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  1. #1
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    Question about printing and resolution

    I'm doing a poster out of a photo of mine and some text, and I'm not sure how to save it properly for printing. Googling this gives me people who say I want to print stuff in at least 300 ppi, but when my photos are natively 72 ppi, wouldn't increasing the resolution make the picture quality go down? I want to print in A5 and A3 (148 mm × 210 mm and 297 mm × 420 mm respectively). So if I go to Image Size in photoshop and put those measurements in document size, and change the resolution to 300 dpi, how does this affect my picture? How does it affect the text, that's still paths? Should I save it as a TIFF or a PDF or something else? I don't know what kind of printer it's gonna be printed on, since some one else is doing that.. It's all very confusing.


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  3. #2
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    but when my photos are natively 72 ppi, wouldn't increasing the resolution make the picture quality go down
    Yes. Were they from a digital camera or scans? If the former you're stuck, but if the latter re-scan them at a higher resolution. As for how resizing the document will effect the image, you'll have to scale the image up. You might be able to mask the pixellation by futzing around with the image size resample settings and/or the blur filter, but the results may not be pretty.

    How does it affect the text, that's still paths?
    You'll have to resize the text to match the new document resolution. Make sure you set it to anti-alias and smooth as well. As a pointer for the future, when you're working with something that's destined for print in Photoshop, always create your document at the piece's final size/resolution.

    Honestly, for creating a poster I'd use InDesign (if you have it). It's meant for print materials/publications and offers superb text and layout features, as well as an easy way to import your graphics and a variety of ways to help integrate them into the design.

    Should I save it as a TIFF or a PDF or something else?
    PDF unless your printer states otherwise. Which reminds me-- will the poster have a bleed? Don't forget to take that into account when you set up the Photoshop file.

  4. #3
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    Thanks for the answer! The picture is from my digital camera. The camera has settings to decide whether to save to jpeg or tiff, but nothing that explicitly sets the ppi it saves to. It can also save to RAW, but I don't have software that can read that.. Anyway this picture is in 72 dpi and as you say, is stuck there. So even if I have a 8 megapixel camera, it's not enough to fill an A3 paper without enlarging it? Damn.

    EDIT: also, why does the document get LARGER when I increase the ppi? Shouldn't it get smaller, when you cram more of the pixels into an inch? I don't get this at all...
    Last edited by Serpian; August 31st, 2010 at 10:32 AM.

  5. #4
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    So even if I have a 8 megapixel camera, it's not enough to fill an A3 paper without enlarging it? Damn.
    As long as the image is 300dpi, enlarging it (within reason; not much more than 30%) won't make that big of a difference. Here's a chart with guidelines for how large you can make an image while maintaining 300dpi on different megapixel cameras. http://www.unlikelymoose.com/more/ca...converter.html

    Edit: As for why the image gets bigger, resolution ≠ printed size. An image's pixel resolution (screen size) is determined by multiplying the dpi by the height/width. It has no bearing on the printed size UNLESS you change any number besides the dpi.
    Last edited by Senira; August 31st, 2010 at 12:13 PM.

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