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Card image scanning instructions

In order to scan card images, please read the following instructions carefully.

1. Preparations

  1. Use a high-end scanner.
  2. Use cards in good condition, preferably Mint or Near Mint.
  3. Make sure the scanner's glass surface and the cards are clean. It is important that there's as little dust as possible.
  4. Make sure the cards are flat against the scanner glass. Some scanner lids aren't perfect and don't press on the cards enough.
  5. Scan as many cards you can fit at a time.
  6. Make sure to leave some space between the cards (including the border of the scanner), so that the card borders don't overlap.
  7. The alignment of the cards doesn't need to be perfect; the scans need to be edited anyway.

2. Scanner settings

  1. Scan between 600 and 1600 DPI. Higher DPI is better, but the file size to quality ratio is usually not worth it above 1600.
  2. Don't use settings such as (un)sharpening, descreening, dust removal, etc. It's generally better to do this when editing the images. If you intend on using a color profile, it's recommended to disable the color correction setting as well.
  3. Output as millions of colors, 24-bit color, or true color (they're all the same thing).
  4. In general, just do your best to make the scans look good. The text must also be easy to read.
  5. Save the scans as TIFF, PNG (>= 24-bit), or any other lossless format.
  6. Make sure you use the same settings for all card scans.

3. Edit the images (optional)

  1. Each individual image must be saved as a separate file.
  2. The images must be oriented in portrait mode.
  3. Trim all surrounding whitespace or transparency from the images.
  4. Pokémon cards are exactly 6.3cm by 8.8cm with an aspect ratio of 0.716. Try to approximate this aspect ratio as close as possible.
  5. Clean up the images as much as possible. This includes touching up the card borders, applying various filters (such as descreening), etc.
  6. Use transparency for the rounded borders of the cards if possible. Otherwise, make the background white.
  7. The image width must be at least 640px. Higher widths up to 1280px are preferred.
  8. Save the images in a lossless format (>= 24-bit) such as PNG or WebP.
  9. File size isn't important because the images will be optimized before they are uploaded to database anyway.
  10. Create a folder for each expansion you scanned cards for, and use the card numbers (or card number sorting orders) as file names, e.g., base-set/65-102.png, base-set/36-102.png, and 2005-energies/no-001.png. Conventions regarding file and folder names in general can be found here.