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Cleaning up screenshots of a medieval manuscript for printing

New Here ,
Dec 17, 2022 Dec 17, 2022

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I am working with a group of amateur bookbinders to try make a model of medieval codex, including the text. The only way currently to access the text is to screenshot individual pages of the digitised version and compile them into a file from which we can then print off the text on a parchment-like paper. We will then sew this textblock, bind it in wooden boards, cover in leather then decorate the covering all in the same way and style as the original. The museum which owns the codex is happy for us to do this.

 

The problem is that the digitised version picks up all the holes, tears, grunge, etc., on the original parchment and cruciually the background colour. It also makes the text (written in a brownish coloured ink with a quill)  fade for some reason. So when you try and print it, it reproduces all these features, including the background colour which doesn't work on an offwhite paper that mimics the original parchment. 

 

Has anyone done anything similar and if so, would you be happy to share your workflow?

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LEGEND ,
Dec 17, 2022 Dec 17, 2022

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A screenshot or link to the digitised pages would be required for an assessment and best advice, but generally you simply try to convert the imagery to greyscale and clean it up in that mode since that would allow to use threshold operations, filters and all sorts of adjustments to filter out a majority of the artifacts like the background color, small discolorations/ stains, small holes and so on. If needed, it could always be recolored with e.g. a Gradient Map adjustment. The greyscale, however, would likely need to be generated with channel operations (Image --> Calculations, Channel Mixer/ Greyscale Converter adjustment) or by detour using Lab mode to retain luminance and details. A dumb mode switch via the image mode usually doesn't cut it. All of that of course does not apply to ornamental artwork and colored decorations that may exist on soem pages. Those would still need to be meticulously cut out and treated separately. Anyway, show us something we can work with and we can tell you what to do more specifically.

 

Mylenium

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New Here ,
Dec 17, 2022 Dec 17, 2022

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Thanks for your thoughts, Mylenium. Here's the link to the online digitised text.

 

Look forward to hearing what you think would be a good approach.

 

 

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