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I wonder if anyone can help with an annoying problem I have when scanning parts of the artwork of albums on compact disc.

If the CD is packaged in a cardboard sleeve, often it is held in place using clear plastic. Sometimes, beneath this plastic, there is artwork, e.g:

enter image description here

As you can see though, the text here is distorted.

I have tried scanning for .jpg or .png files as output and using various dpi up to 600. But the effect is the same.

Can anyone suggest why this is?

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2 Answers 2

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The proper way to do this if you want quality scans is to remove the paper from the plastic and scan the paper, not the jewel case. You can pry open the jewel case base to get the sleeve out, just be careful not to break the case.

The "blur" happens because the text is too far away from the flatbed scanner surface.


If the sleeve is glued to the base... then there may be nothing you can really do about the blur. You might have better luck taking a good photograph of the base rather than trying to scan it. Flatbed scanners inherently don't work with depth well.

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  • I appreciate that but with jewel cases there is no problem because the plastic holding the disc can be detached. Unfortunately, that is not the case with digipacks where the plastic is fixed directly to the sleeve.
    – Mr Morgan
    Sep 29 at 18:13
  • Admittedly it's been ... oh.... a decade or more .... since I've purchased any CD/DVD... but every single case I've seen can be opened. if you mean the sleeve is glued to the base... then there may be nothing you can really do about it. You might have better luck taking a good photograph of the base rather than scanning it. Flatbed scanners simply don't work with depth well at all.
    – Scott
    Sep 29 at 18:15
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    @MrMorgan -Notice how the dust on the cover is in perfect focus, but the text is not. That is because a scanner can't focus on anything that is not directly on the surface of the glass. It will not work. Maybe use a camera instead if you can't get the copy out of the CD case.
    – Billy Kerr
    Sep 29 at 18:18
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    @BillyKerr, did you have to mention the dust? 😂
    – Wolff
    Sep 29 at 18:29
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    @Yorik I'd use a wide aperture and manually focus on the text, to (slightly) soften the focus on the clip in the middle
    – Chris H
    Sep 30 at 9:05
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You could use the Google Photo Scan app to "scan" the picture into digital form.

I've used it for physical photos and it has done quite a good job compared to a scanner.

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