After searching for suitable artwork online and coming up empty, we decide to capture the artwork on our cabinet and digitally restore it ourselves. We start by trying the flatbed scanning technique outlined in excellent detail at Jeff Rothe’s blog.
Unfortunately, our scanner adds a bizarre RGB diffraction effect to the image (its LED light source is the likely culprit), making the scans unusable. Next, we try photographing sections of the art as squarely as possible with a high-definition digital camera, correcting the images for lens distortion, and stitching them together.
Next, we touch up the scratches and scuffs:
Looking good! The pixel resolution isn’t high enough to use this image as-is, though; if we want to print it at full size without a lot of blocky artifacts, we’ll have to “vectorize,” or trace, it.
To prepare for vectorizing, we isolate the outlines by removing color and maximizing the black-to-white contrast:
Next, we use Adoble Illustrator’s “AutoTrace” feature (and a lot of post-trace cleanup; thanks, Isaac!) to generate matching line art:
Finally, we re-color the image by creating solid shapes with the appropriate Pantone values:
The finished product:
After applying this process to the artwork on the top, sides, and front of the cabinet, we can perfectly reproduce the originals. Having built a custom cabinet, though, we decide to go one step further and customize the look as well…
Next: Creating Custom Artwork