How to revive an old children’s book?

I have a scan of an old children’s book that contains both graphics and text. I want to revive the book for my children, while preserving as much as possible from the original layout and illustrations.

I have a very limited experience in this field. I thought of using Photoshop, which I have used in the past for other projects, but none of this kind.

My approach was to try and segment each image, find the contours and fill the regions with new uniform colors, based on the original colors, such that I obtain clean illustrations. Also, if possible, I want to get the text such that I don’t need to retype it (but this is only a minimal problem, since the book does not contain too much text).

I don’t know if this can be semi-automatically done in Photoshop. I found useful the Trace Contour filter, but I assume that there are also other tools that can be helpful in achieving a good results with a least manual effort.

Here is what I achieved so far, by a direct approach using the Trace Contour filter in Photoshop, then by manually filling the regions with uniform colors from the original scan.

How would you solve this task? Any hint or advice would be helpful.

Original scan of the cover:


Partial result:


Two more scanned pages from the book:

page 1
page 2


My “professional” approach would be to vectorize the whole thing. This would not be a trivial task and would require lots of time and dedication. If you’re not familiar with the process, I think this would be a good project to learn with. Since you mentioned that you’re eager to learn new skills, I’d give it a shot if I were you.

You talked about the use of Photoshop, but that’s not the tool I’d use for to vectorize. Illustrator is much better for this sort of thing.

To give you a rough idea of the sort of deliverable you’d be able to produce:

Apolodor Vectorized Version
It’s not perfect, just a quick demonstration!

To vectorize, you’d primarily be using the Pen Tool to “hand trace” all of the shapes on each page. Here is what the vector shapes look like of the portion that I vectorized:

Outline View

There are also various other tools that you could use to help with the process. Illustrator has a tool called Live Trace that would be able to “vectorize it for you” (although some hand tuning would probably be required).

I think the most difficult part of this process for this case would be achieving the “watercolor” illustration effect, but with enough patience you would be able to create a very polished result.

Source : Link , Question Author : digital-Ink , Answer Author : Community

Leave a Comment