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DPI workflow for compositing and printing

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Ben Bigelow
DPI workflow for compositing and printing
on Jul 13, 2009 at 9:34:13 pm


I'm about to prepare a composite image for print and I could use some advice on a proper DPI workflow. The final image size to be printed is 20" x 30" at 400dpi, Lambda C print.

The image I am making is essentially a collage of video stills...these stills exist as TGA 1440x810. These default to 72 dpi when exported from AE.

If I bring these targas into the 20x30 400dpi photoshop document, they are far too small for my composting purposes.

Therefore, should I composite in photoshop with the 20"x30" document set at 72 dpi, and then scale up to 400dpi when I'm finished? Or should I make the targas 400dpi in phoroshop first and then drop them into the larger document? (seems like no final difference, except that I'm then working with larger files)

Also, I noticed that photoshop doesn't explicitly have a "dpi" setting, rather "ppi." Can I take a 72ppi document in photoshop and save it as 400dpi without expanding my resolution?

Thanks a bunch in advance!

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Richard Harrington
Re: DPI workflow for compositing and printing
on Jul 15, 2009 at 2:38:07 am

Short answer.

There is no way in heck to blow up postage stamps to a fine art print.

A video frame

TGA 1440x810 (have no idea where that size came from)

at 400 ppi = about 3.5 X 2 inches

SO.... if you are making a collage that has seven rows across and 15 high, you are all set.

But I suspect you don't

ALSO... if you plan on working at 20 x 30 and 400 ppi.... I hope you have a fast computer, a huge scratch disk, and a hell of a lot of RAM.

Richard M. Harrington, PMP

Author: Photoshop for Video, Understanding Adobe Photoshop, Final Cut Studio On the Spot and ATS:iWork

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Ben Bigelow
Re: DPI workflow for compositing and printing
on Jul 15, 2009 at 4:54:34 pm

hah yeah I figured there was no way around it.

The printer takes 200dpi, so that will help some.

Thanks for the advice.

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