This is the question I get asked the most, but I don’t have any special secrets:
1) Before you scan, use slips of paper to frame your image, confirming that there’s a good rectangular composition that won’t have extraneous elements in it.
2) Press your comic book page absolutely flat against your flatbed scanner by piling some flat heavy objects on top of it (I use books). The smallest ripple in the comic will result in extreme blurriness. I often fold back my comic, so I’m only pressing a few pages to the scanner bed, and sometimes I put a pane of glass between the comic and the books, to ensure total flatness.
3) Scan at a high resolution - at least 1000 dpi. I go as high as 3000, if the area I’m scanning is really tiny. (Beyond that point, my scanner doesn’t capture anything extra.) You can always reduce the file size after you scan. The main thing is to avoid having your scanner make any decisions about what color it is seeing; you want to capture every shade of the overlapping 4CP colors and every granular detail of the paper.
a) Include some unprinted (“white”) area in your scan, even if you plan to crop it out later. This is important to preserving true comic book color, when applying filters with a program like Photoshop.
b) I keep all my scanner’s filters turned OFF (sharpness, color correction, etc.).
4) I then typically apply the Photoshop filter “auto levels.” This sets the whitest spots of paper to true white and the blackest areas of black ink to true black and modifies everything else based on those benchmarks. (Remember, there’s hardly any true white or true black on an old comic book page - there’s an infinity of grays and tans.) The result is an image that stays true to the comic book colors and that preserves the grain of the paper, but that is brightened up considerably.
"My thoughts are liquid, drowning in an ocean of you." -Zayn or Harry
On what you believed to be your last breath, you laughed.
It wasn’t because the situation of drowning in a sea of rippling waves provided comic relief. Instead, it was the flash of red shorts that hurdled towards you that made you suck in a lungful of salt water just before your eyes shifted to a close and your body began to sink into the unknown. If you were on land with your feet planted safely into the sand, you would have thrown your head back and shouted your happiness to the never-ending sky with a laugh that settled deep into your bones and warmed your skin faster than the sun ever could. It wouldn’t have bubbled or fizzed in its wake, signifying the end of an era; a beating heart.
You remember a steel band wrapped around your waist. With a mind of only liquid thoughts, you thought that you had been wrapped in the jaw of a shark. There was an insistent shushing in your ear when you struggled in the water, kicking your legs into what you thought were teeth that had ripped into your skin and taken away your ability to swim.
In the midst of it all, the one thing you were truly terrified of losing was the ability to laugh.
If there hadn’t been a mouth that was enclosed over yours, you would have audibly wept with joy from the feeling of life that was delving back into your toes and spreading up into your fingertips. You could feel hands digging into your chest until an almost uncomfortable sensation catapulted itself into your jump started heart. Sodden hair tickled the sides of your face when a weight was lifted from your shoulders.
A raspy voice - one that came from a throat that seemed to have been burnt by liquid - was speaking, grabbing the ends of your attention and pulling your body taut into it. Fluid spluttered from your throat and cascaded into the sand beneath you, and although it wasn’t yet a laugh, it was better than never hearing anything apart from the ocean swishing against your ears.
Green eyes were peering down at you. They were as mossy as algae at the very bottom of the ocean, but prettier; angelic. They captivated you long enough to pull you out of a reverie that shook into you and had your teeth chattering. The eyes in front of you moved out of focus for a moment, but when they came back a second later, its brawny hands were cradling you in a sheath of beach towel and particles of grainy seashore.
Before your eyes could narrowly miss the familiar fabric of red shorts, the knees that belonged to the article of clothing were rolling into the sand in order to straighten and get a better hold of you. Scents of salt and sunscreen invaded your dulled senses when strong arms wrapped around your waist. Once a noise of disbelief caught on the the lining of your throat, you were comforted by the presence of human life breathing into your ear, making soothing sounds that canceled out the crashing of the waves.
“It’s alright, it’s alright.” A hand pressed more firmly into your back and waited for the contents of your stomach to dissipate into the sand before it tightened its fingers around your quivering shoulder.
“You - you - “
You realized that curls were beginning to form in the lifeguard’s hair once he ducked his head to glance into your eyes. You wondered if he saw the water in them and assumed it was from the ocean, when in reality, they were flooded with the tears.
The boy spoke softly, “I know.” A lump much like your own seemed to weld its way into his throat. Before you could regain the nerves in your fingers to reach out and touch the plane of his neck, he was clasping his free hand over both of yours and squeezing. “I saw you laugh.”
“I thought I was going to die.”
Incredulously, he shook his head. “So you thought the best thing to do was laugh?”
Silence. Two beating hearts and joined hands.
“I didn’t know if I would ever have a reason to again.”
Been tweaking sims a bit this evening–switched up Amy’s look a little bit (left) and made one of the supporting characters for Home for the Holidays, Natalie (right). I’ve also been doing a little bit of writing for the story, and I am super duper excited to get started! Though also a little nervous. Always nervous when starting new things!
Also, a psa: I have one more comic for Ripples in Paradise tomorrow, and that will be the last Sims 3 post I’ll be doing for a while, except for any Lilo’s Fall into the Future updates I may be inspired to do. My apologies to those who prefer TS3 content, though I do hope that even if you aren’t a fan of TS4 that you’ll still continue reading RiP and give HftH a chance if you enjoy my stories. ♥