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<< 2.1 Setup, Starting BlackMagic & getting an Image >>
This section outlines important tasks of installing, setting-up, and opening an image (to colour) in BlackMagic.
Important: As with any other computer software, you should first of all become familiar with various features (at least the important ones) before attempting any large or complex projects. We recommend that you begin exploring with one of the sample images provided. Once you get the hang of the program, you may then stress test it with larger or more complex images of your own.
First things first: Ensure that you have the computer configuration that complies with the minimum requirements to run BlackMagic as specified under "Specification and System Requirements" section. If not, please take the necessary steps (such as upgrade to the specification) before proceeding further. Otherwise, continue as below.
One very important consideration while using BlackMagic is your COLOUR DISPLAY SETTINGS. Your monitor/ graphics card should be set to display at 24 bit (or higher) colour depth, at a minimum of 800 X 600 screen resolution. If your computer configuration matches the outlined "specification & system requirements", there should not be a problem, except may be the settings are not proper. To ensure proper settings, follow the following steps:
click on the "start" icon on the Windows task-bar to bring up the menu, then select "settings", then "control panel";
from the "control panel" folder, double-click on the "display" program icon;
from the following dialog box, click on the "settings" tab;
ensure that the "colors" box shows "True Color (24 bit)" or "True Color (32 bit)"; if not select the appropriate setting from the drop down list;
ensure that the "screen area" box shows a resolution of at least 800 X 600 (1024 X 768 recommended); if not, move the control slider to right until it is so;
click "OK" until you get out of the Display Control; you should be given the option to "effect" the new display settings without restarting the computer; choose this; if it does not adjust the display correctly, you may have to restart the computer.
Once the display settings are set correctly, adjust the Brightness, Contrast, and the Colour temperature such that the colours on the desktop look just right - not too dark - not too light - not too saturated - etc. You may need to play with these settings a bit after you have colourized your first photo. Remember, BlackMagic uses natures own palettes (as in the TimeBrush RLC); if the colours seem not to be OK, its likely due to one of the points discussed above. You can calibrate the settings of your display/ monitor by viewing some colour photos on your screen, and making adjustments until the colours look right.
Before you begin using the software, you should install it on the hard-drive of your computer. For specific instructions on doing this, please refer to the "readme.txt" file in your program archive - but mostly, it should be as simple as executing a self-extracting archive and following on-screen prompts, or un-zipping all files into an empty folder (in case of a "zip" archive). You may also create a short-cut to the program on your desk-top; to do this, simply open the BlackMagic folder in the Explorer, then "right click" on the program file (generally called BlackMagic.exe) to bring up the pop-up menu. Select the item marked "Send to Desktop" - that's it! You are now ready to begin your Time Travel into the past.
Start BlackMagic just the way you would any other Windows application; double click on the 'desktop' shortcut, or from the "Start" menu, or by double clicking the program icon in Windows Explorer.
You should now be presented with a screen as below (actually, this is the *PE screen; the one you see might show less features/ options depending upon the BlackMagic version you are running). However, that does not matter at this stage.
Irrespective of the version, please take note of the first two buttons on the top menu panel of the screen, marked "Load Image" & "Scan Image"; that's the first task whenever you start-up BlackMagic - get an image to colour. You do this by clicking on either of these buttons, depending upon where you want to get the image from.
The "Load Image" button brings up a regular Windows "Open File" dialog; use it to locate the source black & white image on any of your connected drives, then "open" it; the source photo will appear in a secondary (child) window within the above displayed screen.
The "Scan Image" button is meant for acquiring the source photo that you may already have in printed form. You would need a "twain" standard scanner setup & connected properly to your computer for this to work. If you have such a device connected, then clicking on this button will bring up a dialog that will vary depending the brand/ model/ etc of your scanner. Make the correct choices to scan your photo into the computer; for details, refer to your scanner user guide/ documentation. If you do all that is required, then the source photo will appear in a secondary (child) window within the above displayed screen. Some more tips on scanning are available in the Advanced Tips & Tricks section.
Depending upon the size of the source photo, it may take a while to initialize it; a progress meter tracks this process; wait for this progress bar to disappear, before proceeding.
Also based on your source image size, there might be "scroll bars" on either/ both the main screen (above) and/ or the child window containing the source photo. Play with these, and drag the child window around until you have positioned it as per your preference (try and maximize the visible portion of the photo by resizing the child window.
Now you are ready to start colourizing.
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