At Ecco the Dolphin Online we are committed to preserving resources from the Ecco the Dolphin series. As part of our preservation efforts we secure rare items and bring them back to their highest quality. We restore items digitally by removing unwanted artifacts such as dust, scratches, staples and folds. In some cases our specialists will patch together several scanned items to create a single image. This is usually done with booklets that contain artwork that span several pages. We have also patched together large folded posters that had to be scanned in sections.
One of our most impressive restorations was performed on the box from the Ecco the Dolphin Boxed Set. The box had to be scanned in sections then pieced together matching its unique texture. We felt restoring the box digitally was important as it needed to be showcased due to it’s rarity. The boxed set is considered a holy grail item to both Ecco the Dolphin and Sega collectors.
Our Media Restoration projects come in three flavors: Restoration, Refinement and Remastered.
Restoration is the process of cleaning up a scanned item of undesirables and in some cases patching it back together. This involves removing dust, scratches, staples, folds by retouching it with image manipulation software. Once the scan is cleaned up, the brightness, colors and contrast are adjusted to make the final image pop out.
Refinement is a more complicated process that involves further refining an already restored image. Most scanned items consist of media that was produced using a printing method known as halftoning. Everything that’s printed uses halftoning from magazines, to comic books, to disc inserts.
A halftoned image is comprised of small spaced dots that are used to construct an item. Sometimes these dots aren’t noticeable by the human eye. When a halftoned image is scanned it becomes noticeable. This is particularly true when placed side by side with the same image that lacks halftones.
Our specialists remove half tones by blending them together, either by hand or through software. What makes this different from a restoration is how we have to completely alter an image just to improve it. This process obviously takes a considerable amount of time, skill and talent to execute.
Media refinement is not just the process of blending halftones, it can also involve blending artifacts from a heavily compressed image as well. Sometimes it’s impossible to find a source for an image, leaving us with what’s available. For whatever reason a person may have scanned an image using obsolete technology and saved it to a lossy format such as JPEG. The source for the image itself may have been damaged or lost leaving us with a heavily compressed image.
Remastered media is taking everything from the previous two categories and throwing them out the window...Well almost. Remastered Media is created by taking an existing item and recreating it. This involves finding the right fonts, images, patterns and colors then matching them to the original. It also involves pixel perfect placement of items too. A remastered image may require a restored or refined image to create it. It may also require creating new vectored fonts and other items.
We are actively looking for volunteers who are interested in helping us restore, refine or remaster our raw scans to the highest quality. If you like what we are doing here and want to help out please drop by our discord and meet our team of preservationists.
Ecco the Dolphin Online is a fan operated site that specializes in content related to the Ecco the Dolphin franchise. We are in no way affiliated with the official sources or copyright holders.