You know that weird machine lying in some dark office corner? That awkward device we usually think about only when the need to scan a legal document arises? We’re talking about a scanner, and you wouldn’t believe the kind of beautiful art you can make with it!
Actually, an entire art movement formed around the creative use of scanners. The technique of capturing digitized images of objects is best known as scanography or scanner art.
Here are some cool examples of this unique art form:
Ellen Keegan >>
What makes image scanning special?
When you make art with a scanner, the image you get makes the viewer wonder whether she’s looking at a photo or a painting. This effect is the result of two main factors. First, the scanner’s camera has very high resolution, creating a sharp and detailed image. Second, all the objects are placed on a level plane, with nothing in the background. The process of scanning exposes the object we scan to strong lighting, evenly distributed throughout the entire flat surface. The lack of perspective and depth results in a unique image capture, giving three dimensional objects a partially flat appearance. This special effect gives a touch of the surreal to the image, somewhere between fantasy and reality.
Luca Pierro >>
You can create your own beautiful scanner art!
All you need is a scanner connected to your computer and the spirit of adventure. That’s it, start scanning!
- Use any object you can think of. Simply place it on the surface of the scanner: papers, toys, candy, vegetables, flowers and leaves, anything goes – we’ve even seen people who managed to scan their pets (although this is not recommended!).
- If you are using sharp or dirty objects – best to protect the scanner’s surface with a transparency sheet (no one will see it, and it’s great for protecting the device from unwanted scratches).
- To have a colored background or a unique pattern, you can place colored/white/pattern paper or fabric behind objects and only then close the scanner.
- To get the best effect for a black background, place the objects in whatever order you want, darken the room and only then scan your work, no background needed (when we experimented with this method we managed to get the coolest scanner art works).
- If you’re looking for something different, you can create your very own unique textures. Use anything from pretty fabrics to old Jeans or crumpled up paper. Even pieces of metal or plastic bags can turn into interesting textures to work with.
- Keep in mind how the scanner is built; it doesn’t “see” things from your view point. Any object you place will be scanned from the opposite side.
Josie Lselin >>
Scanner art can make your website spark
You can create amazing, eye catching visuals for your website with the help of a scanner. The first cool option is to create a few works and upload them to your image gallery. An even cooler option is to use scanner art to create an original, awesome background for your website. The options are endless. If your website is about recipes or cooking – play with your food! You’ll get really neat results. If you are a fashion designer, place the tools you work with (pencils, measuring tape, fabrics, ribbons). If you own a flower shop, anything from your garden can be used to create new art. Photographers? Bring your pictures, old cameras, lenses, film etc. Go crazy, it works!
We couldn’t resist the fun of playing with the scanner and made two websites – one for a musician and one for a restaurant – for your very own inspiration: