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Scanning Chainmail? Yes Indeed!
Article © MAIL User: Quizad Saderack

Tired of finding excuses for bad quality chainmaille pictures? I don't have to anymore. We all had some sort of trouble getting our beloved chainmail project into digital format. And I'm NOT rendering a 476 ring byzantine necklace for your viewing pleasure, sorry! So, being tired of waiting for my digital camera photograph for eons, I decided to slide a piece of King's maille to 6-in-1 transition weave onto my newly acquired scanner. After a quick acquiring in Photoshop, I was stunned. I had never seen such a clear rendering of chainmail. And ctrl-alt-0 just made me gut-laugh for a few minutes: not only was the picture clear, it was also very magnified. Sadly, the file was huge; 24Mb, to be precise.

So after many experiments and Zen-like let-gos, I've boiled down to a very simple approach to maille scanning.

1. Get a scanner with 3D technology. No, it's not a super fancy 3000$ gadget... It's merely a scanner that is designed to reach out and render what's in the binding groove of books one tries to scan. While it helps you save your issues of National Geographic from being crushed open, it also lets you scan some fairly thick weaves, and reach in-between rings in a tight weave.

Image: fp.jpg
***Full persian 14ga (AWG) Galvy 3/8" ID

Image: hp3in1-5.jpg
***Half persian 3 in 1 - 5, same rings as above

2. Simple rule: low dpi for webposts, high dpi for visual appreciation and extreme dpi to impress friends, check how badly one can scratch rings, frustrate everyone on your contact list when sending the picture to them, and of course, crash your image viewer application.

3. Last tip. If your scanner does not have a uniform cover (negative scanning slide or something like that), use a piece of paper to make the backdrop even. It can get pretty abstract, painstaking and "schizophrenicizing" to figure out complicated weaves on high gloss tie-dye backdrops.

Some other examples of hard-to-photograph, easy to scan weaves:

Image: stainlesscolor.jpg
***Two oppositely flowing HP chains linked by a 4in1 euro row. All stainless 19ga, 3/16" ID. The golden color was obtained by heating with a miniature torch.

Image: darktwin.jpg
***Highlight of the "darkside" of a twinset of necklaces. Unique piece. Dark annealed steel 19ga 1/8" ID made into a liberal byzantine web. This is the 476 ring necklace I was talking about earlier. Its twin is stainless, with a green amber stone.

So that's it folks! I hope this could satisfy the unlucky maillers that don't have a digital cam or just hate taking 37 pictures to get a good one.

PS. For a crystal clear rendering of a two tone circular expansion or king's mail to Euro 6in1 transition, e-mail me at Warning: Specify how big you can afford the file to be!
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