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Mezzogram

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  #1  
Old 02-14-2011, 09:18 PM
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Mezzogram

Years ago in the printing/publishing field there used to to be companies who specialized in something called a mezzogram. RM might remember these. They were sort of a cross between a line drawing and a mezzotint. The hard, sharp defined edges of an image's details were solid and line-like, while the tonal areas were created with a mezzo tint. Sometimes the tint dots actually bent to follow the image's tonal contours like an engraving or etching. I am being asked to do this with an image or two - not the image I posted (actually a city skyline), but it was what I had at hand - and is about how I might handle it.

Does anyone know of a better technique or even software for doing this? Thanks.

PS. Since the image is made up of dots it is meant to be viewed at 100% or it will break apart. Part of this process requires that you create the effects at the intended print size or otherwise your patterns and screens will shrink or enlarge along with the image.
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Old 02-14-2011, 11:40 PM
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Re: Mezzogram

Here is one method. You will need to flows, so begin with Image > Duplicate.
The 1st copy will be the sketch. Desaturate the background, Ctrl J to copy it to a new layer, invert that new layer, change the layer blend mode to Color Dodge. The image will look completely white or it may have a patch of black here or there. Next apply a gaussian blur of about 2 pixels (will vary depending on your image resol). You will have the base of a sketch. You can paint on the top layer with a black brush a very low opacity (2%) on the edges or other areas to accentuate them. OK, now swict over to the duplicate image. Go Image > Mode > Indexed. Choose Uniform, 3 colors, options should be Diffusion and default 75% dither is OK. Now select all and copy and paste on top of your sketch. Change the blend mode to Color Burn or Hard Mix. You may need to lower the resolution of the 2nd image before you index it.
Regards, Murray
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Old 02-15-2011, 01:31 AM
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Re: Mezzogram

I remember that effect - we called them Schafline images. Great for newsprint advertising where photos of highly textured products such as car tyre treads, cameras, etc would be too subtle for half tone. It used to involve a lot of airbrushing, I recall, before the screens were applied. In the UK the Schafline process was franchised so I never went beyond outsourcing it.

Here's useful link though:
http://andromeda.com/main/screens.php

R.
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Old 02-15-2011, 10:02 PM
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Re: Mezzogram

Thanks folks. Yes, RM... that is exactly where you would see them most. They were sort of franchised here also - only a few places that you could get them - at least good ones. MM - that was very helpful and actually used it with a combination of another technique, to get close to what I wanted. Took me all morning to get three images done. I thought they looked great, the Designer loved them and the Art Director approved. Went across the Creative Director's desk and she canned the whole thing. Back to simple halftones!!! Oh well... I get paid every 2 weeks.
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Old 02-16-2011, 07:08 PM
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Re: Mezzogram

Looks like stippling to me. Many ways to create this. Simplist in GIMP is to just convert to 1-bit Floyed Steinberg. Can get better results using Flaming Pear's India Ink filter.
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Old 02-23-2015, 09:08 AM
Aquarius4 Aquarius4 is offline
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Re: Mezzogram

A little out of date this but to Repairman who remembers Schafline I just wanted to say it was something we produced at Filmstars Studio in the Uk... back in the day using 14 sheets of film, retouching and many techniques. A very laborious technique but when used in newspapers demanding 65 screens it really was the only way to get a decent halftone that would allow the reader to see all the type and shapes clearly. Always worked best on packaging... perfect for supermarkets and cars.

We did create a way of producing it on Macs which was much more versatile than film but unfortunately no-one wants it any more so I only occasionally use it for clients to enhance a job.

Great to here someone remembers it.
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Old 02-23-2015, 01:40 PM
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Re: Mezzogram

We used to use it for Yamaha bikes ads in MotorCycleNews - man that paper was porous! I was on the art direction side then but always admired the technique. Are you still in the imaging game?
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Old 02-24-2015, 03:32 AM
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Re: Mezzogram

Hi, I can imagine bikes looking great. We did a lot of cars for the local agencies throughout the South East. I'm more involved in design rather than repro now. We were originally a design agency that had need of Schafline so often that my then boss bought into the franchise as a sideline. Oddly I have just picked up a client and part of the pitch incorporated Schafs... well our co,mputer generated version which we always thought was better than the original film version... paint the wrong line out doing that and you were having to go through the film again and agin!!!!
Are you still in the game?
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Old 02-24-2015, 11:14 AM
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Re: Mezzogram

Yep, still shifting pixels. I bought a Paintbox system in the 90's and used that until Mac's moved the game along. Can you send a link to computer generated 'Schafs' - I'd be interested to see samples.
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