Online Help for Chasys Draw IES: Printing Images

Printing Images


The Precision Printer is the interface through which you control printing in Chasys Draw IES Artist. It allows you to select a printer, printing preferences and the printing mode, which dictates how the image will be fitted onto the paper, and how many pages will be used per image.

It shows you a preview created using information collected from your printer to give you some idea of what the final work will look like.


Printing Modes

Currently, Chasys Draw IES Artist supports the following printing modes:

Mode Details
Center image on actual paper The software attempts to center the image on the physical page (paper).
This is the default if the image does not have a valid Physical Dimensions attachment.
Center image on printable area The software will center the image on the printable area (most printers cannot cover the whole surface of the paper).
Stretch image to fill actual paper The image is stretched to cover the whole physical page indiscriminately. The original aspect ratio is ignored, therefore, the image may be distorted.
Parts of the image that fall outside the printable area will not be printed.
Stretch image to fill printable area The image is stretched to cover the whole printable area indiscriminately. The original aspect ratio is ignored, therefore, the image may be distorted.
Use specified dimensions The software attempts to make sure that the final printout’s dimensions are equal to the specified width and height to within an accuracy of a fraction of a millimeter. This mode is especially useful where prints must have a specified exact size, for example 120mm by 239mm for CD-ROM jewel-case inserts.
The Common Paper Sizes button brings up a list of standard sizes that you can use as presets.
This is the default if the image has a valid Physical Dimensions attachment.
Tiled printing (multi-print blow-up) In this mode, you can to specify how many pages should used per print; the image is stretched and split as necessary to cover all the sheets. This allows you to print at any size using a normal printer.
See multi-print blow-up for a more detailed explanation.


Precision Printing

Precision Printing allows you to make prints of a custom size accurate to a fraction of a millimeter. To use Precision Printing, you set the printing mode to "Use These Dimensions...". You then take the measurements of the target (for example, the measurements of the jewel case if you are designing a CD label) which you specify in millimeters. Chasys Draw IES will then do the rest. Note that all measurements are in millimeters, not inches.

The maximum accuracy attainable using Precision Printing is limited by your printer. Usually, this will be enough for most purposes, so you need not worry about it.


Multi-print Blow-up

Have you ever wanted to print something huge - say, A2 - and couldn't because the largest paper your printer could take was A4? This could just be the solution to your predicament. Using multi-print blow-up, Chasys Draw IES can split the image into pieces which it then prints separately. You can then join these pieces by gluing them together to get your huge poster.

Posters of any size can be realized easily using ordinary A4 paper, even if  "any size" for you means 4 by 3 meters ( a bill-board ) - if your printer can take the punishment, that is.

If you intend to do large blow-ups, it would not be such a bad idea to work at 3 mega-pixels or more - more paper means more dots to print. Having a substantial amount of RAM (at least 1 GB) would also be well advised. To keep your system happy, make sure your system drive has at least 2 GB of free space and keep it de-fragmented (Windows needs up to 560 MB to spool a 2x2 blow-up at 600 dpi, and four times that for a 4x4 blow-up). Or just disable spooling -- Chasys Draw IES doesn’t mind.


Color Processing


When printing images, Image Color Matching (ICM) is performed. In some cases, you may want the print to be lighter or darker than what ICM generated. Chasys Draw IES Artist allows you to correct this by adjusting gamma if you wish to do so.

Ink Savings:

Very deep subtractive color levels consume a lot of ink, while causing very little perceptible color variation. This ink is, therefore, mostly wasted. Chasys Draw IES Artist can help you save ink by limiting the said color levels. The effect of doing so is usually imperceptible.

ICM Mode (Color Mode):

This setting allows you to set the intend method for ICM. The intent dictates what factor ICM will consider to be the most important when mapping colors. There are four options:

Intent ICC Name Details
Match Absolute Colorimetric Maintains the white point. Matches the colors to their nearest color in the destination gamut.
Graphic Saturation Maintains saturation. Used for business charts and other situations in which dithering is considered undesirable.
Proof Relative Colorimetric Maintains colorimetric match. Used for graphic designs and named colors.
Picture Perceptual Maintains contrast. Used for photographs and natural images.
This is the default value.


For more information on color management and ensuring consistent color in your work-flows, see the Color Management section.


Resolution & Anti-aliasing

Digital imaging devices and computer displays are continuous tone devices of fixed resolution; printers, on the other hand, pretend to be, but are not. A dot on a printed page can only have one of a few (usually four) colors, forcing the printer to emulate continuous tones by combining several dots through dithering techniques. Resultantly, a printer only produces its full reported resolution when printing mono-tone material such as text. This is why they say a 200 ppi (pixels per inch) color display is equivalent to a 600 dpi (dots per inch) color print-out for photographic (read continuous tone) material. I believe it’s more like 1200 dpi (and, it seems I am not alone according to Wikipedia).

In working with digital images, one of the main concerns is aliasing - the "staircase" effect that appears on diagonal lines. The brute-force approach to solving this problem is to work at high enough resolutions to make it undetectable. Experiments show that the human eye can generally not differentiate detail beyond 300 pixels per inch / 118 pixels per cm (on A4 paper, that converts to about 8 mega-pixels). Given that the monotone resolution of most modern consumer printers exceeds this (600/1200 dpi), but the effective continuous tone resolution falls short (about 1/6 to 1/12 of the reported figure), it then becomes a complicated balancing act. The printer has no way of predicting the effective output resolution, so it will ask for one input pixel for each output dot, i.e. the full reported resolution. Doing so shifts the burden to the printing application, which is then forced to provide more image data than is necessary, most of which ends up not being used.

When working with continuous tone images, the best approach would be to work at between these two extremes, which is to say between a third and a sixth of the printer’s reported resolution. For example, to print A4 at 1200 dpi, use 400 ppi at most (about 4096 by 2896 = 12 mega-pixels). A more elegant solution would be to take advantage of anti-aliasing. You can get a better print-out using half the resolution this way. You can, for example, do all your work at 3.0 mega-pixel and end up with a print-out that looks better than 6.0 mega-pixel work if you stick to a culture of anti-aliasing the edges of all cut-outs, text and drawings. Anti-aliasing can improve the appearance of text at lower resolutions so much that it becomes unnecessary to work at high resolutions.

My recommendation is to use 300 ppi for A4 work that will be printed on a 1200 dpi printer; that translates to an image size of 3508 x 2480 (8.7 mega-pixels). For photo-printing using premium/glossy A4 photo-paper at 4800 dpi, I recommend using 600 ppi, which gives an image size of 7016 x 4961 (34.8 mega-pixels). Anything higher than this will usually be over-kill, but Chasys Draw IES won’t stop you.



Copyright © John Paul Chacha, 2001-2024