Not always, but on occasio


Not always, but on occasion you can get decent graphics for your DVDs from a framestore or still frame off your video footage. My approach is to use Photoshop, de-interlace, reduce the size (dimensions) of the image which is often as much as 20″ wide to about 5″ which kicks up the resolution to 150, sometimes even 300, and tolerably usable when combined with a colored background or other art elements. This isn’t always the case and you will experience frustrations, but it can come out pretty darn good more often than you might imagine.

As Shultz points out, up-converting from the original size document in 72 DPI to 300 does not work as desired. Nor does it do to uprez then stretch or expand the image. But de-interlacing, and reducing the image size to up the dpi even to 150 sometimes working out, and using sharpen/unsharp mask in Photoshop and often generate a decent quality graphic from still images taken from your video footage. A clean still taken from a frame where movement is minimized or even momentarily stopped, and with good quality lighting will often result in something useable.

So while having digital images or photo scans at the proper original 300 dpi is preferred, it isn’t always the ONLY way to achieve decent imaging for DVD graphics.

For the record I still use the Epson Stylus Photo R380 with single DVD print tray hand-fed and have slowly and patiently printed as many as 400 to 500 units, and I use a bulk or constant ink supply. (ALWAYS burn first as burning pre-printed disks, at least disks printed with inkjet and not sufficiently dried, will result in tiny, but sometimes larger, hairline striations and lines outward from the center hub that are unsightly at best, horrific at worst)

If you print first allow a few days drying time (I’ve occasionally had disks all over my place, on every countertop, cabinet, bookcase, platform or even the entire floor of a room air-drying before burning) which minimizes if not eliminates the inner hub outward defects in your graphics. When I can I burn first.

Regarding bulk or constant ink supply. Depending on what you find and where, and the quality of the bulk ink provided, a $125 to $200 investment in such an apparatus is GREAT. It’s just that not ALL available printers, brands or models have CISS or constant ink supply systems available for them. And some become unavailable almost as soon as you buy one, that might leave you stranded finding suitable replacement ink.

On the plus side, there were two models available for the Epson 260 and 380 when I got my first Epson 380, so I purchased the unit for the 380 for $125 from Denver Disc dot com and I continue to obtain my replacement ink fro them even though the CISS system I purchased AND the Epson 380 are no longer available* at a cost of something over $60 plus S&H. Essentially, for about $65 I get the equivalent of 11 six-cartridge replacements for less than the price of one set of Epson branded cartridges from, say, Fry’s Electronics.

When my first Epson 380 experienced the “return to factory for service” warning, then ceased to operate because the built-in spillover pad was saturated or exceeded its service time, or whatever the built-in obsolescence is with this due to Epson’s worry about ink spill damage and lawsuits, and I could not find instructions for modifying the overflow apparatus like can be done with some other models, I was lucky to find a reasonably fresh 380 printer on ebay and purchased it. I adapted it to my CISS and am continuing to use it. At some point this model also will fail to come on anymore due to the built in anti-spill protection thingy. When it does, however, I will have saved a major amount of money on printer and ink cartridge expenses over an approximately 4-years-and-counting run.

I’ve seen where CISS rigs are available for some HP and Canon model printers. These can be found by searching Google for Constant Ink Supply Systems or Continuous Ink Supply Systems or Bulk Ink Supply Systems for (preferred model) printer.

And yes, the Epson printer software for DVD labeling is GREAT. But I still have developed my own general template in Photoshop, save it as a TIFF or JPEG then use the image in the Epson disk printing software to place it as a background image for printing. After playing around with inner and outer diameter print area and shifting, you’ll get fairly consistent hub-to-outer-rim printed disks with good quality colored graphics. I use the Epson disk printing software to occasionally set up a special tag for Photoshop pre-designed graphics such as “Photo JPG CD” or “Music CD” or whatever, but the initial and primary labeling is done via Photoshop.

All this is great and convenient and easy once you get your basics lined out and learn the various printer and system idiosyncrasies and how to adjust for them.

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