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Not printing complete pic due to file size/resolution?

Using PS 6 & W2K, I print digi-cam photos frequently.  Since they are taken at a high resolution on my Sony camera @ 3 Megpixels, etc...I usually follow the standard steps of Image Size change to 5"x7" or 4"x6" from the huge size of 24"x18" it opens as automatically and I also change resolution from default of 72(?) to 1200.  This obviously increases the file size from ~1.5 Mb to around 150 Mbs.  My HP Photosmart 1218 printer has no problem printing these photos.
When I resize a photo to be 8"x10" @ 1200 res however, the print out usually falls short (file size is ~325 Mb).  
For example, it'll print out ~ 6"x10" size and just exclude the bottom 2" of the picture.  If however I re-adjust the res from 1200 down to like 1000, the file adjusts to around 225 Mb & prints ok.
Is this a limitation on PS, my printer or my PC?  (My PC is a P4 2 Ghz, 512 Mb RDRAM, etc).
Also, are there any other steps I can do to maximize print quality (I dont care about file size as long as it'll print ok).
Thanks.
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drodey
Asked:
drodey
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1 Solution
 
vaXCommented:
I've had a similar problem...  It was because I was overloading the spool on the printer...  Try taking your dpi down to the printer's max...  Try getting the latest printer drivers...  As far as I know there isn't a limit on resolution in PS (aside from the 30,000 pixel max).
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drodeyAuthor Commented:
Right. As I mentioned, I am able to print after reducing the res. but my HP printer supports up to 2400 x 1200 dpi, as per HP's website.
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drodeyAuthor Commented:
Right. As I mentioned, I am able to print after reducing the res. but my HP printer supports up to 2400 x 1200 dpi, as per HP's website.
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weedCommented:
Ok...first problem i see is that youre resizing up...ALOT. If you change the dimensions down that much, but the DPI up THAT MUCH youre still upsizing. Youre losing quality and sending huge files to your printer. Skip the step. When you get your files from the camera change the DPI to something appropriate without resampling. Then if you still need to resample make sure youre resampling down.
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drodeyAuthor Commented:
Ok, let's take a step back because I'm obviously doing something I shouldn't...

Let's say I take pictures at my camera's max. resolution - 2048 x 1536 @ 3.3 Megapixels, which yield JPGs around 1.3 - 1.5 Mb in size.

Now, my intent is to print them out with the best clarity that my HP printer can handle, which I believe is 1200 DPI.

After I open the pic in PS, usually the first thing I do is adjust color using auto-adjust, if required.

Next, I resize since the def size is huge - something like 24" x 18" or so and the DPI is only 72, so I adjust both but here's where I'm doing something wrong?

Say I want a 5"x7" photo - what would you recommend the correct DPI setting to be?

What if I wanted the pic to be bigger like 8"x10" size?

Any other settings I should do that I'm missing altogether?

Thanks!
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webwomanCommented:
300 dpi. That's all you need. That's all you need for commercial printing, which is better than what your inkjet can print.

It's not the dpi of the printer -- it's the LINE SCREEN. Commercial printing is usually 133 lpi, and the standard printing dpi is 1.5-2 times the lpi. So the images that you see printed in glossy, fancy magazines are normally 250-300 dpi images. Look good, don't they? ;-)

I doubt your printer does better than a commercial press. Try changing the resolution ONLY and resampling DOWN -- you should wind up with an 8x10 (or so) at 300 dpi. From there you can change the size, and experiment a bit to see what resolution gives you the best output. I can assure you it won't be 1200 dpi. Maybe 350 at the most.  
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drodeyAuthor Commented:
Ok, let's take a step back because I'm obviously doing something I shouldn't...

Let's say I take pictures at my camera's max. resolution - 2048 x 1536 @ 3.3 Megapixels, which yield JPGs around 1.3 - 1.5 Mb in size.

Now, my intent is to print them out with the best clarity that my HP printer can handle, which I believe is 1200 DPI.

After I open the pic in PS, usually the first thing I do is adjust color using auto-adjust, if required.

Next, I resize since the def size is huge - something like 24" x 18" or so and the DPI is only 72, so I adjust both but here's where I'm doing something wrong?

Say I want a 5"x7" photo - what would you recommend the correct DPI setting to be?

What if I wanted the pic to be bigger like 8"x10" size?

Any other settings I should do that I'm missing altogether?

Thanks!
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drodeyAuthor Commented:
Thanks WW.
I'll try your suggestion & let you know how it turns out.
One question - you mention "resampling" & "changing the size" as two different tasks.  I'm familiar with how to re-size...Image Pull Down Menu --> Image size, etc. but not how to resample.
Can you explain how to do that (I'm only familiar with a few PS commands that I use repetitively).

Tks.
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weedCommented:
When you change the pixels in your image by resizing you ARE resampling/interpolating. But chinging the DPI ONLY does not resample because youre only changing the density, not the information.
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brodeyCommented:
i agree...
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webwomanCommented:
Which is why it's two steps -- you change the dpi first, let Photoshop change the dimensions. You do NOT want to change the file size, just the dpi.

Then, if it's still too big (dimensions, not file size), you change the dimensions but NOT the dpi, and allow the file size to change. That's resampling.

Resampling DOWN is usually OK, because you're not creating new pixels. Resampling UP is bad -- Photoshop has to guess at what pixels you need to add. A small increase isn't too bad, since there aren't many pixels to add. The larger the increase, the more made-up pixels you need and the poorer the quality.
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drodeyAuthor Commented:
Ok. Here's what I did.  Opened the file & these are the Image Size specs:

Pixel Dimension:
  File Size: 9 Mb
  Width: 2048 pixels
  Height: 1536 pixels

Document Size:
  Width: 28.444"
  Height: 21.333"
  Resolution: 72 pixels/inch


Step 1:
Changed resolution from 72 to 350.  Following things changed automatically:

Pixel Dimension:
  File Size: 212.7 Mb
  Width: 9955 pixels
  Height: 7467 pixels

Step 2:
Changed document size width from 28.444" to 7".  Following things changed automatically:

Pixel Dimension:
  File Size: 12.9 Mb
  Width: 2450 pixels
  Height: 1838 pixels

Document Size:
  Width: 7"
  Height: 5.251"
  Resolution: 350 pixels/inch


So, is that the correct procedure for optimal print quality?  Basically, this is the same procedure I'd been doing except I'd set the resolution to 1200, then adjust the width & height...

Thanks for your help & patience.   :)
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webwomanCommented:
No. You check OFF the resampling when you change the dpi. You DO NOT want the file size to change.

Then when you change the resolution, the DIMENSIONS will change automatically.

You DO NOT want to resample, that's what's giving it such poor quality.
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drodeyAuthor Commented:
Ok. Got it.  Increasing the resolution reduced the size automatically as you stated.
Thanks!!
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