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John Labadie <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
SciArt-L Discussion List-for Natural Science Illustration- <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 2 Feb 2011 14:40:31 -0500
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Here's another bit of interesting information to add to this discussion. 

Through the "magic" of interpolation many new(er) large format printers can output high resolution digital files at much larger physical sizes than the original analog (physical) images with no loss of resolution. 

For example, an 8" X 10" digital file saved at 300 dpi can be output at 3X that size as some printers need only 100 dpi to maintain the original image resolution. So, that 300 dpi 8" X 10" becomes a 24" X 30" with resolution identical to the original data file. From my experience this printing equation works perfectly all the way up to the largest print sizes such printers can handle. 

Our Canon iPF800 42" wide, 12-color printer has been surprising folks for a few years now.  Even our much older HP 800 4-color, 42" wide machine is capable is the same kinds of output.

John Antoine Labadie
Professor of Art & Director of the Digital Academy
Art Department, #112 Locklear Hall
University of North Carolina Pembroke
Pembroke, NC 28372-1510  USA
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From: SciArt-L Discussion List-for Natural Science Illustration- [[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Gail Guth [[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Wednesday, February 02, 2011 2:19 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [SCIART] Increasing the size of artwork for display?

It's always preferable to create the art large and scale down, but not always practical as you mentioned. One key thing to remember is the ulitmate use of the artwork: for posters or display graphics, you can shoot for a final resolution of 150 dpi at the final size, assuming that viewers of the art will not be right on top of it, but rather 2-10 feet away. Check out a large banner or poster at a store or mall; get up close to it and you will see how low the resolution really is, then back up; the image looks great at the standard viewing distance.

Unless they are enormous, I always try to create posters at 300 dpi, save the hi-res file, then drop the resolution for the final flattened file I will send to the printer.

Creating a piece that people will be viewing up close, as for book or magazine publication, obviously requires the higher resolution; high-res and tons of details for displays and posters is a waste of time, effort, and money. Obviously that is a generalization that depends on what you are doing and the audience., but it has worked for me for many years.

My 2

On 2/2/11 12:39 PM, Kathryn Killackey wrote:
Dear all,

  I have a process question that I hope some more experienced illustrators might be able to answer.  I am at the very beginning of a project creating three historic scenes that will eventually be reproduced for display, each on a panel aprroximately 6ft by 2ft. I've been taught and it has been my preference to create original artwork that is at least slightly larger than its final format, scaling things down always tightens things up nicely.  But in this case it seems a waste of time, not to mention daunting.  Is it alright to blow up an image, say, 200%?  If I painted a 3 x 1 ft scene and did a high resolution scan, would it look alright enlarged?  I would probably be working in watercolor and graphite, though I could go digital as well.  I'd really appreciate any advice you have to give.




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Gail Guth
Guth Illustration & Design
139 Lathrop Avenue
Battle Creek, MI  49014-5076
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