Video tutorial: Using VueScan and ColorPerfect to create perfect photos from your negative scans

Video tutorial on increasing the quality of your slide and negative scans from VueScan Professional with ColorPerfect! Find out more about how to scan with VueScan. ColorPerfect processes scans with color integrity and gives unprecedented flexibility in creative image editing. To harness the full potential of our Photoshop Plug-in it's important to obtain image data that has been subjected to as little processing as possible (RAW data). The following video tutorial gives a step by step explanation on how to achieve this with VueScan Professional.

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Using VueScan Professional and ColorPerfect

In this video I'd like to illustrate how to create linear scans using Hamrick Software's Vuescan as is required when inverting negatives with ColorPerfect's ColorNeg mode. In case your copy of Vuescan is currently in guided mode you need to switch to advanced mode. Once in advanced mode you need to click the more button to gain access to the more advance features. Don't be alarmed we are not going to use all of these. We just need to configure a handful of options on both the input and the output tabs.

Settings on Vuescan's input tab

Let's start with selecting our scanner. I have a Nikon Coolscan 9000 multi format scanner connected to the computer so I choose that. Next set the media to color negative and after that select 48 bit RGB under bits per pixel and change the resolution of your scan. I chose 4000 dpi as my scan resolution as I am going to scan for archival purposes and 4000 dpi is the maximum optical resolution my scanner is capable of. This completes the mandatory settings on the input tab. There are a few other settings that can be used when scanning negatives using film scanners - for example multi sampling or analog gains and those are discussed on our web page on using Vuescan for ColorPerfect.

Settings on Vuescan's output tab

So let's switch to the output tab. On the output tab make sure that all checkboxes other than RAW file are off. This means that Vuescan is going to write the data it gets from the scanner directly into a Tiff file and we will have to set up what kind of a Tiff file this is going to be. You need to choose either 48 bit RGB or 64 bit RGBI in case you would like to get an additional channel with the information captured by the scanner's infrared light source. In most cases 48 bit RGB will be fine.

Removal of dust and scratches (part 1)

If your scanner has an infrared light source which can be used in algorithms designed for the automated removal of dust and scratches you can use Vuescan's dust and scratch removal feature. In order to do so you first have to change the value for RAW output with from scan to save because otherwise the infrared cleaning will not get applied to your RAW scans.

Vuescan's DNG output format (don't use it)

When creating RAW scans for ColorPerfect make sure that you do not scan in the RAW DNG format offered by Vuescan. If you previously scanned a lot of files in the DNG format that is no problem. Our auxiliary program MakeTiff allows you to convert such DNG files to Tiff files that are suitable for processing with ColorPerfect's ColorNeg mode. The difference between a DNG file and a Tiff file simply is that a Tiff file can be opened in Photoshop without any mandatory processing.

Removal of dust and scratches (part 2)

Since I mentioned the automated removal of dust and scratches let me show you how to set that up. You will find the according options on the filter tab so we can set infrared clean to either light, medium or heavy. For the image at hand I'm going to choose medium.

Performing the pre-scan

This completes the set of options we can choose in Vuescan so let's perform a preview scan. While what we see in the preview area is already inverted the final result - the RAW scan or linear scan - will not be. It will still be in color negative form as we intend to invert it using ColorPerfect's ColorNeg mode. In the preview area we can set up the frame we would like to scan.

Performing the actual scan

Having made this selection just press the scan button.

Saving your settings in Vuescan

You can save your settings used in creating this scan and re-apply them to future scans. Just choose file > save options > linear scan. In the future we could always use the load options feature and re-apply our linear scan settings file. This is really all there is to the basics of creating linear scans using Vuescan.