X-Ray Scanning with the Vidar VXR Film Digitizer

Faculty Multimedia Development Lab

Monday - Friday, 9:00 am - 4:00 pm (closed 12:00pm-1:00pm for workshops)
67 MacNider Hall


About Vidar's VXR Film Digitizer

Vidar's VXR film digitizer captures images from film (x-rays) in digital form. A film is scanned by inserting it into the roller mechanism and defining the area to be scanned. The Preview option does a low resolution scan and shows the results in the preview area. From here you can define the exact area to scan. Once the x-ray has been scanned it can be edited in Photoshop.

Turning On the X-Ray Scanner

  1. Make sure the scanner is turned on. The orange switch on the right side of the machine should be lit if the scanner is on.
  2. If the scanner is not on:
    1. Shut down the computer
    2. Switch the scanner on
    3. Restart the computer

Start the Scanning Software

  1. Start Adobe Photoshop by double clicking the icon on the desktop, or by selecting Programs, Adobe, Adobe Photoshop from the Start button on the Windows taskbar.
  2. From the Photoshop File menu, select Import, Vidar TWAIN32 version 2.4.r22....
  3. This will bring up the Main Window Control Panel for the scanner.

Main Window Controls

The tools and buttons in the Main Window Control Box control the configurations, settings, and output of the x-ray scanner.



  1. Image Properties (right): Just as the name suggests, these functions change the properties of your image.
    1. Resolution: This determines the size of the detail captured in the x-ray. The lower the resolution, the lower the file size. From pulldown menus in this area you may select the resolution value and unit of measure.

      Resolution Tips for x-Ray Scanning:
      Resolution setting is determined by your ultimate output goal for the x-rays. If the x-rays are destined for slides, they should be scanned at a different resolution than those destined for the Internet. Images on the Internet do not need as much detail (resolution) as images that are going to be printed. Here are some tips to help you set the correct resolution value.
      1. If you want to output to a printer: Set the resolution to 300 DPI
      2. If you want to output to slides: Set the resolution to 300 DPI
      3. If you want to output to the Internet: Set the resolution to 72 DPI
    2. Depth: The main controls allow you to choose between scanning 8 or 12 bit images.  This computer will not support 12 bit images. Make sure the Depth is set to 8-bit gray.

loadingLoading the Film

  1. Look at the x-ray as if you were going to read it.
  2. Flip the x-ray so the top is now on the bottom. (it should be upside-down and backwards).
  3. Snug the film guides to the edges of the x-ray.
  4. In that position, place the x-ray into the tray. 

Previewing the Scan

  1. Make sure the x-ray is properly loaded into the scanner.
  2. Click the Preview button on the Main Control Window.
  3. The scanner will scan a low resolution preview.
  4. Once the preview is scanned, draw a marquee around the area (region of interest or ROI) you want to scan.

Scanning the X-Ray

  1. Once the ROI has been specified in the Preview area you may begin scanning.
  2. Click on the Scan button on the Main Control Window.
  3. The scan will open in Photoshop where you can manipulate and adjust the image.

Eject the X-Ray from the Scanner and Exit the Scanning Software

  1. Do not pull the x-ray out of the scanner! To remove the x-ray from the scanner click on the Eject button in the Main Control Window.
  2. Click the Exit button to exit the scanning software and return to Photoshop.

Saving the Scan

  1. Using Photoshop, edit the image.
  2. Save the finished image as a GIF or JPEG file if it's for the Internet, EPS or TIFF if it's for print, or TIFF or JPEG if it's for slides. (Ask the Multimedia Development Lab manager for assistance with slide saving instructions.)

Getting More Help

If you need additional help or have advanced questions about using the Vidar X-ray scanner ask at the Multimedia Development Lab (67 MacNider).