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thrombox
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Creating crisp lines from a fuzzy document CS4

Feb 10, 2013 3:48 AM

I have a scanned copy of an old architectural plan of a building, it was done by hand is old and being a copy traced by crayon so you can imagine it is very fuzzy and speckled, there are clearly visible but no solid crisp lines.

 

It has taken me hours just to delete large areas of white space that is fuzzy/speckled.

 

Does anyone have any idea whether or not there is a function that can trace a line ignoring the fuzziness around it and making it crisp? I've been playing around with the magic wand tool but its not coping with it. Despeckle filter doesn't really cut it either.


Just don't want to spend hours drawing this whole plan up from scratch like tracing in Photoshop. Should I be using a Vector Graphic instead like Illustrator?


Any help appreciated.

 
Replies
  • Noel Carboni
    23,496 posts
    Dec 23, 2006
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 10, 2013 9:54 AM   in reply to thrombox

    I have heard that Illustrator has a dynamite tracing facility.  I haven't tried it myself but there was a thread where we discussed cleaning up hand drawings and while I proposed a possible technique in Photoshop it was shown that Illustrator did a better job of tracing.

     

    Ah, a bit of searching and I turned it up:  http://forums.adobe.com/message/4720464

     

    -Noel

     
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  • Noel Carboni
    23,496 posts
    Dec 23, 2006
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    Feb 11, 2013 6:04 AM   in reply to thrombox

    I take it you tried the technique in Photohop I discussed then, which will smooth and possibly thicken lines?

     

    -Noel

     
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    Feb 11, 2013 6:55 AM   in reply to thrombox

    I suggest you post at least part of the scan that you want to trace. Ensure the posted file is a lossless export from Photoshop (i.e. a PNG if attached as a forum image) and is either the complete image or a crop with no resampling.

     
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    Feb 11, 2013 10:13 AM   in reply to thrombox

    While there are ways to get a cleaner looking image, there isn't an automated, off-the-shelf way to get the lines of a scan lke this "nicely redrawn and crisp."

     

    Of course you have to weigh the importance of a perfect result agains the time it will take to do it manually, but if this was my project, I'd already have much of it redrawn (in vectors...in Illustrator), manually in the time you've taken to discuss it here. Redrawing the portion you've posted here would take me about 15-20 minutes, seeing as there are so many repeating elements that would only have to be drawn once using simple shapes, then duplicated across the facade of the buidling.

     
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  • JJMack
    5,993 posts
    Jan 9, 2006
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    Feb 11, 2013 10:31 AM   in reply to thrombox

    That scan is so dirty I do not know of a program that could trace it.  You could straighten it in Photoshop add some empty layer over it draw out  a zillion guide lines and trace it with the pencil tool if you have nothing but time on your hands.

     

    [ pencil ]

     
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    Feb 11, 2013 10:42 AM   in reply to thrombox

    I agree with John Mensinger - draw it with vectors. I would not draw it with the Photoshop Pencil Tool as suggested by JJ. Vectors are resolution independent and easy to edit and stroke with various weights.

     
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