this option, click Scan Test except release to test your settings.
  25. When you are done, click Save and it will take you back to your original screen, where you will then click Done at the top left.
  26. Hovering over your newly changed or created profile will let you see its basic formatting. When you are ready and have your items either on the flatbed or in the sheet feeder, click this profile to scan.
  27. When you are done scanning your item, the program will go to a Verification screen. Here, you can look at your items one last time.
  28. If necessary, you can Add, Insert, or Replace scans from this screen, but you cannot go back to the scanning profile screen without losing your item.
  29.  At the bottom of this screen there are three options.
  30. Release will save the scans to your chosen folder and in your chosen format.
  31. Suspend will allow you to come back to your items at a later date. DO NOT DO THIS! These computers are wiped nightly and people can change your profile settings, so there is no guarantee it will still be there the next time you come back to it.
  32. Cancel will get rid of all of your scans. This is good if you have made a major mistake while scanning or if you have just run a test batch. Otherwise, do not cancel your item.
If you have more in-depth questions, please ask the consultant on duty to help.

How to digitize slides, film, and negatives

  1. Scanning slides or film is done on the Epson Scanners. We do not have a machine dedicated to slide scanning, but the Epsons work just as well.
  2. Create a folder to save your work. This can be on the desktop, flash drive, Box,G-Drive, etc.
  3. You will need to switch out the backing in the scanner lid. Talk to the consultant on duty to get this changed. There will be a slide or film holder that goes with it.
  4. Make sure the scanner is turned on! The button is on the front left – it is the one on the bottom. It pushes in all the way, and then the green light will turn on if you did it right.
  5. Open Silverfast. This is located on the Desktop.
  6. Click “OK” or “Start” in the Silverfast pop-up.
  7. On the left-hand side, under Scan Dimensions, there will be an option to change DPI or PPI. Slides, etc. are typically scanned at 2400 DPI because of their small size.
  8. Above DPI, there is a picture of a palm tree that says either Positive, Kodachrome, and Negative. This is for color and grayscale options. If your slide is in color at all, scan in color. If it is black and white, scan in Negative. There is also a Kodachrome option, if you have Kodachrome slides.
  9. Across the top are options for doing color correction. Histogram, contrast, etc. Click on them and they will appear in your left-hand menu. Mess with them to change the color.
  10. There is an option for where to save your picture to, and what to name it. Choose where you want to save it, and name it whatever you want.
  11. Open up your scanner. Put your slide etc. in one of the available slots.
  12. Hit “Prescan” at the top of Silverfast. This will show you a preliminary version of your object.
  13. Adjust the borders with the red marquee, color with the histogram, and contrast if you need to.
  14. Hit Scan. Your image will save to whatever folder you set at the top.
  15. Repeat steps 5-13 until you are done with your item.
  16. If you have more in-depth questions, please ask the consultant on duty to help.

Using the Overhead Scanner

The Minolta Overhead Scanner can be used to scan books, documents, or small three-dimensional objects that range in size from 5.5" x 8.5" to 18" x 24".  The cradle that holds the book or document can be set to lat flat for loose documents or angled to hold a bound book, which helps protect fragile books and eliminates distortion in scans.  For more information on how to use the Overhead Scanner, consult the short guide (PDF).  In-depth information is also available in a long guide (PDF).

Using Audacity to Import Cassette Tapes

FROM EXISTING FILE

  1. Audacity is software to both digitize and edit your audio files. It is only on the Mac.
  2. Applications>Open Audacity
  3. If importing an existing file, File>Import>Audio
  4. Export Audacity file as preferred file format (.aiff or .mp3 recommended, see notes below).

FROM CASSETTE TAPE

  1. If importing from cassette tape, create a new project by “File>Save Project As.” (Note: This will only save as an Audacity file, when you’re finished, you’ll need to export as your preferred audio file.) It’s best to save to the Desktop for easy access.
  2. Make sure menu is set to record from the audiobox (see tabs at the top of the screen.)
  3. “Play.”
  4. Double-check to see that track is running, and that sound is playing (use headphones in short cabinet).
  5. Save again!
  6. When finished, export. Recommended .aiff if you are going to be using the file in other projects (higher quality); .mp3 if uploading to the web.

Using Adobe Premier to Import VHS and DVD

  1. Currently, we can only import VHS and DVD into Adobe Premiere. (If you are importing “mini” tapes, you can use iMovie or Final Cut Pro X.)
  2. Name and save your project. For ease, save to desktop.
  3. Play DVD (or VHS) through the DVD minitape “converter” box (you’ll need to make sure that both the DVD/VHS player and the “box” are on).
  4. File -> Capture.
  5. Once the mini-window comes up with the DVD playing, hit the “record” button (small red circle).
  6. Since you named your project, it should appear on the desktop as a .mov file.
  7. To save as an .mp4, open iMovie.
  8. Make a new “event.”
  9. Import your .mov file from the desktop.
  10. File -> Share this new iMovie file to the desktop (or your USB, etc.) The “sharing” function only “shares” an .mp4 file.

Using iMovie or Final Cut Pro to Import MINI DV and HDV Tapes

  1. Open Final Cut Pro X.
  2. Make a new project and save to desktop.
  3. Import > Sony Player.
  4. Once import window pops up, press red “import” button.
  5. You will need to stay with your computer for as long as it plays. Make sure both the timestamps are running. If they are not, then the tape is not recording to your Final Cut Pro file.
  6. Press “stop importing” when the tape is complete.
  7. Since you named your project, it should appear on the desktop.
  8. To save as an .mp4, open iMovie.
  9. Make a new “event.”
  10. Import your file from the desktop.
  11. File -> Share this new iMovie file to the desktop (or your USB, etc.) The “sharing” function only “shares” an .mp4 file

This workflow can also be applied to iMovie – they function in very similar ways if all you want to do is digitize your tape.

If you need to capture video for streaming for education purposes such as classroom use, please contact Media Services