How To Scan Large Artwork: 7 Easy Steps [Artwork Printing]

At times you need to scan your large artwork and realize your scanner is too small. Usually, a scan would only take arts that are A4 or A3. So when it exceeds that measurement, you need the skill to do it.

It may seem impossible, but it is not. The reality is that you have to scan it in pieces. That’s the only option. When you scan it in parts on the scanner, then you have to join it in the computer. Easy, yeah, I know you already have an idea.

Anyway, in this article, we will learn step to step guide on how to scan your large artwork and still leave it looking fantastic. We will highlight some of the best scanners and how to use them. Join me, and let’s learn together.

You may ask, why do I have to scan my artwork?

At times you need to show the world how well you can create beautiful pieces. The best thing to do is share online. So when it comes to that the sharing bit becomes hard since you can’t go carrying your work everywhere. The easiest way is to scan your work for convenience purposes.

Again, if you intend to do business with your artwork, the world is taking a new direction. Digital is the way to go that’s why with some knowledge on scanning it can be a gate pass to a better digital marketing.

Complete The Work and Save


How do you pick scanner A and not B for your large artwork?

When you are shopping for a scanner, you will realize that the market has so many to offer. All the available scanners are all good, but picking the best might be a bit difficult unless you have a second eye. For a large artwork, of course, you will need a flawless scanner. You will realize that scanners have different editing options, illumination, and accommodating different types of artwork.  Make your comparisons well and take the one that suits your needs.

Now, how do you scan your large pieces?

Well, this guide will give you a brief introduction and steps on how to go about it. I will make it as simplified as possible to help you understand every step of the way.


How To Scan Large Artwork

1. Choose The Right Scanner

Picking the suitable scanner is the gate pass to scanning your large artwork. Just as we discussed earlier, there is no bad or good scanner. But in this case, you need to know what to look for in a scanner. Consider the following while picking yours. Size, type of the scanner, its scanning quality, the image it produces, and color format.

Choose the right scanner

2. Pick Out The Editing Software

Adobe Photoshop, CorelDraw, Luminar, and Capture One are the most common software to choose from. Though they all work well, you need to pick the one that is more applicable for your scanning needs. When it comes to Photoshop, it is easy to use, and you can transfer your files quickly because it is versatile.

Another point to consider is the ability to handle different types of files. What do I mean by the types? TIFF (Tagged Image File Forma), BMP, PCX (Picture Exchange) are some of the types that a scanner should be able to handle.

Software that can handle multiple jobs and have unique photo editing is a plus. It should also be able to work with layers. Such abilities always bring out an artwork that looks fantastic.

Scanning Software

We all know you must involve a computer when it comes to scanning. Good software should go hand in hand with your computer.  Adobe Photoshop is preferred by many, but it is a bit demanding.  CorelDraw is known to work with many computers so it is one of the perfect software’s for computers. All in all, ensure that whatever software you pick it suits your needs.


3. Prepare And Set Your Scanner

Now that you have picked the suitable scanner and software, it is time to prepare and set it for the next step. Here is how to go about it.

  • First of all, make sure the surface you are working on is clean. Next, connect your scanner to the computer and electricity.
  • After that, adjust your scanner’s setting to include as many DPI as possible. While doing this, don’t ignore other formatting options. Format it well and test with some artworks to see whether it is working.
  • Check whether the image test is saved in your computer. If not use the manual to set or download it using your manual.
  • If all is set well, go to your editing software and open the files.

Prepare And Set Your Scanner

That’s the process of testing while your scanner is working properly.

4. Scanning Commences

Now is time to start scanning our artwork.  In this process, ensure that everything is set and working properly to avoid making any mistakes.

  • First, divide your artwork. This entirely depends on the size of your scanner and the artwork to be scanned.
  • Next, place your art on the scan and ensure it fits well. You should not leave any parts of the art out of the scanner.
  • While scanning, you may need to overlap a bit for merging purposes. But ensure you don’t scan the same pieces twice.
  • Now that everything is in line, switch your scanner and let it scan your artwork. Avoid saving at this stage so that you can confirm whether all is done well first.
  • Lastly, save your work on the computer. If you followed every detail, your work should be well scanned.

Scanning Commences

Now we need to start editing our large artwork so that it can fit in a single image.

5. Check And Confirm Your Scanned Files

At this stage, you have to check and confirm whether the files you saved on the computer look good enough. You can also edit if needed to make our joining together easier.

How do you do it?

  • You remember our editing software? Open it.
  • In your scanner, open every file that we saved.
  • Depending on the editing software you chose, open the files according to the instructions.
  • At this step, you will realize that the files look different. Some are upside down, sideways, and so forth. Arrange them well to make your stitching work easier.
  • Don’t change any resolution while editing. In case you have to do it, it should not be noticeable, but if you can avoid it, the better.

Confirm Your Scanned Files

You have checked your files, and they look fantastic. What next?

6. Stitching or Joining Together

Stitching together is the last step to scanning our large art piece. It is the essential stage that must be done correctly to ensure we get an excellent final product. Here it would be best if you had all the patience in the world and a keen eye for details.

  • The first thing is to put your art together. Since you edited and made the necessary alteration, you will realize arranging them to fit together is not hard. But if you realize some things that don’t add up, you can always go back and edit.
  • Next, on your editing program, open a new project. Download all your scanned files to your new project so that you can start editing. A point to note though, to avoid mix-up, you can choose a different background colors from that of your scanned files.

Stitching or Joining Together

  • Keep your scanned files in layers. For example, if you had four or six or even eight layers, make sure they are arranged to match OK—no merging at this point.
  • Now that all the layers are well placed, edited, and formatted, you can now align them. It is advisable to adjust the opacity to your comfort. Most people adjust to 50 percent, but this is not cut on stone. You can constantly adjust to your liking.
  • Place the first layer on the file and change the opacity up to 100 percent. Once you do that, continue adjusting the rest using the mouse and arrow keys. Take into consideration the overlapping details and ensure that you don’t leave gaps in between. The process may take some time, so make patience your friend.

7. Complete The Work and Save

Now that all layers are aligned, it is time to stitch our artwork. Follow these steps for a smooth flow.

  • On your editing software, you will find a function that leads you to merge layers to one image. Find it, open and merge them.
  • The image may look a bit sluggish once you have merged. Consider resizing or polishing to make it look nice. Avoid changing the DPI or resolution. Remember, we want our image to look like the original one.
  • In case you notice the color change, you can edit, though not advisable.
  • After you are done with all the above processes, save your image through TIFF, BMP, or whatever method you prefer.

It is not a walk to the park, but with a bit of practice, it is possible to scan your large artwork. If you can’t afford an industrial scanner, follow the above process, and you will be fine.

Also Read: Easy Steps To Remove Logos From Clothing

About Author


Alice covers platforms, policy and big tech at Printer Reviews. Prior to rejoining here, Alice was Senior Technology Editor of the TechDen. Alice first joined PrinterReviews in 2021. Before joining, he was the Tech Editor of the Daily Dot and a reporter and deputy editor at ReadWeb.

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