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Johnny
02-14-2008, 04:16 PM
I just got a call from a client who needs me to do something in less than 1 week which I'm not sure my current rig can do.

I need to create a very large image..neighborhood of 10 feet by 25 feet which they want to use on some kind of outdoor signage.

IIRC, version 9.x has some tool which lets you break an image down into however many tiles you need so that the resulting tiles can be put together into the final large image. In other words, if you can't render 10 x 25, this lets you render that image into tiles which are each small enough for you rig to achieve; then you stitch them together to the final size.

So, my question is: Is this tool present in 9.x, are people comfortable using it, and can a G4 mac mini run it on Tiger, or would I need also to upgrade to leopard?

the version of LW I have now, 8, has a pixel limitation of, I think, 16000...so that is a hard limit I can't overcome bcs of what that version of the app can/can't do.

thanks for any information or advice on what could prove to be a wild ride!

Johnny

Steamthrower
02-15-2008, 10:06 AM
About all I can help you with here is that even the newest version of LW, 9.3.1, has a pixel limitation of 16,000 x 16,000.

I'm not sure about the break-down-image-into-tiles function, but to the best of my knowledge it is an external plugin. It possibly may work in 8. I'll check up on it.

BigHache
02-15-2008, 10:56 AM
What are the file specifications the sign output company is requesting? They'll give you what dimensions and resolution your file needs to be.

Johnny
02-15-2008, 12:35 PM
About all I can help you with here is that even the newest version of LW, 9.3.1, has a pixel limitation of 16,000 x 16,000.



well, that is one seriously interesting tidbit.. A guy recently tried to impress (or sweat) me that the new version of LW has a "FAR greater" limit than 16000 pixels..that it's a much, much higher pixel limit.

is the 16000 pixel limit in both PC and Mac Versions of lightwave, or just in the Mac version?

Johnny

JonW
02-17-2008, 04:24 PM
What BigHache said......

What are the requirements of you printing company...

and clearly explain where the final image is going and want the conditions it will be viewed under.

All they probably need is a file size of about the size of an A3.

RIPs on high end printers are very expensive and are designed for doing very large images, also the people outputting the large images usually know what they are doing.

your image will be viewed from 10 metres or so, 7.6 metres divided by 5000 pixels, it is about 0.67 of a pixel per mm, sounds terrible but at 10 metres you would need 40/40 vision to see the pixels.

Print out an A4 or a couple side by side at this resolution on you own printer, give it some large USM and up the contrast a bit, put it up on a wall 10 metres away.

If you can have a close look at some large prints, you will see all of them look terrible from 500mm.

You will want to get some Test Strips of the final print, printed first through a critical part/s or a range of parts of the the image to confirm the final print requirements are ok, before printing the entire image. the print company will suggest this, if not you may be using the wrong company.

Put these test strips up on a wall in similar viewing conditions, as the whole image will be viewed under.

Johnny
02-17-2008, 07:34 PM
What BigHache said......

What are the requirements of you printing company...and clearly explain where the final image is going and want the conditions it will be viewed under. All they probably need is a file size of about the size of an A3.


Normally, I'd go that route, but this client is a hair different. They are in the business of making convention/trade show graphics and they want high-res bcs they want to sell their capabilities in this area to THEIR clients. They aren't into "good enough from a distance."

Nope, they want the image to be crisp right up close.

Yeah, I know it sounds ridic by most measures, but that's what they want.

Clients have always been demanding, but seems that lately, some clients know no bounds, whether it be the laws of physics, or what computers and output devices are capable of.

I know an image of the type they want can be created. But they are making it sound like whappin' a few buttons and go out for beers while this big giant image is created and it just ain't so...

well...maybe with one of the new 8-cores it is...

J

BigHache
02-17-2008, 10:52 PM
Normally, I'd go that route, but this client is a hair different. They are in the business of making convention/trade show graphics and they want high-res bcs they want to sell their capabilities in this area to THEIR clients. They aren't into "good enough from a distance."

Nope, they want the image to be crisp right up close.


Oh. One word: Vector! It'll never get crisper than that.

Well tiling the render should work as the print will need to be tiled anyway, unless your client has a 10'-0" printer.

A 16000^2 RGB image is about 700MB. I can't imagine how long that would take to render on a G4, which I've done my share of.

I don't think Leopard will help you either. It might even slow you down a little.

Don't think I can offer anything else...

Johnny
02-18-2008, 06:00 AM
Oh. One word: Vector! It'll never get crisper than that.

Well tiling the render should work as the print will need to be tiled anyway, unless your client has a 10'-0" printer.

A 16000^2 RGB image is about 700MB. I can't imagine how long that would take to render on a G4, which I've done my share of.

I don't think Leopard will help you either. It might even slow you down a little.

Don't think I can offer anything else...

I appreciate your offering ideas..

I am no expert, but I feel that we are in a transitional period with certain expectations made of 3D...machines are *so* powerful now, and people with 3D software are more common, that 3D images are starting to be thought of as commodities.

In other words, not so special, everybody's got it, basically like clip art...so, they have the RAM, the wide-format printers, and they want their pictures BIG, cheap, and in 5 minutes.

and, as with so many other things, bigger is deemed to be better.

J

kopperdrake
02-18-2008, 12:59 PM
Sounds like it's time to educate your client in the cost/time issues regarding large renders. If a client asks me for an A3 image and I point out it'll take twice as long as an A4 image, making that 12 hour overnight render become a 12 hour into-the-day render and the cost implications that will arise, then they often say 'oh...an A4 will do'.

If your client really wants to offer this high-res solution to their clients then they need educating as to what is practical and impractical in terms of deliverables versus budgets. No point them offering a 10m x 10m wall image at 300dpi if even they don't want to cough up for the render, let alone their clients.

Sounds like in this instance you need to tile the render as people are pointing out.

Johnny
02-18-2008, 01:04 PM
Sounds like in this instance you need to tile the render as people are pointing out.


yeah, and that's how I'd want to handle the rendering if I wanted the job, but it turns out the client doesn't want to pay enough money to make this job worth my while, which would include making some upgrades...

thanks for sharing how you handle similar issues...it's good to know.

J

Johnny
02-18-2008, 05:39 PM
Sounds like it's time to educate your client in the cost/time issues regarding large renders.


well, looks like I'm going to need to do some educatin'...

client has relaxed their requirements to meet a ridiculous deadline, but I am still going to render a very large picture for them: 6 feet wide, 8 feet tall.

I developed a workflow to do that size image on my set up.

However, last year, when I did 2 images this size, I undercharged them dramatically, partly because I was doing experiments to see how I could do the render.

I need to come up with something reasonable to charge them for the render time.

I'm thinking the beast is going to take in the neighborhood of 30 hours, perhaps less, but not half that.

Means I set 'er up, hit F9 and let it blast away over night and into the next day, and I need to get something for that, but I am not sure what percentage of my regular modeling/scene rate to charge for the computers rendering.

One thing is certain: no rendering time, no picture.

Any suggestions on that? I'm already envisioning a number which is going to cause them a little pain, but mainly bcs I undercharged them last time around.

thank you for your help!

J

JonW
02-19-2008, 01:28 AM
Find out what printer it will be out put on.

Also get a sample off that printer from previous work at or similar resolution to what you intend to give them.

There is no point providing a higher resolution file than the optimum required that they intend to RIP. You may find that the print will look better at a slightly lower resolution. If you have razor sharp edges and maps with not enough detail this can actually look worse being highlighted by a very high output dpi.

They will charge more for a larger files and if the printer is printing out at a much higher DPI for the quality it will take longer and they will charge more for that to.

Note only get a few strips you will want a proof as well.

You really do need to speak very thoroughly with your printing company and solve all issues before they become very expensive mistake and everyone is unhappy.

At the very least you will appear to be reasonably knowledgeable on the subject if the homework is done.

CMYK as well.... sort this out. you may have to or want to convert yourself to make sure that there is no clipping of colours that are critical or affect the entire image.

http://www.photoshopninja.com/2005/07/image-resolution-and-dpi-explained/
quote “For larger items I would use 150dpi, and for really large items like exhibition panels I would use as low as 75-100dpi.”