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  • Canvas prints, but low res image...any tips?

    As I am sure many of you are accustomed, I've been asked to do an assignment and have not been given adequate resources. Someone wants a series of canvas banners (more like tapestries, very midieval) and has provided me with a powerpoint file that contains the images they want to use. Of course, they pulled imaged off of the internet and fixed them in the powerpoint file, and, of course, I have to pull all of those image back OUT of powerpoint, so I'm losing resolution left and right. They end up as letter sized images at about 100 dpi. This part is understood by the customer, but I thought I would let you know what I'm working with.

    My solution is to bring the images into Photoshop and play around with some of the settings/filters/adjustments to help with the resolution issues. This will be printed on large format canvas material, so I already don't have to worry about sharp resolution on the final product, but still, I have a big resolution gap that I'm trying to bridge.

    I'm just now starting the project today and I wondered if anyone has any experience with this particular kind of task. I assume I will be able to apply a watercolor filter, possibly add some texture and adjust some of the colors, shadows and highlights to make the photos appear more like impressionistic paintings.

    The catch: I'm an in-house designer. This isn't an issue where I get to charge more, or refuse the job or anything like that. Gotta make it work.

    Any warnings, tips or suggestions?
    Much appreciated.

  • #2
    1. Pulling images off the internet begs the question of copyright infringement.
    2. You didn't say how large the images were going but a 72dpi image pulled from the Net is not going to go very big at all.
    3. Assume all you want about the filters, the reality is you are working with very small images. Anything you do with a filter then needs to be blown up to final scale. Even if you succeed in removing the pixelization that is going to happen, you won't be able to make the details small enough to make sense at a larger scale, unless the piece is viewed at some distance.
    4. Large format canvas material, again, depending on the size, can be very sharp imagery. DO NOT rely on what you think is a trade off in canvas over paper. For example an HP printing Dye Sublimation to a canvas material is capable of 720 ink drops per inch (or more). A 16' wide UV printer printing on a slightly coated canvas stock can be as high as 600 drops of ink per inch. That's mighty sharp, even on a texture like canvas.
    5. You need to print out sections of the images and explain to the person that what they gave you is unacceptable for the size they want and that more serious consideration should be given to image sourcing.
    6. If I were a freelancer handed this, I'd hand it back. Seriously. There are legitimate higher resolution sources for 'tapestry' imagery.

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    • #3
      PD knocking it out of the park

      "There's something about turning the pages of a book or magazine and the felling of rubbing your hands across the words."

      This is my pen tool. There are many like it, but this one is MINE. My pen tool is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life. My pen tool without me is useless. Without my pen tool, I am useless.

      there is no grey area when it comes to 1 color logos.

      Comment


      • #4
        Yeh great summary - better than the 50 page essay I was writing up!

        "May your hats fly as high as your dreams"Michael Scott

        Comment


        • #5
          It's a phone call I have to make at least weekly.

          Comment


          • #6
            Preach it!

            PDriver, I hear you loud and clear.

            I didn't know that the canvas could handle that high of a resolution. I have printed on the canvas before, and was surprised at how sharp the image was. That's good to know.

            As for the image size, I will be blowing up the images before I do any work on them. I realize that if I were to make any adjustments at their current size, dimensions and resolution, all my work would go out the window when I print at a larger size.

            As for that larger size, we're talking something like 36" x 48". Not enormous, but plenty large enough to reveal the resolution issues...not to mention large enough to look like dog sh*t!

            I have already told the customer about the size thing, and I guess he thinks he's on CSI:MIAMI where I can do some computer "magic" and the expected results happen. Regardless, I am unable to refuse the project. I agree with you on the freelance thing: I WOULD refuse if I were freelance. But alas, nowhere are those luxuries when working on a military installation.

            Thanks for the info.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by rbowie View Post
              My solution is to bring the images into Photoshop and play around with some of the settings/filters/adjustments to help with the resolution issues. This will be printed on large format canvas material, so I already don't have to worry about sharp resolution on the final product, but still, I have a big resolution gap that I'm trying to bridge.
              I once did a very large vinyl banner on commission for a kart track I shot at years ago. Something like 12' by 8'. One benefit I had was the intended viewing distance was pretty big, so resolution issues become less of a problem. Plus it was understood by the client that a vinyl banner is not going to be color accurate or detailed, so that was a help to.

              Since photo realistic was out of the question we went for more of an illustration effect. In the I did a bit of what you did, running the images through a "pop art" action. In a nutshell think of it as a form of posterization. That type of stuff can help you if you don't have lots of pixels to play with. In the end I delivered an image that was a bit under 100 dpi to the print vendor. They were happy with the source file and the client was happy with the banner.
              My Racing Photography

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              • #8
                "They were happy with the source file and the client was happy with the banner."

                Cool. I have my fingers crossed that I'll have the same luck.

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                • #9
                  It's a classic though. "Where will I get their logo?" "Just take it from the website".

                  "May your hats fly as high as your dreams"Michael Scott

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    You have to wonder about the cost of printing a canvas banner. It's not cheap. It's worth springing for decent images if you're going to be spending that kind of money. What is the image of? Is it possible that you might be able to find something better or even take photos or illustrate?
                    It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn't use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like "What about lunch?" Winnie the Pooh

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by budafist View Post
                      You have to wonder about the cost of printing a canvas banner. It's not cheap. It's worth springing for decent images if you're going to be spending that kind of money. What is the image of? Is it possible that you might be able to find something better or even take photos or illustrate?
                      Great point. And maybe even get something that wasn't grabbed off the Internet, probably in violation of copyright as already mentioned.
                      My Racing Photography

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                      • #12
                        36 x 48 is kinda small and probably meant to be viewed up close.
                        Good luck with that.

                        PS, I can get accurate color on my printed banners. It is possible.

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                        • #13
                          The pics are of castles. Scenery style photos.
                          I'm going to try filter on top of filter on top of filter on top of filter for the results. I'm really gonna push the distortion of the image. We (I'm also working with the interior designer) have tried to make a case for better images, but these are the pics they want (the low rez internet images). I don't know how to get such specific and/or better images for free without taking them myself.

                          Budafist: I haven't thought about asking them to actually pay for images. I'll give that a try. It would solve the copyright issue, too.
                          Last edited by rbowie; 05-16-2011, 01:43 PM.

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                          • #14
                            just because the clients wants to use "free" google images doesn't mean you should use them. point your client to this link and see what they say LIN K

                            "There's something about turning the pages of a book or magazine and the felling of rubbing your hands across the words."

                            This is my pen tool. There are many like it, but this one is MINE. My pen tool is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life. My pen tool without me is useless. Without my pen tool, I am useless.

                            there is no grey area when it comes to 1 color logos.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Typically View Post
                              just because the clients wants to use "free" google images doesn't mean you should use them. point your client to this link and see what they say LIN K
                              Some of the comments are unbelievable. The photogs really get hammered on.
                              This post is brought to you by the letter E and the number 9. Those are the buttons I push to get a Twix out of the candy machine.
                              "I put my heart and my soul into my work, and have lost my mind in the process."

                              Comment

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