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Subject: Help! - Re sizing large images without quality loss rss

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Scott Garrity
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So I hit a bit of a snag in the development of my game.

My game The 12 Towers has a large amount of cards (600 in the core game), to save time I made image files with 12 cards per page.

The original 2.0 version cards looked awful, so I made a new set of updated ones, and doubled the size of the images for better quality. However, now that I want to print them, I have to size them back down, hopefully without loss or blurring. Been trying to fix this myself for some time, and I haven't heard back from my printing guy yet.

Any information on how to scale down an image without quality loss? I've tried Gimp, Autodesk Sketchbook (what I used originally to do the artwork), and I'm trying Photoshop right now (no luck so far).

The cards as they are in the file are 5x7, and want to bring them down to the standard 2.5x3.5. While the artwork doesn't get too messy, the text just turns to trash.
 
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maf man
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I use GIMP and by no means an expert but you should be able to do that. When you resize just define by inches and increase the pixels per inch so you keep the same resolution
 
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Dave Schroeder
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Our printer asked for everything in PDF form for just this reason. What you want to do somehow is scale the cards while the text while is defined as text (12 point whatever in a block) and not while it is pixels. We used Adobe Illustrator, but there are at least a few free vector based graphics options out there. When building the files, the illustrations and a some of the background elements were put in as images, but everything else was vector and text. This means that the text, icons, boxes, etc. were defined as "line from here to here" instead of "these pixels." When you need to resize, the vector stuff stays crisp and only the images get resampled.

I am certainly no master at this, but if you want to send me a file I can give it a shot.

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dschro1 wrote:
Our printer asked for everything in PDF form for just this reason. What you want to do somehow is scale the cards while the text while is defined as text (12 point whatever in a block) and not while it is pixels. We used Adobe Illustrator, but there are at least a few free vector based graphics options out there. When building the files, the illustrations and a some of the background elements were put in as images, but everything else was vector and text. This means that the text, icons, boxes, etc. were defined as "line from here to here" instead of "these pixels." When you need to resize, the vector stuff stays crisp and only the images get resampled.

I am certainly no master at this, but if you want to send me a file I can give it a shot.



THIS...

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Scott Garrity
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dschro1 wrote:
Our printer asked for everything in PDF form for just this reason. What you want to do somehow is scale the cards while the text while is defined as text (12 point whatever in a block) and not while it is pixels. We used Adobe Illustrator, but there are at least a few free vector based graphics options out there. When building the files, the illustrations and a some of the background elements were put in as images, but everything else was vector and text. This means that the text, icons, boxes, etc. were defined as "line from here to here" instead of "these pixels." When you need to resize, the vector stuff stays crisp and only the images get resampled.

I am certainly no master at this, but if you want to send me a file I can give it a shot.



Interesting, I've been saving these in .TIF (Printer guy just asked for that, and I went with it). I have an example completed image I can e-mail, it's a biiiig file and I can't get it to properly upload anywhere.

email is the12towers@yahoo
 
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wayne mathias
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If you still have the artwork (minus the text), you can also resize the artwork alone then slap already correct size for the resized art text on it
 
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Jeremy Lennert
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I am not an expert on this, but I know that rendering text at small sizes is very subtle because it has such a high information density. High-quality text renderers work with fractional pixels (e.g. deciding that a certain pixel should be gray, rather than pure white or black, to make it look like a line ends part-way through that pixel).

That means that, by the time the text has been saved as an image (even at the original size), you've already lost a huge amount of the information that was originally used to draw it.

Therefore, trying to scale down an image that contains text is deeply problematic. A professional would redraw the text from scratch at a smaller font size, instead of treating the text as part of the image.
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Scott Garrity
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Antistone wrote:
I am not an expert on this, but I know that rendering text at small sizes is very subtle because it has such a high information density. High-quality text renderers work with fractional pixels (e.g. deciding that a certain pixel should be gray, rather than pure white or black, to make it look like a line ends part-way through that pixel).

That means that, by the time the text has been saved as an image (even at the original size), you've already lost a huge amount of the information that was originally used to draw it.

Therefore, trying to scale down an image that contains text is deeply problematic. A professional would redraw the text from scratch at a smaller font size, instead of treating the text as part of the image.


Ahh I see, kinda hoped for an easy fix but that does make sense.
 
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Andrea Nand
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Can you show me a single card with the original (5x7) size?
 
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Scott Garrity
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Sure thing, here's an original from the standard file
 
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C&H Schmidt
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My experience from having had various magazines and booklets printed is basically what others have explained above:
The text needs to be in a format where it is actually still saved as text.
Having complex images and pictures you want printed as TIFF is good (TIFF is not compressed, so it is indeed a good format for printing; no surprise your printer asked for that), but you should then import them into software that outputs pdf or ps so the text can be on the cards as text, not image.
Layouting software lets you do this; the industry standard is Adobe InDesign (very expensive!), a free alternative is Scribus.
Takes a while to get into and use if you've never done this before, but works nicely.
Your printer can then tell you if just the pdf file (with the images imported and the card text on there as text) is enough or whether all the images should be sent separately as well (I've had both).
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Greg Darcy
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I agree with the consensus. However, looking at your sample card, it looks to me as though it could be done best in a vector drawing program for the line art as well as the text. This would make it all quite crisp. I haven't used it in decades - not even sure it still exists - but Corel Draw used to be the bees knees for this kind of work.
 
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Andrea Nand
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Bonskoffa wrote:
Sure thing, here's an original from the standard file

That's a low resolution for a printer, 494x686 pixels for a 5"x7" card means 100 DPI, and if you keep that resolution in a 2.5"x3.5" card you get 200 DPI, still low for a printer (the standard for many commercial services is 300 DPI).

What are the requirements for a page, i.e. its resolution in pixels that your printing guy needs?
 
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Tor Andersson
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An image is made of pixels. There is no set size of a pixel since it depends on what resolution your print at. For good quality printing you need at least 300 ppi (pixels per inch). That's 2550x3300 pixels for a letter page.

If you want to create cards for printing, you would be better off using InkScape or Illustrator. They are vector based illustration programs, where the graphics will be printed at the printer's exact resolution, and you can define the physical size of each element in real world units instead of pixels.

Import the pictures as images, and type in the text as actual text objects, and you'll always get clear crisp text.

The text in your sample picture is very small and uses a narrow font, so will likely come out too light and thin and be very hard to read. Please consider using a bolder and bigger font.
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Adam P
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Quote:
Any information on how to scale down an image without quality loss? I've tried Gimp, Autodesk Sketchbook (what I used originally to do the artwork), and I'm trying Photoshop right now (no luck so far).

The cards as they are in the file are 5x7, and want to bring them down to the standard 2.5x3.5. While the artwork doesn't get too messy, the text just turns to trash.

When resizing, different software uses different algorithms.

In Adobe Photoshop, you can select the algorithm under preferences->general. Usually it's automatic, but you could choose one that is better for downsizing.

The best way to resize text is to use VECTOR graphics.

The other way to do this is to downsize the image in steps, multiple times. You may need to downsize 2-3 times, gradually, as the algorithm will sample pixels each time. Example: to resize from 100px width to 50px width, downsize to 90px, then 70px, then 50px.
 
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Adam P
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I should also note that when viewing a PDF file, PDF does not always render the image properly on the screen as compared when it prints. That is why when we print something, ALWAYS get a proof. ALWAYS.

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