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[PS CS6] Clean Scanned Blueprint


MadDokK

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Hello,

I am 27 years old and work in Asset Protection. There is a blueprint of the place I work for with all of the cameras on it, as well as phone extensions and other information. The data changes too frequently and I decided to use a digital approach with Adobe Photoshop CS6 which would allow me to make the needed changes in less than a minute (once the initial conversion was done, of course). I used to do a lot of web and graphic design and am using Adobe Photoshop CS6. My issue is, the blueprint I scanned in is not as clean as I would like. I have successfully removed any specs or miscellaneous noise but I am left with lines that are not as clean as I would like them. If I can, I would like the lines to be completely straight with the same width.

I first tried Google. I found a very interesting technique using Illustrator to convert the lines into a vector image. While this did clean it up I still have some points that are wider than others. I came here and first used the search function. I found an interesting suggestion to the topic titled, "Automated Clean 1 Pixel Lines?" The suggestion was to use programming to solve the problem. I can program but I've never worked with the Photoshop back-end and don't have money to pay anyone.

I continued to search using different keywords and options but came up with nothing. And I must say, it's amazing the number of people who give you NO information in their title. I thank you in advance for your time and hope there is an easy solution.

Sincerely,
MadDokK
 

admin

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Welcome to the forum MadDokK

It would probably hep to see at least a part of the image in question to give you better suggestions. Feel free to crop a section and post it if you feel comfortable doing that.

Are you saying that the lines you traced over the blueprint in Illustrator are not clear or straight?

it's amazing the number of people who give you NO information in their title
Yes sadly this is too true. Thanks for using a more descriptive title.
 

MadDokK

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admin,

Thank you very much for the quick reply. Here is a sample. I understand that some techniques may require me to do some manual labor for the piece in the middle. If not, the more the better. This image of course has been processed a bit to get to this point. And so you know, one of the tricks I found in google allowed me to completely remove the white background. Right now it's just black lines on a transparent background. I also have the unprocessed layer. And the ununprocessed layer. And the original layer.

Sample.jpg
 
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admin

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Have you considered tracing over the image using the shape/line/pen tools in Photoshop? This would require some work, but would produce a clean result by re-creating the blueprint drawing with vector shapes.
 

MadDokK

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I have. But the blueprint has a lot more lines than I care to re-create. I am a huge fan of the phrase, "work smart, not hard" which throughout my life has landed me in situations like these where I spend days trying to find the easy answer and end up having to do it the hard way anyway. Of course, the number of time I solve complex problems with a few lines of code or unbelievably obvious solutions makes up for times like these.... that is, if this does become one of those times.

I just figured there HAS to be an easy filter that would say "if the number of consecutive pixels is less than 4 make it x pixels wide and line it up with the pixels above & below or to the left & right."

Now that I type it out... it sounds more complicated than I originally thought. Thank you again on the reply. Thoughts?
 
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admin

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I'm not aware of any way to automate this if you need a very clean result.

I had a go at quickly tracing over your sample image using PS shape and line tools, it yielded the following:

sample-traced.png

It's easy to do but time consuming. If I had the time and needed the best results, that's the way I would do it.
 

MadDokK

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Looks good. What width did you use? I'm curious as to how you used the shape tool. I'm guessing for the perfect rectangles you used transparent/white rectangle with stroke and the line for the rest. Any tricks to landing the lines on the exact place? Ruler guides or did you just eyeball it?

I'm not going to hide my disappointment that there isn't an easier way. I have quite a few hours of work ahead of me. As always, I thank you.
 

admin

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There are ways to clean up the scan, just not any that I'm aware of that will produce a very clean result. Someone else may have an idea for it that I'm not thinking of.

I used rectangles with no fill and a 2pt stroke to trace around the rectangular shapes. For speed I eyeballed them and then moved and re-sized if necessary. It didn't take long to do the sample. I used the line tool for everything else.
 

IamSam

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As always, there are many ways to accomplish things in Photoshop.

And if no one minds, I will show another way it could be done very fast.

I used the Pen Tool.

I first added guide lines to the original.
I turned on the 'snap to guides' option.
Screen Shot 2015-12-10 at 11.46.01 PM.png

I then created a new layer.
I selected the Pen Tool.

I set the Pen Tool to shape.
I turned off it's fill type and turned on the stroke.
I set the strokes color to black.
I set the stroke width to 3px.
I set the stroke to the top solid line.
I aligned the stroke to center and set the corners to squared/flush.

Screen Shot 2015-12-10 at 11.46.24 PM.png

The rest was just quickly clicking the intersections of the appropriate guidelines.

First the outside...
Screen Shot 2015-12-10 at 11.46.39 PM.png

Then the inside....
Screen Shot 2015-12-10 at 11.46.46 PM.png

The Tool will create new layers as it goes which can be merged or grouped later.
Then it's a matter of moving the guidelines, adjusting the stroke width, and making more lines!

Screen Shot 2015-12-10 at 11.46.55 PM.png
 
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IamSam

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New guidelines over the original.
Screen Shot 2015-12-11 at 12.11.18 AM.png

Adjusted stroke.
New Pen Tool lines.
I did use the line tool to make the X's.
Screen Shot 2015-12-11 at 12.11.50 AM.png

Done.
Quick, easy and editable.
Screen Shot 2015-12-11 at 12.12.01 AM.png
 
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MadDokK

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admin,

Thank you for the explanation.

IamSam,

I picked up on admin using rectangle along with the line tool, but I'm not an expert and sometimes it's a simple click and adjustment that can make all the difference. If I do all this work I want to make damn sure I do it right. Good thinking using the pen tool. I will certainly try out both techniques and see what works best for me. Unfortunately the image you have is only a fraction of the full scale so "quick" isn't quite the word I would use in my scenario.

You both answered quickly and went out of your way to show me how to go about this. I've said "thank you" every post but I think it's a phrase too many people use without meaning it. I appreciate your time and effort.
:clap:
 

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