Silverfast AI Studio 6.6 Manual (Advanced)

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Setting Up Silverfast

  • Silverfast is installed on two computers in A121 (#17-#18) and two in A137 (AIL) Stations numbers (#3-#4)
  • Apps>Silverfast>Silverfast launcher
  • The default screen that appears when Silverfast is launched is the “General” screen.
  • Device- Allows the user to choose what scanner will be used. At all of our scanning stations we use Epson perfection V700 scanners.
  • Scan Mode- Allows the user to change from normal (file) scanning to batch scanning.
  • Normal vs Batch Scanning
  • Normal (File)- For use when scanning single images or large format film (4X5, 8X10)
  • Batch- Useful for scanning multiple items or negatives. For ideal results, the negatives should have similar color qualities.
  • Original- Allows the user to set the film type to either reflective or transparency. Reflective will be used if he user is scanning something opaque, and transparency will be used if scanning negatives.
  • Pos./Neg- Allows the user to choose whether the film is a positive (slide) or negative (print) film.
  • Frame/set- Save


Allows the user to customize many advanced options.


  1. Color Model- Allows the user to set the color model of the scans. CMY or RGB. CMY is the default and recommended setting.
  1. Units of Measure- Change the units of measure from metric to imperial as well as pica, point and pixel.
  2. Densitometer radius- Allows the user to change the radius of the densitometer reading from 1-3 pixels.
  3. Default setting - Allows the user to load previously saved settings or choose the Silverfast defaults.
  4. High resolution pre-scan- This menu changes the resolution of the pre-scan. 1X is default but it can go up to 8X for super high resolution scans.
  5. Gamma Gradation- 2.20 is the recommended settings for gamma gradation. In general, a gamma of 1.6-1.8 is recommended for reflective media. For transparency, the gamma is normally higher than for reflective media with values between 1.8 and 2.0 being normal although values up to 2.2 are perfectly acceptable. Lower values will tend to result in a darker more contrasty preview than higher values. Choosing a higher value also means that the shadows will be more open than for lower values; the image a bit brighter, however, image contrast will tend to be lower.


  1. Q-Factor- The Q-Factor indicates the relation between line screen resolution (lpi) and scan reslolution (ppi resp. dpi).
    1. Q-Factor of 1.5 means that the scan resolution is 1.5 times larger than the line screen resolution.
  2. Realtime Correction- This allows the user to view edits in real time. Having it checked is a good idea.


  1. Color Management Panel- This should not be changed unless directed by or pre-approved by a coordinator
  2. Profiles for Colorsynch
    1. Internal- Adobe RGB 1998 is the default and recommended setting. If someone wants to embed a new profile, get it approved by a coordinator.
    2. Gray- Generic Gray Gamma 2.2 is the default and recommended setting. If someone wants to embed a new profile, get it approved by a coordinator.
    3. Rendering Intent
      1. Perceptual Relative colorimetry- A reproduction which provides a perceptual or pleasing appearance. This general means both in- and out-of-gamut colors are modified from their colorimetric representation.
      2. Relative Colorimetric- For reflection print this means that “y” of paper (paper white) is taken to be “1”. All colorimetric measurements are normalized based on the paper‘s colorimetry. A colorimetric reproduction is provided for in-gamut colors. Out-of-gamut colors are mapped to the border of the reproducible gamut. This has the advantage of providing a larger effective gamut so that bright colors will more likely to be in-gamut. It has the disadvantage of sacrificing exact color matches for printers with different paper white points. (Example usage would be for spot colors where a color reproduction relative to the paper‘s white is desired.)
      3. Saturation relative colorimetry- A reproduction in which saturation is emphasized. In-gamut colors may or may not be colorimetric. Example usage would be for business graphics where saturation is the most important attribute of color.
      4. Absolute colorimetry- For reflection print this means that “y” (paper white) of printed paper is less than “1”. A colorimetric reproduction is provided for in-gamut colors. Out-of-gamut colors are mapped to the border of the reproducible gamut. This has the advantage of providing exact color matches from printer to printer. It has the disadvantage of causing colors with “y” values between the paper‘s white and “1” to be out-of-gamut. Example usage would be for spot colors where an exact color reproduction is desired.

“Frame” screen

The frame screen is also a settings screen, but it allows the user to set more advanced settings for the scan program.

  1. Scan Type- Allows the user to select the bit depth and color of the scan session. (General guidelines are 16 bits per channel. ie Color-48 bit B&W-16 bit) (Frame_fig_2)
  2. Filter - Filters are usually not needed while scanning because they can be applied after and with greater precision in other programs.
    1. Sharpening- Do not use sharpening.
    2. Descreening- Eliminates cross hatching, or screen dots.
    3. GANE- Grain and Noise elimination.
  1. Output- This screen contains the name, size, output and dpi of the previewed image.
    1. Changing the name of the scan isn’t necessary, Silverfast allows us to give a specific file name when saving.
    2. The Original sizing gives dimensions for the media being scanned in, this does not need to be modified either. (ie 35mm= ~1.5”X1”)
    3. Output should remain at 100% of the original media size. Any scaling will result in an interpolated file.
    4. DPI should be set to 6400, the optimum resolution of the scanners.
    5. After the DPI has been entered, the Mbyte data box will give you the estimated size of each file.


  1. The densitometer by default sits next to the general and frame tabs, but it’s recommended that the user floats the densitometer, for accurate, easily accesable readings.
  2. What the densitometer shows is the color values for each pixel your cursor passes over. On top of that it shows the value of that pixel after all edits have been applied. It shows both a numeric value and a color swatch.
  3. The densitometer is an unbelievably useful tool that will help users create quality, color corrected, in-gamut scans.


  1. Prescan can be run anytime after step 1 of the Frame menu, but be aware that some settings may shift after prescan has completed.
  2. Make sure that the film is loaded into the tray correctly, emulsion side down. The trays have pictures that make it easy in case someone forgets.
  3. Make sure the film tray is loaded correctly into the scanner and the view window is at the top. (wet-mount only)
  4. The resolution of the prescan defaults to 1X which should be plenty. If someone wanted to raise the resolution of the prescan they can use the options menu. (See options)
  5. Once the prescan has completed you will see your media appear in the view window.

Frame Finder/Zoom

  1. Frame Finder- This tool is useful when batch scanning, especially for 35mm negatives or slides.
    1. To use Frame Finder, click the frame finder icon and select the appropriate choice for the media. (ie Filmstrip 35mm)
    2. Frame Finder will then automatically find all (more or less) of the frames and create a marquee around each one. Each single frame can now be selected to zoom or edit.
  2. Zoom- This tool zooms into a single prescanned frame, allowing the user to see it larger and make corrections easier.
    1. To Zoom select the frame you wish to zoom in on and hit the magnifying glass with the plus.
      Scanning Silverfast icon 1.png


Silverfast comes pre-loaded with profiles for negative and positive film that the user can select to ease color correction.

  1. Manufacturer- Choose the manufacturer of the film being scanned.
  2. Type- Choose the film type from that manufacturer.
  3. ASA- Choose the speed of the film.
  4. CCR- Color cast removal, this will also speed up color correction by removing major color cast from the negative.
  5. Brightness- Allows for the lightening/darkening of the negative by +/- three stops.

The Expert-Dialogue

Scanning Silverfast icon 2.png

This tool is useful when the film profile either does not exist or is not quite correct in removing color cast or color balancing correctly. There are two panels used in the Expert-Dialogue.

Note: Color correction is not recommended in Silverfast. The tools below are purely preference based and should only be used to generate the full dynamic range of the negative for scanning.

  1. Expansion-
    1. Expansion allows for the adjustment of the orange mask, which is basically correcting for color casts, especially blue.
    2. Adjust the expansion by moving the vertical clipping points one each of the color channels (RGB)
    3. Using the auto feature is a good jumping off point, giving the user a good base to start adjusting further.
    4. All adjustments can be reset by clicking on the reset button
      Scanning Silverfast icon 3.png
  2. Curves-
    1. The second window of the Expert-Dialog, the “Curves” panel, monitors and allows the user to modify the curves of all colors (black) as well as single color channels (RGB)
    2. This is useful when a film profile isn’t completely accurate and more changes must be made. Curves also allows the user to save the edits to a separate name. However they will only last as long as that user is logged in to his/her station.
    3. The “Edit” button activates the curves dialog. A black curve will appear, and each point on the line represents the manufacturers profile settings. These can be moved when edit mode is selected.
    4. To zoom in on the curve, just click on the area desired. To zoom out, hold Alt and click. To move in the curve hold down the shift key and move the mouse.
    5. Selecting any of the RGB-selectors above the curves will activate any of the Red, Green or Blue curves accordingly. Clicking the Grey selector will active all curves.
    6. If the curve is really rough looking, click “Smoothen” to create a smoother gradation. This can be stacked, allowing the user to continue to smooth the curve.
    7. Setting neutral gray with curves
      1. With the curves in edit mode, click onto the colour cast area in the preview. This point in the gradation curves is marked by vertical lines and marked in the HS and L dialogue display below by a single point or a line respectively.
      2. Drag this point in the dialogue vertically down to the horizontal grey axis. The preview window will reflect the change immediately.

General Tools

Scans should be left fairly flat, open in the shadows and flat highlights without any additional contrast.

  1. Pipette (levels) Scanning Silverfast icon 4.png
    1. The pipette tool allows you to set the maximum levels on each negative by selecting the max highlight, shadow and a midtone for the film.
      1. Finding the brightest highlight is simple, click the icon (icon_fig_5) and the brightest highlights will show up on the preview. Finding the darkest point is the exact same process.
      2. To set the highlight, click on the top left corner (the mouse pointer will turn into a white triangle ) and find the brightest point on which you want to set the highlight. While moving the triangle over the image, the densitometer displays the values. Now click on the brightest point.
      3. To set the shadow (the darkest point), click onto the down right corner of the highlight-shadow tool, the black triangle will appear. Search for the darkest point on the image by observing the densitometer reading, then click on the image in the prescan.
      4. In order to define a midtone (neutral point) click on the pipette like icon of the highlight / shadow tool – the cursor becomes a grey rectangle. Move the tip of the rectangle over the colour you want to be neutral grey and watch the densitometer
      5. It is possible to set multiple midtone points, this is useful for creating multiple neutral shades if you have them in the negative. Just hold cmd while using the midtone pipette, release cmd before selecting the last point and all will be set as midtones. They wont be the same shade, they will just have the color cast removed and shifted towards a neutral color.
  2. Histogram Scanning Silverfast icon 5.png
    1. With the histogram tool, the highlight / shadow points are controlled and optimised, much like the pipette tool, only selection of the highlights and shadows are now sliders on the histogram
  3. Gradation (think curves) Scanning Silverfast icon 7.png
    1. In the gradation dialogue, the tonal values are influenced through RGB- or CMY-curves. Here the gradation curves can be controlled by sliders, numerical input or curve manipulation. You can choose between RGB and CMY color.
    2. Gradation can be modified three ways
      1. By using the sliders, the gradation curves can be conveniently altered. The slider position can also be changed by entering values into the input fields right of the slider.
      2. The curve points of a gradation curve can be moved by the mouse. Here, the values in the input fields below the curve points are automatically updated.
      3. The curve points can be moved accordingly by changing the values in the five input fields.

Scanning Workflow

See Silverfast AI Studio 6.6