Photoshop tablet?


As i hobby, I am using Adobe Photoshop to fix scanned in images that of cartoon type art (pinball backglass) with not very high detail printed to glass. Years of pinball use have caused the paint to chip away in various places on the backglass.

I have been able to scan in the backglass and covert it to electronic format so it can be repaired with a program like photoshop.

The image is approximate 25"x25". as mentioned te detail si not very high, and the scan is 300 DPI.

Being a beginner, I have not used Photoshop as efficient as I could.

I would like the ability to trace sections of the photoshop to assist in the backglass art repair.

Does this seem the way to go? The majority of these backglasses that I own are impossible to replace; I havebeen working on one for quite a while, and to get a close results as possible to the orignal, I think a tablet for which I can draw and trace various sections would be useful.

Can someone recommend a tablet that to work with and let me know if Photoshop is the way to go?

Does this make sense?

Thanks in advance.

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EirmanChief Operations ManagerCommented:
Tell me if I have this correct .....
Using the repaired scanned image, you want to print/make a cut out of the image so you can place it over the original damaged image on the pinball machine. You will then use this as a mask while painting over the damaged areas.

Photoshop would be ideal for such an image repair. However, if you can't cut out the printed areas with a scalpel, you will probably have to print on "Folarex" and go to a specialist print shop.
mbudmanAuthor Commented:
Actually your understanding is not exactly what I want to do.

I have found a printer who can print directly to glass. I can purchase a replacement glass (clear) matching the same dimensions as the original back glass.

So, all I want to do is scan in the bad image (with all its defects) and covert to electronic format so it can be modified (repaired) with a program like Photoshop (or whatever program is recommended).

I have already scanned in the image and started working on repairing various sections. It has taken me quite a long time to make the repairs (most due to my inexperience with Photoshop).

The problem that I ma currently facing is that there is a patch from the original "bad image" that is missing.

I think I can reduce the repair time significantly if I can "draw" with a tablet pen or specific device the missing areas.

So, I was asking if this is the way to go, and what type of tools would be recommended.
David BruggeCommented:
If you are interested in going the pen tablet route, I would buy a very inexpensive one such as the Wacom Bamboo.

But first, let me express some of my assumptions. I'm guessing that being new to Photoshop that you're also new in general to graphics on a computer. As such, I suspect that you find using the mouse, as a drawing tool, very difficult to control. You will have the same difficulties with a pen tablet, but that is not to say that the tablet wouldn't be right for you.

In the same way a little child has to learn to control a pencil to draw, all of us have to get used to using a new device like a mouse, roller ball, track pad, or pen tablet to draw. Since you are somewhat starting from scratch, the tablet may be a bit more intuitive for you,  but not by much.

Let me offer two alternatives to try first.

The first is using the paint brush tool as you have undoubtedly been trying so far. Here's a neat trick professionals use to gain fine control over the brush. When you click down with the brush, you make a dot. But when you hold down the shift key and click in another location, you draw a line connecting these two points.

Where this comes in handy is by making curves using a connect the dot method. The tighter the curve, the closer together the dots need to be. You actually have to try this to understand how much control it give you.

The other method is learning to use the pen tool. The pen tool uses Bezier lines to draw a vector that can then be used to make a selection, or a guide for a stroke, or a number of other methods. The pen tool is one of the most powerful tools in the Photoshop toolbox, but it too has a learning curve. As such, many people never learn to use it.

The advantage of vector drawing is that it makes smooth, fluid curves and it is completely editable. It's like drawing with a rubber band that you can keep pushing around until it is where you want it.

For my money, I would spend time learning the pen tool rather than buying a table and spending time learning how to use it. IMHO it will pay off much more in the long run.
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EirmanChief Operations ManagerCommented:
Now I understand,
I've never used a graphic tablet with photoshop, but I'm sure the results must be better than than using the mouse as a tablet is pressure sensitive in photoshop. Some help in choosing a graphics tablet.....

Tools I would get to know in photoshop .... obviously the brush .... then the clone stamp tool.

If you want to use a 'part' of the existing image to fill in a missing section, use the clone stamp tool. If you need to rotate the 'part', select it with a lasso tool and right click then "Layer via copy" .... then work in the new layer and rotate and move etc.

Good luck
Paul SauvéRetiredCommented:
You would be referring to a graphics tablet... Graphics Tablet Features and Advantages or What’s the Best Graphics Tablet?

My advice would be to use a digital camera to capture the original image of the pinball backglass. This is probably easier than scanning and you will get a better image.
mbudmanAuthor Commented:
I used a digital camera to capture the image of a friend who has the same machine (his back glass is in perfect condition).

My camera is 14 megapixels. However, the pictures taken are only reported as 72 dpi in photoshop, and I need at least 300 dpi for printing. The camera is set for full 14 megapixel shot.

Do you have any suggestions on how to solve this problem? When I blow it up (on the screen), the image becomes too pixelized.
EirmanChief Operations ManagerCommented:
I think you need to go into the quality settings in your camera (eg. 4000 x 3000 pixels)
Paul SauvéRetiredCommented:
Basically, when you change the resolution of an image from 72 dpi to 300 dpi, you simply reduce the size of the image... This is a 11 megapixels image reduced from 72 dpi to 300 dpi:DPIIf the original image is 72 dpi, the more pixels you have, the larger the image. You can set the image size to 300 dpi, then enlarge it to the size you need (i.e. 25"x25".)
Paul SauvéRetiredCommented:
>> You can set the image size to 300 dpi, then enlarge it to the size you need (i.e. 25"x25".)

I may not have been clear here:you do this operation in Photoshop.
You can test the quality of the print by printing a small part of the image on paper before making your final copy on the glass pane.
David BruggeCommented:
The camera will not change the dpi.

The image dpi is one of the most confusing aspects for beginners. The dpi has one (and only one) function, and that is to tell desktop printers how large to make the image on the page. That is, providing that you have not set the printer to override any other settings.

If you are taking this to a commercial printer, you can ignore the dpi. All that you are concerned with are the actual pixels. What's more, because of the nature of backglass art, you can actually get away with 250 dpi or slightly lower, and no one will be able to tell the difference.
mbudmanAuthor Commented:
I went into Photoshop and changed the DPI as well as reduced the actual image size.

The problem is that detail for the picture was lost. This detail is crucial to the success of what I want to do - i.e. reproduce the back glass.

I took the original snapshot I did with my camera. It measures 45.5" high by 52.569" wide.

I changed image size to the actual required size 28.74" x 24.875".

Resample image size was not selected.

Photoshop automatically change the resolution to 131.698 DPI.

When I view the full size, I still seem to be missing detail and clarity.

Any suggestions?
Paul SauvéRetiredCommented:
do you think you could post a copy of the original, please?
David BruggeCommented:
Yes, 131 dpi is a bit low for what you are wanting to do.

Try using a tripod or solid support and taking half of the picture, then move the camera and take the other half.

It is important that you try to keep the back of the camera as parallel as possible to the original image, and not rely on tilting the camera from side to side.

Then overlap the images by about a third and use Photoshop's panorama feature to stitch the two images together.

You will then have an image with about 2/3 more resolution.
mbudmanAuthor Commented:
Here is the copy of the original. IT is the right dimensions with the proper DPI. This was a photo taken with a digital camera.
Paul SauvéRetiredCommented:
Hi mbudman

Thanks, but I would have preferred the original photo in order to see the exact size of the untouched photo...

A photo of your artwork would be nice to see as well... just for comparison purposes.

I retouched it for you, there is one spot that has the letters THE TOP and several numbers 50 60 70, is in the yellow curtains
This part is difficult as it is two tone blended but maybe the print would take that out
Letters in yellowNew retouched compared
ComparedYour file 98% retouched attached
Hope you like it.
I fixed some areas where you had been trying retouch
flood filled new colour on curtains
The back of the couch edges were red instead of that orangey brown
then refilled red on back of couch right to the bottom
The was bad colour in squares. Around the ribbons and curtains
where the blue ribbon meets the orange had to be repaired, I figured that putting a new darker color there and covering that shadow wouldn't be noticed.  I used the brush and matched the colour to outer edge instead.
 Don't even see the touchup until you compare
I used my paint shop pro 9 and 7 with the tools
magic wand,
select tool point to point,
flood fill
and brush
I also used Nero Photo editor to sharpen it
I have to say the colours made me see purple and shadows lol pretty intense red
If it works for you go ahead and use it ;)
Regards Merete

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mbudmanAuthor Commented:
Hi Merete,

Thank you for your assistance. Just out of curiosity, how long did it take you to retouch the photo?


Hi Mark, about an hour and half maybe two hours didn't really pay attention but it was a Saturday arvo.
Where there was colour mismatches use select tool point to point enclosed that area in a dotted line then with flood fill bucket  using it's dropper matched up the good colour and flood filled the area inside the dotted line with the good colour.
A bit fiddly with the point to point dotted line, it can be used to certain areas inside small places or just a strip, you have those tools as well in your photoshop it's how use them.
I was glad to help something to play with for the afternoon.
I'm running W7 prof x32 bit desktop. Nice big monitor Samsung Magic
Check out what these people use
On the subjet of your question take a look at the  expensive I know but beautiful Wacom Bamboo Pen and Touch/Cintiq 24HD touch
There's one on ebay to example
mbudmanAuthor Commented:
Thank you for your assistance.

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