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Old 01-12-2008, 09:17 PM
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fiatlux fiatlux is offline
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Re: Software for Artists


It's not only what software but how to use the software we have.

I think the two most important things you could communicate is how to print out a "tiled" image and how to combine two scans. These are opposite actions, one is getting a big thing out of the computer and one is getting a big thing in the computer without using unnecessary expensive equipment.

A "tiled" image is one that is printed by your ordinary printer which usually prints on letter size paper, but when "tiled" the image is printed out on as many sheets of 8x11 paper as is necessary with lines along the edges for where to align the sheets of paper, cut them, and tape them together. The 8x11 sheets of paper are like tiles hence the name. This is useful, for example, when you have an image on your computer of something you want to transfer to a large support. For example, you might have taken a photo of something you want to paint. You want it on an 18 by 24 canvas. Therefore you need to print an 18x24 image to modify and then trace or use transfer paper or even simple square off to get it on the support. (By the way, it might be a good ideas to change it to grayscale to save ink and leave the original on the computer to see the colors.)

In the Adobe world this is done in InDesign. You have to size the image in Photoshop and move your image from where it is saved to a blank page of the right size InDesign using the InDesign command PLACE. Then you choose Print and then change from "General" to "Setup" on the printing window that appears. Down at the bottom of the Setup screen is "tile". Click on it. That's it. Then hit print and get a cup of coffee while your prints goes to work. Of course, this is all in the Help menu. All the other program like InDesign have the same tiling capacity. Photoshop does not.

Combining two scans is not as readily visible in the help menus. You will want to do this because the available scanners all use letter size paper and to get a scanner that take bigger originals is phenomenally more expensive although usually found in architects' offices. In this case, you have a large original on paper which you want to get into your computer. For example, you might want to make multiples of something you have done and don't want to photograph it. You might want to modify something you're done in photoshop creating a kind of mixed media work. Photoshop does very nice large scale gradients so you could quickly get in a gorgeous sky and, if you don't like it, change it. This is the type of thing, incidentally, that is done all the time for architectural rendering where time is an issue.

Here is a brief set of steps to do so in Photoshop assuming you have an image that is twice as big as can scan using your equipment.

1. scan both halves of the image into photoshop thus getting two scans, one one half and the other the remaining half.
2. pick one image (one half) and enlarge its canvas size (not the image size) to accommodate both scans.
3. move the image with the enlarged and mostly empty canvas to one side making room for the other scan in the empty space.
4. Using the move tool drag one image over the other. Photoshop will put it in its own layer.
5. On the layer palette with the newly created layer selected as the active layer, click and hold the Layer Blending Modes button (which will probably say "normal") and change it to "difference". Photoshop will now display the
difference between the two layers by reversing colors. It's very strange looking.
6. Move one image over the other until Photoshop doesn't reveal any difference. This means the two halves are now perfectly aligned.

7. Switch the layer blending mode back to normal
8. Use the layers palette pull-out arrow (upper right hand corner) to select "Merge Down" or use "Layer>Flatten Image.

You now have one image that combines both scans.

I know the last type of job is a bit difficult to understand. I could make screen shots of each stage if you think you want to pursue this. If you do, go to my profile and e-mail a message to me for the quickest response.


Richard Rabkin

Last edited by Oldthumbs : 01-13-2008 at 12:13 PM.