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Scanner Makers Adopt ASF Technology

Microtek, Umax, Kodak include Digital ICE with scanners By Dave Nagel
Applied Science Fiction, a developer of software for photographers and digital artists, says three scanner makers will be including their technologies in upcoming releases. The technologies vary, but they're all focused on image restoration, color correction and other photographic enhancements. ASF also announced two new plugins for Adobe Photoshop geared toward photo restoration and color manipulation.

The scanner manufacturers include Kodak, Umax and Microtek. Kodak will include ASF's Digital ICE in its HR 500 and HR Universal film scanners. Microtek will include Digital ICE in a variety of its flatbed scanners. And Umax has already placed the technology into its PowerLook 270 Plus film scanner. Digital ICE automatically removes surface defects, such as dust and scratches, from a scanned image. According to ASF, the technology doesn't "soften, blur or otherwise alter any underlying details or composition of the original image." Instead, it works from within the scanner during the scanning process.

ASF's Digital ICE technology is also available in scanners manufactured by Nikon, Minolta, Durst, and Benq.

ASF's two new plugins are Digital ROC and Digital SHO, both for Adobe Photoshop and available currently for Windows, with Mac versions "coming soon," according to the company. Digital ROC removes the color cast from faded images and the effects of tungsten and fluorescent lighting by using proprietary algorithms to analyze the color gradients of an image and determine the optimum tonal curve for each color channel. Digital SHO automatically reveals details hidden in shadows commonly caused by exposure problems such as backlit subjects, uneven flash illumination and partial shade, according to ASF. Digital SHO analyzes and adjusts the gradations of darker image areas to reveal hidden details.

Free trial versions are available for download now (for Windows right now) from ASF. The demo versions are fully functional but apply watermarks to images. To remove the watermarking, users can register the plugins for $49.95 each. For more information, visit

Dave Nagel is the producer of Creative Mac and Digital Media Designer; host of several World Wide User Groups, including Synthetik Studio Artist, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe InDesign, Adobe LiveMotion, Creative Mac and Digital Media Designer; and executive producer of the Digital Media Net family of publications. You can reach him at

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Related Keywords:scanner, Applied Science, Photoshop, image restoration

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