GRAPHICS PRO

December '20

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A W A R D S & C U S T O M I Z AT I O N 3 8 G R A P H I C S P R O D E C E M B E R 2 0 2 0 G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M Y O U R L A S E R A T W O R K Lasering photos. You can laser photos by turning the photo into a grayscale im- age and a half-tone. This can be done using your Corel or Adobe art programs but for many, it is a daunting process. If you want more precision, flexibility, and artwork speed, there are many specialized products that can reduce the setup time down to a few minutes given a good-quality image. Most laser manufacturers sell software that works well and is easy to learn. There are also independent products such as Pho- toGrav, PicLaser, and Laser Photo Wizard Pro that have plenty of adjustment settings to produce great-quality lasered photos. Font managers. The last several versions of Corel Graphics Suite come with Corel Font Manager. It provides a means of cat- egorizing fonts and seeing what the font looks like. The font manager also provides access to all of your fonts on your com- puter regardless of where you stored them and without having to install all of them. Installing a large number of fonts slows down your computer and can even bring it to a halt. There are other independent font man- agers to consider as well. I found having one was a big boost to my productivity. If you want to offer a large variety of fonts to your customer base or if you have a sig- nificant font library, you will find it one of your favorite tools you wish you had a long time ago. Photo background removal software. I have removed many backgrounds from photos over the years. The software tools have improved dramatically. Both Corel and Adobe have built-in tools with their graphics products that are good. Specialized software can provide better results on complex photos and can even make removing the background around hair fairly easy. My favorite is PhotoScis- sors. The use of artificial intelligence built into recent versions of software is becom- ing powerful and accurate. Photo resizing. One of the benefits of working with vector art is that you can increase its size as much as you need to without losing resolution and sharp edges. However, we don't always have that choice even with the vectoring tools built into our graphic products. Receiving a bitmap graphic at a small size like 1" X 1" at 100 DPI and needing to laser it at 4" will render the graphic a resolution of about 25 DPI. The quality (especially the small objects) is likely to be unacceptable. CorelDRAW has a plug-in called Ben- Vista PhotoZoom Pro that can be installed. An older version is free (Bitmaps>Plug- ins). I use iResizer as it lets you easily choose what portions of the photo you want to keep and the portions you are ok with deleting as you not only resize but change the shape as well. Full-color. The last software product I found useful when combining full-color print with laser engraving is a free product I found on the internet. It's called ColorCop. It allows you to determine a good estimate of the RGB or CMYK values for any im- age you can get on your desktop computer. I have used it often when replacing a bit- map image with a vector graphic I created to replace it and needed as accurate colors as possible. A poor color bitmap will never give you accurate colors, yet it may be all you have to work with. ColorCop is easy to useā€”just place the color dropper over the part of the image you want to color sample. I hope you find this discussion useful and it gives you some insight into all the tools and software available. Happy researching! GP BOB HAGEL recently retired after owning Eagle's Mark Awards & Signs for 18 years in Southern California. While owning the business, he offered a full line of personalized products using laser engraving, sandcarv- ing, and full-color UV direct print on products. Today, he consults on starting and expanding personalized businesses, and on improving production efficiency and quality. He can be reached at rjhagel@verizon.net. PhotoScissors: Yellow lines show what will be saved. After the artificial intelligence selected the images to save, I drew green lines to include more and red lines to eliminate parts. This took two to three minutes total. PhotoScissors: Yellow lines show what will be saved. After the artificial intelligence selected ColorCop: You can set RGB or CMYK color space and set how wide of an area to sample. ColorCop: You can set RGB or CMYK color space and set how wide of an

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