September '21

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Page 23 of 102

G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M 2 0 2 1 S E P T E M B E R G R A P H I C S P R O 1 9 We insist that customers bring their vehicle by for us to take photos ourselves before we start the actual design process. If they're seri- ous about the investment, they should want to start the process on the right foot. Not only do we take photos when the vehicle comes in, but we also assess the condition of the paint and take a closer look at obstacles and potential problems not easily established by an emailed photo. So how do you take a good photo for wrap design? Shoot the picture standing at the mid-point of the vehicle to avoid taking the photo at an angle. If the vehicle is small, crouch down so you're not shooting down at it. If it's a larger vehicle, step back so that you're not shooting up at it. Box trucks, utility box trucks, trailers, and other vehicles with clear straight lines are more obvious when the image becomes distorted. By taking these photos into Photo- shop, the distortion can be corrected by using the guidelines and edit tools found under Edit>Transform>Skew or Warp. CROPPING Since we're designing on photos of the ve- hicle, we want the color and sharpness of the image to look good for the proofing process. Once the image has been straightened, we also crop it down a bit so the focus of the image will be on the vehicle and design, not on background noise. If we are designing in FlexiSign Pro as a vector-based design, we don't need the size of the photo to be overly large — a high enough resolution for a crisp image, but not so high that it takes up unnecessary time to save. Suppose we're designing the wrap in Pho- toshop because we'll incorporate images or raster artwork. In that case, we need to start with a high enough resolution photo to maintain crisp images once the wrap is printed. Cropping the image to the vehicle, leaving a bit of space for the overprinting, allows you to work with a large file that isn't wasted on background space that will be cropped out when you set up your print files. For example, if you're working with a 150 MB art file and you've left a lot of space around the vehicle itself, when you get final approval and crop down to just the vehicle, your actual artwork may be too low resolu- tion for printing. SCALING Accuracy of the template you work with is crucial to the final wrap fitting the vehicle correctly. Whether I'm creating a template in FlexiSign or Photoshop, I like to save a copy of the photo, cropped and sharpened, at about 4 MB. Take this image into FlexiSign, and us- ing the vehicle's measurements, the photo is scaled to actual size. I check my scale with multiple measurements on different areas of the vehicle to be sure my scale is accurate. If you did any adjusting to a photo using the skew or warp tools in Photoshop to fix distortion and straighten lines, you could adjust the scale in FlexiSign to be sure your "actual size" is accurate. This means that when you distorted the image in Photoshop continued on page 94 Wrap Design continued from page 17 Consider how important it is to the efficiency of the installation to have graphics that are properly fit to the vehicle. (Image courtesy Front Signs -

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