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Old Oct 4, 2005, 1:41 PM   #1
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We interpolate and/or resize a PS file prior to final sharpening since printing size will influence/dictate sharpening settings but the concept behind an application such as Qimage is not to resample in PS but to let Qimage resample for final printing size once. So how does one take advantage and utilize some of these excellent sharpening plug-ins (Photokit, Photowiz etc) to their full extent with out resizing in PS & then re-resizing in Qimage? I understand that Qimage has sharpening capabilities but not the control or finesse of a dedicated plug-in.



This question also applies to using a RIP such as Quadtone RIP for windows which does not interface directly with PS? It must be fed a TIFF, but to do this the TIFF must already have been resized and sharpened in PS only to be resampled by the RIP and then resampled again to correct DPI by the printer driver.



Am I missing something here? Is there an elegant solution to incorporating all these tools into one cohesive workflow?



All thoughts most appreciated.







Cheers,

J
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Old Oct 7, 2005, 10:54 AM   #2
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Hi Jay
I think my answer to you is the same as I'v just given to James - see
http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...mp;forum_id=33

Basically, forget interpolation and sharpening and leave it all to QImage. Mike's 'Smart Sharpening' adjusts the amount according to the print size, so that a 5x4" will look exactly the same as a 20 x 24" . Forget plug-ins and don't take my word for it - do some tests.
As for Quadtone, I believe it is covered in the 'Learn by example' section of the help file.

Brian
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Old Oct 8, 2005, 9:22 AM   #3
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I too feel that these "fancified sharpening plugins" don't generally do any better than just letting Qimage do it's thing, but if you must use one of those plugins, you'll need to resample to a multiple of your driver PPI (like 360 or 720 for an Epson and 300 or 600 for a Canon), sharpen that result, and then print in Qmage with final print sharpening turned off. Doing that, Qimage won't resample your images again because you've already resampled to the driver PPI and it will see that when you print and not resample as there is no need.

Mike
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Old Nov 10, 2005, 3:12 PM   #4
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Thank you for asking this question! I have been wondering about this myself. I love Focal Blade. I had quite a few pictures that the de-blur tool just worked wonders on. So if I understand what is being said here Qimage would be used for normal work flow and the plug-ins for those cases where human intervention is a must. Correct?
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Old Nov 15, 2005, 10:30 AM   #5
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That makes sense to me. I'd just recommend that when using something like FocalBlade, Nik Sharpener, PhotoKit Sharpener, etc. that you also print the photo from Qimage without any of these plugins and compare. While dedicated sharpening plugins do allow more control under some situations, many times people find that it is unnecessary because Qimage does as good a job in its own "automatic" mode. You don't want to do any more work than you have to and sometimes you can do too much and end up breaking the relationship between depth of field and sharpness, making the image look unnatural.

Mike
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Old Nov 20, 2005, 9:33 AM   #6
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I've used both the FocalBlade, & NIK plugins for "sometime"---( In some instances, I find one or the other produces better results.

While some images---- (Those with "proper" exposure, and a variant of detail throughout), generally work well with "global" applications of 'Sharpening", (or "Noise Removal")------Many do not!

Images with detailed foliage, terrain at the bottom, and vast expanses of blue sky at the top, and/or images with areas of 'Shadow" content aregenerally degraded by "Global" sharpening---- adding noise to the sky or shadow areas.

With Photoshop Sharpening, and Noise Reduction plugins, you can make use of Masks, or the Snapshot / History Brush function to "paint" whatever degree of these effects deemed necessary, precisely where needed.

Of course, "Sharpening" software can-- and has been developed that can controllably avoid "problem" areas, but I can'thelp but wonder ifany "uncontrollable", global application would truly result in optimal results.

Leigh
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Old Nov 23, 2005, 10:23 PM   #7
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Mike,

I don't want to belabor this, but I've been struggling with this whole issue for some time looking for the definitive answer.

I too am a fan of Nik Sharpener Pro 2 and would like to use it to its best abilities along with Qimage for printing.

I'd like to paraphrase what I think I'm hearing to see if I understand the recommendations.

I believe that you are saying that I should resize my image in PS CS2 to my desired exact output size with a PPI of 360 or 720 for my Epson printer, then apply Nik Sharpener as directed.

Save this image and then open it in Qimage.

Once in Qimage I would not do any more image manipulation including not applying any unsharp mask since I've already done this in PS with Nik.

When I'm ready to print is where I think get confused. Do I want to disable BOTH Interpolation in Qimage as well as Final Print Sharpening? The idea being that the image has already by resized to the exact output size I want and fully sharpened for the output device by NIK?

If I do this, I obviously loose one of the best features of Qimage, better interpolation than PS can provide me.


Another approach could be that in PS CS2 I do not interpolate the image at all (leave it at full original size) but do sharpen it with Nik. Then feed Qimage the sharpened, but not resized image and leave both Interpolation and Final Print Sharpening ON and let Qimage do it's thing. Problem here could be that I may end up with an oversharpened image if I let Qimage do Final Print Sharpening in addition to Nik sharpening image. I could turn NIK down some so it doesn't compensate as much for the output device or I could turn off Final Print Sharpening in Qimage. Not sure what the right answer is.

To confuse matters even more, Nik has a slider bar to allow you to specify the final output size if it is different than the current image size. In other words, I can leave the image at full size in PS, but tell Nik that in the end I intend to print a 4x6 print in which case it applies more sharpening to the image. In this case, would I want to tell it the final print size or let it think it's a full resolution image before I sharpen and then what and Final Print Sharpening setting would I want to use in Qimage.

I hope at least some of this makes sense. As you can see this is all too confusing and gives me a headache when I think about it too much. Where's the Tylenol?

You should know that I posed these sames questions to Nik and they of course claimed no knowledge of Qimage and told me to use Nik as directed - that is resize, sharpen and print in PS. Ugh.

How do I get the best of both worlds?

-StuS-
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Old Nov 24, 2005, 10:29 AM   #8
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If Qimage does not resamplewhen given the Printer's "native" resolution, or a multiple of it, ( 720 ppi / 360ppi--Epson); Would using the 1/2 multiple of 360 ppiVS the the "full" 720 ppi adversely effectprint quality in a significant manner?

The file size difference for a print of about 10" X 15" jumps from around 52MB at 360 ppi to a whopping 210 MB at 720 ppi which would strain the resources of the average computer, when applying any form of "Sharpening" filtration.

Leigh
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Old Nov 26, 2005, 10:20 AM   #9
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StuS wrote:
Quote:
When I'm ready to print is where I think get confused. Do I want to disable BOTH Interpolation in Qimage as well as Final Print Sharpening? The idea being that the image has already by resized to the exact output size I want and fully sharpened for the output device by NIK?
Unfortunately you get yourself into a bit of a dilemma with this workflow. If you want to use Nik or some other specialized sharpening tool, you really need to resample to the final print resolution first and then apply your specialized sharpening as the final step. I see two ways of doing this:

(1) Upsample in PS and just apply Nik there to the final/upsampled version, then print in Qimage without sharpening disabled. If you print in Qimage using this method, Qimage by definition will not do any resampling because it will see that the final size is equal to the size it needs to resample to.

(2) Upsample in Qimage first, then load the upsampled version in PhotoShop, apply Nik, then print in Qimage without any sharpening. Using this method, you can make use of Qimage's upsampling methods which are better than PS.

Mike
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Old Nov 26, 2005, 10:25 AM   #10
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LeighA wrote:
Quote:
If Qimage does not resamplewhen given the Printer's "native" resolution, or a multiple of it, ( 720 ppi / 360ppi--Epson); Would using the 1/2 multiple of 360 ppiVS the the "full" 720 ppi adversely effectprint quality in a significant manner?

The file size difference for a print of about 10" X 15" jumps from around 52MB at 360 ppi to a whopping 210 MB at 720 ppi which would strain the resources of the average computer, when applying any form of "Sharpening" filtration.

Leigh
The difference between 720 and 360 is usually subtle to the eye. Most people can see a small difference when they examine them side by side, but 360 can be used with good results. That said, Qimage is not like other printing programs. 210 MB is really nothing for Qimage. Qimage doesn't try to just "dump" the entire 210 MB job to the driver like other programs: it prints the job in small sections so the driver/system doesn't get overwhelmed. I wouldn't worry about the job size. The only time I've ever seen a problem that might cause you to back down to "High" instead of "Max" (360 instead of 720) is when printing on an Epson 9600 at 44 inches wide by 100+ inches long. When you start getting into those sizes, you may run out of disk space before the job finishes or run into trouble with network queue limitations if you are printing to a network printer.

Mike
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