Chad Mestdagh
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I have spent the better part of today trying to figure this out through so many posts on the bgg. I have downloaded a dozen programs and can't seem to find one that works.

The images just have simple text on them and I am getting nowhere.



They are for testing for a game for the summer solitaire print and play game. They themselves don't need to be awesome, but if I enter the contest, I would like to have a real set of nice looking cards and not a blurry mess.

Stuff that I have tried so far:

PDF creator. (so far the best, but it still blurs the image)
Image to Pdf converter.
Nandeck (could not figure out how to use it.)
Gimp
Open Office (tried pasting the images to a file. It resizes them and blurs them every time)

I understand Paint.net the most. I still have no idea how vectors work and I know that is fundimental to how a PDF works.

I am reading a lot about DPI, but have no idea how to influence that in a .png file. To my knowledge this only matters for photos (although I am pretty sure that I am wrong in this matter.)

Please someone: HELP ME!!!!!
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Sturv Tafvherd
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Since it's all just text, can't you make a normal 3x3 table on a document editor like Microsoft Word, and then save it to PDF?
 
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Chad Mestdagh
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At some point, the image will have pictures. So yes, that would work for now, but really doesn't help me in the future at all.

I am not sure that I will atain the level of quality that Todd Sanders does (I am not a graphic designer), but it would be nice to create something that is worth looking at.
 
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Caleb Martin

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I'm surprised that GIMP didn't work for you, since Photoshop can handle this just fine (and can save directly to a PDF). In fact, since you don't have a ton of text and the images aren't there yet, it might be worth recreating the entire thing in Photoshop and having the text for all the cards sitting on another layer above the images (import a png, resize appropriately, and PS won't drop the quality unless the resize ratio is really crazy and there just aren't enough pixels). Save as a pdf for printing/uploading, and keep as a psd for editing the images or the text whenever you need to.

Since you've tried a bunch of stuff that isn't Photoshop, I assume it's because you don't have access to it, but even if you don't, I would think GIMP can do the same thing.
 
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Sturv Tafvherd
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Well, here's how I would do it from scratch in Gimp.

File -> New
...... switch from pixels to inches
...... expand to show the Advanced Options
...... width will be 7.5 inches (2.5 x 3)
...... height will be 10.5 inches (3.5 x 3)
...... X and Y resolution will be 300 pixels/in
...... hit ok.

I'll leave it to you to draw in the 2.5 x 3.5 cards. I would probably put each card graphic on a separate layer.

When you use the Text tool, switch to using "pt" in the Size types ... those should correspond to the regular pt system in document editors. I tend to use anywhere from 8 pt to 12 pt for body text; 12 pt to 18 pt for titles.

 
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radchad wrote:
I am reading a lot about DPI, but have no idea how to influence that in a .png file. To my knowledge this only matters for photos (although I am pretty sure that I am wrong in this matter.)

Whenever you're printing an image made up of pixels, resolution matters. Also, technically, it's ppi (pixels), not dpi (dots, as in ink on paper).

The problem, here, is that your image is 816 x 1056 pixels. Assuming you're trying to make a full page PDF out of this, that means the resulting resolution is about 100 ppi. Standard resolution for print is 300 ppi.

What did you use to create the PNG image? You need to re-create the image starting with a higher resolution, roughly three times what you've currently got (2448 x 3168).

If you want to try creating this with a vector-based program, Inkscape is free. Of course, with vector art, resolution is irrelevant until you decide how large you want to print it.
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Chris Cieslik
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Really, what you want is Adobe InDesign, but I'm guessing you don't want to spend that many dollars?
 
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angelkurisu wrote:
Really, what you want is Adobe InDesign, but I'm guessing you don't want to spend that many dollars?

If the OP eventually wants to add images and more complex design elements, InDesign would be useful. But for this, it's complete overkill.
 
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I drop my card images into a word document and print to PDF via CutePDF, works out great. Also, you'll want to make your cards at least 300dpi so they print with enough dots to not blur, this image was only at 96dpi (most image editors show this stat when resizing the image). Also note that most printers need a good bit of margin along the edges, so you might want to decrease how much space you leave between your cards.

Here's a zip with how I would print this image as is:
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/103504/BGG/cards.zip

Edit: Here's a 2.5" x 3.5" blank card frame at 300dpi:
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/103504/BGG/frame.png
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todd sanders
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the issue is two-fold and previous posters are all correct

1. the size of the image.
your overall image should be full scalar (measured) size. if i am making one 2.5"x3.5" card the image should be 2.5"x3.5". dont go by what the monitor is showing you. the image may be zoomed in or out, your monitor may be big or small... go by the measurable image size settings in the graphics program.

2. the resolution of the image
your image should be 300 dpi for a good sharp print.


most likely one of these or both settings are off in whatever program you are using. either your artwork is too small in measurable scale and when the translation program turns it into a pdf it is bumping up the scalar size and mapping the pixels fuzzy

or your dpi resolution is too small.

if i have a 1"x1" postage stamp image at 1200dpi, i can blow that up to 5" x 5" as long as i reduce the dpi in proportion to compensate for the enlargement. the image will still remain clear and sharp. if i simply make the postage stamp bigger in scale the software has to compensate by filling in pixels to account for the expansion. this results in a fuzzy image.
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binaryeye wrote:
angelkurisu wrote:
Really, what you want is Adobe InDesign, but I'm guessing you don't want to spend that many dollars?

If the OP eventually wants to add images and more complex design elements, InDesign would be useful. But for this, it's complete overkill.


Yeah, for just text its unnecessary -- but he mentioned adding images and icons, so I thought mebbe for the future.
 
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if your above image is the actual PNG file you are working with. it is only 95dpi
 
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D 4te
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great post. I am reading all the responses for when I get to this point.
When someone gets you the exact info that woks, can you shae it on the thread that it worked?

A lot of us get solutions from fellow geeks, but we forget to log back on and let everyone know what worked.
 
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Ned Ludd
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radchad wrote:
I would like to have a real set of nice looking cards and not a blurry mess.


Irfanview with Ghostscript will do that well. Both are free and easy to use. Keep in mind, Irfanview is a viewer and converter, it's editing abilities are limited. However, it will allow you to edit existing pdf's.

Hope that helps.
 
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Chad Mestdagh
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binaryeye wrote:


The problem, here, is that your image is 816 x 1056 pixels. Assuming you're trying to make a full page PDF out of this, that means the resulting resolution is about 100 ppi. Standard resolution for print is 300 ppi.

What did you use to create the PNG image? You need to re-create the image starting with a higher resolution, roughly three times what you've currently got (2448 x 3168).


Thank you. I think this solved the trick. I have to fool around with it some more but I think this is exactly what I was looking for!!!!!
 
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Cat Lord
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s3rvant wrote:
I drop my card images into a word document and print to PDF via CutePDF


Printing to PDF has been a vital tool in my experience.
 
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Alex Weldon
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binaryeye wrote:
angelkurisu wrote:
Really, what you want is Adobe InDesign, but I'm guessing you don't want to spend that many dollars?

If the OP eventually wants to add images and more complex design elements, InDesign would be useful. But for this, it's complete overkill.


It's also useless unless you spend the time to learn how to use it properly. If you're going to use it like it was a word processor, you might as well just use Word.
 
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I do most of my layout in PowerPoint because I am familiar with it and it easily prints to PDF with free add-ons. It also interfaces well with most other free software, so dropping in images or adding text is no problem. For example, all of the card images in my sample of play are PNGs and they retained their clarity while still being a reasonable file size. At some point I'll move to something more professional, but for quick PDFs it does the trick.

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/64797465/scratchDTL.pdf
 
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Arthur O'Dwyer
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radchad wrote:
How do I turn a png image of 9 cards into a pdf without bluring it?


ImageMagick can do this at the command line: simply open a command prompt and type "convert myfile.png myfile.pdf". In fact, you can create a multipage PDF with "convert mypage[1-6].png mypages.pdf".

Most applications also have a "Print" dialog, which can usually "Print to File" (which means saving to a PDF).

As others have said, radchad's problem is probably more to do with not making his graphics high-res enough — so you end up with either a very small printed graphic, or else a big printed graphic with correspondingly big pixels. The only way to fix that is to make your graphic use more pixels.
 
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Andrea Nand
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radchad wrote:
Nandeck (could not figure out how to use it.)

The simplest approach with nanDECK is to write a script with all the data. For your example, the script could be:

CARDSIZE=6,8
BORDER=ROUNDED,#000000,0.1
GAP=0.3,0.3

{[cardtext]=
"Dragon\13\\13\The final boss\13\\13\HP = 60"|
"Town\13\\13\Buy influence cubes\13\1 gold = 1 cube\13\\13\2 choices"|
"Old Sage\13\\13\Provides 3 spells\13\1. Torch\13\2. Magic conversion\13\3. Swords to plowshares\13\\13\5 choices\13\\13\Hire = 2 gold"|
"Hunter\13\\13\Provides 2 skills\13\1. Hunting\13\2. Archer fire\13\\13\4 choices\13\\13\Hire = 1 gold"|
"Arcane Master\13\\13\Provides 3 spells\13\1. Concentrate\13\2. Summon soldiers\13\3. Flip locations\13\\13\5 choices\13\\13\Hire = 2 gold"|
"Goblins\13\\13\Hp = 10\13\\13\Gold Reward = 3 gold\13\\13\1 choice"|
"Minotaur\13\\13\Hp = 15\13\\13\Gold Reward = 5 gold\13\\13\2 choices"|
"Village\13\\13\Convert 1 influence cube into 3 gold\13\\13\5 choices"|
"Demon\13\\13\Hp = 25\13\\13\Gold Reward = 10 gold\13\\13\4 choices"}

RECTANGLE=1-9,0,0,100%,100%,#FFD800
FONT=Arial,10,,#000000,#FFD800
TEXT=1-9,[cardtext],5%,5%,90%,90%,left,wordwrap


Note: the \13\ are carriage returns.

This is the result:



The full page is 2479x3508 pixels (A4 at 300DPI). If you want a greater resolution, you can add a single DPI=600 line (useful if you have a 600DPI printer).

Another way is to put all the data in an Excel file, and then link it to the script. If you are interested, I can provide some example.
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Chad Mestdagh
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n_and wrote:
radchad wrote:
Nandeck (could not figure out how to use it.)

The simplest approach with nanDECK is to write a script with all the data. For your example, the script could be:

CARDSIZE=6,8
BORDER=ROUNDED,#000000,0.1
GAP=0.3,0.3

{[cardtext]=
"Dragon\13\\13\The final boss\13\\13\HP = 60"|
"Town\13\\13\Buy influence cubes\13\1 gold = 1 cube\13\\13\2 choices"|
"Old Sage\13\\13\Provides 3 spells\13\1. Torch\13\2. Magic conversion\13\3. Swords to plowshares\13\\13\5 choices\13\\13\Hire = 2 gold"|
"Hunter\13\\13\Provides 2 skills\13\1. Hunting\13\2. Archer fire\13\\13\4 choices\13\\13\Hire = 1 gold"|
"Arcane Master\13\\13\Provides 3 spells\13\1. Concentrate\13\2. Summon soldiers\13\3. Flip locations\13\\13\5 choices\13\\13\Hire = 2 gold"|
"Goblins\13\\13\Hp = 10\13\\13\Gold Reward = 3 gold\13\\13\1 choice"|
"Minotaur\13\\13\Hp = 15\13\\13\Gold Reward = 5 gold\13\\13\2 choices"|
"Village\13\\13\Convert 1 influence cube into 3 gold\13\\13\5 choices"|
"Demon\13\\13\Hp = 25\13\\13\Gold Reward = 10 gold\13\\13\4 choices"}

RECTANGLE=1-9,0,0,100%,100%,#FFD800
FONT=Arial,10,,#000000,#FFD800
TEXT=1-9,[cardtext],5%,5%,90%,90%,left,wordwrap


Note: the \13\ are carriage returns.

This is the result:



The full page is 2479x3508 pixels (A4 at 300DPI). If you want a greater resolution, you can add a single DPI=600 line (useful if you have a 600DPI printer).

Another way is to put all the data in an Excel file, and then link it to the script. If you are interested, I can provide some example.


OK, but where do you put the script?
 
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The images of the website led to the program and not the images, I don't care for the manual but it's here:
http://www.nand.it/nandeck/nandeck-manual.pdf
 
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radchad wrote:
OK, but where do you put the script?

In the editor space, in the main window:



Then click on "Validate deck" and "Build deck" buttons.

http://www.nandeck.com
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Andrea Nand
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n_and wrote:
Another way is to put all the data in an Excel file, and then link it to the script. If you are interested, I can provide some example.

The other method is more streamlined. First, I wrote an Excel file with all the data (named "test.xls"):



And then I wrote this script in nanDECK (in the same folder with the Excel file):

CARDSIZE=6,8
BORDER=ROUNDED,#000000,0.1
GAP=0.3,0.3

LINKMULTI=count
LINK=test.xls
[all]="1-{(count)}"

RECTANGLE=[all],0,0,100%,100%,#FFD800
FONT=Arial,10,,#000000,#FFD800
TEXT=[all],[name],5%,5%,90%,10%,left,wordwrap
TEXT=[all],[description],5%,15%,90%,30%,left,wordwrap
TEXT=[all],[hp],5%,45%,90%,10%,left,wordwrap
TEXT=[all],[gold],5%,55%,90%,10%,left,wordwrap
TEXT=[all],[choice],5%,65%,90%,10%,left,wordwrap
TEXT=[all],[hire],5%,75%,90%,10%,left,wordwrap


The result is the same, but with this approach I can add cards with a minimum effort, only adding rows to the Excel file. And I can change the font/color for each element. Or add an image.

Note: the first column in the Excel file is used to specify the number of a single card in the final deck.
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Ryan Palmertree
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