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Author Topic: Printing tiled images from Qimage to HP Z6200  (Read 26785 times)
lasttangent
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« on: May 13, 2015, 04:43:14 PM »

Hi, I'm new to printing in general, and definitely new to printing with high end software and large format printers. I'm working for a guy who is pretty much as clueless as I am with this stuff. He runs a millwork company and is trying to implement LED back-lit tiled prints into his custom furniture. His shop used to be a print and frame shop which never got off the ground - so he liquidated the print/frame shop and is thriving with the millwork operation.

I mention all of the above to give insight as to where I am - knowledge wise - with anything related to printing at this level. During the liquidation process of the print/frame shop, the owner decided to keep two of his large format printers for possible use in the future. That's where we are now.

We have two HP large format printers - Z6100 & Z6200 ... we're using the 6200 (36" width) printer for our current projects.

The overall size of the image for the project we're currently working on is 137.25"X52.5" but it won't ultimately print that large ... We're trying to print one image that is tiled into 18 different panels. To set up the tiles, we use the software Perfect Photo Suite 9. When I go into that program, I'm able to set up the settings to make the tiled images ready to be used in Qimage. Why we're using the Perfect Photo software to begin with, I don't know. Does Qimage allow set up of tiled print options? I can't imagine it doesn't, but I'm not sure.

After I set up the tiling in Perfect Photo, I then open Qimage Ultimate. In the bridge/browse area, I go to the desktop (where I've saved my previously tiled images) and choose the folder with those files in it. I'm able to add the tiled images to a print setup that appears to all be correct. Each tile (columns/rows) is 22.8"X17.5".

The way the tiles are set up are 2 columns by 9 rows. So the preview looks something like:

[Image 1] [Image 2]
[Image 3] [Image 4]
[Image 5] [Image 6]
[Image 7] [Image 8]
[Image 8] [Image 10]
[Image 9] [Image 12]
[Image 10] [Image 14]
[Image 11] [Image 16]
[Image 12] [Image 18]

..... with each [Image X] (as shown above) holding a preview thumbnail of the print setup. We rotate the images 90 degrees to the right so that the total width of the project is equal to the width of two combined tiles for any particular row. That would be 17.5" multiplied by 2 making the image width 35" The overall height of the project is 137.25".

So far, so good. We're ready to print.

We set up all of the printer settings within Qimage and are using the printer's color profiles for color management. But when we order the print, we're hitting a brick wall. Nothing happens. The images are in displaying in the queue within the software, but nothing is happening at the printer. The only thing we can do is print to file... and that won't even finish - it gets to about 80% and stops - giving us an error message stating there isn't enough memory to complete the job.

That seems like the obvious problem and the solution would then be to upgrade our memory if needed, but 1. We don't know whether it's the printer memory or the PC's memory that's causing the problem. And 2., we're able to print without any problems using other software - even windows.. but they're all simple jobs - they're very large images, but they're jobs without tiling involved.

Anyway, because we're able to print from other software, that leads me to believe its not a problem related to the printer. The PC we're using is Windows 7 64 bit with 2TB HDD and 10GB RAM. I don't know what sort of memory is required for the tiling job we're trying to complete is, but 10Gigs of Ram is not a bad PC. Again, that's all relative, so I don't know.

If anyone could help guide me in troubleshooting this problem, I'd be very grateful. It's a massive headache for me because everyone else in the shop is sort of at a dead standstill until I can get these images printed and then laminated so they can be placed into the furniture for sale. We had planned on a grand opening (of our showcase area) on May 16th (three days from now) which obviously isn't going to happen now, and all of that pressure is on my shoulders. I've spent hours upon hours researching this problem, reading all of the docs, tutorials, FAQ's, training videos, you name it - any and all automated help resources that are available I've looked at.

But I still can't get the job to print. This is my last option (other than email support which I'll be doing next) for solving the problem and getting things moving. I can only hope and pray someone on here is familiar with anything related to my problem and can guide me in the right direction. I'm honestly at a point of not knowing where to seek help elsewhere. I can't find a phone number anywhere on the web or otherwise and it states that all support topics are handled via messaging, tutorial videos and PDFs, etc. and this forum.

So, can someone help me out? I'll be happy to provide any further information that may be required in order to explain the problem more adequately. I've attempted to the best of my ability to do so here, but I may have missed something. Thanks so much in advance for reading this (if you've made it this far!) and I look forward - REALLLY look forward to to hearing  back from any of you on this forum. I'm at a complete loss and any help I can get I'll be unequivocally grateful for.

Thanks so much,

Deb
dballard@lasttangent.com (office)
debbie@debliz.com (personal/graphic designer email)
903-676-7564 (cell)
903-292-1743 (office)

I'm at the office Monday through Friday 7-?  (whenever I can get the heck out of here! lol) and can be reached at any email or my cell phone after hours. I can be reached at all of those methods during office hours as well. I know you can reply here, but thought I'd enter contact information just in case someone would like to talk to me via those methods.

Like I said, I'm at a complete loss regarding what to do with this problem and it's something I'm desperate to solve just as soon as reasonably achievable. Thanks so much for reading all of this and I hope so much that someone here can help me out!

Thanks,

Deb

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Fred A
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« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2015, 09:20:34 AM »

Quote
I know you can reply here, but thought I'd enter contact information just in case someone would like to talk to me via those methods.

Like I said, I'm at a complete loss regarding what to do with this problem and it's something I'm desperate to solve just as soon as reasonably achievable. Thanks so much for reading all of this and I hope so much that someone here can help me out!

Thanks,

Deb

Just in case you might think from the lack of response here  that the lady was left twisting in the wind, just wanted to let all know that her problems were resolved by Mike himself.
All is well.

Fred
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lasttangent
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« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2015, 05:18:34 PM »

Quote
I know you can reply here, but thought I'd enter contact information just in case someone would like to talk to me via those methods.

Like I said, I'm at a complete loss regarding what to do with this problem and it's something I'm desperate to solve just as soon as reasonably achievable. Thanks so much for reading all of this and I hope so much that someone here can help me out!

Thanks,

Deb

Just in case you might think from the lack of response here  that the lady was left twisting in the wind, just wanted to let all know that her problems were resolved by Mike himself.
All is well.

Fred

Thanks, Fred. I'm so sorry I haven't had a chance to reply to this to let you know my outcome! It's been a mad house around here lately but I do need to take a moment to show my gratitude to Mike. Just moments after I posted this thread, my office phone rang and I answered. He said, "This is Mike" from the forum - you had some questions about Qimage, right?" ..

I was so happy to hear ANYone on the other end with some potential help that I didn't even THINK about who it was! He spent at least a solid hour with me troubleshooting my problem. And it was solved! I cannot even BEGIN to tell you how elated I was and still am!!!

It wasn't until the last 2 minutes of our conversation when I was thanking him over and over - telling him how much  I appreciated it and how he was an angel from heaven sent down to help me and how he'd really saved my ..... you know .... Wink .... Then I asked for his name again and if he'd mind giving me a call-back number in case I ran into any problems. That's when he said "Mike Chaney" - and it dawned on me who he was.

This man never once let on that he was the author of the software until I asked for his name! Talk about humble - and support-wise? I have NEVER.... and I do mean NEVER had an experience such as this. I'm a graphic artist/web designer on a freelance basis so I have more than my fair share of both good AND bad support from 3rd party developers of software I outsource to.

I can say with the aforementioned inherent authority that this was, by far and wide - no questions asked - the VERY best support I have EVER experienced in ten years - for ANY product or software anywhere. And he was the author!  I gotta admit I was kind of star-struck and really just SHOCKED when he said who he was! I couldn't believe it! So many people use his software... it's an absolutely STUNNING program - I would be honored to write a testimonial for Mike anywhere for any reason.

After our conversation I not only solved the initial problem, I also asked a lot of questions that he very patiently answered - and I cannot brag on the software and even more-so Mike Chaney enough. I told my manager what happened and he was extremely impressed. I'm telling you, that kind of support is unheard of - and now that I have a much deeper grasp on what the software can do, I can honestly say that it is truly phenomenal. He's giving Adobe a run for their money, I assure you.

I thought I'd post a couple of pictures of the images that came through after our conversation - keep in mind I used my phone to take them so they don't do the finished product justice, but just to show how excited I am and how impressed I am - you gotta see what came out of our printer! It's just simply fantastic.

Thank you, Mike. You're a rare breed and I have no idea how I can even begin to show you my gratitude.

Here are the initial prints coming out of our printer:


We were able to print one huge overall image that had been separated into tiles in another program... using Qimage we were able to space them out and arrange them on the printout how we needed them.

After the prints were complete, we cut them into separate pieces like shown:


Ultimately, we'll be putting each image through a cold laminating machine to adhere double-sided adhesive media to them after they've been cut into individual photos. After the adhesive is applied, we'll then be adhering them in a similar way to a relatively thick/rigid plexiglass material.

Here's an example of a test image that has been cut and sealed to the plexiglass:


Finally, the images will be embedded in our custom furniture with LED-lit backgrounds.. so it'll show an overall image, but they'll be cut out like a puzzle or grid. This is the wall where the images will be placed after they're prepared. It's a terrible image (again, taken with my phone! lol) of the LED lighting that the images will be displayed in front of. The way the light shines through is just incredible. We're printing on a backlit type of media and it really makes the finished product look amazing.


This particular project is just going into one of our showcase rooms for display on the wall, but we'll be using them in our Murphy beds, TV lifts, Entertainment Centers and even making signs for different types of corporations. The product is absolutely gorgeous and we couldn't have done it without Qimage and Mike's help!

Anyway, maybe that was too much info, but I'm so excited and even more grateful!  Grin

Thank you again!

-Deb
« Last Edit: May 15, 2015, 05:22:21 PM by lasttangent » Logged
Terry-M
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« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2015, 07:28:21 PM »

Hi Deb,
No not too much information - really interesting for us amateur photographers to see the detail of a commercial process and the end result.
And by the way, re. ...
Quote
We were able to print one huge overall image that had been separated into tiles in another program... using Qimage we were able to space them out and arrange them on the printout how we needed them.
Not only that, I'm sure QU will have produced better quality prints too.
Terry
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« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2015, 08:27:47 PM »

Deb,

It was a pleasure talking to you and helping you with this job!  And I very much appreciate the followup and being able to see the results!  As the author, it gives me great pleasure to see people using the product and I don't always get to see the results so I was really excited to see the pictures and how your prints turned out.

I don't get to talk to customers as often as I like due to the hours I put in on the software itself making things like call-in support logistically impossible.  We handle a lot of tech support on the forum but we've been known to do call-backs on more complex questions that can be solved more efficiently over the phone.  The "we" in that sentence being myself or one of the talented forum members here who help me out for little more than the satisfaction of helping someone and their passion for photography.

Your original post here was so detailed and well documented that I could tell that there were multiple areas we needed to take a look at and some settings we needed to check.  I knew right away that it would take too long in forum posts so as soon as I read it, I made up my mind "I'm taking this one".  Wink  Keep in mind that I benefit from these conversations as well since I get to see (hear) where customers might run into stumbling blocks.  Often that leads to little tweaks that can make things more user friendly.  One example being that I realized while talking to you that the "Printer Setup" button at the top right of the main window sits right next to the actual "Print" button and the appearance of the two buttons are too similar: I need to make the printer setup button look less like a printer and more like a tool/wrench/etc.  There were also a couple under-the-hood optimizations that I realized were needed while talking to you as well: dealing with the reason that your Qimage was "stuck" in print-to-file mode until we fixed it.  So it was a worthwhile call for both parties!

Again, happy to help and feel free to share in the forum any time.

Regards,
Mike
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lasttangent
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« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2015, 12:43:07 AM »

You're awesome, Mike. I fully understand not being able to offer phone support with as many users as you have - it'd be impossible,  to keep up with and ultimately give the overall end-user an unsatisfactory support experience. We do know, through our experience, that you're not just a robot behind a computer - and you see when something needs human interaction. lol.

I'm still delighted with my experiences so far with QU and this forum and the support and it goes on and on..

I do have another (hopefully) much simpler issue that's come up! lol.... But I don't believe it'll beg for a phone call! ha.

Basically, as mentioned in my original post, we're printing tiled images side by side... While the prints came out beautifully, once we got to the "laminating" part of the job, we ran into the problem of not having enough vertical space between the "paired images" ... (I'm going to post a screen capture to better explain what I mean) ....

On that same note, I think the way we could resolve this problem is by simply zooming into the "preview" area - I can't find a place to do so and as it is (as shown in the picture below), it's near impossible to see where your margins and images are... Ideally, it needs to be zoomed in close enough to even possibly measure out the margins ...

There are of course settings you can change for the margins for the entire overall print - but those settings only pertain to the top, bottom, left, and right of the entire print. The way we're printing these pictures, printer settings don't really have a way of detecting that these are "tiled" images at all - so there isn't enough spacing beside each "pair" of tiled images... Here's the screen shot. I think it'll help me explain the issue in a much simpler way! Smiley

P.S. Mike, I'm so glad our conversation was mutually beneficial! Though we all know "mutual" isn't exactly the right word - I'm pretty sure I gained quite a bit more than the other party!  Wink

Here's the screen shot. (Please pardon the typo on the screen shot - that should say "zoom" not "zooN"  Roll Eyes

Thanks so much for your help and I'll post images of the finished project once we get it all completed! Smiley

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Fred A
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« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2015, 09:29:37 AM »

Hi Deb,
It's a little early here for Mike,
But perhaps a start in the right direction until he gets here?

To see the images and place them more accurately, you should be in the PAGE EDITOR screen.
There's a zoomer in there, and perhaps setting a small border on the side that needs the space using the MAT creating routine would be what you need.
Fred
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« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2015, 12:21:29 PM »

Hi Deb,

The first thing I would suggest is dragging the vertical splitter between the thumbnails and the page back over to the right a good bit.  Because you're looking at a tall vertical strip, you don't gain anything by having that splitter so far to the left: that's just going to "smash" your thumbnails.  You can also make the thumbnails bigger by going to "Edit", "Preferences", "Thumb Size" and selecting "Medium" or "Large".  Looks like you are on "Small" now.

I guess my first question would be: are you cutting these from the page or do you need them all on one strip.  If you're cutting them, one way to make the page a lot easier to view is to just make the page length 105 inches instead of 210: then you'll have two 105 inch pages instead of one tall 210 inch page.  Might be easier to work with.

Now, the real question here is what are your requirements on spacing of the prints: both between the left/right prints in a pair and between each pair (above and below)?  If you are cutting these and you just want a little space between the prints, I'd say just make your page length slightly longer and click the placement button under the preview page and select "Optimal/Spaced" placement.  You're in compact placement now which butts all prints next to each other with no gap.  When you use optimal/spaced, it spreads out the images as much as it can, giving space between them.  So basically, using optimal/spaced placement mode, you could just make your page length longer (in the driver using printer setup) and the longer you make the page, the bigger the gap between the prints.

I'm going to assume you want something a little more "controlled" than that though.  So there's another way to do it and Fred pointed it out above: mats.  Select all prints on the page by right clicking on any print and choosing "Select All".  Then right click on any of the selected prints and choose "Photo Mats", "Add Photo Mat", choose white for the mat color and enter the spacing you need on each side and choose the "Grow" option because you don't want the print size affected: you want to "grow" the overall print size by adding the gap around the existing prints.  Keep in mind that you are entering the spacing on each side of the image so if the image gets rotated in print (which they seem to be in your example), the mat sizes get rotated too.  So when your image rotates to the left (counter clockwise) in print, the value you entered for the left side of the mat will end up on the bottom of the print.  So going by your example, if you wanted a 1/4 inch gap above/below each pair, I would enter .25 for the left mat size and leave all the others zero.  Or you could enter .125 for both left and right leaving top and bottom zero.  Both will produce a .25 inch gap between each row of 2: again because if you look at the images as they print, the gap on the left/right side of each image determines the gap between each of the rows since the images are rotated.  Similarly, if you want a 1/8 inch gap between the two images in a pair (between columns), you could enter .125 for the bottom mat size (since when they are rotated as they are on your page, bottom becomes the right - between the two in the pair).  Or enter .0625 for both the top and bottom.

Now, for extra credit... Smiley  Let's say you wanted a 1/8 inch horizontal gap between the two images in ech pair and each image in the pair is rotated 90 degrees counter clockwise as they all are in your example.  So we enter a .125 inch bottom border in the photo mat dialog knowing that the bottom of the image will be on the right edge of the print, we select "Grow", and apply to all prints.  You'll get your .125 inch gap between the two images in each pair but technically we've also added a 1/8 inch gap (white mat) to the right of the right print in the pair also since all prints were selected.  Obviously we don't need that and that extra gap can also cause the prints to be too large to fit pairs side by side if horizontal space is tight and you are already close to the page width on the image pairs.  To avoid that, we can do the exact same process except instead of selecting all prints on the page, just hold the Ctrl key and only select the images in the left column, leaving the right image in each pair UNselected.  Then right click on one of the selected images in the left column and add your .125 inch bottom mat to only those left prints in the pair.  Looking at the images we selected, we can see that a 1/8 inch border on the bottom of that left image will push the right one in the pair over by 1/8 inch since the bottom of the actual image butts against the top of the right image in the pair.  That avoids the extra spacing on the right of the right prints in each pair.

Hope this makes sense.

Mike
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lasttangent
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« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2015, 02:38:14 PM »

The support here never ceases to amaze me! Thank you guys SO much. Last week we had a death in the family, unfortunately, so I've been off my game... it wasn't unexpected, but still the same - death isn't something you can ever really prepare for!

Anyway I'm back and rarin' to go - I believe I'll have to read both of your answers a few times over before I fully grasp them, but from what I've reviewed, it appears you've fixed my problems with a few simple steps!  Grin

The next step is the daunting and never-ending shadow of "What the heck do I choose for ppi/dpi/high vs low resolution/vectors vs. jpegs or pngs? ..... Yeah... that whole shebang of learning another culture (at least on my part) looms ahead - but I'm definitely feeling progress!  Cheesy

Thank you again so very much for your amazing support, Fred and Mike!  Cheesy

Stand by for further questions! lol! (I promise I'll search the forums for answers first!) Wink

-Deb
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Terry-M
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« Reply #9 on: May 27, 2015, 02:49:08 PM »

Hi Deb,
Quote
"What the heck do I choose for ppi/dpi/high vs low resolution
Using Qimage, you don't have to choose, it does that for you. Don't re-sample an image in some other software whatever it's resolution and let QU do it for best quality. QU detects the native resolution of the printer from the driver and interpolates the image on the fly. See this item on the web site:
http://www.ddisoftware.com/qimage-u/tech-prt.htm
 and also follow the link to Mike's article on the matter
http://ddisoftware.com/tech/articles/july-2011-restless-natives/

Terry
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lasttangent
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« Reply #10 on: May 27, 2015, 03:22:39 PM »

Hi Deb,
Quote
"What the heck do I choose for ppi/dpi/high vs low resolution
Using Qimage, you don't have to choose, it does that for you. Don't re-sample an image in some other software whatever it's resolution and let QU do it for best quality. QU detects the native resolution of the printer from the driver and interpolates the image on the fly.

Hi Terry, thanks so much for your quick input! Let me try and get this right in my head...

First, I should point out that before we prepare anything to be printed within QU, we're setting up the "tiling" or I believe some call it "nesting" in another program - that program is Perfect Photo Suite 9.5 http://www.on1.com/products/suite9/ ...

As far as I'm aware, QU doesn't do the actual spacing/tiling/nesting part of the job... keep in mind that I'm really, truly a newb when it comes to printing anything - much less on printers and with software such as the ones I'm working with!.... so some of my questions may be extremely elementary - I'll go ahead and apologize for that in advance! lol.

Anyway, back to the Photo Suite Software I use to tile the images... basically, when I open up the photo in that program, I have to choose to "resize" the image to fit the dimensions of the final "canvas" (which, in the most recent case, happens to be an entire wall - I can't remember the exact dimensions off the top of my head but something like 35"X100" total) .... (each tile will be cut on our matt cutter after the big-print-finale is printed)... so there will be 18 individual cut-out prints made from the one massive layout....) The tiles have to be rendered close to perfectly because of the way each part of the overall image will be framed in each corresponding "tile" .. think of it sort of like a wall full of 18 individual windows - the overall image will be just one picture but the borders of course will separate each part of the big picture...

The final print will not only be that (huge!), but it also needs to be aligned in a way that will use the optimum amount of paper needed (we're using LexJet's Absolute Backlit) http://www.lexjet.com/i-17569-LexJet-8-Mil-Absolute-Backlit-36in-x-100ft-ABL36.aspx --- definitely not a cheap choice of media! lol. Plus from what I've been told, it uses a LOT of ink to print on - the outcome is breathtaking of course - but we have to be sure we have things set up pretty close to perfect before we try and print due to the obvious costs mistakes can run up...

Having said that, let me simplify:

We have a "canvas" or "wall" that has 18 "windows" or "pieces to a puzzle" that need to be optimally placed within a 36"X100" roll of high quality media...

Each image will be printed (side by side) and will take up most if not all of the 36" width of the roll... and of course as much length as needed.

Being that we need to have space (roughly a quarter inch around each four sides of each individual "tile"), the image has to be resized, tiled (or nested? not sure about the terminology) and prepared for upload into QU.

QU will allow me (I think I'm understanding this correctly) to create "mats" for the quarter inch borders I'm needing... but before I can prepare anything in QU, I have to use Perfect Photo Suite to get the "puzzle pieces" cut out and arranged. I have no idea if I'm making any sense at all but I'm trying!

So let's say I start out with an image that is 16797 x 6855pixels (56.0" x 22.9") and 300dpi. (This example is from a Shutterstock JPG we're considering using for this project... So starting with these dimensions, we're really going to have to double or even possibly triple the size of the original image in order to print something that will fit across the entire wall. I realize that starting out trying to print something bigger than the actual raw image is - is setting myself up for bad things! But from what we've seen so far (from test prints) - QU seems to do an amazing job of "fixing" problem areas if there were any!

So back to the example - if I go into Perfect Photo, I'll use the original 300dpi and then "resize" the image to match the dimensions we need... then I'll "tile" the image into 18 different "tiles" (rows and columns) ...

So I guess what I'm trying to say is that by the time I get to QU, the resizing of the image has already taken place in this other software - and to my knowledge, there isn't any way around that, as QU doesn't have a "tiling" or "resizing" option - if that makes sense...

That brings me to another terrifying question lol....

Vectors...

When we find great vector images on Shutterstock, we're told we can resize to any size, without losing resolution. The problem with vectors, though, is their inherent "simplicity" - truthfully, I believe they're meant more to be seen from a long distance away (such as billboard signage on the highway) - not for closeup/gallery viewing type of prints...

So vectors seem (at least on the screen preview) to be much too simplified for what we're seeking. It may be that we should give it a shot and see what we get from one of the vectors, but the photographs are just so much more rich and detailed...

I feel like I've gone off on some sort of rambling tangent lol.... I hope I've made just a little bit of sense though? :-/

I'm sure open to thoughts from anyone who can help me out! Grin

Y'all are the best!

-D

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« Reply #11 on: May 29, 2015, 01:21:07 PM »

Sorry for the delay, but I needed to find the time to read what you wrote and grasp exactly how you are doing things.  From what I gather, you are taking an image and splitting it into 18 equally sized tiles.  If you are working with an arbitrary image, I suppose the first step would be to crop an area of that image that fits into the window frame you'll be using.  I guess you're already doing that.  But my point here is that there is no need to resample (upsample) the image in that Photo Suite software.  Just cut the proper tiles out of the original image with it's original pixels as if the window frame was scaled to fit on the image.  QU will take care of the resampling at print time so there is no need to add pixels in Photo Suite.  As long as the tiles have the proper crops of the image, QU will scale them to the size you choose for the tiles in the end.

If you have to cut each tile to fit in each frame in the window, you could simply tell QU to print at the size of each window tile and use something like a 1/8 inch mat or border to give you a little space between each tile for easier cutting: doesn't matter how much space as long as you have some, since you're cutting them all anyway.  You could even use "Optimal/spaced" placement (button under the preview page) since that will space each tile evenly on the page: again, shouldn't matter how far apart they are if you are just cutting them.

Now, I'm assuming the back side of your window (with the tiles) is not flat?  The best way to do this would be to have a window frame that has a flat piece of glass or plexiglass on the back and the lattice is on the front.  It could even be open on the back: as long as the back of the lattice is flat.  For example, a 25x100 inch panel that is open/flat on the back side and the wooden dividers are just on the front.  If you had that setup, all you'd need to do is print one image at the dimensions of the outer/whole frame and lay the print in the back.  That way, you'd have no need to cut the tiles with other software.  Just print one big image and lay it in the back of the frame and the lattice on the front would naturally just block some of it.  An alternative would be to print one big print that covers the entire frame and lay it face down on the back of the window.  Then take a marker and mark a dot in each of the 4 corners of each window pane in the frame (without slipping the print of course).  That way, you'd have cut marks and you could just cut the tiles based on your marks on the back of the paper.  This has the added benefit of ensuring that each panel is aligned perfectly and that the lattice on the front naturally blocks areas of the image that you cut away.  You'd use a tiny bit more ink doing it this way because you're throwing away the areas of the print that are behind the lattice, but it more than pays for itself in time/complexity.

The above alternative seems best to me since, if you have lattice on the front that covers parts of the image, you need to account for that when you create your image tiles.  If you just take an image and cut 18 adjacent tiles (without leaving a small gap where the lattice would be), your final print will look a bit odd because it won't quite align properly. In the end, it needs to look like the lattice on the front is blocking some image behind it since that's what would happen in real life: you can't see the part of the image that's behind the lattice... but it's still there.

Mike
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« Reply #12 on: May 29, 2015, 08:53:00 PM »

Hi Deb,
Quote
"What the heck do I choose for ppi/dpi/high vs low resolution
Using Qimage, you don't have to choose, it does that for you. Don't re-sample an image in some other software whatever it's resolution and let QU do it for best quality. QU detects the native resolution of the printer from the driver and interpolates the image on the fly.

Hi Terry, thanks so much for your quick input! Let me try and get this right in my head...

First, I should point out that before we prepare anything to be printed within QU, we're setting up the "tiling" or I believe some call it "nesting" in another program - that program is Perfect Photo Suite 9.5 http://www.on1.com/products/suite9/ ...

As far as I'm aware, QU doesn't do the actual spacing/tiling/nesting part of the job... keep in mind that I'm really, truly a newb when it comes to printing anything - much less on printers and with software such as the ones I'm working with!.... so some of my questions may be extremely elementary - I'll go ahead and apologize for that in advance! lol.

Anyway, back to the Photo Suite Software I use to tile the images... basically, when I open up the photo in that program, I have to choose to "resize" the image to fit the dimensions of the final "canvas" (which, in the most recent case, happens to be an entire wall - I can't remember the exact dimensions off the top of my head but something like 35"X100" total) .... (each tile will be cut on our matt cutter after the big-print-finale is printed)... so there will be 18 individual cut-out prints made from the one massive layout....) The tiles have to be rendered close to perfectly because of the way each part of the overall image will be framed in each corresponding "tile" .. think of it sort of like a wall full of 18 individual windows - the overall image will be just one picture but the borders of course will separate each part of the big picture...

The final print will not only be that (huge!), but it also needs to be aligned in a way that will use the optimum amount of paper needed (we're using LexJet's Absolute Backlit) http://www.lexjet.com/i-17569-LexJet-8-Mil-Absolute-Backlit-36in-x-100ft-ABL36.aspx --- definitely not a cheap choice of media! lol. Plus from what I've been told, it uses a LOT of ink to print on - the outcome is breathtaking of course - but we have to be sure we have things set up pretty close to perfect before we try and print due to the obvious costs mistakes can run up...

Having said that, let me simplify:

We have a "canvas" or "wall" that has 18 "windows" or "pieces to a puzzle" that need to be optimally placed within a 36"X100" roll of high quality media...

Each image will be printed (side by side) and will take up most if not all of the 36" width of the roll... and of course as much length as needed.

Being that we need to have space (roughly a quarter inch around each four sides of each individual "tile"), the image has to be resized, tiled (or nested? not sure about the terminology) and prepared for upload into QU.

QU will allow me (I think I'm understanding this correctly) to create "mats" for the quarter inch borders I'm needing... but before I can prepare anything in QU, I have to use Perfect Photo Suite to get the "puzzle pieces" cut out and arranged. I have no idea if I'm making any sense at all but I'm trying!

So let's say I start out with an image that is 16797 x 6855pixels (56.0" x 22.9") and 300dpi. (This example is from a Shutterstock JPG we're considering using for this project... So starting with these dimensions, we're really going to have to double or even possibly triple the size of the original image in order to print something that will fit across the entire wall. I realize that starting out trying to print something bigger than the actual raw image is - is setting myself up for bad things! But from what we've seen so far (from test prints) - QU seems to do an amazing job of "fixing" problem areas if there were any!

So back to the example - if I go into Perfect Photo, I'll use the original 300dpi and then "resize" the image to match the dimensions we need... then I'll "tile" the image into 18 different "tiles" (rows and columns) ...

So I guess what I'm trying to say is that by the time I get to QU, the resizing of the image has already taken place in this other software - and to my knowledge, there isn't any way around that, as QU doesn't have a "tiling" or "resizing" option - if that makes sense...

That brings me to another terrifying question lol....

Vectors...

When we find great vector images on Shutterstock, we're told we can resize to any size, without losing resolution. The problem with vectors, though, is their inherent "simplicity" - truthfully, I believe they're meant more to be seen from a long distance away (such as billboard signage on the highway) - not for closeup/gallery viewing type of prints...

So vectors seem (at least on the screen preview) to be much too simplified for what we're seeking. It may be that we should give it a shot and see what we get from one of the vectors, but the photographs are just so much more rich and detailed...

I feel like I've gone off on some sort of rambling tangent lol.... I hope I've made just a little bit of sense though? :-/

I'm sure open to thoughts from anyone who can help me out! Grin

Y'all are the best!

-D



Nailed it! Thanks Mike! Some things are so clear but so far away! Duh! Smiley

Updates later... thank you again!

-D
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« Reply #13 on: May 29, 2015, 09:30:52 PM »

What is anyone's opinion on using vectors for this project? Do they scale up nicely for up close viewing in any case? We're about ready to print again and we've been just narrowing our searches (shutterstock) to jpegs only because of our fear of the image looking like ... I don't know - too much like "paint by numbers" ... not sure how to explain it. We're looking for photo-realistic vectors, basically. I'm unsure if it's feasible though... any thoughts?
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