AuthorTopic: Printing Pixel Arts ... size? RGB/CMYK?  (Read 4022 times)

Offline snade

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Printing Pixel Arts ... size? RGB/CMYK?

on: September 13, 2010, 10:18:42 pm
Hi there!

I'm currently working on a pixel arts poster that I want to print in DIN A2 size. I've been pixeling some buildings in the past and I finally want to put them together to a big piece of work. So I created my PSD-File with the proper sizes and 300 dpi. After that, I copy and pasted a building in there. Of course, it was quite small so I tripled the size in order to let the viewer see the pixels. Whenever I got the chance to see pixel art posters in real life I saw that this seems to be a common thing to double or triple the size and I think it gives the better "retro" feeling to it. What do you think about that?

Also, I was reading about the fact that there could be a problem with RGB colors because of most of the copy shops wanting me to bring CMYK pictures. I'm familiar with some of the printing stuff, but to be honest, I didn't know too much about that. Then I started converting the file to CMYK and I saw that some color data was lost. I'm aware of the fact that the colors slighty change when you're converting from RGB to CMYK, but here's my problem:
I was now stuck with buildings with "sprinkled" colors. You can't see it on the monitor, but if you try to fill a certain area you can see that the colors within that area slightly differ when it comes to brightness and/or saturation. Like I said, I really can't tell the difference on the monitor, but I'm afraid that it could be when printed.
Usually I use Paint for creating all my pixel art, and Paint only gives me RGB (I think).

Do you have any advice based on experience (or theoretical knowledge, anything that helps :) ) what the best thing to do is?
I really hate the thought of having to work on my pixel art with Photoshop (besides transparency stuff and putting everything together).

...I'm looking forward to your replies!
Greetings from Austria,
snade
« Last Edit: September 13, 2010, 11:13:39 pm by snade »

Offline Tourist

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Re: Printing Pixel Arts ... size? RGB/CMYK?

Reply #1 on: September 15, 2010, 03:01:29 am
Wikipedia has a good article on CMYK here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cmyk

It describes some of what you are seeing:
Quote
Light, saturated colors often cannot be created with CMYK, and light colors in general may make visible the halftone pattern.

...

Comparisons between RGB  displays and CMYK prints can be difficult, since the color reproduction technologies and properties are so different. A computer monitor mixes shades of red, green, and blue to create color pictures. A CMYK printer instead uses light-absorbing cyan, magenta and yellow inks, whose colors are mixed using dithering, halftoning or some other optical technique.

I have only printed one small piece of pixel art using a laser printer with 300dpi color.  I found it looked fine if I set the document to 150dpi, which should be the same as printing at 2x with 300dpi I think.  But that was only one sample, and it is likely that results are somewhat printer dependent.

The Wikipedia article has some suggestions, but they generally involve using an improved printer technology which means get a different printer.  Perhaps ask your local copy shop to print these up?  It would cost money but they probably have some high-quality machines.  Or avoid "light, saturated colors" and maybe your prints will look better.

Hope this helps,
Tourist

Offline snade

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Re: Printing Pixel Arts ... size? RGB/CMYK?

Reply #2 on: September 15, 2010, 09:11:22 am
First of all, thanks for the response, I appreciate it :) .

The Wikipedia article has some suggestions, but they generally involve using an improved printer technology which means get a different printer.  Perhaps ask your local copy shop to print these up?  It would cost money but they probably have some high-quality machines. 

That was my plan since the beginning. I should've explained that I was never planning on printing it myself. :)
But the fact is, I don't want to bring it to the copy shop and be uncertain about the outcome.

Or avoid "light, saturated colors" and maybe your prints will look better.

Well, as it should be a colorful pixel scenery (quite eboy like, perhaps not that good :) ) I can't or don't want to avoid those. I guess I'll talk to my copy shop then, maybe they can tell me more.

Thanks again!

Offline Mckinstry

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Re: Printing Pixel Arts ... size? RGB/CMYK?

Reply #3 on: September 15, 2010, 03:06:00 pm
RGB is for web and CMYK for printing like you said.

I can imagine it being a pain having to convert from RGB to CMYK, ideally if you are designing for print then you want to begin with CMYK palette's.  I've only really worked for web myself so I'd be interested to hear how you get on.

I have two eboy coke posters of Belfast and Dublin, simply awesome and so much local detail, like the goths standing outside City Hall - http://hello.eboy.com/eboy/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/MCN-CokeBelfast-33s.png
Even a fool, when he keeps silent, is considered wise - Proverbs 17:28

Offline ptoing

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Re: Printing Pixel Arts ... size? RGB/CMYK?

Reply #4 on: September 15, 2010, 04:05:14 pm
When printing anything you are not reliant on CMYK, those are just the default colours to print with. You could use any combination of pantone colours for example to get an optimal result, of course it would be more expensive as well if you use non-standard combos.
There are no ugly colours, only ugly combinations of colours.

Offline Mathias

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Re: Printing Pixel Arts ... size? RGB/CMYK?

Reply #5 on: September 15, 2010, 06:09:21 pm
RBG is the color model for light-based displays , not just "web".
CMYK is for physical pigments.
Obviously you can't get the brightness on the printed page a monitor achieves by casting colored light at your eyeballs.
PMS (Pantone matching system) is just a library of hundreds of predefined print-friendly colors, or explicit formulas of Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black (CMYK) designed to facilitate color consistency. Using Pantone colors is always more expensive because the printer must have the same exact ink you specify, if they don't, they have to acquire it before they can print you.

The CMYK spectrum fits inside of the RGB spectrum. When you convert from RGB to CMYK, there may be massive fidelity loss, but that's how it goes. Most pixel art palettes can't be printed accurately because they were created with only RGB in mind.

Offline Rydin

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Re: Printing Pixel Arts ... size? RGB/CMYK?

Reply #6 on: September 23, 2010, 01:15:15 pm
Pixel arts (computer monitors) are 72 dpi.  The physical size of a single pixel is much bigger than 300 dpi.
I'm pretty sure in photoshop, you can make something in 72 dpi, hit print, and photoshop will do the rescaling for you when printing.
Man cannot remake himself without suffering for he is both the marble and the sculptor.