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DVD Talk Covers, Cases & Inserts Talk about DVD Cover Art, DVD Cases and DVD INSERTS

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Old 06-02-15, 09:10 PM   #1
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Assistance with printing covers

I apologize if this question has been answered elsewhere on the site, but i can't real information on it.

Are there any specific printers that are more recommended for printing DVD/BD covers than others? I ask because, I've been interested in printing replacement covers for my DVDs and BD in the event their current covers become damaged, but every time I've preformed test prints, the covers never look good. They always end up looking faded or slightly blurry. My current printer is a Canon Pixma MP435 inkjet, but even when I used the office printer at one of my previous jobs (a no-no, I know) the covers still didn't look right. The last time I did test prints on the Canon, I used 28lb Color Copier Digital Hammermill paper. It feels right, not too thick, not too thin, but it just didn't seem to hold the ink on the images. Would a photo printer work better?
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Old 06-04-15, 06:13 AM   #2
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Re: Assistance with printing covers

Well, my obvious question is where are you getting the cover art from? Maybe you're getting some crap from some crap site. I have transferred virtually my entire DVD collection to Thinpaks and I always get my cover art from r1db.com, print it on my Canon Pixma 950i (10+ years old) and it comes out great.
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Old 06-10-15, 12:34 PM   #3
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Re: Assistance with printing covers

Quote:
Originally Posted by danwiz View Post
Well, my obvious question is where are you getting the cover art from? Maybe you're getting some crap from some crap site. I have transferred virtually my entire DVD collection to Thinpaks and I always get my cover art from r1db.com, print it on my Canon Pixma 950i (10+ years old) and it comes out great.
How many covers per ink cartridge does your Pixma print?

I'm sort of in the market for a new printer, and am looking at things like page yeilds. I have a ton of custom covers I'm looking at doing, and am having trouble as to what kind of printer I should get. Refilling my ink cartridges at Costco is also an option. I know that inkjet printers don't necessarily give a lot of pages with large images, so and I'm also looking at things like Brother lasers.
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Old 06-10-15, 01:52 PM   #4
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Re: Assistance with printing covers

Quote:
Originally Posted by danwiz View Post
Well, my obvious question is where are you getting the cover art from? Maybe you're getting some crap from some crap site. I have transferred virtually my entire DVD collection to Thinpaks and I always get my cover art from r1db.com, print it on my Canon Pixma 950i (10+ years old) and it comes out great.
The covers I tested looked high quality when viewed on my computer. I downloaded most of them from cdcovers.cc, although this was a while ago. I recently did a test print of the WarGames BD cover on one of my office's color laser printers and it turned out pretty good. I'll use that to compare against my canon printer at home.
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Old 07-10-15, 09:41 PM   #5
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Re: Assistance with printing covers

Looks like I'm late to this discussion, but I'll attempt to help (I'm in the printing industry, but more on the coordination side, rather than the graphic designer department).

Is the image at least 300 DPI?

An image on the computer may look high quality, but the DPI (for printing) may be low.


What is D.P.I. and how it will affect your printed job?

D.P.I. or "Dots per Inch" is the measurement used within the printing and graphics design industry to determine how sharp an image is. Web graphics and online photos are normally created at 72dpi (dots per inch). This low resolution is great for the web because the images look excellent on a computer monitor and the file sizes are very small which helps web pages load faster. However, when designing graphics for commercial printing purposes, your images should be 300dpi or better...



Source (not my company, just a good explanation I found): http://www.mmprint.com/info-center/highres_photos.cfm
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Old 07-11-15, 09:22 AM   #6
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Re: Assistance with printing covers

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Originally Posted by MLBFan24 View Post
Looks like I'm late to this discussion, but I'll attempt to help (I'm in the printing industry, but more on the coordination side, rather than the graphic designer department).

Is the image at least 300 DPI?

An image on the computer may look high quality, but the DPI (for printing) may be low.


What is D.P.I. and how it will affect your printed job?

D.P.I. or "Dots per Inch" is the measurement used within the printing and graphics design industry to determine how sharp an image is. Web graphics and online photos are normally created at 72dpi (dots per inch). This low resolution is great for the web because the images look excellent on a computer monitor and the file sizes are very small which helps web pages load faster. However, when designing graphics for commercial printing purposes, your images should be 300dpi or better...



Source (not my company, just a good explanation I found): http://www.mmprint.com/info-center/highres_photos.cfm
I'm not sure how much the DPI of the image itself is, but I assumed it was enough for a quality print out. I did compare the printout of WarGames I did on my office's laser printer with a couple I did on my home Canon inkjet. The Canon printouts didn't look bad after I played around with the color settings, but the colors just don't look dark enough. Comparing it to the laser printout, the laser one looks much more vibrant.

I also noticed I could adjust the DPI on the laser printer (which was already set to 600), but I can't find anything in my Canon's software to adjust the DPI. I was wondering if the laser printout looked better because it came from a laser printer as opposed to an inkjet?
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Old 07-11-15, 02:46 PM   #7
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Re: Assistance with printing covers

Try locating the Image DPI first, as I think that could be the issue. I've had a project at work that looked great on my screen, but when the designer was preflighting it (setting it up for print), the image only had 72 DPI and was pixelated on my match print.

Here is a good video on locating the DPI (of an image, not the printer's)

http://youtu.be/akcQ80yf7CU
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Old 07-11-15, 03:02 PM   #8
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Re: Assistance with printing covers

At 300dpi a DVD cover should be about 2175 pixels high. A blu-ray cover should be about 1762 pixels high (though the ones I have vary a bit; some are 1748).
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Old 07-11-15, 06:04 PM   #9
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Re: Assistance with printing covers

Sorry that I am kind of late replying to your question about number of covers per cartridge. I don't really know (remember) as I converted everything to thinpak some years ago now. I can recall that I was not frustrated nor disappointed in the number of covers which I was able to do though. My old PIXMA has 6 cartridges (6 colors of cartridges), so of course that makes it even more difficult to know how many covers one can print per cartridge.

I can recall downloading some from cdcovers and after just a few I stopped using them - very poor quality. On r1db.com all covers are at least 300 dpi.
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Old 07-12-15, 08:23 AM   #10
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Re: Assistance with printing covers

Quote:
Originally Posted by MLBFan24 View Post
Try locating the Image DPI first, as I think that could be the issue. I've had a project at work that looked great on my screen, but when the designer was preflighting it (setting it up for print), the image only had 72 DPI and was pixelated on my match print.

Here is a good video on locating the DPI (of an image, not the printer's)

http://youtu.be/akcQ80yf7CU
Thanks for that video, it helped a lot. I just checked the DPI of that WarGames cover and it said it was 600. I checked a few other covers I was doing test prints of (Independence Day and Commando) and saw their DPI was only 72. The test prints of those two didn't turn out very well; the colors weren't dark enough on Independence Day and Commando looked real blurry. Now I know why.
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Old 07-13-15, 12:23 PM   #11
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Re: Assistance with printing covers

Three things to creating a quality cover:

1) start with a quality, high resolution image
2) create a profile or manually change the printer settings to print high quality. The default settings are not "high resolution"
3) use a quality paper. Any generic paper will not yield great results. I use a photo quality presentation paper. > http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...ilpage_o09_s00
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Old 07-13-15, 12:30 PM   #12
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Re: Assistance with printing covers

I've used several printers over the years and I'm currently on my second Canon Pixma.

The one thing I've learned over the years is spend the extra money and get a model with seperate ink tanks for each color.

As to ink cartridges, I've seen that generic cartridges generally don't have the lifespan of a factory cartridge. I would assume refilled cartridges would have similar results. I've never tracked total pages printed, but the numbers wouldn't be a true representation anyway. Also, in regards to refilling cartridges, most new cartridges are chipped. In the short term, this won't matter, but depending on the printer brand/model, the cartridge will have an expiration date and/or a max numbers of pages limit. No a huge deal, just something to keep in mind.
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Old 07-15-15, 08:30 PM   #13
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Re: Assistance with printing covers

I forgot to mention that you should make sure you print your artwork in CMYK format (and not RGB format)

The dvd cover image might be in RGB format, but you should convert the image to CMYK before your print.

A very good explanation on this youtube video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fNisT6ROdUo

It first explains the difference between RGB and CMYK, and then at the 4:30 mark, why you should convert to CMYK.
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