Where to print FightStick Art - Best Quality? What about on Acrylic?


#1

I recently made a bunch of stick art for the TE: http://flickr.com/photos/35211141@N07/

and would like to get it printed at the highest quality possible. IE: what the default stick art looks like. I don’t want any apparent pixelation or loss in quality. The images I have are super hi-res, so the only problem I have now is properly printing it.

My question is: does anyone know where to get it printed with superb quality? How about printed onto acrylic or a metal plate? What about a thin clear layer of acrylic covering a Kinkos print or whatever. Also, what is this “Lami-label” Kinkos print on gloss I’ve read someone recommend?

Any help would be appreciated! Without proper printing, our custom sticks will look like :annoy:!

EDIT: Also, forgot to ask: how will I go about CLEANLY cutting out the wholes for the buttons/joystick/screws/turbo box/rounded corners? I don’t want a hack job (which is what I’d certainly do) and want it as clean as if MadCatz did it.


#2

if you get lami-label make sure they leave no air bubbles on it when you first get it back.

go to kinkos and ask them for the HIGHEST quality print they can do on matte laser printer paper(something in the 1K+ dpi range)

as for printing on lexan its extremely hard. you might be able to take it to a very experienced airbrush artist and have him paint it on but that would be major $s(talkin about like 300 and shit)


#3

Thanks for the reply.

Any reason why matte over glossy? Just curious.

And how much does the lami-label + print cost?

I assume that means a laminated print with adhesive?


#4

because when you put pressure on glossy paper it gets distorted and looks like shit. and lami-label is fairly expensive. ive never bought it though.

its a picture that is laminated then it has some weird adhesive on the back. similar to 3M spray but it has a pull away paper thing.


#5

Thanks. I’ll get it printed there before I open up my stick so I can see the quality of it.

Also, forgot to ask: how will I go about CLEANLY cutting out the wholes for the buttons/joystick/screws/turbo box/rounded corners? I don’t want a hack job (which is what I’d certainly do) and want it as clean as if MadCatz did it.


#6

exacto knife bought at your local hobby store. you can get a good one for like $5 with a bunch of replacement blades. if there isnt a hobby store around you order it off www.towerhobbies.com

heres one for example
this is the one i use


#7

I have them. Thing is, I’m total ass with them. And cutting a circle is BEYOND me. I can only do straight edges. Is there room for error or will it be noticeable if I mess up? Never modded a stick before and want this to turn out perfect :wasted:

I can also see myself slipping on the lamination and cutting the thing in half lol.


#8

well take your TE sticks top panel off the stick and strip everything off it. then lay it over the art and use it as a guide for your knife. this will ensure that you get perfect cuts on everything. just make sure it doesnt move.


#9

Good idea. Hopefully the adhesive comes off easily. Don’t want the panel sticking to the custom art :rofl:

Thanks a lot bud!


#10

Could you explain this part a bit more? The stuff I have gotten printed at Kinkos so far has been on 60 pound card stock and the results haven’t been that great. Gradients look like crap, and if you put a color overlay over an image it also looks like trash. The pdf files are set up right and are of a good enough quality (300dpi). Should I be asking for some special paper?


#11

No way you need 1k DPI on anything.

You should use 300, 600 maybe if you feel like it. And even then if you’re having them print it on their best printer you won’t likely notice the difference.

It doesn’t necessarily have to be a Laser printer either. It’s entirely possible the best printer they have quality wise is an Inkjet.

In fact if you use most Laser printers that Kinkos have you will have varied luck. It’s all about know what paper to print on, and hopefully getting a good employee who knows what he’s doing (good luck on that).

If they use a Xerox DC12 or similar printer, it’s going to look like shit. If they use a Xerox 242 it’s going to look good. (especially if the worker knows how to use his Fiery system, which he probably won’t).

But you’ll get an even better print on a Canon large format 6-color inkjet. You’ll pay a ton more (like 10 bucks for your print), but you’ll get ink that will last longer, and have a much better print quality.

Here are some tips in general:

  • If you’re printing at Kinkos or Staples or whatever, create your file using a CMYK workspace. You will rarely find a printer at these places that use RGB or Pantone, so you’re more likely to have colors being different from what you think they are when they’re printed.

  • Don’t just go with the heaviest cardstock you can find if you’re printing on card (especially on Laser). Unless the location is using a really nice Laser printer, it’s harder to get the toner to lay properly on the heaviest paper (60lb. cover and above). Try using a 32lb. cover. You’ll have to be more careful to cut the the holes and place your art in the stick, but it will have a better looking finish on it.

  • Don’t use Glossy (as stated above). In addition to the points above if you’re using a Laser printer you’re not getting a Glossy finish anyway. Laser printers lay the ink on top of the paper, they don’t soak into it. So you’re just covering it up. It’s pointless. Color toner has a natural shine to it when it’s printed correctly anyway.

In the end, the absolute best way to go is to use a real print shop. You can usually find locally owned smaller shops that have knowledgeable people working there. And they’re going to have much better equipment to print on.

For the record I work in printing. I might even be willing to do some printing for people in high quality for layouts. PM me if you’re interested.


#12

Should we be using PDF, TIFF, or what?


#13

At Kinkos I have brought in a PSD, PDF, and TIFF. I think they all look pretty much the same. The only problem is some employees at Kinkos didn’t know how to print from a PSD so I had to show them.

edit: thanks btw.

Any clue where to find that Canon inkjet? Is that something that a lot of print shops will carry?


#14

LuckyDay: WOW thanks! I used http://www.astleygilbert.com/ to print http://floprojek.com/image/cbook.jpg and it turned out pretty well. Still I’ve seen better. Though the place is about a 35-40 minute drive lol.

So to recap: 32lb matte CMYK laminated. What should I do about the adhesive? Product I have to pay or something?

I’ll PM you now regarding the stick art…


#15

i find that gloss has deeper blacks and also slightly more saturation (i.e. its not bout the “shininess”)
i use it for some things

however, for this purpose…id go wit matte too

edit: rethinking it… i think glossy is the perfect fit for sf4’s (inkblot) art style


#16

So here is basically the worst question ever: how do you convey the size you want your super high resolution image printed at to a Kinko’s employee? I’ve tried before and it still came out a little off, though that might have been due to the template I was using.

Is the official SFIV TE template everyone has been using formatted in a way that I have it printed at the exact dimensions of the stick (16 inches wide, 10 inches tall)?


#17

For the cutting holes thing just go to your local art shop and find someone to help you. What you want is a compass that can hold an excato blade.

If you can’t find that can always rig one togther with tape, or use a circle template that you buy at a art shop.


#18

@onslaught35

u should set up the “print size” of the image when making it
r u using photoshop?
r u exporting it to pdf?

the problem wit many printshops like kinkos or staples
is that they have “fit to page” image reductions as the default setting, which work based on margins
so if ur document is 11x17 and includes white space to account for margins…
it will still reduce it to like 97% or sumptin to fit the whole document within the printer margins, not the paper size

either ask them to make sure that there will be no scaling
(pdf it should be “page scaling: none”)
or u can set it up urself in the pdf document properties


#19

Yeah I’m using Photoshop, where can I set the print size? Also, would you suggest setting it at 16 inches wide 10 inches tall or…? Once I get that I’ll save it as a .pdf I assume. Thanks for the help.

Edit: oh look at me the stupidest person in the world, already the template at 300 dpi comes out to 13.473 inches by 8.473 inches, which I’m assuming is the precise size of the panel. So all I need to know now is figure out how to lock the pdf document property to “page scaling: none”…


#20

Of those mentioned TIFF is the only one that will print the same no matter where and how you print it. PSD isnt great because like someone said before, to print it correctly you need to have someone who knows how to use Photoshop.

PDF is next best, because aside from the occasional problem with older versions of Acrobat, it will print well and print easily. Also, when in Photoshop, save your PDF with ZIP compression, not JPEG.

I didn’t mean an exact model (there are tons of Canon inkjets), but what I was trying to say is that it’s not always best to go with Laser, just because it’s laser. Oversize color inkjet printers for the most part have excellent print quality. In my experience Canon is best, although I’ve seen good HP and OCE.

That book looks like it was done well. You can probably even take your stick to the shop and show them what you want. You’re obviously going to want a more durable paper and ink for a stick, and they may have what you need.

No idea the best way to adhere it to the stick. Check around, other people know better on these forums than I do.

Glossy on an inkjet will look great. I was talking more for a Laser printed image. Glossy doesn’t really have the same affect there.

Just tell them not to scale or fit the image to the paper. If you use a PDF it’s easy. When you press ‘print’ in Acrobat, choose your paper and printer first (11x17 in your case). Then on the main print screen you need to make sure the “fit image to paper” button is not checked. You will also have a little preview on that page you can check it on.