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1  Mike's Software / Qimage Ultimate / Re: Printing to file for an outside printer ~ no output sharpening re Giclee prints! on: April 15, 2013, 08:27:51 PM
Sorry Terry, and of course you're right about QU with regard to the smart sharpening, but how do we know that the printer in question isn't using QU himself? I use Q and for that reason, if he'd have come to me for a print then I would have given him similar advise.  The point was that Mr Box had already mentioned that he didn't have an inkjet, let alone the media to run off any trial prints so any settings would be pure guess work. Ok, so a sharpness of 5 is a good 'one size fits most' setting and yes QU is pretty incapable of making bad prints, so knowing this, and your printer and media well, the difference between a 5 or an 8 can be the difference between a good print and an amazing one. Just something to ponder...

But yes, talk to the guy, really is the best policy, they'll be able to tell you what printer/paper/software they are using and generally put your mind at rest, unless they print using potatoes!

Was that a bit more brusque this time Ray?  Smiley

2  Mike's Software / Qimage Ultimate / Re: Printing to file for an outside printer ~ no output sharpening re Giclee prints! on: April 13, 2013, 09:32:43 PM
It sounds more to me like this company actually cares about the quality of the prints that leave their shop and the others only cared about getting as many prints out the door with the minimal effort. The printer being used and the type of media can have a significant effect on what output sharpening is required, if that wasn't the case then why would Qimage give you such a broad range from 0-20 in the sharpening settings.

The process for using the output sharpening in Qimage involves a bit of trial and error, running off a few prints at different settings on your selected media to get it perfect. Once you've figured it out then you're pretty much done, just use that setting each time you use that media. But that's using your own printer/paper and actually seeing for yourself, there is no way to judge the output sharpening on screen, so I don't see how you are going to be able to successfully prepare a sharpened file without even knowing what printer or paper that they're going to be using, even if you did know, it would still be pure chance if you got it bang on. If they are spending all day running off prints with the same handful of different medias then they're going to have a pretty good idea what works by now. As for their interpolation method, well, we're only speculating on that, but I would assume if they're a decent company that they're using a respectable RIP of some kind so it shouldn't be an issue.

I admit that some of the instructions that they give in the pdf are a little specific, but I would guess that they get some pretty poor quality files sent to them so they are just trying to get a reasonable starting point. I'd imagine that the pdf is written for someone who has no knowledge whatsoever of printing so by bandying about resolutions like 300dpi (which is kind of meaningless anyway) they're just trying to ensure that they're at least not going to get sent a family snap web optomised from Facebook or similar. Back to the sharpening, remember that anyone can mess about with online photo editing software these days so I imagine they've received their fair share of oversharpened disasters in the past just because someone got overwhelmed by how amazing they thought something looked on their iphone. Also, some in camera sharpening is terrible sometimes no output sharpening is best to try and soften the effect, I know I've had to do this in the past.

Anyway, as Terry said, find out what the native resolution is of their printer and prepare the file in Q by all means if you are worried about someone else doing any interpolating/upscaling. As for the sharpening, any decent printer will do you a test print (normally for a nominal fee), I'd take advantage of that and send them your Qimage prepared file without sharpening and I'm sure it will come back looking great. You could of course always send them a sharpened version done in Q and ask for it to be printed without any sharpening but you could end up having to do it 2 or 3 times until you get it right at your end. Just a few thoughts.


3  Mike's Software / Qimage Ultimate / Re: How to tell existing image size on: December 31, 2012, 04:22:46 PM
Sure it will.
Just go to Custom and select original size, check Override, and type in 300.
When you go back to teh main screen, Qimage will show you the image size at 300 ppi.

Thanks Fred, not that useful which is probably what caused the confusion but now I know. haha

4  Mike's Software / Qimage Ultimate / Re: How to tell existing image size on: December 31, 2012, 03:05:36 PM
Aha, just re-read one of your posts with some details that I obviously missed. So what you want is to be able to type 300dpi into qimage like you do in photoshop and then see what size it will be at that resolution? So I think you're right, qimage won't do that, but like the other guys said it is irrelevant and also wrong as that won't be your printers native resolution anyway.

5  Mike's Software / Qimage Ultimate / Re: How to tell existing image size on: December 31, 2012, 02:32:11 PM
I think I understand what you're saying. If you have selected original size when you put the image in the queue then when you hover over the image in the queue (as in layed out on the page and not the thumbnails in the folders) it will tell you the dimensions and the current dpi at that given size before qimage gets hold of it and works it's interpolation magic.

I think the problem comes when your page is smaller than the image size you intend to print so you can't physically add a single image to that page without it spanning multiple sheets, and as you were saying that you'd want to know how much paper you need then I assume that the exact print size is currently not known BUT you wanted to use 300dpi as a kind of marker, is this right?

I'm not sure what printer you're using but I use an epson 7900, you meantioned making pretty large prints so I'm hoping you're using something similar? Anyway, the trick I use is to permanently have my page larger than I ever need it. In the driver, set it to roll paper (banner), check 'save roll paper' and then in 'user defined' for the dimensions set it at something longer than you are going to need. I typically set mine to 1 metre in length as I never print larger than about 90cm onto canvas. This doesn't mean that if I print an image of only  50cm in length that I'll end up with 50cm of white space however, with these print settings it only counts the actual printed area, just don't make the mistake of placing your image at the bottom of the page!

If you do this then when you add an image into the queue then you can resize it (drag out a corner if you want to experiment with it) and then when you hover over it it will always show you the current dimensions and the current dpi at that size.

Like was said before 300dpi is kind of irrelevant as qimage will interpolate it to what it should be (360/720 for the epson)but of course nearer 300dpi is better than being nearer 100dpi, rubbish in, rubbish out as they say. Totally depends on the size of the final image, you'll never see individual pixels printing from q but obviously if you start from an image of 100dpi it's going to look very soft by comparison.

Hope this makes sense? Like I said, not sure what printer you're using but regardless, I'm sure you must have a similar setting if you're using something different. It doesn't sound like you are using qimage to make layouts so the trick is make your page bigger!

I think the main point here though, and I know how protective everyone gets of their beloved qimage,  is that regardless of how you want to do it Tim, dpi being relevant or not, Q can do what you are asking:)
6  Mike's Software / Qimage Ultimate / Re: Qimage Settings for Epson R2000 on: December 15, 2012, 08:18:39 PM
No worries, you've just got to remember that in those settings it is output sharpening which is an extra step after you've got the image as sharp as you like on screen. When the ink soaks into the paper it will lose some of the sharpness that the image had on screen, so this is an extra step to compensate for that. It will vary depending on the paper as to how much sharpness is lost and so how much output sharpening you need to add, typically matte papers tend to suffer more. The good thing about Q is that it's pretty clever, so once you've found the sharpness that you like, you use the same setting everytime you use that paper. Q will automatically adjust it so that regardless of the size of your image, a sharpness setting of 5 will look more or less the same if it's 10x15cm, A3 or anything inbetween. If you were printing directly from say Photoshop then you would have to sharpen the image differently each time you wanted to print it at a different size.

Hope that helps.

7  Mike's Software / Qimage Ultimate / Ideal settings question on: December 15, 2012, 05:18:40 PM
Hi Liz,
Providing you've got everything set up right in the driver (colour management off) the qimage settings you have will do just fine although depending on the version of q you're using 'Fusion' is the best interpolation method (unless Mike has added a new one in the last 6 months). As for ideal settings, you'll need to play with the sharpening setting. 5 is a good starting point and for the paper you're using it's most probably the right setting. There is a video on how to use the sharpening, basically you'll need to do some test prints with different sharpening settings, the idea is that your print should match the sharpening on screen when you get it right. Once you've found the ideal sharpening for that paper then you'll use the same settings every time after that. If you're using different papers then it's a good idea to save the settings that you found worked best for each and then you can simply recall them each time you change the paper.
To recap, there aren't really any ideal settings as there are so many different papers out there but with the sharpening set on 5 I've never had a bad (over sharpened) print (unless I overdid it in PS before I put it into Q), just the occasional print that I wished I'd sharpened a little bit more.

Hope that helps.

8  Mike's Software / Qimage Ultimate / Re: Q running really slooooooowwwwww.... on: July 07, 2012, 08:59:18 PM
Just done another handful of images, similar to before (6 jpgs straight off the camera) but the only filter added was a cutout to each of them and a date stamp. The cutout, like before was just a border so that the date stamp appears on the bottom left of the border instead of directly on the image. Slow again to process, so it seems the problem is with adding cutouts. Not a biggie but at least now I know.
9  Technical Discussions / Printers / Re: Moving a big lump of a printer. on: July 03, 2012, 08:40:47 AM
Thanks Ray,

I think I'll knock something together with polystyrene and tape and we should be fine. There is a bit of movement in it so I guess it's just a question of making sure there isn't any in transit.

Thanks again

10  Technical Discussions / Printers / Re: Moving a big lump of a printer. on: July 02, 2012, 09:39:26 AM
Hello again,

I've been trying to find out information about this bracket for securing the print head in transit. Not been too successful, there are a few videos that I've watched but it is really difficult to see it properly, it just looks like a polystyrene wedge, doesn't look like it actually secures to anything, just sits in the gap. Would I be able to make my own bracket with a block of polystyrene do you think? I'm guessing that it does basically wedge between the gap in the print head and the body to stop any movement during transit? Is this right, or am I way off? Thanks again.

11  Technical Discussions / Printers / Re: Moving a big lump of a printer. on: July 02, 2012, 08:23:58 AM
Thanks David,

unfortunately, the company we bought the printer from assembled it before it arrived so I don't have the thing to secure the head. Good to know about the strength (or lack of) in the ends, I'll definitely not stand it on its end then! Sounds like I'll have a bit to figure out as I never assembled it so that's going to be fun. Anyway, still don't know where we are moving to yet, just know that we have to leave this place. Basically I'm going to have to keep my fingers crossed that we find somewhere with a bigger lift, not looking too bleak, we've already looked at a couple of ground floor apartments so...

Anyway, thanks for the information, looks like it's going to be a bit of a mare whatever happens.


12  Technical Discussions / Printers / Moving a big lump of a printer. on: June 28, 2012, 11:52:08 AM
Hey guys,

I know this should probably be more of a question for Epson but from my experience of using their help desk, they are pretty useless at best so... Come to the place where people have knowledge is my thinking...

Anyway, I've got a 7900 which is a bit of a lump, around 5' long and pretty wide. I'm needing to move house soon to a new apartment and from most of the places I've seen, they don't often make lifts big enough to fit something this size. Also, with the weight of it, carrying it up a stair case would be pretty dangerous I imagine. So what I wanted to know was if anybody has had a similar experience, and how did you manage it? Is it possible (once removed from it's legs) to stand it up on one end, or is this likely to do some harm? It would most likely have plenty of time to settle before it was actually turned on for the first time after the move.

Anybody know?

Thanks in advance

13  Mike's Software / Qimage Ultimate / Re: How big a sensor do we really need? on: June 20, 2012, 09:27:47 AM
I think it's possible you can end up with larger mega pixel images actually being worse than you already have if you're just shopping on size alone. Defo worth doing your research or spending the money on better lenses instead as Terry suggested, 10megapixels is more than good enough for the sizes you're printing at, unless of course your crops are ridiculously small. I've often found that when I've been sent larger megapixel images to work on, the extra pixels are often unnecessary so you don't get such good definition when adding sharpening as with a smaller image. Also, working on a larger file can be more difficult to make judgements as more pixels viewed at 100% obviously means you see less of the image on the screen, why make life more difficult if you don't need to. Just another thought worth mentioning.

14  Mike's Software / Qimage Ultimate / Re: Resolution quiery on: June 16, 2012, 08:24:25 AM
You're right Jeff, figured that out after I did a couple of test strips. To my eye they all looked identical so... Using different interpolation methods are the way to go, though I don't plan on trying to print anything that bad again, but still good to know.

Thanks again.

15  Mike's Software / Qimage Ultimate / Re: Resolution quiery on: June 15, 2012, 07:06:30 PM
Thanks Terry,

55ppi is ridiculously low in fact, no need to be polite. When testing the different interpolation methods via 'print to file' I found that with a really low quality image, using fusion there are so many invented pixels that it just becomes too smooth, there are some others that look similar to pixel resize (can't remember exactly) that are obviously too blocky, but somewhere inbetween would probably look the best. So knowing it'll send it to the printer at 90 or 120 or whatever will be an experiment worth trying. Thanks for mentioning the 'finest detail' button, I'd forgotten that was what gets me 720ppi.


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