Other ways of blowing up an image for print?
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    Other ways of blowing up an image for print?

    Hello,

    I have a small exhibition coming up and I have just realized that I need to double the size of my images. The largest being from A3 to A2.
    I have done a bit of research and it seems that there isnít really a way to go about it without pixilation. I have heard about a program called alien skin that resizes the image somehow by using vectors. This sounds somewhat too good to be true though, plus the program is out of my budget.

    My images are currently tif files and are 300dpi, Do you think there is enough flexibility to double the size without noticeable disturbance?

    Personally thought it might be possible to increase the size of the printed dots or something, like that of large prints if you get me?

    I wonder if anyone has encountered any other methods that might be worth looking into?

    Cheers

    Rich

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    A3@300ppi=A2@150ppi.
    150 is still an acceptable (not optimal, but acceptable) resolution for a large image, since the bigger the image, the further away you're generally viewing it from (billboards resolution is sometimes as low as 20ppi). Or, you could just upsample the pieces to twice their size, which will cause a bit of softening, but the results may be better than printing at a lower resolution. Some skillful use of unsharp masking can help. Also, since they're your pieces, you can go back and do any smoothing out of textures or tightening up of details that may be necessary.
    Are you doing this yourself or using a professional printer? If you are using a printer, they're the people to ask.

    Last edited by Elwell; June 2nd, 2010 at 04:44 PM.

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    Also, a little trick that you can do in this case, I did it a couple of times, is that, if you blow it up to the correct size and looks pixelated, gausian-blur it all out a bit, and apply some fine TEXTURE as a "multiply" layer, but the texture has to be VERY SMALL and fine, something unnoticeable from a distance but that you can see by looking very closely, that way, you eliminate the blurryness from the lack of information by adding new information.

    It all depends on the piece, if your piece is very clean looking, like futuristic style, very "digital" looking stuff, it won't work, but in pieces that look "painterly" this effect looks pretty nice.

    Hope it helps!

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    Yeah, I'm taking it to a professional printer. I did ask them and they just said blowing it up should be fine, but I thought it might be worth running it past here to get some extra opinions. The unsample method sounds like a good way to go about it, my images generally have a soft treatment to them anyway so it might be ideal. What I'll do Is I'll print a test to see how things turn out, seeing it in the flesh is the best way to go about it I suppose.

    Just out of interest has anyone tried the vector method? I'm wondering whether it's tailored more towards typography rather than tonal gradation?

    Edit: I might as well show one of the images to give you an idea.


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    There is this cool program/plugin called Genuine Fractals by Onone Software which does a much better job at blowing stuff up then the default photoshop upscaling.

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    I've had success with the content aware scaling in Photoshop. It takes a while to figure it out, but it does work. Try it maybe?

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    Vectorizing an image in a program like Adobe Illustrator either automatically or by hand is a great idea but yes, only if you have something going towards typography, like a logo for instance, or a "clean looking" poster.

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