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Old 10-05-2006, 03:58 PM   #1
FlipSide
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Default Printer Ready PDF: 10 ft x 4ft (resolution?)

ok guys,

I've never created any files that have ever gone over A3.

how can i prepare a PDF file so that 8 megapixel photos are super quality when printed at this scale. what's the "norm" for doing this kind of job?

type/graphics are vectors, so should the photos be vectorized? and if so, whats the best way to do that? (a good old trace in illustrator > then place in adobe indesign?)

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Old 10-05-2006, 06:42 PM   #2
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What is the printing process to be used? This sounds like a billboard or truck graphic. I'd contact the printer for the project and find out how they want you to create the art -- dimensions and resolution. Whenever I've created billboards or truck graphics I've done the art to the specs provided by the printer or service who produces them. The specs said to prepare the art to be NN x NN at XXX dpi. As long as I followed their specs, they were responsible for producing it to the customer's satisfaction. No worries for me.

   
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Old 10-06-2006, 03:45 AM   #3
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I think that 20DPI is enough for something like a truck panel or billboard, if that helps
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Old 10-06-2006, 06:11 AM   #4
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LoisWakeman: "I think that 20DPI is enough for something like a truck panel or billboard"

- Lois, can you explain a little more please? thanks

did any of you "ever" convert the photos to vector? (the printers mentioned this to me)...yep its for the side of an stationary trailer (in a beer garden no less...that faces a roundabout), thing is i'm the one that sourced the job, so i'm responsible for final product at end.

i've got a few weeks to do this, but i would love to know the process/workflow that worked for you.

thanks
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Old 10-06-2006, 06:43 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlipSide View Post
did any of you "ever" convert the photos to vector? (the printers mentioned this to me)...yep its for the side of an stationary trailer (in a beer garden no less...that faces a roundabout), thing is i'm the one that sourced the job, so i'm responsible for final product at end.
I have never been told to convert continuous tone, raster images to vector. The printing vendor I worked with specialized in truck graphics and provided me with exact specs for the artwork. I did the layout to the dimensions they gave me and placed raster images at the resolution they required. When done the images' printing-dot patterns were coarse up close, but still very photographic at a normal viewing distance.

Did your printing vendor say they cannot reproduce raster images? Have they said why they're asking you to somehow convert them to vector? I cannot imagine how a photo could possibly convert well to vector, but maybe some very simple photos would survive it and still look relatively photographic from a distance.

   
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Old 10-06-2006, 07:51 AM   #6
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Bill boards, I understand, can have a resolution as low as 25 dpi, since the image is almost never viewed up close (except by the installers). Most people see it from hundred of feet away, and the distance makes the low resolution acceptable.

Trade show graphics, which I assume your use fits into, are generally viewed from a dozen feet away, and thus don't need the clarity of something held a foot or two away in your hands.

Vectorizing a photo is something that I have played with in Flash of all things. (It makes the size much small for web use.) It also results in a reduction in quality, since it uses flat colors rather than the detail of a bitmap. So you wouldn't want to use it if you need to recognize the person, but it would be fine if you could accept a generic man (woman) drinking a bottle of beer, and only the beer bottle needed to be sharp and clear.
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Old 10-06-2006, 08:10 AM   #7
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Well, something seen far away doesn't need the resolution of a small photo/magazine print to look OK. Billboard posters look really awful close-up if you've ever seen one - like Seurat on a bad trip!

Take your 8Mb image which has 8,000,000 pixels: could be, say, 4,000 x 2,000 - which at 20 DPI will print at 400 x 200 inches (which is over 33 ft long!)

I've never heard of making a vector image from a photo either: the only thing I could imagine is to drive one of those vinyl sign-cutting machines.
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Old 10-06-2006, 10:30 AM   #8
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thanks SO much for your feedback folks!

yep, it was the strangest request i've had, and all my efforts to convert to a realistic looking vector image (illustrator) wasn't even mediocre as you said donmcc. great for any modern/stylish poster but this job is rather more "old fashioned" and the image clarity needs to hold up.

i'll quiz the "need" for the vectors on monday morning.

thanks again!!
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