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Thread: Planning for print - workflow suggestions?

  1. #1

    Planning for print - workflow suggestions?

    So, doing work that has to be printed. Required output: 300dpi minimum.
    Painting in 300 dpi is a pain in the... rear. Much slower than , lets say 72 dpi (only my experience, am I wrong?).
    I use maybe 7-8 layers while I work, I know that slows it down as well but that saves sooo much time in the end.

    Could the following be a possible workaround? (think someone mentioned it using PS):

    Paint on canvas at 100 dpi and 3 times larger than intended physical size (+margins),
    then shrink it by converting it to 300dpi and perhaps doing minor details. But would the quality
    be maintained? I'll be home testing this tonight but is there anyone out there
    with experience about this?

    //Daniel

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Hi Daniel,

    This question is very common also in other fields, for example in photography forums.
    Obviously the best solution is related to the dimensions (other than the dpi) of the final required print.
    In my opinion is not convenient working in AR at too low dpi from start, because I notice visible artifacts in the small details (see a recent post from Alistair about problems with stickers for this reason).
    I usually tend to always work at 300 dpi, and then eventually enlarge at the end, to reach the desired dimensions. I don't exactly know which method AR uses for interpolating, for the postproduction work I usually use Paintshop Pro X5. Here you can see an example, a photo enlarged 3 times with bicubic interpolation, always maintaining the 300 dpi (notice the different levels of zoom in the two images).
    There also specialised (and quite costly)programs for enlarging, as Perfect Resize, Photozoom and others, but you have to check if the cost is justified by your applications.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Antlab; 11-27-2012 at 09:04 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    3,817
    Somewhere in the Forum, there is a note by Matt or Dave (AR) responding to my similar query. I have searched, but can't find it. Setting your work to 'record', and then you can 'resize' it at the end? I haven't tried it, but will have a go this morning.

    I use PhotoZoom Pro 4, which works OK for smaller things, but I wouldn't use it on a large one. The lines all tend to smooth over somewhat, but it's better than pixelated.

  4. #4
    Thank you for the replies!

    I've tested some now. It's like you both say, really, do it right from the beginning.
    Correct final size and 300 dpi. Chagning things mid-work affects too much.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    601
    Here's a thread here where I asked similar questions. Someone there had great success using Perfect Resizer. It looks like you can buy it for around 100$ or so used, if I remember correctly.

    I admit, painting at 300 dpi is very slow in Artrage. I usually do 200 for watercolor work, and it has printed fine, but its not pro work, and watercolors commonly have soft edges. I think it depends on what media you're using. Pen and Ink work, for instance, is often done at an even higher dpi- 400-600, as it needs to be crisp. It depends a bit.
    Check out and submit to the thread on Watercolor WIPs in Artrage-- lots of good tips and conversation
    My YouTube video tutorial series- How to Paint with Watercolors in Artrage
    Try out the free
    Artrage Pen-Only Toolbar to improve your workflow and reduce clutter
    List of other good tutorials on using watercolors in Artrage
    List of good sticker sprays for watercolor effects in Artrage

    My blog- art, poetry and picture books- http://www.seamlessexpression.blogspot.com/

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    Performance will be tied to how large your painting is in pixels based on the speed / cores of your processor, rather than a DPI value specifically. If you paint three times larger but with one third of the DPI, your painting should be exactly the same number of pixels in size, so you would see no difference in performance.

    e.g. 9 inches x 9 inches at 300 DPI = 2700 x 2700 pixels. Multiplying that by three to go to 27 inches x 27 inches at 100 DPI = 2700 x 2700 pixels.

    People often don't realise how large the painting is that they're working on. For example a 20 inch x 20 inch painting at 300 DPI is 6000 x 6000 pixels. Larger images also take up more memory and you can start to run the risk of running out of available RAM.

    In the end the only thing which matters is the actual pixel size of the image ( plus any additional layers, stencils etc ) when you're looking at how many resources the painting will require on your system. DPI is not directly related to this unless it changes the pixel dimensions of your image - 3000 x 3000 pixels at 300 DPI is the same number of pixels as 3000 x 3000 pixels at 100 DPI. If you're using -physical- measurements however with DPI, this will affect the pixel size as per the earlier example ( as DPI is a measurement of dots per physical unit ). You can always view the pixel size of the painting you're working on via Edit -> Resize the painting on the 'screen size' tab or the same tab when you create the painting under File -> New Painting. I hope this helps.
    Dave
    Resident Bug-Hunter
    Ambient Design

  7. #7
    @Dave
    Actually, it does, I think

    So, if I aim at a physical printed size of 10x10 inches with 300 dpi, I might as well paint on 30x30 inches at 100 dpi...
    It would be the same as far as AR is concerned, right?
    Does this mean that as long as I keep track of the total pixel size I can just set any DPI when I export the painting to
    for example tif, png etc and it will "resize" automatically without "loosing quality" (get scrambled or distorted)?


    @Steve
    Thanks for the tip Steve, could be worth the money... if I ever manage to get properly paid for my work
    Good point about the ink line work and 400dpi. Ink is new to me in digital and actually what I'm doing right now for a book cover.
    Better get a few testprints done... need that anyway since my monitor isn't calibrated, that lost me one day of work
    and a handfull of dollars first time around

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by MagnaCrea View Post
    @Dave
    Actually, it does, I think

    So, if I aim at a physical printed size of 10x10 inches with 300 dpi, I might as well paint on 30x30 inches at 100 dpi...
    It would be the same as far as AR is concerned, right?
    Those two measurements would be the same as far as ArtRage is concerned. However, there wouldn't be any advantage in working at 30x30 100 dpi as you would get the same performance as working at 10 x 10 300 DPI ( as the pixel dimensions are the same, therefore use the same resources ). As that's the case, there's no advantage to changing DPI value when exporting that I can think of, it's best to set your painting up with the dimensions and DPI value you plan to use in the longterm.

    Quote Originally Posted by MagnaCrea View Post
    @Does this mean that as long as I keep track of the total pixel size I can just set any DPI when I export the painting to
    for example tif, png etc and it will "resize" automatically without "loosing quality" (get scrambled or distorted?
    When you resize the painting via Edit -> Resize the Painting, you will see two tabs, screen and print.

    If you're on the 'screen' tab, you're dealing with pixels. Changing the DPI here won't change the pixel size. However it will change the size of the printout. Therefore increasing the DPI value isn't going to be useful here if you want to maintain the printed size

    e.g. 1000 x 1000 pixels at 100 DPI = 10 x 10 inch printout at 100 DPI. 1000 x 1000 pixels at 200 DPI = 5 x 5 inch printout at 200 DPI

    If you're on the 'print' tab you're dealing with physical measurements. Changing the DPI here will affect the pixel size, but won't affect the size of the printout. Therefore increasing the DPI value is basically going to stretch the image to match the new dimensions and DPI meaning that there will be some loss of quality

    e.g. 10 x 10 inches at 100 DPI = 1000 pixels x 1000 pixels. Increasing the DPI value to 300 -> 10 x 10 inches at 300 DPI = 3000 x 3000 pixels. Higher DPI but the image was stretched.

    Essentially, the best way to work to ensure that you won't need to resize your painting is to set your dimensions in File -> New Painting via the 'print' tab before you start, using physical dimensions and the DPI value you wish to use.

    Sorry for any confusion relating to the previous post. I hope this helps clarify things
    Dave
    Resident Bug-Hunter
    Ambient Design

  9. #9
    Crystal clear! Thanks!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Italy
    Posts
    54
    Hi Dave,

    is it possible to know which algorithm AR uses for interpolating when we give the command Edit -> Resize the Painting?
    I ask this mainly to better understand the eventual differences between the operation performed directly in AR and the others we can obtain with external programs.
    Thanks.

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