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Subject: Playmat printing density rss

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Veljko Dobrijevic
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I'm not much of a DIY-er but I figured this is the best subforum on BGG to post this. I'm trying to print a vinyl playmat for Colt Express, and later for Eclipse (maybe also Clash of Cultures and Runewars). The problem are the technical details. I read online the most common printing density for high quality photos and the like is 300 DPI, so I prepared an image for 300 DPI (that is at a resolution which would make it the exact size it needed to be when printed at that density ). But the guy at the printing shop said their large format printer (this is about 1.5 X 0.5 m in size) only prints at 600 DPI (which would make the playmat half the size it needs to be).
1. So what are the most common printing densities, so I can export one PNG image for each of them (from the original PSD) ?
2. The alternate solution according to the guy at the print shop would be to put the image in a PDF which supposedly can automatically resize the image according to the set physical dimensions, but I don't know how to make such a PDF (Photoshop doesn't export in PDF) ?
3. A friend of mine recommended a local printing company that made some playmats for him, but they don't let you choose the exact material and aren't exactly cheap, so do you have some EU-based printing company to recommend for printing a vinyl playmat ? That also has cheap shipping to all over the EU ?
 
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Kevin Bodman
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Hi

I seen your post and was interested in what those with the knowledge had to say...

I am no expert, but can hopefully post something useful...

So at the printers, always give them the file in a format that they ask for, that way there is less room for errors, 300 and 600 are common as far as I know, if you can't give them the file they ask for, try somewhere else. Maybe they aren't flexible enough.

It's been a while since I used photoshop, (too expensive, I've gone Affinty now). But as I remember you could always save as PDF.

I have a deepcutstudios mat which I bought in the UK. It's not a custom but one of their standard designs. However the company is in Lithuania and they do print custom mats, The mat I have is mouse pad material not vinyl it's brilliant.

http://www.deepcutstudio.com/


Hope this helps.
Regards
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Veljko Dobrijevic
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Yes, it seems Photoshop can indeed export PDFs :
https://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/using/saving-pdf-files.htm...

However the issues of the changes packing it into a PDF can make to the image (depending on the presets and options chosen) and the complications of making the PDF print exactly the size you want it to (from my reserach on the web it seems a whole lot of people are having a whole lot of different problems with this) make the simplest solution (as far as I can see) simply asking any printing company in advance what their DPI (that is the DPI of the printer suitable for the job) is exactly, and then resizing my image at home to match that DPI (that is resizing it to a resolution which will make make it the exact physical size it needs to be when printed at that DPI) and then sending it to them as a simple image file (I would guess any printer could open a PNG file)...

As for printing your company recommendation, thanks but neoprene (the "mouse pad material" you mention, also used for diving suits, quality sandals and other stuff) isn't ideally suited for this purpose, it's a bit too thick and hard to roll up, and it can also tear.
 
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Meaker VI
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This is why I always recommend vector images as your base media.

A proper vector .pdf should print from basically any printer (with enough memory to process the image) at any scale no problem. A raster needs to be manually scaled, which either means totally redrawing the image or accepting the loss of fidelity resulting from the scale method chosen.

Anyway, the easy answer to your problem now is to scale your image such that it is 600 ppi and change your physical image size so that translates to 600 dpi.

The problems people are probably having with the .pdf exporter are probably a result of not understanding the relationship between those two, or of using the default sampling options which, if I recall correctly, are pretty terrible about maintaining fidelity. There should be little trouble though; Adobe owns both formats and photoshop should still be able to use .pdf's as a stripped down native format if you had to go that route.

Also, it's been awhile since I've used *actual* photoshop, I use mostly GIMP and Inkscape now.
 
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