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Old May 13, 2006, 4:46 PM   #1
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I have just started evaluating Qimage, particularly for use with a dedicated computer running Epson 9600. I have the trial version and I cannot figure out how to do this.

I have an image say 13 x21, and I want to print it smaller I go to custom and find I have to enter both numbers. Now, in Photoshop, under Size, if I have "Constrain proportions, I need oly to change one dimension, PS changes the other.

Short of having a calculator handy to do this, where is constrain proportions in Qimage? This is vital in my workflow.

Ok, another The computer used to run the printer will not be calibrated as it only is supposed to handle sizing, final sharpening etc. I do not want to mess with color at that station. But, when I check the profile setup, I notice that Qimage sees my monitor profile and I must say that the print from Qimage is closer to the monitor than in PS< especially for this trial period, where I am testing on a Canon i9900. I assume Qimage makes use of the monitor profile to do this? Will I be screwed using an uncalibrated monitor?
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Old May 15, 2006, 9:46 AM   #2
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You didn't say which dimension you want to set, but if you are printing
panoramas, I presume you want to set the short side (width of the paper)
and let it determine the length. If so, you want to simply give it no
size restriction for the length. Make sure the crop button (scissors
icon) is in the up position and then use the "Custom" size button and
select "Specific Size" and enter the width in the first box and 500 in the
second box. This will effectively give it no restriction on the length.
For example, if you have a panorama that is 13 inches x 48 inches, you can
enter 13 inches as the width and 500 inches as the height and it will
automatically calculate the height as 48 inches because you gave it no
restriction (500 inches).

Regarding the monitor profile, you might want to read some of my articles
on color management here at Steve's:

http://www.steves-digicams.com/techcorner/tc_index.html

In short, the monitor profile is not used when printing: only the printer profile is used. You need the monitor profile for viewing images on your monitor and a printer profile for your printer.

Mike
http://www.ddisoftware.com
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Old May 15, 2006, 10:29 AM   #3
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Thank you, Mike. Since I wrote that, I figured that out. It seems to me to be rather cumbersome, however. What i found I have to do is, for instance, let's say that I am printing to a 13x19 sheet. I first have to open Custom, set a max size to 12.5x18.5, with no image selected, then when an image is selected, set the size again in Custom. If I do not do the first step, Q wants to set the size to the max allowed for that paper size and I have to go back and reset it. Then, and I really hate this, when I set a new size, it automatically gets entered as a new image in the queue. Hey, I am playing with the sizing to obtain a pleasing look on the sheet size, and i don't want to have to clean out those I do not want to print. If it's in the queue and I say print, everything spools. The added step of cleaning the queue, especially if I am trying to do a run of several images at once is odious and wasteful. Please, redo that function and add an additional step called "Save" or whatever when resizing the print before entering it in the queue.

As to color mamagement, I well understand it's operations. What I don't understand here is why, when using the printer supplied profile (Canon i9900), the print looks different through Q than through PS, with the same profile. As I said, Q comes closer to the screen than PS does. Nothing else has changed, and since the montor profile is an element entered in your CM process, Q must be using that data differently than PS.

For a Epson 9600, this is not true. The screen and print agree quite closely through PS. Now, I am looking to run the 9600 with a dedicated computer, running appropriate software. A big RIP or CS2 is way overkill, and Qimage seemed the answer. But with these problems, training an operator to run the printer will be difficult and run the price to the customer up. If a Q print looks different than a PS print with the same profile on the 9600, we are dead in the water.

Because the output is so much superior to running through PS or the initial ONYX RIP that came with the system (Ilford Galerie Printing Sysytem), you are top of the list as to software for the 9600. Oh, that Galerie/ONYX is just about as fussy in resizing as yours, but different. It certainly doesn't enter a print into queue until I tell it to and it is sized to my liking.

Finally, what's with the error messages? Can Q run with a .psd or not? About 1/2 my .psd files show up with a big red error message.. If I generate a tiff, it opens. OTOH, I also have images both in TIFF and .psd, where the psd opens but the tiff not. Again, from a production point of view, not good at all.

If your resampling program wasn't so damn good, we wouldn't be having this conversation. I know I only account for a $50 purchase here, but I still wish to persist in this. If you charged $100 for the same software that operated smoothly, I would not bat an eyelash.

Lawrence
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Old May 15, 2006, 2:15 PM   #4
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Ok, for some of the error messages, I found out, accidently, that one one of a set of images which included an unreadable image (white square, no black box in the center) had two alpha channels I neglected to trash when I set up that file for my client. Had I not looked at that file, I wouldn't have a clue since searching "Channel" or "alpha" in the help brought up nothing. OTOH, why would I even be searching for those items? PS prints fine with any channels beyond RGB or CMYK left in the file.

When I searched "Channels" here, I did find lots of references.

Maybe include this important info in the Trouble shoot?

I get three kinds of error messages: White sq with a black box, readable at high mag, blank white sq, and big red error read message. Why three, and what's the differences?
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Old May 15, 2006, 2:49 PM   #5
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Sounds like you need to familiarize yourself with ho Qimage works. It will certainly not add another image if you change the size of an existing print in the queue! Simply select the image on the preview page and select a new size. Sounds like you don't understand that if you select a thumbnail first and then a size, it adds the image. You have to select the print on the page if you want to change size.

I'm not sure why you are having trouble with sizing, as I don't see anyone else having that problem. You also shouldn't be having any trouble setting size on a 13x19 sheet. Qimage will size within the bounds you select, so if you are "wishy washy" about the size up front, and I believe you are because you say you are "playing with the sizing to obtain a pleasing look", why not just add it at any size you like and then just drag the corners of the print until it is as big as you like on the page? There are numerous ways to do what you want to do in Qimage but it sounds like you need to familiarize yourself with how to perform operations like selecting/changing size, etc. The tutorial or "getting familiar with QImage" in the help are designed for that. If you have a specific example that is giving you trouble with your 13x19 page, please post the exact steps you are taking, the size you get, and the size you expect. I suspect you are just not operating the sizing as it was designed, but I can't tell because you never mention the actual sizes you are getting, the size (resolution) of the image, and how they differ from what you expect.

As for PSD's and TIFF's, Adobe has not released an update to the public spec for PSD files since PhotoShop 5.0! They don't seem very interested in third party support, so if you want them to be compatible, you'll have to select the "maximize reverse compatibility" option in the file options. Also, alpha channels and layers are not part of the international TIFF specification. They are an Adobe abomination. While Qimage can read most TIFF's with alpha channels/layers, you take a risk by using them because different incarnations of the format might be incompatible. My advice here is to use a "standard" format for images you want to read in other programs.

Mike
http://www.ddisoftware.com
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Old May 15, 2006, 4:44 PM   #6
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Sizing:

What I am not doing is highlighting the file before changing sizes. If I don't, Q gives you a new file at the new size. Quirky, because in other programs, PS included which you seem to dislike, doesn't do that. I actually prefer your method because I can see the relationship of the print to the page immediately, whereas in PS, I have to generate a canvas first. But so lonkg as the image is on the screen and I haven't hit "Done" or similar, I think the print in the queue should be kept live. However, your regulars know the routine, so I doubt it will change. What you might consider is that if the image undergoing is not highlighted, nothing happens. After all, it's not highlighted, yet Q will grab an unhighlighted image resize it and throw it into the Queue. Mixed message here, methinks!

I totally agree with your point about not trying to run images with masks or layers. I take care to flatten and remove masks and extra channels. I missed it in the particular set, and that was fortunate because it clued me in where I was clueless, and would have remained so even after thorough examination of your tutuorial. But, they are not abominatins! The best creative efforts I bring to my work is possible only with some sort of layering or masking system. Masks like unsharp have been around long before PS; they are not abominations.

Wishy-washy? Are you in the habit of insulting your customers? I have specific proportions I use for various images and I "Play" the way pianists or violinists "Play". I know how to pull a corner in a sizing setup. I only hope you are pulling my leg about wishy-washy!

I'm going to install the trial on the 9600 system and get feedback from the others in the shop. Some are old pros at this sort of operation, and perhaps I am out of step.

FYI: I have been in photography for almost 50 years, and a professional since 1974. I also am a retired hardware engineer, electronics, working for the premier oscilloscope company in the world, doing product evaluation, among my various assignments while there. Vendors knew they had to be on their toes or I would nail them to the wall, so to speak! So if I appear a bit crusty, take it with a grain of salt!:roll:
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Old May 15, 2006, 5:50 PM   #7
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There are two panes of interest on the main window: the thumbnail/file pane and the preview pane. If you have the thumbnail pane selected (left side) and select a size, the highlighted/marked thumbnail will be added. It isn't as if it is selecting a random entity to add: it adds the currently selected thumbnail. If you have the right side selected, the size applies to the selected print on the preview page. It's that simple. And no, of course PhotoShop won't do this because it isn't set up for multiple image processing. Why would they have you "select" a print when it can basically only handle one print at a time anyway?

Also, on the point of unsharp "mask", that is nothing more than an image edit. It has absolutely nothing to do with alpha channels or layers (unless you make it so). Alpha channels and layers are an Adobe abomination as far as TIFF files are concerned. They are not officially covered in the TIFF spec and you have to depend on Adobe to keep updating the spec for what they are doing. Seeing as how they abandoned third party support for PSD's after PhotoShop 5.0, that's why I was saying to use layers with caution. No insult implied: just fact.

Mike
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Old May 15, 2006, 6:43 PM   #8
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I do use alpha channels with the unsharp mask, as well as other editing tools. Selective sharpening and contrast control is frequently done using a Luminosity mask. It's very powerful. It's really so with my Tech Pan negs.

I see what you are getting at so far as Tiff is concerned. I misunderstood your meaning. Thanks for clarifying it.

My workflow has PS set as "Jump To" Qimage, so I rarely use the thumbs. They take rather long on this computer to load. So, I am using the right pane and the Queue as my references.

There is no doubt about the quality of the resampling and sharpening. Great job. I have tried several tools, noteably a sharpening system for astronomers. Not that great and extraordinarily long to render, even on a really fast computer. Richardson-Lucy worked pretty well on the Tech Pan negs but the grain fouls up the process from ordinary emulsions.

Thanks for being prompt and concise.

Lawrence
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Old May 16, 2006, 11:45 AM   #9
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After reading all this I went back to retest the operation. Here's the result.

I have a folder with three images, two .psd, one TIFF. One .psd and one tiff have the same resolution,5131 pixels on the long side. The other .psd is 3600 on the long side. They all have an alpha channel.

In the thumbnails, both psd's show the red warning sign. The tiff is open, and shows up on the right pane, to size ,when I click the thumbnail. If I open Custom and resize it, I get a new image in the queue, at the new size. If I highlight either the right pane or the queue, I don't get a new image, the first one resizes.

Now, switch to PS>Jump to. I mighrate to that folder and pick the tiff. Toggle Jump To Qimage and it opens to size. Click Custom, change size, nothing happens, just as I thought it should. Select the right pane or the queue and it resizes wothout a new image appearing in the queue.

It's the source of my confusion to be sure. (Insert smiley beating myself over the head here!)

Now, as any good monkey, I can be trined to watch out for this and can train anyone employed to run the 9600 likewise. Better, please rewrite your code so if one does selsct from the thumbs and forgets to highlight, nothing happens there either.

Thank you.

Oh, and notice that the tiff has an alpha channel imbedded, but it still opens, no warnings. (Insert smiley beating myself over the head again!)

And while we are at it, I would suggest that any change made in Custom (or anywhere) on an improper selection, revert to the values found upon opening in that context.
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