[Taxacom] Scientific illustration

Richard Zander Richard.Zander at mobot.org
Fri Jul 24 08:43:02 CDT 2009

I'm using Neopaint, a US$100 program that works well. The artist's line
drawing is scanned at 1200 dpi, black & white (called one-bit), and
reduced in Twain to the size of the final printing (doing this while
scanning reduces jaggies introduced by reduction after scanning). 

Shadows and odd stuff are cleared up with an eraser, and scale bars and
captions added. The file is saved as a TIFF and sent to compositor.

To make something that can be shown on the Web, the file is resaved
under another name in GIF, changed to 150 dpi, converted to 4-bit (16
colors or shades of gray), and resized to 4.5 inches wide. Gives perfect
resolution for the Web in about 80-100 kb. The trick is not to use 8-bit
(64 shades), which gives big file sizes even in GIF, but 4-bit instead.
Neopaint supports this. 

For samples of 80-100 kb 4-bit GIF Web illos made from 1.2 mb TIFF
files, see

Richard H. Zander 
Voice: 314-577-0276
Missouri Botanical Garden
PO Box 299
St. Louis, MO 63166-0299 USA
richard.zander at mobot.org
Web sites: http://www.mobot.org/plantscience/resbot/
and http://www.mobot.org/plantscience/bfna/bfnamenu.htm
Non-post deliveries to:
Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63110

More information about the Taxacom mailing list