Join Deke McClelland for an in-depth discussion in this video Saving large poster art, part of Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Advanced.
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All right, at the risk of overstaying my welcome here, I had promised those of you who are not planning on sending your files out for commercial reproduction, and you don't have access to a PostScript output device. What do you do if you want to expand the size of this file, and let's say you want to print it as a piece of poster art? And by the way this works not only for your posters, but your billboards and your big huge images that you want to plaster on the side of a bus and all of that big huge artwork. What do you do in that case? Well, you do, like so.
You go ahead and grab your Alternate ending.psd file and then you go up to the Image menu and you go ahead and choose the Image Size command or press Ctrl+Alt+I, Command+Option+I on the Mac, and this is very important that we go ahead and up sample. We're going to up sample this time around. We're up sampling from the layered version of the file. So this is going to be potentially a very time-consuming process depending on how far we up sample. We're going to go ahead and take this file size way up. I'm going to increase the width of my image from 7 3/4" and notice that the height is currently 10 3/4".
I'm going to raise that width value with 31 inches, which takes the height to 43 inches, and I'm going to increase the resolution to 300 pixels per inch. Now I could go even farther than that if I needed to. However, this is about as far as we want to push things if you want to see anything happen inside of this video. Otherwise it's going to take a very long time to render. But notice my pixel dimensions are going to leap from 13.7MB to 343.2MB. That's a 25 x increase. So in other words, we're quintupling the width of the file and quintupling the height of the file as well.
So the entire file is going to be 25 times its previous size. Now you definitely want to re-sample the image. That's imperative. You definitely want to constrain the proportions and you want to scale your styles too. Now you are going to want to check up on your layer effects if you were to really do this with one of your own files. You'd want to follow-up on your layer effects and make sure they all got scaled properly, because not everything necessarily scales away, it ought to, and there are certain maximums associated with the size of a drop shadow, for example, it can't grow beyond, I think it's 250 pixels.
So you'll have to look into those just to make sure they work. I would also recommend by the way depending on what your time constraint is, where the up sampling processes concerned. If you can wait a few minutes, if you walk away from your computer and come back, why then you can leave it set to bi-cubic. There's no reason by the way to change it to bi-cubic smoother, which is not best for enlargement and there's no reason to choose bi-cubic sharper either. Bi-cubic would just be in case you wanted to interpolate the pixels inside of your photographic images. However, in my case, I'm going to leave those pixels alone.
So I'm just going to grow every single pixel inside of my image to a 25-pixel block. That is five pixels wide by five pixels tall, and that's been work out just fine for our purposes. This interpolation setting has no effect on our editable text or our vector base shape outlines. So those layers will scale as vectors. Anyway, go ahead and choose Nearest Neighbor in our case. It will just speed things up, and click OK, and then notice that actually Photoshop is whipping through the progress here on this specific machine. On your machine it may end up going a little slower.
And then assuming that all of the layer effects have worked out, and the only layer effect that I'm actually concerned about is my pattern here. I just want to make sure that that pattern went ahead and scaled inside of 365, and let's just check. I actually don't know the answer to this question until I check it out. I went ahead and twirled open the 365 bunch here, and I will reveal the layer effects associated with the 365 layer; that is those numbers right there that we're seeing onscreen. And I'm going to double-click on Pattern Overlay, and it went ahead and scaled the pattern to 1000%.
Well, I believe I had scaled the pattern to 400% in the first place. So I would've hoped it would have taken it up to 2000%, because 400 times 5 not 25, just 5 for five times the width, five times the height. But apparently it maxes out at 1000%. So that's the best I'm going to do. Anyway, I'll cancel out. If that's the best I can do, that's the best I can do. And let's go ahead now and flatten the image, because we don't really need the layers all this big, do we? Think about it. We already have the PSD file that's got all the rich information, this alternate ending.psd file at whatever resolution it was set to.
The resolution was big enough to accommodate the image data. That's as much resolution as we need. Where the vector-based data is concerned, that's resolution independent, so we don't need to have this big ginormous layered file to accommodate all that information. We can go ahead and go up to the layer menu and choose the Flatten Image command or if you loaded my DekeKeys you can press Ctrl+Shift+Alt+F, Command+Shift+Option+F on the Mac. You'll be asked if you want to discard the hidden layers. Yes, they're hidden after all. They make no contribution to the flat version of the file. Photoshop's going to do its thing here, obviously, where it flattens the image.
So it's merging all of the various different layers and the layer affects and those vector-based outlines in order to calculate the new merged pixels inside the image, and then what you would do, as you go up to the File menu, choose the Save As command, not Save, because you'd overwrite your original image with its layers. That would be a bad thing. Choose the Save As command Ctrl+Shift+S, Command+Shift+S on the Mac, and I would recommend for this image that you go ahead and choose the TIFF format right there. And by the way, we don't need the need the Alpha Channel.
In fact, you know what, cancel out for a moment. We didn't get rid of the Alpha Channel. I'll go over to the Channels panel, and I'll grab this Alpha Channel and throw it in the trash, because all we have now where the Alpha Channel is concerned is a Nearest Neighbor Interpolation of that channel, which means we're just going to have big huge pixels. Once I zoom in to 100%, notice these big chunky pixels that I'm seeing. What's the point of keeping that around? Let's throw that away. We already have a good version of it inside of that original PSD file. We don't really need to pass either.
If you wanted to dispose off those guys you could, but they don't take up any space. So I'll go and zoom out once again a little bit, anyway, go up to the File menu, choose the Save As command, Ctrl+Shift+S, Command+Shift+S on a Mac and then switch to the TIFF file format, like so. And you may well wonder why didn't I just go ahead and turn off the Alpha Channels inside the dialog box instead of canceling out, going to the channels panel and manually throwing the channel away. Well, if I would have done that, then I would've saved a copy, then I would still be working inside of a file called Alternate ending.psd, which means if I did press Ctrl+S to update anything or Command+S on the Mac, then I would overwrite my original layers which would be a tragedy.
I want to make sure that I have a direct link between the file I'm working on and the file on disk. And I'm going to go and call this thing 31x 43x300ppi, and you may ask me, hey Deke, if you actually do that math, the size of our image is 31 inches wide. It was 7.75 inches wide before. 7.75 times 4 is 31, and 10.75 which was the height times 4 is 43. So why do you keep telling us it's five times the width and five-time the height, when it's only four times the width and four times the height? Well, we also scaled the resolution from 240 to 300 pixels per inch.
That also factors into the equation. All right, so I'm going to click the Save button in order to save off that ginormous TIFF file. Yes, I want LZW Image Compression definitely. Change it to LZW if it's set to none. Leave Pixel Order set to interleaved, leave Byte Orders set to whatever, IBM PC, Macintosh, doesn't matter, regardless of platform, click OK, and you will have saved off a TIFF version of that flattened high-resolution file. At least it's a very large file, and you can now print it as a piece of poster art, and once again, all that information looks just awesome.
This is 50% by the way. We're not zoomed all the way in, and the hair information is blending with that letter, just find the base of the U right there, and there are some more hair blending with the other side of the U. There are some hair blending in with the O, I believe and then down here, remember that little bit of highlight that I had left in. Oh, why don't we go and take care of that problem, because we are working on the pixels now. I'll grab my Lasso tool by pressing the L key, and I'll Alt+Click or Option+Click around this region just ever so gently like so, and I'll go up to the Select menu and choose Modify and choose Feather, and let's go ahead and give it 0.5 pixels of feather radius, just a tiny bit.
That looks a little bit too high. So I'm going to press the down arrow key to nudge it down, and then I'll press Ctrl+H, Command+H on the Mac to hide that selection for a moment. I'll grab my Burn tool right there. He should work out nicely, and I will increase the size of my cursor just a little bit. I've got a soft brush that's good, and I'll paint inside of that shadow in order to darken it up a little bit. Saturation is a little high over there at this point I think. Actually I'm going to take a more ginger sort of approach to it.
All right, that looks good to me. So we can make that kind modification if the problem is still bothering me, why then I can fix it here inside a Photoshop, because it is the best pixel manipulating program on the planet, and not only that - it's the best program for blending photographic images along with editable text and vector-based shape outlines that the world has ever seen.
Recommended prerequisite: Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Fundamentals.
- Using blend modes, adjustment layers, and layer styles
- Organizing a layered composition so it is fluid and editable
- Creating and editing type in Photoshop
- Using blur effectively
- Using adjustment layers to add color
- Combining layers into a clipping mask
- Working with Camera Raw