Mon 28 May 2007
As some of you may know, I work on 11×14 paper for my comic - but my scanner is only about 8×12, so I do a lot of stitching. I’ve actually become quite adept in stitching art together. This piece was actually stitched together using my methods from 6 different scans. There are no noticable seams, I hope!
What you need to do first is scan your pieces into Photoshop. If you can, butt the edges of the piece up to the edge of the scanner (this’ll minimize the headache of having to rotate the pieces in tiny ways later on.)
Okay, you’ve got the pieces in Photoshop. For the record, I’m using CS2, but you can use down to at least 7 for this method. Now, rotate your piece to right-side up. (That’s Image>Rotate Canvas)
Now go to Image>Canvas size, set the values to percent, and increase the height (or width if that’s the way you need to extend) to 200%. Also make sure you set it so all that extra canvas is being put on in the area you need it.
Rotate the other piece as needed, then select the black arrow tool, and click and drag that piece to the piece with the newly extended canvas.
Go to your Layers palette, and change the blending mode on the transplanted piece to ‘Difference.’
It should look like this now:
Next, you’re going to move this piece so that when it overlaps the other piece, the area that’s overlapped should be as black as possible. It’s not going to be perfect, but you want it to be close. Use the black arrow tool to move; you can also use the arrow keys on your keyboard to nudge the piece one pixel at a time. Use Edit>Free Transform to easily rotate the piece if you need to. It should look something like this:
Go back to ‘Normal’ blend mode on that piece. Things should match up at this point, but chances are you’ll have a yucky seam. But that’s not a problem!
Make a selection around that seam. Be sure to include enough area around it - you’ll see why in the next step.
After you’ve made the selection, go to Select>Feather. You’ll want to adjust the amount to feather depending on the size you scanned at. I scanned fairly large, so I put the feather at 75 pixels.
If you go into Quick Mask Mode* you’ll be able to see how the selection looks. Make sure you include all of the seam without going to far to the edge of the other piece!
*Quick Mask Mode can be entered by clicking the buttons directly under the color swatches in the Tool Bar. To enter, click the button on the right. To exit, click the button on the left.
Now, go back to regular mode, and press the ‘Delete’ key! The seam should disappear, leaving you with a nice seamless file.
To adjust the blacks and whites, I prefer the Curves Tool over the Levels Tool - it gives you a little bit more control. To open the Curves Tool go to Image>Adjustments>Curves and you should get a box like this:
There will be 3 eye droppers in a row. The one on the left controls blacks, and the one on the right controls whites. The one in the middle is not used for grayscale images, so ignore it for now. Select the eye dropper on the right (the white), go to your piece, and select the area that you want to be white. Then do the same for the black. It should look much better; if now, keep fiddling with the eyedroppers until you have something you like. You can also do some final adjustments with the main control (it looks like a line graph.) Click on the graph to make an anchor point that you can drag around. I generally just make an anchor point and pull it down to make the darks darker while keeping the whites fairly bright.
As you can hopefully see there. I’ll probably make a more in depth tutorial on Curves sometime in the future. For now, this piece is done and stitched together; I hope this’ll help you stitch your own pieces together too!