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View Full Version : large canvases with painter - way too slow


cunparis
01-28-2006, 12:03 PM
I created a image in photoshop and put 9x12" at 300 dpi. This would allow me to print the image at 9x12" at a good quality. I then got the pixel dimensions which are 3600x2700 and created a canvas of that size in Painter. I find that the acrylic & oil brushes are way too slow to be useful, especially when using a large brush. I have an Athlon64 3000 CPU and 1 gig of ram so I don't think that it is because of my PC. I'm curious if others use canvas sizes this large and if you have this slow response? I'm using Corel Painter 9.1. If I use a small canvas, like 1000x800 it's fast. But that's not going to print at a good quality.

-Michael

krispee
01-28-2006, 12:47 PM
you`ve answered yourself there really, cunparus, there is no getting around it....you want decent res then you have to pay for it with slower response times.......
i`m working on 5000x1800 x 300dpi image.....and it is hard on the computers resources, i have a twin processor and it is still very slow when using large brushes.....
just how it is.....
krispee

Chiers
01-28-2006, 01:07 PM
How large a brush are you using? My puter has only 512 mem and I really have no problem with lag until I get up over 100 in brush size. I haven't really had the need touse that large a brush very many times. Just to make sure I just opened a 14"x16" x300ppi canvas and had no problem.

Of course when you start adding layers that will make a difference too. Also, what % is your canvas at while your painting? That makes a difference. You may get lag if you are painting with your canvas at 25%, but not at 100%. Also the size of your brush as compared to the size of the canvas percentage can make a difference.

As far as printing goes, if you are going to send out to have it done that's one thing but if you are going to print out at home then the majority of inkjet printers will print very nicely at 150dpi/ppi! You really don't need to paint at 300ppi for that.

Chiers
01-28-2006, 01:17 PM
Oh, one solution for lag with big brushes is start out with a lower ppi canvas to do the large brush work then resize it to do the more detailed work.

cunparis
01-28-2006, 01:48 PM
Oh, one solution for lag with big brushes is start out with a lower ppi canvas to do the large brush work then resize it to do the more detailed work.

I think this is going to be the solution. My usual approach with real paints is:

- tone canvas
- very rough sketch in major forms to work out composition
- block in colors
- refine

It sounds like I could do the first 2 and possibly 3 in a lower resolution file and then resize it for the last part. I'm going to give that a try. I know I can use small canvas sizes but I really want to use something that prints to my normal canvas size so that if I get something I like I can order a print from an online photolab.

Thanks for the tip. It's taking a lot of getting used to, making the transition from real paints to digital. But so far it's fun & interesting.

-Michael

Chiers
01-28-2006, 02:03 PM
Your welcome Michael. Yes it takes a bit of learning to go from traditional to digital but it's worth the effort. Digital has some very distinct advantages too. Now when I paint with real paint I find myself always wanting to hit the undo, or wishing I could paint in actual layers. For me it's just one more medium albeit a virtual one.

fugitive
01-28-2006, 05:49 PM
my 2 cents 1. paint is not a photo, and doesn't need that kinda re I've read a lot on printing and 150 will dupe any nice caledar, witch are usually photos. The pixels make no difference untill printed, so they can be jacked up at the end, one could also choose then, to enlarge the picture.

JCoop
01-28-2006, 10:57 PM
Michael, the quality of your graphics card is a factor that will impact screen redraw. You might want to spec yours out to see if it's up to the challenge.

Also, keep in mind that 300dpi is a resolution usually reserved for offset printing presses. If you are reproducing your paintings on inkjet machines (which most every artist is), then anything over 150dpi at your final output dimensions is a waste.

Good luck.:)

Chiers
01-29-2006, 03:17 AM
Greg, you are correct in saying that until printed pixels make no difference but there is a difference if you intend to print and I'm afraid, although I cannot explain it here it has been explained to me why you cannot just raise the ppi/dpi on a finished painting and get the same result as painting at the proper, for printing ppi in the first place. I would highly recommend anyone who is intending to print there work to paint at least 150 ppi/dpi.

cunparis
01-29-2006, 03:23 AM
Michael, the quality of your graphics card is a factor that will impact screen redraw. You might want to spec yours out to see if it's up to the challenge.


When I draw in Painter the CPU of my PC goes up to 100% so I'm not sure how to find out if a new graphics card could help without buying one to try it out.


Also, keep in mind that 300dpi is a resolution usually reserved for offset printing presses. If you are reproducing your paintings on inkjet machines (which most every artist is), then anything over 150dpi at your final output dimensions is a waste.

Good luck.:)

I'm not convinced about this. I use a program called QImage to print my photos, and they have test images you can print, one at 300 dpi & one at 600 dpi (or 720 for Epson). I printed them on the laser printer at work (600 dpi) and I could tell a difference. Try it yourself, it'd be interesting to see your results:

http://www.ddisoftware.com/qimage/quality/

Finally, I just tried resizing one of my paintings and it does resize better than a photograph but it does get blurry. Sharpening then introduces a bit of noise. I guess I'll have to do some tests, like order the same painting in several sizes to see if upsizing is noticeable. I plan to order prints from an online printing company, which can use watercolor type textured paper. I know I could do it with my ink jet but I think it's cheaper to order online from a lab like I do for my photos.

-Michael

cunparis
01-29-2006, 03:54 AM
A discussion on video cards here (http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?t=179715) seems to indicate that a better video card won't make a difference, that they increase performance for 3d applications.

I just checked and my video card is actually pretty good: AGP plus, 128 meg ram, etc.

I think I will add 1 more gig of RAM which will put me at 2 gigs. When I look at my task manager I'm often at 1.5 gigs PF usage. which means I am probably swapping.

barryt
01-29-2006, 07:56 AM
Thanks Michael. I downloaded the test sheets and printed them off. With the image of the fly, I can see a difference in each image, though not a lot between the 720 and 360. It is obvious though on screen if you zoom in.
With the gray scale, it was very interesting. The jagged line on on test C was noticeable on all except the 720ppi. I think for the moment I will still work at around A4 size at 300ppi. and print at 720 or 1440. Resizing A4 to A3 and then printing seems to work for me

Einion
01-29-2006, 10:59 AM
Hi Michael, is that you in the new avatar? Large brushes are slow in Painter, no way around this unless you have a real monster of a machine.

Working broadly at a smaller pixel dimension and then enlarging to do finer touches as recommended above is a good workaround but you'll encounter problems with canvas texture (the relation of this to image resolution, as well as the softness you've already mentioned) so it won't work universally; still, it may be the only alternative unless you want to buy a better machine.

By the way, the amount or RAM you have isn't necessarily any guide to speed because some operations are independant of memory. For those that are the quality of the RAM is important too - bottom line, cheap chips run slower.

I created a image in photoshop and put 9x12" at 300 dpi. This would allow me to print the image at 9x12" at a good quality.
9" x 12" at 300ppi is a pretty big file by most any standard! :) As already covered this resolution isn't generally necessary for colour prints at the image size. I was going to recommend you try some comparison prints of the same image from between maybe 125 and 230ppi to compare. Photo-quality printing isn't necessarily the ideal method for outputting of this sort of image, you know giclees right? They're often output at only ~200, ultra-high resolutions like 600ppi shouldn't be required for anything printed at actual size.


The pixels make no difference untill printed, so they can be jacked up at the end, one could also choose then, to enlarge the picture.
That's not quite right - you can't get definition back that wasn't there to begin with or has been lost (except in CSI :D). With continuous-tone images you can get away with a lot than you can't with something featuring a lot of sharp edges - like a photo of a building - but image detail is all about edges, it can be important to how brushwork and/or texture looks, as well as any subject definition within the painted image itself.

How you enlarge is also important: different software will give you different qualities doing the same resizing jobs; current versions of Photoshop having new options for this for instance to maximise quality depending on what exactly you want to favour.

Einion