B A C K G R O U N DOur passion for digital art restoration began in 2005 while working for The image archives were organized and tracked by a central web-basedVintage Arte, LLC. This rapidaly expanding art publishing company database and stored on in-house servers. Besides building and runningbased in Southern California hired us to handle the intake of new the pre-production department responsible for the intake of new archives,archives. Over the course of the next two years we worked in-house Renata and Jan collaborated on other projects throughout the companyat their Santa Barbara facility and expanded the company database day-to-day operations:by more than 20,000 new images.With our arrival most of the company business centered on partnerships 1. Finishing work on limited edition posters and other projects withwith image suppliers, producing print-per-order limited edition print runs Michael Hagler, the company art director;and selling the posters online through the company web sites as well as 2. Providing feedback for the IT department regarding the usabilitythird party resellers such as art.com. The company also offered third party of the back end and workflow;image editing, retouching and production services (Bridgeman, Artkey and 3. Designing front ends for customer web sites;others). Renata and Jan were directly involved in the production process. 4. Sizing and printing for head of production (largely giclee printing process on eight Epson 9800 printers);Towards the end of 2005, the CEO of Vintage Arte Richard Weedn 5. Content editing and keywording for marketing director;launched ArteHouse, LLC. Within several months this new direction even 6. Generating contact sheets and review web sites for the CEOfurther diversified the company business and scope of projects we worked and key partners;on. The new company now produced personalized web sites and content for 7. Streamlining the intake of new images (please see next page).Henry Ford Museum, Ducati, Primedia and many other customers.
W O R K F L O WAdobe Photoshop is the main tool of our trade. Other tools includeAdobe Acrobat, Bridge, CSS coding, Dreamweaver, InDesign and othersoftware. Renata and Jan were directly involved with the whole intakeprocess: A. Handling large batches of transparencies from image suppliers; B. Scanning on the FUJI F5000 flat bed scanner; C. Assigning SKUs to batches and keeping track of the images; D. Uploading the images into different parts of the system; E. Researching and writing keywords for indexability; F. Exporting into several formats (from web jpegs to tiffs for storage on servers) G. Evaluating which images will get priority treatment based on their quality; H. Sending updates to other people at company about new content; I. Producing large format master files (the digital image restoration process is broken down on the following pages).
S T O R Y O F A N I M A G ELets consider an image of an English travel poster from the 1920s. Scanning technology has progressed since that time. Now the archive ownerA lovely image of the Orient! Its a large format poster that was printed in is keen to print a set of limited edition posters that are of considerablytwo pieces. The print run was not ideal, but the poster was displayed larger format.outside a travel agency for holidaymakers to see. After a couple of ...........................................................................................................................seasons passed (the poster was exposed to sun and rain) it was torn Damage to the image took place on four levels. One level consisted ofdown and brought home by one of the agency clerks. The paper held tears, water, fading, mold, dirt collected in folds and other damage to thetogether for the most part and the poster was mounted and displayed in original art work. Shortcomings in the photography (color shift, shootingher family living room for several years before it made its way to the attic. angle and flash reflection) were the second level. Damage to theThere it remained folded for several decades. transparency (scratches, hair, dust, fingerprints and color shift) is level three. Poor scan quality lead to loss of data (edge detail and color) andThe poster was discovered by her grandson in the 1980s and later represented the last level of damage. Occasionally, there is an additionalsold in an auction. The auction photographer, shooting under adverse factor to consider: The quality of the original print!conditions, was rushed and used flash. The picture did not sit straight on ...........................................................................................................................its easel, the color checker stayed tucked away in the kit bag and luckily Before image restoration began we had to decide if we would treat thethe image came out relatively sharp. The transparency migrated through poster as an artefact and remove only the damage caused in theseveral archives (lets say boxes on the shelf!) of different publishing capturing process or we if would go much deeper and get the image ashouses and was handled by a number of people along the way. At its close as possible to what the artist had intended before he brought it to thefinal destination nearly a decade ago, the transparency was scanned for printing company.a small format publishing project (reproduction for magazine).