File format for work going to print?
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  1. #1
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    Question File format for work going to print?

    Hey folks, not really sure where to ask this. But for those of you that have done work going to print (in an RPG for example), what format and what print resolution do you usually submit in? I'm doing some illos for a friends RPG, but this is their first printing too, so I'm not sure they really know what they need. They said their other artists are submitting in JPG, but isn't that a lossy compression format? I would think that wouldn't be ideal.

    Thanks in advance for any advice on this.

    "Every generation sees the past though the lens of its own time." - Thom Hartmann
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    don't use jpg!!

    the standard is an uncompressed tiff, 300dpi [at least], final print size in inches. i worked on a few rpg illustrations, the producer had me work in 600dpi. O_0

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    Thanks Nova! Yeah, I kind of assumed TIFF, and that's what I reccommended to him before he told me they were using JPG. I made my original image 300dpi at actual size, so hopefully that'll be ok. For this particular thing that'll probably be ok.

    But yeah, thanks for the info. I'll try to get him to bludgeon some sense into his other artists.

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    Hi Fukifino,

    the mostly used format would be TIFF or in special cases EPS in CMYK or greyscale. If youīre doing colour-work and did it in RGB better let someone with a calibrated monitor and maybe the right ICC-profiles watch over it before it can come to nasty surprises. Hopefully the company whoīs publishing the stuff will do this, too, but better you see yourself what the pictures will look like.

    Most design-studios will tell you the resolution should be 300 dpi for the size itīs used in the end. This is o.k. if they maybe want to change the size. Physically 210 dpi for a 2540 dpi film-unit should be enough but this will lead to far and most design-studios donīt understand it. See that your final picture wonīt be under 250 dpi and everything should work out fine.

    If the size for the pic is too small I can recommend the "PixelScaler" by Extensis. It canīt do wonders but it can help you a lot.

    Fipse

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    Nova, the producer who asked for 600 dpi should ahve his brain checked - Iīm producer myself and be assured this seems to be stupid. Or he wants to use the stuff for poster art or other bigger formats ...

    Fipse

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    Thanks Fipse-man. I just wacked my friend over the head with the "people who know more than us say to use TIFF" stick. Hopefully he'll take it to heart...and if not..hey, mine will be the best looking art in the book!

    "Every generation sees the past though the lens of its own time." - Thom Hartmann
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    First off, screen res is PPI, NOT dpi - they are two completely different things. Somewhere along the way everyone forgot that and started referring to ppi as dpi, heck a lot of time i acidently say it too! PPi is pixels per inch and that is what photoshop and other paint programs use. dpi is dots per inch and it is how many micro dots are sprayed onto paper from ink or toner. In all my print work i have never gone over 300ppi, becasue you cant really tell the defierence after that. If you are using a super crisp printer and your image is PACKED with small details, you may opt for 400-600ppi, but I say its overkill. As for the dpi, today any printer you are using is going to print at least 720 to 1200 dpi.

    Everyone thinks jpegs are garbage for print, and for the most part they are, but if you have them set to max quality (12 in photoshop) you CANNOT tell the difference when printed out and sitting side-by-side comparisson to an uncompressed tiff. And they are about ten times smaller. So unless this stuff is for some art gallery, go ahead and print them in highest quality jpeg. ANything lower will show signs of compression, or as i call jpeging. If you still have any doubts just do uncompressed tiffs, you cant go wrong with those.

    As far as color... make sure you know what kind of printing you are using. If is is laser, change your color mode to cmyk. I keep my images rgb for inkjet, but in my experience lazers have a hard time accurately converting 3 color process into 4 colors.

    BLAST ON YOU!
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    Hi nardfrog,

    first youīre right, the dpi/ppi denomination (sp?) is so used in printing industry that sometimes itīs forgot that there are differences. In fact here in Germany weīre often using in the printing industry screen values on cm-basis.

    As far as I read Fukifino right, heīs been talking about printing and means the "real" stuff, going offset etc. In this circumstances stay in any case away from all RGB-stuff. RGB has a much bigger colourrange than it is possible to print in CMYK. Insofar if you want to have a quality printing every thing you do must because of the colourmanagement been nearest to the endresult possible. Most exposition units arenīt even able to change RGB in CMYK and you will have a totally wrong result - mostly some b/W stuff.

    You can use Jpeg or other compressed file-formats just for one reason (in fact you can do cmyk-Jpegs): for fast data transfer but even this should be avoided when going into high-class printing.

    Most printers - now Iīm talking about Laserprinter, Inkjets or Plotter - can translate RGB but the results are by far away from reliable in a professional sense. In a perfect colour management the view on the screen should be the same as what you got in Offset, Rotogravure or whatever you want to use and itīs painstakingly to get a halfway decent result even with the right colour-scheme. Thereīs a whole industry (me included) living from it .

    Fipse

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    i totaly agree about your comments fispe, i guess I wasnt to clear about what he plans on using this stuff for. But Cmyk will definately be more accurate.

    RGB looks nice and more vivid because the screen uses subtractive color and is ofcourse, is lit. But on paper colors have to mix (addative color) and they will get mucky. a perfect example would be to try and print a page of vivid blood red on a cmyk process. It will most likely end up magenta.

    Fuckifiknow, Im assuming this isnt going to be a world wide distribution under close scrutany, so dont get to overwhelmed by what fispe and i are talking about.

    your best bet: 300ppi, tiff, cmyk. there nice and simple.

    BLAST ON YOU!
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    Quote Originally Posted by fukifino
    Hey folks, not really sure where to ask this. But for those of you that have done work going to print (in an RPG for example), what format and what print resolution do you usually submit in? I'm doing some illos for a friends RPG, but this is their first printing too, so I'm not sure they really know what they need. They said their other artists are submitting in JPG, but isn't that a lossy compression format? I would think that wouldn't be ideal.
    Thanks in advance for any advice on this.
    In many cases, jpg is fine as long as it's a CMYK jpg and you don't compress too much. I've used EPS with jpeg compression for 8' x 2' backlit displays and they came out fine.

    Everything else usually we would send out in eps uncompressed format, but it's horribly inefficient. But it was the boss' nickel so I didn't really care.

    btw, you should aim at 1.5 - 2.5 times the linescreen you're printing at. So if you're printing at 133 lpi (Lines per inch, not usually the case with RPGs) you're going to want at least 266 dpi (dots per inch) resolution.

    If you do everything at 300 dpi, you should be ok, it'll just take a bit longer to rip your job. The MOST important thing: Make sure anything that requires color fidelity to be CMYK before it ever leaves your desk, cuz if the printer converts it for you... well, that won't be good.

    Here's a little list:

    Digital print run (like a xerox docutech): 150 dpi is fine.

    Glossy offset printing: 266 - 300 DPI, 300% Max Ink coverage (meaning the ink levels in the photoshop info tear-away should be no more than 300% when added together)

    Large posters: Usually 72 DPI, and you create the at 1/8th the size, so your art piece will be 576 DPI (8*72dpi) and the file scale will be 1/8. A 4" x 4" photo in this format would print a 32" x 32" poster (You may want to add some light noise in photoshop if you ever print this large).

    Ignore the large posters part if it's confusing.

    Last edited by the_blur; August 18th, 2004 at 01:07 AM.
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