After talks about how to improve our digital releases and how exactly they should look like, I've been spending nearly a full week on testing out dozens upon dozens of settings to implement on both our old releases as well as the ones that will be coming up in the future.
Due to changes in scanners as well as editing applications, drivers and actual scanning software, getting a picture perfect rendition of a scanned magazine is near impossible unless you invest in professional high-grade equipment.
So using consumer electronics, getting the "perfect" image will always remain a bit challenging.
Up till now we've been trying our best to present vibrant and colourful looking magazine releases, but when you take a step back and look at how the original physical magazines look compared to how you think they look by going on just memories alone, it quickly becomes apparent that even our releases were not quite perfect, especially when examining the colour temperature and brightness of the images.
Which is why I've been doing a ton of testing and recalibrating of my settings to get both our older scans as well as the recent ones to look as close as I can possibly get them to the actual physical magazines.
Getting all of this correct without ending up with a dull looking palet due to messing with hue, brightness, colour temperature and vibrance has proven to be quite the task. As it's surprisingly easy to get a beautiful looking page to look dull and drab.
And since our goal is to provide the best looking digital renditions of classic video game magazines out there, such a thing obviously would not do for us.
After all this time, I think I'm finally satisfied with the results I'm getting right now, which is why I feel confident enough to share a couple of comparison shots.
Here you can see a picture of the actual magazine, although you do have to account for glare from the sun, even though they were taken with indirect sunlight to avoid it as much as possible.
Then you'll see a rendition of the same page you have been able to download from our site up till this point, and finally you will see the same page again, but with the new settings that are much closer to the original and capture the actual look and feel of the physical magazine.
Re-authoring all these magazines will take a bit of time though, and I'm planning on giving every page a final passover before creating what I believe to be the final re-releases of these magazines.
As some might remember that in certain cases, this will be the 5th iteration of these magazines over the past 8 years or so, especially with some of the OSSM issues.
Then again, I think all of this can only be a good thing and hopefully raises the bar on the digital preservation of these classics once again.
Not sure how I'll do the rollout. Perhaps one series at a time.
But I will certainly post a news article on the website as well as on the forum when these are finally ready and online.
And for the people following us on Twitter, I'll post a link with the info about he new renditions there as well.
Hope you all like what you're seeing.