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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
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    NJ, USA
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    Default Large Format and Billboard Design and Sizing

    Hello, I am having a bit of a problem here.

    Problem: I have to do a billboard design for a client and it seems that nothing I do as far as scaling will work for me to get the desired or proper sizing for the project and export.
    And now I'm not even sure where to scale it to.



    Project Purpose: Billboard sized at 48ft wide x 14 ft high.



    Attempts:
    I tried scaling the project at 1inch = 1ft in the scaling tab so I can see what I am doing on my page because If you don't change this, you won't be able to see what you're doing.
    When I export the design at 300 dpi and put the pixel amount into a converter to check the footage size, it comes out waaayyyyy off. Not even big enough for an actual billboard
    which wound up confusing me.

    Sometimes it even changes the dpi to 28 dpi without me even asking it to. This is so frustrating. I thought this would be easier to do.



    Tool used: I used justintools dot com to check it.




    Advice:

    1. What am I missing here? what step am I missing?

    2. Does anyone know how to use this scaling tab in the Utilities > Options tab?
    How should I scale it?

    3. Does anyone know how to do Large Format design in Xara? because it seems that it's done differently than in Illustrator.





    Thanks in advance

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Placitas, New Mexico, USA
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    Default Re: Large Format and Billboard Design and Sizing

    mwenz will have a better answer but if your billboard is type or vectors then a PDF will work. If it is text and bitmaps then it gets a lot more difficult and I will defer to Mike on this one.
    Gary W. Priester
    Mr. Moderator Emeritus Dude
    , Sir

    gwpriester.com | Custom-Stereograms.com | eyeTricks on Facebook






  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    NJ, USA
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    Default Re: Large Format and Billboard Design and Sizing

    Quote Originally Posted by gwpriester View Post
    mwenz will have a better answer but if your billboard is type or vectors then a PDF will work. If it is text and bitmaps then it gets a lot more difficult and I will defer to Mike on this one.

    Thanks for the reply. However, The reason why I'm stating that this is a problem is that I want to make sure that any images I use will have the best quality. If I start with the wrong settings then It wouldn't matter if I export in PDF because everything will be in the wrong size.

    I don't want someone at the printing shop to feel like they always have to fix my work.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Brockville, Ontario, Canada.
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    Default Re: Large Format and Billboard Design and Sizing

    The way I understand the scaling is this:

    Select a Custom paper size of 48" x 14" and choose a scale of 1:12 ... That should give a finished design size of 48' x 14'

    The trouble is exporting that will only ever give a 48" x 14" piece of paper that reports it's at 1:12. The printer will have to print the original file at 1:1.

    The next issue is that if you actually design on a 48' x 14' sheet in Xara ... which is what you really should do ... you can't see all of it at once as the zoom scale won't go down below 5%

    The intent of the scaling is so that you can fit a 48' design on a 48" piece of paper and print it that way ... The same way CAD works. it's not really geared towards a final 48' wide print.
    Keith
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    There are 10 types of people in this world .... Those who understand binary, and those who don't.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Large Format and Billboard Design and Sizing

    Printed billboard or the newer digital billboards?
    If for print, you need to talk with the print provider as regards file submission specifications (but it will not be 1:1 @ 300 DPI).
    If for digital, you need to talk with the provider of the service as regards file submission specifications.

    In general, a printed billboard will need a final scaled-up print at 36-45 dpi. Which means that at whatever scale you use, any bitmaps need in-application effective resolution scale*dpi. A simplistic example is if the job needs to be 400" (p[dfs can only be 200" in any dimension) and the design scale is 50%, a bitmap needs to be twice the target resolution in the design application so when scaled up it is the target resolution.

    In your 48'x14' case, I would design (without the scale option) with a 12' x 3.5' (144" x 42") dimension page--25% of finished size. Which can be done in newer Xara applications. The size seems odd, at least I've not done one that is so long versus height.

    Here's a quick run through my spread sheet. The bitmap section gives pixel sizes needed for areas as an example for included image use.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Capture_000434.png 
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Size:	43.5 KB 
ID:	126254

    I may be offline the remainder of tonight but will check in first thing tomorrow morning.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    17,373

    Default Re: Large Format and Billboard Design and Sizing

    that's a good summation mike

    whilst the later versions of xara will handle large document sizes there is still a maximum pixel size for a bitmap (at least in ver 15.1), i forget the exact limit but it is less than 32000 pix and from memory around 25000 pix give or take... something to bear in mind...
    -------------------------------
    carpe diem
    carpo vitae

  7. #7

    Default Re: Large Format and Billboard Design and Sizing

    Thanks, HD.

    I think at 184", this pdf at 150 dpi (the background is a bitmap) is around 27k px.

    But yes, one can get that infernal error message. Most times on large format work I've done in an Xara application, the error pops up after the pdf has been produced so in that sense it is non-fatal. There are ways to mitigate XP&GD's error. That is choping up such a full background into 2 or more pieces. This help to ease the strain. (For fun, I've made one the same size in Affinity Designer. Its export took 45 minutes...)

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Capture_000442.jpg 
Views:	21 
Size:	71.3 KB 
ID:	126255

 

 

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