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Scaling down images smoothly for decals

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  • Member since
    June, 2016
Scaling down images smoothly for decals
Posted by Murphy's Law on Saturday, May 19, 2018 6:38 PM

I have an image that I am trying to scale down to about .125”x.500 for a decal and its coming out with very rough edges. The image is very crisp at full size but gets very pixalated scaled down. Is there a way to get images scaled down small and looking smooth? I am using photoshop (although I’m not very proficient with it).

  • Member since
    April, 2006
  • From: ON, Canada
Posted by jgeratic on Saturday, May 19, 2018 9:03 PM

Try changing the original image to 600 dpi (or more if your system can handle it).  Hopefully there is an option to retain the original dimensions at the same time.

regards,

Jack

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Saturday, May 19, 2018 9:05 PM

That's odd. Making ir smaller should not hurt resolution. In what form do the ragged edges appear? In photoshop on the screen? In a pdf or jpeg on the screen? Or when printed as a decal?

If it's the latter, the problem might be the printer software.

  • Member since
    June, 2017
  • From: Winter Park, FL
Posted by fotofrank on Sunday, May 20, 2018 6:51 AM

Is your art a vector image or is it rasterized? A vector art image will reduce or enlarge nicely. No problems. If the image is rasterized, like a .jpg, you will have issues with a ragged image, even if your are reducing the image. jgeratic is correct in suggesting that you increase your printer output resolution. That should help some. Since you are using Photoshop, are you using the latest version? If so, you should be able to convert a raster art image to vector art. That may help too.

OK. On the bench:

Way too much to build in one lifetime...

  • Member since
    June, 2016
Posted by Murphy's Law on Sunday, May 20, 2018 12:45 PM
First off thanks for the replies, I took the advice of Jack and Frank. I changed my printer output to 600 dpi and I was able to change the jpeg to a vector. It now looks perfect. Thanks for the help guys.
  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Monday, May 21, 2018 9:01 AM

Here are some general tips for scaling, both down and up.  The resolution of both the original image, and your printing resolution are important.

If scaling up, for a larger decal, the image resolution is most important, though. If it lacks resolution, this can be a hard problem- more on that later.

Scaling down is usually not an image resolution problem.  However, printer resolution can be a problem.  Use some simple math, though.  Take the image resolution in pixels per inch, and divide by the scaling ratio.  You must print at at least that much resolution.  Small decals require high printing resolution.

The hardest problem is printing larger.  There the original image must be hi res.  Now some graphics programs can do a fair job of increasing resolution when you resize.  You can set the pixels per inch to a higher value than a regular resize.  If your software allows you to set options on the algorithm used in a resize, play with that.

Otherwise you have to become an artist to improve the image.  First try using the resize function to just increase pixels per inch.  Then try the programs sharpening function and any resize options.  Finally, take the resized and higher pixel image, set your paint brush size to one pixel, and go at at by hand in bad areas.

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    June, 2016
Posted by Murphy's Law on Monday, May 21, 2018 10:32 AM
Thanks Don, I just started playing around with my own decals... this will help me out
  • Member since
    June, 2017
  • From: Winter Park, FL
Posted by fotofrank on Wednesday, May 23, 2018 8:26 PM

When I want to enlarge one of my digital photographs I use the "10% rule." I read about this technique some years ago. When scaling up, enlarge the image 10% at a time. This allows Photoshop to extrapolate and fill in the gaps of the jpg image and pretty much maintain clarity of the image. This takes a while but the results are generally OK.

OK. On the bench:

Way too much to build in one lifetime...

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