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Old Jul 6, 2005, 3:12 PM   #1
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Hello All,
I have been working on a product brochure and came to the required photos.

I set up a little stage and took many photos with my Olympus 3040 a 3.3Mpix camera. Using the high quality *HQ* setting; 2048 X 1536 with standard JPEG compression.

When I bring the pics into my PC and look at them they are of course about twice the size of my 1280 X 1024 monitors. They are sharp and clear. Then I crop them to about the middle half to encompass the product which is about half the size of a deck of playing cards. This makes the pic about 900 x 700 still filling most of my display.

Here is where my problem appears. I next must import the pic into a CorelDRAW 12 document. I bring it in and since the target is approximately the middle half of a standard 8-1/2 X 11 page the pic must be *resized* down to maybe a 1/4 of its original size. The resizing murders the image! It loses all clarity. When I go to print, Corel complains loudly that I am infesting a printing with a sub 92 dots/inch image.

I didn't realize that reducing a photo size trashed the clarity/sharpness of an image so much. Seems to me that reducing a film shot
down using optical means didn't reduce any clarity. I guess the mathematical reduction inherent in "resizing" is the culprit.?

If I shoot the pictures so the originals are scaled to the actual size needed in the document it seems to me that I will only be using maybe an 8th or 10th of my CCD and the pic will be subject to a lack of pixels. Won't I again have a weakly defined image?

So my question is; how do I get to the best printed(in brochure) quality. How do I approach this from the scientific direction?
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Old Jul 6, 2005, 5:15 PM   #2
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Zoom in as tightly as possible on the object(s) you want to print... fill the frame. Cropping simply throws away the data you need to make the print you want. I'd recommend you get a lot of light on the subject and use a tripod, if possible. What program are you using to view your pictures?

You shouldn't have to crop to make the picture fit... the software should do that for you. I regularly print very nice 4X6 photos (and even 13X19's) with my 20D. This camera produces lots of pixels (about 8.2 million) to print really huge photos, but your 3.3 MP should provide enough data to for your brochure.

Too small a printis no problem, too big a print will be. Having said that, I have some nice 13X19's hanging on my wall taken with my old Canon Pro90 (2.6 MP's).


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Old Jul 6, 2005, 5:59 PM   #3
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I haven't used Corel. There must be a way to bring the whole crop in and resize the view to fit the display keeping all of the pixels. InDesign and Frontpage both have you draw a box where you want the image. Import the whole thing and part is not showing because it is too big for the box. There is a command up in one of the menus to fit the image to the box. It keeps all of the pixels when it does that and reduces the image display to just fill the box.

In Photoshop I would drag the image in. That makes it a separate layer with sizing boxes on the corners and sides. I hold the shift key and drag one of the corners in until it is the right size – the shift key keeps the proportions. It doesn't resize the image when I do that either – just how it displays. The smaller I make it the higher the PPI.

One of those approaches probably works in Corel. If not, there has to be a way to resize it in the document without losing pixels in the image.


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Old Jul 6, 2005, 6:09 PM   #4
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Hello Wildman,
Thanks for the response.

I used the "macro" feature to maximize the pixels of the subject. But contrary to my expectations this seems to make things worse as once the picture is *resized* to 25% or less to fit the brochure...yuck! occurs.

I generally use Firehand Ember to resize the pics but then used CorelDRAW itself, to reduce the images, and Adobe PhotoShop. Same results each time.

If I print typical scenes, portraits, the dog, etc. onto 8-1/2 by 11: Deskjet 970Cse I get pictures I'm quite happy with. But then I'm not trying to show fine lettering and sharp corners in a close up of a product.
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Old Jul 6, 2005, 6:13 PM   #5
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Whoa slipe! Thanks for the suggestion I will give it a try! I was "importing" the 'jpg' which in Corel plops it into the drawing where you then drag it bigger and smaller but I will look into it in more depth..
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Old Jul 6, 2005, 6:13 PM   #6
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Anytime you resize an image, you lose quality. There is no way to avoid it When you reduce the size of an image, the pixels don't get any smaller. Rather, there are fewer of them. Removing pixels reduces quality.

I think your best approach would be to frame the shot so that the object you are shooting comes out the right size after cropping. Cropping removes pixels from outside the cropped area but preserves the resolution of the cropped area. You may have to experiment with different zoom settings or different distances from the subject.

Shoot in RAW mode if your camera supports it. Using jpeg even with minimum compression loses some quality. Another downside of jpeg is that every time you load a jpeg image, edit it, and resave, you loose more quality.

Good luck.

Cal Rasmussen

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Old Jul 6, 2005, 6:52 PM   #7
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Quote:
Anytime you resize an image, you lose quality. There is no way to avoid it When you reduce the size of an image, the pixels don't get any smaller. Rather, there are fewer of them. Removing pixels reduces quality.
That isn't necessarily true for what kcress is trying to do. Think of his having a letter sized piece of paper with a place for a picture. He (or she) prints the picture at default and it is too big. By making the print size smaller without a resample so it fits in the box the image hasn't actually resized. The same sized image just produces a higher PPI in a smaller print.

You are doing effectively the same thing in both InDesign and Frontpage. When you tell the program to fit the image to the box it keeps the pixels – at least up to some fairly high PPI. With Photoshop you accomplish the same thing by making the document you drag the image into the right PPI in the first place. If you have to make the image you import larger to fit the space it keeps all of its pixels. If you have to make it a little smaller you still have enough PPI to print because you determined that in the original document PPI.


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Old Jul 6, 2005, 10:11 PM   #8
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slipe has got it.
You can resize an image to be printed downwards and actually get higher resolution. If you reduce your document size in an image editor without affecting your pixel count, the printed resolution goes up proportionally with the size reduction because you're just cramming the existing pixels into a smaller area.
If you downsample the image, you throw out pixels (image information) and the quality suffers.
Kcress just needs to reduce the printed size of his image to retain good quality. I'm not familiar with CorelDraw, but he could run into a situation where the image resolution is seen as too high by the program and it might automatically resample the image to a lower resolution that it can work with. If it does this, and the result is not good enough, kcress can shoot the image at a lower in-camera resolution producing a final document size/resolution that his program finds acceptable.
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Old Jul 7, 2005, 4:45 AM   #9
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You mentioned resizing in photoshop. If you do this make sure the resample image box is unchecked. This way all you are doing is altering the print output size and increasing the pixels per inch it will print at. If you leave the resample image box checked and downsize you discard pixels to downsize the picture.
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Old Jul 8, 2005, 1:28 PM   #10
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Thanks for the suggestions. I've changed cameras to my E-20N. Gone to BRIGHT light with fill in flash. I am using the 2560X1920 TIFF format. I then crop down to just what part of the shot I'm interested in: 1248X1378.

Seems CorelDraw12 is taking exception to my my 1248X1378 TIFF image and is declaring it to be 124.799 inches wide and 57.4 inches high... sigh. So I have opened the image in Ember and resaved it as a Windows bitmap. Then CD12 took the image in as 17.33" W and 19.14"H. (correct aspect ratio anyway)?

Then Iwent to BITMAP>EDIT>IMAGE>RESAMPLEand told it to maintain aspect ratio and to change from 72DPI to 300DPI. The image stayed the same size.

I then did the same thing to this new 300DPI image except instead of messing with the DPI, I now changed image size down to what I needed, something in the 5.x" X 5.x. This seems to have done what you guys are suggesting and just to check if I go to print the document I no longer get the sub 72DPI complaint. Looks good on screen too!

Thanks.
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