A scan of epic proportions

I have successfully scanned an image 2.4 metres long by 1.2 wide!  This may sound like a simple thing, but  it is not.  After failing to find any drum scanner or other type for scanner that would scan an image this big, I turned to a normal household A4 scanner.  I purchased an Epson Perfection V39 scanner for the simple reason that its lid is removable.  I then purchased a piece of wadding (the stuff they use for quilting) and laid it out on a large piece of MDF board.  I worked out a grid system allowing for a 40% overlap required for successful panorama stitching in Photoshop and hammered some nails in the sides of the MDF.  I then attached two pieces of string, one horizontal and one vertical to divide up the image into separate squares for scanning.  I placed the original drawing on top of the piece of wadding and put the string in place.  Next I placed the scanner UPSIDE DOWN without its lid (glass in contact with the drawing) and scanned the image one square at a time, moving the string one notch after each scan.  I pressed the scanner firmly down onto the drawing which was slightly spongy given the wadding underneath.  This allowed the drawing to make direct contact with the glass of the scanner without creating a shadow from the lip around the edges of the glass.  It took most of the day to scan the image.  80 separate scans in total.  Once I had all the scans I went to work in Photoshop.  I used Photomerge to stitch together each horizontal row into a panorama.  I then stitched the panoramas together to form the complete image.  It took a few hours to complete.  Photoshop kept having trouble with one part and I nearly gave up on the whole thing until I realised that one of the scans was rotated 180 degrees.  Once I inverted it, the thing stitched together like a dream.  With a little bit of tidy up here and there, the whole image was flawless at 300 DPI 2400 x 1200mm and 1.26 GB.  I have since printed it at original size and the resolution is amazing for such a large image.  This means a lot for me to be able to print my images at actual size and I had a party all by myself at 1 o’clock in the morning when it worked!

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