View Full Version : printing from lightwave

09-08-2004, 03:57 AM
Hey Everybody.

I really need help printing from lightwave. I'm importing the files into illustrator as RGB files, but when I print them there low res (72 dpi) I've heard that you can change the resolution in lightwave for prining, can anybody help? I need at least 150dpi.

Thank you!

09-08-2004, 07:21 AM
Are you working in metric or Imperial Emma? There's a very simple way to render at the dpi you want. In the camera properties window, put the following sums into the X and Y fields:

width in inches * dpi

height in inches * dpi

If you are working in metric, we just add an extra bit to the sum:

width in cm * dpi / 2.54

height in cm * dpi / 2.54

To give you a more concrete example, the following is what you need to enter to render an A4 page at 300 dpi:


That's in inches, and the A4 size is rigorously defined in mm, so here it is in cm:


So that's 210 mm (21 cm) times 300 (dpi) divided by 2.54 (conversion between inches and cm)

Let's say you wanted to render an image that was 5 cm square in Illustrator for printing at 266 dpi?


That do you?



Triple G
09-10-2004, 12:35 AM
Just to expand on BeeVee's post, increasing the output size in LW's camera properties doesn't actually change the dpi of the rendered image. You'll get more pixels, which is essentially what you want, but it will always be at 72 dpi. All you need to do then is to take the image into Photoshop and change the dpi field in Image Size (with resampling off).

09-10-2004, 01:34 AM
Thanks Gregg,

Got so bogged down in the dimension aspects of it I didn't go the extra step needed! :) Love the avatar by the way - he was one of my favourite character designs in Triplettes de Belleville...


Triple G
09-10-2004, 01:54 AM
No problem, Ben.

And thanks...hehe....I absolutely love that movie. So visually compelling, so many great character designs (the Mobsters and the Waitor probably being my favorites). The fantastic storytelling with practically no dialogue, the extreme exaggeration/characterization of movement and form....I could go on and on, but this isn't a forum for movie reviews. :D

09-10-2004, 02:21 AM
dont get complicated, its very easy, important is only the size in pixels,
DPI is just set for printing in your print software,
eg. 2000x1500pixels are allways 2000x1500 pixels,
72 DPI is just the value a computer monitor is able to display,

09-10-2004, 02:27 AM
The only problem with that is that a lot of print people don't work in pixels - they have no correlation between pixels and real world sizes. This gives them a way to match the two... :) You might be able to tell me how many pixels wide and high an A4 page is, but what if it's at 266dpi instead of 300, instead of 72? :)


09-10-2004, 02:59 AM
its easy seen in the graphic software, 2480x3520, 2199x3121, 595x845^^

what I wanted to say:
DPI isnt an image property but a printing or display setting

09-11-2004, 11:23 AM
Try this, after understanding the initial concept.

Allen Curtis
09-12-2004, 01:37 PM
If you can use Flash, try this calculator:

Render to Print Size Calculator (http://www.allen3d.com/rendertoprint.htm)

It's basically the same info that you get in Photoshop's Image Size. I've just broken it down to render size vs. print size. Let me know if this helps.

09-14-2004, 01:40 PM
Okay, I posted the same question as Emma and I am trying hard to understand so I can print a high resolution image. So to render an A4 page at 300pi (Imperial), I just multiply 8.25 by 300, which equals 2475. So I enter 2475 into the width field in the camera properties? and 11.69 multiplied by 300 equals 3507, and I enter that into the height field? What about pixel ratio? Do I have to do anything to that?

Allen Curtis
09-14-2004, 09:33 PM
buddha2b, you've got the sizing right. You may want to set the Pixel Aspect Ratio to 1 if it isn't already there. After that, it's important to do the last step mentioned by Triple G:
open the image in Photoshop, go to Image>Image Size. UNCHECK THE RESAMPLE IMAGE OPTION. Change the Resolution to 300. Click OK. Save the file.
You now have an 8.25 x 11.69 file at 300dpi ready to print.

The only other thing that I'd mention, if sending images to a commercial printer-
if the image prints all the way to the edge of the sheet, you need to size both the width and height about 1/16 to 1/8" larger. The printer prints on an oversized
sheet and then trims it down to the final size. For instance, a 24 x 36" poster is printed at 24.25 x 36.25" and the outer edges are cut away for the final size.

Triple G
09-14-2004, 10:25 PM
Usually the pixel aspect ratio is only something you need to worry about when doing work for video or film, which deal with non-square pixels. When doing work for print or anything that's going to ultimately be viewed on a computer monitor, the PAR should be set to 1.0 (square pixels).

09-15-2004, 02:02 AM
So I enter 2475 into the width field in the camera properties? and 11.69 multiplied by 300 equals 3507, and I enter that into the height field?

You don't even need to work them out and enter the results, just enter the sums, LightWave will do the rest.


09-15-2004, 10:11 AM
It worked! But I didn't import the file to photoshop, instead I sent it to Illustrator. When I opened the file it was much larger than 8.5 X 11, but I just scaled it down to fit the page tiling. But the file was 300dpi, so I am happy with the results.

One more problem worked out! I am sure I will encounter many more as I try to learn the program. Thanks for the help! :D

09-15-2004, 02:14 PM
I understand that DPI is not an image property. I noticed that the DPI resolution you can set in photoshop does somehow get saved with some image formats, jpg for example. If you save two identical 1000x1000 pixels images, one with 150dpi and other with 300dpi and then open them in illustrator or ms word, one will show up as half the size of the other. That's why buddha2 your image opened in illustrator as huge, because it probably assumed the default DPI of 72 or something of this sort.
I remember having similiar "issues" in the past. I wondered why some images opened as huge and others as small, althoug pixelwise they were similiar.
Resizing the image will work but if you want to be exact you can always set the DPI in photoshop or other program that can to that.

Once understood, DPI<->pixels thing turns out to be a fairly simple concept.

I am not sure about one thing though, because I tested it fully. If we have a big picture (in pixels) but the DPI is set to, let say, 72 when we open the picture in a dpi oriented program program it will open huge. If we then resize the picture to something smaller, will it still print at 72dpi or will it compute new DPI for printing? or does it depend on a program used to print the picture?

Allen Curtis
09-15-2004, 10:26 PM
In a layout or illustration program, reducing the image increases dpi. Enlarging the image decreases dpi. The image below is a simplified example of what happens.


The red square represents a square inch area. The grid represents your dots per inch. Notice how reducing the grid gives you more dots per inch within the red square and increasing the grid gives you less dots per inch inside the red square.

09-22-2004, 08:57 AM
Now that you you have dpi worked out... don't forget about CMYK.
I took a job a few years ago doing package design... it took me a while to figure out how to deal with the rgb to cmyk conversion.
In photoshop, after converting, you can go in and adjust selective colors to print better.
example: A nice rich black should have a setting of 100%K and 30%C
If you use just 100%K it will come out very dull and faded looking. Color correction for print is an art in itself.

09-23-2004, 11:28 PM
and just an fyi, but printable area on an 8.5x11 sheet is 7.75x10.1 (if you're printing at home).


10-03-2004, 12:48 AM
I work in a product design studio and my boss always wants quick renders printed to show sales managers and marketing. It would be great if we could print right out of LW after an F9 render or FPrime render. Quick and simple. Right now it's load the image in Photoshop yada yada yada. What would be even cooler is some form of printing in modeler! Print from any of the windows in hi-res. The model exists as a mathematical object, right? Use that math for a very high resolution print. Anybody else have a need for this?


11-13-2005, 05:26 PM
defenetly, i want that print feature too. :agree:

@LScript gurus:

anyone can wirte an LScript to that???

thx in advance,



11-14-2005, 09:31 AM
It is probably quite doable, but one would need to know postscript or whatever is needed for printing. Not me, unfortunately.

11-14-2005, 10:58 AM
I did a very quick and dirty test and I have to say that this is possible. I learned a couple of PS commands on the fly and created a very basic script that generates postscript from a XY plane in modeler. I used adobe distiller to convert my postscript into PDF. I might spend more time on this in the future,
- I do not know if there is a way to print PS directly without use of distiller for those who do not have it, etc
- I'd have work on proper scaling/translations etc
- I'd have to add multiple planes/perspective printouts
- sketch mode would be nice
- subpatch mode would be nice
- hidden line would be nice but thats a bigger task i imagine.
- I would have to learn some postscript, eventually

All this would be probably piece of cake for NT team, particularly the subpatch/hidden lines part, since they already have code for it.

I attached a pdf printout of one of the models from standard lw9 content.