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Photo-Based Art Emulating natural-media painting techniques

Impressionist-max print size using default brushes

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  #1  
Old 12-08-2009, 02:25 AM
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macca2009 macca2009 is offline
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Impressionist-max print size using default brushes

I'm trying out the Impressionist plug in and would like to know approx how big our paintings from this plug-in can be printed at a good quality.

I think some of the brushes are a small resolution from looking at them on screen, but if any of you have printed your paintings from this great plug in any advice will be greatly appreciated.

Many Thanks
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Old 12-09-2009, 06:49 AM
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DannyRaphael DannyRaphael is offline
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re: Impressionist-max print size using default brushes

I have printed as large as 16"x20" and could have gone larger. As a rule I usually apply some-to-alot of sharpening and/or a Photoshop filter like Spatter onto a copy of the 'final' art layer to "rough up" the outcome a little.

I also work at no less than 200 ppi - even for large paintings - and always print on "canvas" (via online print service, Mpix.com in my case).

I hope that helps...
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Old 12-09-2009, 01:49 PM
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Re: Impressionist-max print size using default bru

I have also printed some of mine large, as large as 20 x 30 inches. I have used Mpix.com as well as the folks that work with flickr.com and have had excellent results. I too make my files at 200 ppi.

I always try to work at the actual print size so I know what the end result ought to be.
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Old 12-09-2009, 03:11 PM
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Re: Impressionist-max print size using default bru

Thats good to know, I just thought as the brushes seem to be very small in file size that may affect the painting resolution.
If we imported even bigger brushes (as tiffs), would we get even better quality prints or no difference?
Sorry i'm new to all this file and brush size, resolution etc, but am hoping to do a very large print on photo paper.
Thanks for your assistance.
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Old 12-10-2009, 10:36 AM
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Re: Impressionist-max print size using default bru

One can "do" a large print and then select a smaller portion of it and print just that portion to see how "things" are holding up.
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Old 12-12-2009, 11:00 AM
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Re: Impressionist-max print size using default bru

Quote:
Originally Posted by macca2009 View Post
If we imported even bigger brushes (as tiffs), would we get even better quality prints or no difference?
re: "Better quality"


It would be helpful if you could upload examples of output that are falling short of your needs.expectations. They don’t have to be the entire painting... crop it down and upload about 8"x8" sections.

It would also be helpful to know the characteristics of the original image, e.g., 9"x14" at 300 ppi -- or whatever, and the same information for the enlarged file.

- - - - - -

This probably does not apply to you, but for the benefit of others here's a situation where some folks get into trouble.

My first generation digital camera produced (approximately) 6 MP images, something like 16"x24" 72 ppi, which looked fine printed at 4"x6". A 16"x24" print from the same image file would have looked pretty bad (very pixelated/blury).

The same not-so-good quality would result if one tried to print a 16"x24" 72 ppi "arty version."

To get around this I would use Photoshop's Image Size command (resample "off") to convert the 16"x24" 72 ppi image to 4"x6", resulting in a 288 ppi image. I would use Image Size again: (resample "on," ppi = 200 and width/height to, say 24"x36". Then I would start applying arty effects. Normally enlarging in this fashion (resampling) is a big “No no” for photos, but for art it’s perfectly O.K.

- - - - - -

Back to your question about Impressionist brush sizes...

If we imported even bigger brushes (as tiffs), would we get even better quality prints or no difference?

Short answer: Based on my unscientific tests using the Charcoal > Default variant on one image, it appears under the right conditions output quality can be improved through brush modification.

Open the attachment below for test results and more detail on settings, etc.

Slice
..1 - Original image (zoomed to 200%)
..2 - Duplicate of original layer. Impressionist Charcoal > Default applied. Result looks a little soft.
..3 - Unsharp Mask was applied to a duplicate of the Charcoal > Default layer. To me this looks a little better.
..4 - Duplicate of original layer. Impressionist Charcoal > Default applied using modified brush##. From a "nose-to-monitor" viewing distance of about 8 inches these results look better to me (in terms of stroke definition) than slices 2 and 3.

In retrospect it would have been interesting to have experimented using other brushes and to have created three test brushes:
1. Larger and sharpened
2. Larger only
3. Original size, but sharpened

As is I dont know if applying a "sharpened only" brush image would have yielded results better/the same/not as good as the "enlarged and sharpened" brush image.

Perhaps another day.

In any event it was a fun exercise. Thanks for asking.

- - - - - -

##
From Impressionist's \Brushes folder I opened the .tif file used by Charcoal > Default. (To determine the file name, open Impressionist, chose the Charcoal > Default variant, click “More choices” and chose Brush from the dropdown menu.) Then, using Photoshop’s Image > Image size command, brush width was changed to 3" (the height was automatically adjusted). The 3” stroke image looked a little soft around the edges so I applied some Unsharp Mask. Unfortunately I did not record the USM settings, but I’m guessing 100, 1.0, 0 is close. Finally I saved the modified .tif file in \Brushes with a different file name.

Charcoal > Default was specified again. After clicking “More choices” and chosing Brush from the dropdown menu I clicked “custom” and navigated to/clicked on the file name of the modified brush.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Impressionist test - bigger brush test results.jpg (198.0 KB, 15 views)
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Old 12-12-2009, 02:30 PM
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Re: Impressionist-max print size using default bru

I have a tip for enlarging smaller images up to poster sizes that look good. I can't recall where I read this but it appears to be true since I have used it many times. One needs to go to the image size area and change the dpi to 360 and then change the physical dimension upward. I have taken an 8 x 10 and made it into a 20 x 30 inch poster and it looked as good or better that the original. The article I read proffered that it might have something to do with the formula, mathematics, etc.

In other words nobody knows why it works, just that it does, even tho experts say it shouldn't.
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