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2D Printing Thread (Japanese Advertising Signs, Decals, etc.)


gavino200

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I'm going to use this thread to bring together all the various techniques and resources needed for 2D printing. I've read posts about printing and asked questions in a variety of threads here, and at this stage it's going to be a project to find them all. So, as I hunt them all down, I'm going to leave a breadcrumb train here so I don't have to do it again.

 

The specific goals to achieve are:

1. Printing signs and ads

2. Background and wall art for building interiors

3. Printing decals

4. Printing on transparencies - Window frames and back-lit signs

5.. Others to be added

 

Resource list

 

Color Printer Types: Color Laser printer vs. Color Inkjet printer

 

Color Laser Printer Pros

Generally faster (pages per minute)

Usually better detail for text

Toner is usually cheaper than injet

give flat print result no matter the paper type or texture

 

Color Laser Printer Cons

Toner can crack when paper is folded

While it's possible to print on transparent material, colors are less vibrant

Initial price of printer is higher

 

Color Inkjet Printer Pros

Printer price is generally lower

Can get larger printers

Print on multiple materials

Vibrant color prints on transparencies

 

Color Inkjet Printer Cons

Inkjets can dry up if not used regularly

Slower than laser printer

Ink cartridges can be expensive

Water soluble ink may bleed with moisture

requires inkjet or photo papers to not bleed and give best results

 

My choice - Color inkjet printer.

Reason for my decision is that I want to be able to print vibrant color

on transparencies for backlit signs. My main worry with an inkjet is that

I won't remember to print with it regularly enough to prevent it from drying out.

Likely I'll use clear coat to prevent ink bleed with moisture.

 

 

 

Ink types:

As far as I can tell there's not much to choosing ink.

 

For a laser color printer you choose the toner cartridge designed for your printer.

 

There are two different ways that inkjet printers are supplied with ink. Some use

cartridges. You buy the cartridge designed for your machine. Others have a refillable

tank. When empty you buy ink in bottles to add to the tank. Printers are designed one method

or the other, so your choice is made when you buy your machine.

 

There are inkjet cleaners available, but I'll add more about this when I get this far.

 

 

 

 

 

Paper and Decals

 

For Laser color printers

 

Transparency sheets for Color laser printer

 

 If anyone can post below with their preferences

or experience with laser printer paper I'll add it here.

 

 

 

 

For Color Inkjet printers

 

Photo paper for vibrant colors

This comes in a variety of paper qualities, sizes and

finishes (gloss, matte, etc)

 

Plastic photo paper is a thing.

Per Jeff @cteno4 it doesn't produce as crisp a color as paper

but bends well and doesn't crease or kink

 

Sticky backed paper is available.

Basically photo paper with adhesive on the back

The alternative is to just apply glue (or transfer tape ) yourself to regular photo paper

 

Decals/Waterslide Transparencies - I think both terms mean the same thing but I'm not certain

Per @Madsingwhen using decals with Inkjet it's vital to coat the decal several times  right after printing

so that the ink does not dissolve in the water. (not necessary with laser printers)

 

I'll review my purchases after I try a few

 

 

 

 

Image types

There are basically two choices, bitmap (jpeg) and vector

Vector images can are images that can be scaled down without losing detail.

They are used in professional settings but unfortunately are very difficult to come by.

A longer discussion of this can be found in this thread. I'll say no more about them here.

 

For modelling purposes, bitmap images are what people generally use.

If I understand correctly, most of the images on the internet are bitmap (jpeg)

 

A problem can be that sometimes in photos on the internet, billboards are photographed from an angle.

So if you crop the picture and print it, it will be some kind of non-right-angle trapazoid instead of a rectangle.

A solution to this can be to use a computer program to shift the image into a right angled form.

@cteno4suggests a free program called GIMP to do this.

I tried this once, but couldn't make head'nor'tail out of it.

However, given that this is a simple repeatable process it should be possible to work it out.

If I succeed, I'll post the sequence of steps, with some screenshots.

(Or if I ask Jeff nicely, perhaps he'll do it) LOL

 

 

Software programs

MS word - used for sizing images to fit the desired space (see the JR500 technique below)

MS Powerpoint can be used for the same purpose

Photoshop or a similar program can also be used at a much higher cost

 

 

 

Techniques

Sammy @JR 500系's MS Word technique - see post below.

Edited by gavino200
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Placeholder to add links to other JNS threads

 

 

This thread has excellent advice and examples on how to make advertising signs. Likely I'll extract the information, unpin it, and pin this thread instead if it is worthy after it's been fleshed out a bit.

 

 

Edited by gavino200
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  • gavino200 changed the title to 2D Printing Thread

@JR 500系's excellent write-up on making advertising signs using MSword and a color printer, reposted with his permission.

 

I (Sammy) too use MSword to rescale the pictures. 

Firstly, I download the ad signs I want from the internet, like these:

 

post-819-0-88916500-1471665849.jpg

 

 

 

post-819-0-18324400-1471665856.jpg

 

 

 

post-819-0-45008200-1471665857.jpg

 

 

Thereafter, I use a ruler to measure the exact size of the billboards to be placed on...

 

Then paste the pictures on the words document,

Then in MS Word use the 'Size and position' function,

Under 'size' select the 'absolute' function instead of 'relative'

to scale them down to exactly the same size as the billboard you have measured.

 

(Absolute means the size will come out as per dimensions you place, such as 3cm by 2.1cm etc. so it should be pretty straight forward; just need to measure the surface area that the decal will cover...)

 

I then re-arrange them properly

so I can get the maximum number of them

into one A4 size decal sheet...

 

Thereafter, I print the document out

on a A4 decal sheet,

cut them out and just paste them on the billboards:

 

post-819-0-93575300-1471665858.jpg

 

 

post-819-0-73368500-1471665860.jpg

 

 

Viola! Home-made signs to your liking!

 

Another excellent example of the same technique from @Sascha

 

Some tips from Sascha

 

First I googled 'Japanese Advertising' and clicked on images.

If I found one I liked I clicked on it, so that it expanded and showed me other images,

and the 'more related images 'button.

I did the same with the word Advertising in Japanese Kanji on Google.com and Google.co.jp.

 

Search tips from Sammy:

if you wish to get Japanese store interiors,

you could maybe try to do a goggle image search using Japanese words, like 日本の店内

 

I think the images come up pretty well with some huge potentials for interior images for the buildings!  🙂

 

 

A tip and a slight variation on the technique from @Hayashi

 

If you are trying to do your cropping work in Word,

try PowerPoint instead if you have the whole Microsoft Office Suite.

 

PowerPoint is much easier to use for "artistic" work than Word.

It also has more creative capabilities than Word.

 

It's a decent replacement for Photoshop or similar programs

if you don't want to spend the money to buy those programs

or spend the time learning to use them.

 

I use Photoshop CC (v20),

but it's an expensive program and takes a while to learn.

Overkill for signs and interiors unless you want to create something wonderful from scratch.

 

 

 

Edited by gavino200
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Might add 

 

laser pro

give flat print result no matter the paper type or texture

 

inkjet con

requires inkjet or photo papers to not bleed and give best results

 

jeff

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Thanks for starting this thread. I haven't got to the point where I need to do a lot of printing, but I've definitely started to think about it and this will be an excellent reference!

 

Regarding transparencies for inkjets, are they truly transparent? I was under the impression that they are textured to hold the ink, and this texture makes the plain sheets look more translucent than transparent. Not a problem for making backlit signs (might even be an advantage), but might not be a good option if you're planning to use the transparency to print window frames (like this: https://quinntopia.blogspot.com/2011/10/modern-flatiron-scratchbuild-part-2.html?m=1), in which case laser transparency printing might be a better choice.

 

Any comment from those with hands on experience? Am I off base with my understanding?

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25 minutes ago, James-SNMB said:

Thanks for starting this thread. I haven't got to the point where I need to do a lot of printing, but I've definitely started to think about it and this will be an excellent reference!

 

Regarding transparencies for inkjets, are they truly transparent? I was under the impression that they are textured to hold the ink, and this texture makes the plain sheets look more translucent than transparent. Not a problem for making backlit signs (might even be an advantage), but might not be a good option if you're planning to use the transparency to print window frames (like this: https://quinntopia.blogspot.com/2011/10/modern-flatiron-scratchbuild-part-2.html?m=1), in which case laser transparency printing might be a better choice.

 

Any comment from those with hands on experience? Am I off base with my understanding?

 

Thanks. I knew I had seen Quinntopia print window frames. Interesting that he used a laser printer. I actually ordered an Inkjet last night. But I'd like to keep adding material for both laser and inkjet printing to this thread. I'll be relying on other people to tell me about their laser printer experiences. I'm sure there are modeling needs where one versus the other will be advantageous.

 

I don't know the answer to your question about the opacity of inkjet transparencies. There's actually a bewildering variety of different materials out there to choose from. Transparancy, decal, adhesive backed, multiple varieties of photo paper. I'm learning about this right now. I know I'll have to try different things and find out for myself. However, I'd like to also learn about the experience of other modelers so as not to needlessly "reinvent the wheel" myself.

 

 

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Yes, I look forward to learning from others before making a choice. And I might just end up using print shops for a while so I don't have to make a choice!

 

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7 minutes ago, James-SNMB said:

Yes, I look forward to learning from others before making a choice. And I might just end up using print shops for a while so I don't have to make a choice!

 

 

I tried to use a domestic printshop called "kinkos" to print tiny Japanese advertising signs. They refused for copyright reasons! 😨 I used a printer at work instead. 

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Yeah depending on the kinks/FedEx place they can be picky about copyright, but it is their butt on the line potentially legally and with their public image/pr. Safer to just have a blanket rule on it. Logos and iconic stuff usually bring cease and desist letters fast from companies.

 

I’ve had spotty luck at the commercial places, sometimes great printers, other times badly worn printers. Now only use them for oversized stuff. But my latest inkjet/scanner is 11x14 (actually can go longer at 11” wide for printing) so that suits most all my needs. Does eat up ink! I decided not to g9 for the tanks as I don’t print that much and spotty when so fine with just the oversized knock off cartridges.

 

jeff

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  • gavino200 changed the title to 2D Printing Thread (Japanese Advertising Signs, Decals, etc.)
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