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Thread: cropping - is it possible?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2009

    cropping - is it possible?

    I've given up (yet again) on understanding size and pixels. YEARS of wrestling and despair!

    A client tells me my jpg uploaded-to-site image has too much white surround.
    He wants me to crop the image and re-send.
    Can't find a crop tool in AR. So exported to Photoshop Elements which I hate!
    Far too complex. Anyway, how do I crop without changing the image size?
    ie the actual drawing size.
    AR manual says changing the canvas size won't affect the painting size,
    but it does to a lower pixels "size" than the client will accept.

    How do I crop?
    I want pixels 2000 x 1500 at 300dpi to remain unchanged on cropping.
    (I think) !

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Ambient Design
    When you crop an image ( resize the canvas in ArtRage ), you remove the areas of the image you don't want, like trimming the canvas smaller. This doesn't affect the size of the painted content, but it will make your image smaller.

    e.g. In real world terms, if you have a 2 foot by 2 foot canvas with a 1 foot by 1 foot area of paint in the middle, then you cut your canvas down so the borders are closer to the paint, you've removed a lot of blank canvas area. Your paint is still as it was before but total size of the canvas is smaller.

    So, you can't crop an image down and have it at the same pixel size it started at because that pixel size includes the canvas you just removed.

    You could use 'Resize the canvas' in the edit menu to make the canvas smaller ( cropping ), removing the white border, then 'Rescale the painting' ( resizing ) in the edit menu to stretch the result out to 2000 by 1500 pixels, but as you're resizing the whole image up at this point there will be some loss of quality.
    Resident Bug-Hunter / Technical Support
    Ambient Design

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    I've been setting the pixels at 2000 x 1500 because that fits (a bit over)
    the minimum requested by my client (agency). But when drawing,
    I've had no regard to the size of the canvas hence (presumably)
    my drawing (within the "image") is smaller than intended.
    Er . . I'm getting lost here!
    From your advice I conclude I should draw BIGGER within the "image",
    making sure there is just the right amount of white border,
    ie pre-cropping!?
    I'll try later. Thanks for your input.
    ps Does this mean "image" is the same as "canvas" !!!!????????????

  4. #4
    Yes, image is normally taken to mean canvas. It may be easier if you think of the entire image rather than what's painted and what's white (blank). As Dave explained, if you remove the bits you don't want you are left with an image that is too small. The only option is to resample it upwards (resize the image) to the new dimensions. In doing that you'll experience a loss of quality and if this is an issue the only solution is to paint in the details again and sharpen up the blurred lines.

    If you're increasing the image size by a few % then you'll likely not notice a difference unless your image contains sharp lines or text. More than that and I'd zoom in there and neaten it up.

    The solution in future is always work bigger than you think you'll need. I normally work 1.5X but of course it's up to you. And I'd very much recommend you read up a bit on pixels, resolution, canvases and DPI (if you're printing). Especially DPI, as the majority of people think it's something that it isn't!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2009


    Thanks but . .
    Yes, I'll try drawing bigger (there goes 80+ wasted efforts).
    I've read and read and read and received verbal explanations galore . . .
    and attended photoshop series courses, etc etc over many YEARS.
    (note I do make my living using computers!).
    Yet I will NEVER understand pixels/sizes etc. I've decided the only way
    is for me to have someone sit beside me to set the simple
    figures/sizes/dimensions I need. I do not vary my size needs, only
    how to a) Email my drawings b) Upload my drawings c) print my drawings,
    at the right "size/s" . . . so if someone can set me up . . .
    Manchester UK.
    ps The new SKY TV planner etc (though very pretty) is also too complex
    for me, eg how to delete viewed recordings.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Saskatoon, SK, canada
    Ok, probably a wasted effort but I've had good success explaining things to people so I'll try, LOL
    Pixel as you know is a unit of light on the screen. it's one bit, actually. One little light bulb on your screen. Think of it like those old signs made of light bulbs. the bigger the sign, the more light bulbs, unless you change the size of the bulbs, then you can cram more into the space of the sign and make the details more precise and the image finer. So if you have 6" light bulbs on a six foot sign, the graphics will be so crude you can't really do much, maybe a letter or two. If you have light bulbs the size of an LED on a six foot sign, though, you can even make them out of 3 colors crammed together into one spot and get full color and excellent detail. not quite as good as a plasma or LCD screen but for a freeway billboard it's excellent. Then you get your LCD screen. if you wereto peer at it with a magnifying glass you'd see the 3 color light bulbs it's made out of. they're very tiny. those are pixels! When your manual says your computer can do 1280x740 maximum resolution, it means that's how many of those little tricolor bulbs it has. If you were to set your resolution to a smaller number then those bulbs would gang up and several would work in tandem together.
    So if you were to look at a 400x300 pixel image on a 1280x740 pixel (think pixel= one light bulb on the sign) then you'd get a pretty blocky image compared to the 1280x740 image because you'd have a bunch of pixels all teaming up and acting together as one light bulb, like having bigger bulbs making blockier images. Like the sign with huge bulbs on it.
    Printers make drops of color like those lights too, only they're ink drops. really tiny ones. So if a printer does 600 dots per inch (dpi) it literally means that it can cram that many drops into a one inch long line, and that's going to affect the quality of the image it prints.
    Now there's the question of what do you want to do with your picture? Do you want it to be printed for a wall, so needs a lot of detail and has to be printed on several pages to be taped together? Do you want to put it on the teeny screen of your phone? Just look at it on your monitor? Print it on photopaper? If you put it on the monitor it doesn't actually have to be very detailed unless someone's going to zoom in, but if you're going to print it big on several sheets of paper or take it to a print shop to be put on one huge sheet of paper, then you need to make it with more pixels (light bulbs, remember?).
    Most of the time unless you have a special task in mind you can just leave it on the default that Art Rage starts with. but if you're going to get it printed at a shop and framed, then ask the shop to tell you the size you should create it and copy those numbers into it. If you're going to make christmas cards and want the software to move faster, cut the numbers down by 50% or even 70% when you start out.
    So, think of those highway signs with all the lights being turned on and off to create messages and those dots, those are your pixels. the more you cram into a given size board,the better the picture looks, but your screen has a display limit.
    Using HP touchsmart tx2 1020ao tablet laptop with stylus and multitouch screen. I love being able to draw right onto my computer! Now if Art Rage had a "fingerpaint" mode I'd really be playing!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Thanks. I sort of DO understand what pixels are but . . .
    What I need (after those years of frustration) is either
    1) My on-screen drawings to PRINT THE SAME SIZE AS ON SCREEN
    or not too much smaller and email that same size or smaller
    and upload that same size or smaller and . . .
    2) To be given the numbers to set in Artrage.

    On my 1680x1050 mac screen my drawings
    are max 12 centimetres x 12.
    Currently I set:
    2000x1500 @ 300dpi (being just over the agency's minimum)
    Pressure 100%, Softness 45%, Wetness 35%
    ART PEN at 21%
    I only use black. (I've mastered putting a grey layer under rough
    for tracing, NOT the tracing thingy provided)
    But all this leaves me still having to crop.
    What numbers (canvas? painting?) will then do that?

    If we all wore the same necktie, just think of all that
    saved labour! Why not the same with monitors?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Auckland, NZ
    Well, that should be fine... if you just painted it without the white surround (as I think your original question was)
    Also, you know you can change the display from pixels to inches or centimetres? You might find that helps you understand better, seeing what translates... oh dammit, here, I forgot I made these shows you how to choose the centimetres or inches view, instead, if you haven't found that shows what pixels size prints to what, at different DPIs. (obviously, higher DPI needs more pixels to go around)

    If your painting is already created, you cannot magically make it bigger. You can stretch it, and this will probably be fine, if it's not.. oh, half as big again, but we can't see the result, you will have to check that.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Tried your suggestion. And visited the links. Thanks.
    Brilliant illustrations!
    I increased H & W of painting using inches.
    Reduced H & W of canvas.
    Result: drawing is SMALLER!
    (Was trying to stretch it . . . No manual method for that?)
    Maybe I should export to Photoshop Elements
    and try stretching there?
    Thank goodness it's time for some TV (if I can concentrate . . .)

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Tom W View Post
    Thanks. I sort of DO understand what pixels are but . . .
    What I need (after those years of frustration) is either
    1) My on-screen drawings to PRINT THE SAME SIZE AS ON SCREEN
    or not too much smaller and email that same size or smaller

    On my 1680x1050 mac screen my drawings
    are max 12 centimetres x 12.
    Currently I set:
    2000x1500 @ 300dpi (being just over the agency's minimum)
    That's a weird thing to want, but here's the method you would use. Even if you don't understand it, follow this method and you'll get your prints the right size.

    On your screen, display an image the same physical size as you want to print.

    Get a ruler and measure it in vertically and horizontally, in INCHES (that's by far the easiest way to find out how big it is physically)

    Write it down. V inches vertical, H inches horizontal

    Find out what DPI your client needs. Write it down. D DPI

    The exact size in PIXELS for your image is

    Vertical: V * D
    Horizontal: H * D

    Create your canvas that PIXEL size, at D DPI

    Say you measure your on-screen image as 12" x 8". You want to print 12" x 8" at 300 dpi then you create a canvas of

    (12 * 300) x (8 * 300) =

    3600 * 2400 PIXELS, and set it to 300 dpi

    Sent this to your client and when they print it out it will print the same size as you saw it on your screen.

    Quite why you would want to do it that way round is puzzling, but that will work. More commonly your client will tell you that they want to print a certain size at a certain dpi and won't care how big it is on your screen. In this case, either use the calculation above or, more easily, create your canvas at H inches wide, V inches tall and D DPI using the dialog box.

    For the record, dpi has no effect whatsoever until you print. You can work at 1 dpi or 10000 dpi and it makes not the slightest difference. The dpi setting merely specifies how many pixels will fit in a single inch when the image is printed off. That's why it's best to set it up-front so as not to give your client a big, or small, surprise.

    Also, for what it's worth, if I were asked to do an image that worked out at, say 3000 x 2000 pixels, I'd work at maybe 4500 x 3000 pixels, to allow for the client changing their mind. It's easy to resize down and maintain quality, impossible to resize up and maintain quality.

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