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Jun 26 2009
By: BitRunner Treasure Hunter 5009 posts
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HOW TO: Make high quality Picture Frames (56k Warning)

23 replies 420 views Edited Jun 26, 2009

Downloadable PDF Version: http://www.mediafire.com/download.php?nxmzne32y5e

 

Intro

 

I'm going to cover one of the best known methods to get great quality out of your Picture Frames.  The tutorial that I will be covering will expressly cover how to do it in Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Photoshop Elements, but the same results can be achieve in other paint programs such as Paint Shop Pro, Gnu Image Manipulation Program (free), or Paint.NET (free) just to name a few.  I will also be covering how to do this in Landscape mode, but I will explain what you need to do in order to achieve the same results in Portrait mode as well.

 

Method

 

So I've got this sweet image of a 3d skull head on my hard drive (Fig 1), it actually came out of a book on 3d sculpting I've been reading.  I want to throw this up on a Picture Frame, but if I do it as it is right now, the picture will look grainy and won't be scaled right when I post it up.  I need to do a little work beforehand to get it ready.

 

Figure 1) Pretty cool eh? Smiley Very Happy  (No that's not my own work, if only I could sculpt that good!)

 

Essentially we'll do 3 things:

  • Objective 1: scale your picture up or down to 669x512 for a landscape picture, or 512x669 for a portrait
  • Objective 2: squish the picture down (nonuniformly) to 512x512
  • Save the image as a PNG and copy to your PS3

 

Objective 1 (scale your picture to 669x512 for landscape mode, or 512x669 for portrait mode)

 

The first objective is that I to determine which mode I want to use, Landscape or Portrait.  For this exercise, I'm going to be doing Landscape.  So the first step I need to do (after some mathematical wizardry from the Complete Guide thread that I won't post here), is to get my picture into a size of 669x512.

 

1) First let's make sure we're in RGB mode.  Go to Image -> Mode and select RGB Color if it's not already selected.

 

2) Now we're going to scale the image down and try to get it as close to 669x512 as we can.  Open up Image -> Image Size and we'll set some options.

  • Make sure Constrain Proportions is checked
  • Make sure Resample Image is checked, and choose Bicubic Sharper for the best quality.  You may also play with other resampling algorithms to see which gives you the best results.
  • Now, considering that the image is larger than 669x512, what I'll do is scale it on the shortest axis (height), down to 512.  When Constrain Proportions is checked, the width will also scale down to 729 here, which is close to what we need (see Figure 2).
  • Once I'm all done my image will look like Figure 3.

Figure 2) Image Resize dialog in Photoshop, with comments on what to do.

 

Figure 3) Now the picture is down to 729x512, so I just need to do a little more cropping to get it down to 669x512.

 

3) Now we're close, we're at 729x512 pixels.  I still need to get it down to 669x512 though, so I'll crop the image.  You can either do this manually with the Crop tool, which may get tedious, or you can just open up the Canvas Size dialog.  It's under Image -> Canvas Size. (Figure 3)  I'll simply center the image on the Anchor, and choose 669x512 for my new image size.

 

Figure 4) The Canvas Size dialog.

 

Objective 2 (squish the image to 512x512)

 

4) Now I'm going to squish my image on the horizontal axis to 512x512 to fit the Picture Frame texture size.  I'll open up Image Resize again as I did in step 2 above.  I'll uncheck Constrain Proportions, and change the Width to 512.  See Figure 5 if you're stuck.  Your final result should look like Figure 6.

 

Figure 5) Last image size you need to do to scale it down to 512x512.

 

Figure 6) Final 512x512 image that I'll upload to my Picture Frame.  Yes, it's supposed to look squished like that.  I'll be sure and give him some ibuprofen for the pain.

 

Final (Saving the image)

 

If you need to, go to Layer -> Flatten Image.  Now choose File -> Save As and for the format type try PNG for the best quality.  When the PNG Options dialog pops up choose None for Interlace type (Figure 7).

 

Figure 7) Just say no to Interlaced.

 

A note about saying in JPG: I recommend against saving in JPG as it degrades quality, but if you're absolutely bent on doing so as some are, just take note of one thing (see Figure 8)...  when saving as a JPG be sure and *NOT* use Progressive under Format Options, use a Baseline format, or Home will have problems with your Picture Frame in some cases.

 

Figure 8) JPEG Options


Once you're done, go throw it up on your Media Server or put it on Memory Stick, or however you want to get it over to the PS3.  Copy over the image, load up Home, and then put it on a Picture Frame.  Once you do, rotate it where you want to (use Move to rotate the frame).  Now use the Edit option and make sure Filled mode is used, and use L2/R2 to rotate the image within the frame how you want from within the Edit dialog.

 

Results

 

See for yourself, that's not too bad at all.  The quality does get degraded somewhat due to the texture quality of the frames themselves, but as long as you start with a clean image (which is why I recommend PNG over JPG), you will come out ok in the end and have great looking results that don't have heavy pixelation.

 

 

One thing to notice is that soft gradients like the verticle black to grey in the background I showed here have a tendency to cause "banding", so be a bit cautious of that fact when creating images.  This is in a large part on account of the texture quality being lowered when you upload it to a frame.  Otherwise, the contours come out very well and you can see detail on the image without worrying about pixelation.

 

Technical (skip this section if you don't care to know all the details)

 

The necessitation for the "interlacing" effect described above is not a fault of Home as much as it is the OpenGL standard.  With OpenGL your textures must be powers of 2 (i.e. 64x64, 128x128, 256x256, 512x512, etc).  By making the image first 669x512, then squishing it to 512x512, the Filled texture will recorrect itself for aspect ratio, but you will lose some pixels in the process due to the interlacing effect.  If you really care about having pixel-by-pixel accuracy, you can resize your pictures to 512x392 or 392x512 and then center it on a 512x512 image, and then choose Cropped mode on the Edit dialog for the Picture Frame.  However, by doing so you'll effectively have less pixels to work with, and it'll also stretch them on the shorter axis.  Really, the two methods come out looking close to the same in most situations, but you'll get more pixels out of the 669x512/512x669 solution.

 

HUGE thanks to House_MD_PL, BuggieTechnica, and Locust_Star

Message Edited by BitRunner on 06-23-2009 11:06 PM
Message Edited by BitRunner on 06-26-2009 03:14 AM
Visit my CG Art Gallery at: http://www.johnnyernest.com/projects.php
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I Only Post Everything
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Re: HOW TO: Make high quality Picture Frames (56k Warning)

Jun 24, 2009
cool, thanks :smileyvery-happy:
sc misscooco
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Survivor
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Re: HOW TO: Make high quality Picture Frames (56k Warning)

Jun 24, 2009
This is a highly informative post. Nice work.
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Treasure Hunter
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Re: HOW TO: Make high quality Picture Frames (56k Warning)

Jun 24, 2009

Almost forgot, in case anyone's interested in the 3d sculpting book I'm reading...

 

This is the book Introducing ZBrush.  This is the program called ZBrush, it's a $600 program but it's very very awesome if you can learn how to use it, it's used a lot now in creating models for "next gen" gaming (maybe it was even used in Home for doing all of those realistic folds on clothing).

Message Edited by BitRunner on 06-23-2009 10:46 PM
Visit my CG Art Gallery at: http://www.johnnyernest.com/projects.php
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Fender Bender
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Re: HOW TO: Make high quality Picture Frames (56k Warning)

Jun 24, 2009
REALLY AWESOME AND INFOMATIVE!!! You really went all out with this guide, and I say KUDOS to you sir!! Thanks for all the hard work you do.
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Sackboy
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Re: HOW TO: Make high quality Picture Frames (56k Warning)

Jun 24, 2009
nice job! kudos! I have been hearing alot about squeezing the image.. but this just makes it too easy to get everythign right Smiley Tongue gracias
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Uncharted Territory
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Re: HOW TO: Make high quality Picture Frames (56k Warning)

Jun 24, 2009
 
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3333/3641173219_0e71fc635b_o.jpg
Could you please fix this picture? I do not have the software to do it, nor do I have any room to save the software... Please, and Thanks!
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Sackboy
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Re: HOW TO: Make high quality Picture Frames (56k Warning)

Jun 24, 2009

Kudos! I've been struggling with picture frames ever since they came out, I couldn't figure out what the perfect resolution was/is and what picture format to use. Very informative post. I better get to work, I have over 1000 pics in my PS3 Smiley Tongue

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Treasure Hunter
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Re: HOW TO: Make high quality Picture Frames (56k Warning)

Jun 24, 2009
Sorry adud I'm at g/f's on my iPhone and can't do it (no good free photoshopish apps on iPhone? I'll have to fix that...). If anyone else wants to give it a try tonight go ahead.
Visit my CG Art Gallery at: http://www.johnnyernest.com/projects.php
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Wastelander
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Re: HOW TO: Make high quality Picture Frames (56k Warning)

Jun 24, 2009
Kudos for a very well thought out thread and a desire to help others.
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