Monday, June 30, 2014

Postcards from the Edge

The incredibly fertile and imaginative minds at Art by the Sea have done it again, they are asking you to take your art and put it on a postcard and send it to them and let them sell it off for the good of folks with less talent, imagination and drive and you know that is a good thing so I am sure that you are already working up your entry and if you aren't you are probably using the ole “I just don't know how I would put my wonderful art on a teeny, tiny little postcard” excuse.

But I have no intention of letting you get away with that lame bit of whiny reasoning. No, by the end of this post there will just be no good reason why you cannot do any art on any postcard and I will even show you how to print it off on your own computer so there is no crying about and wringing of hands because of the cost.

Yesterday I asked you to go to Photoscape and download the exe and set it up on your computer. Did you do that?

Okay I put the link back up so if you didn't you have another chance and you should cause having this free software will make things a lot easier and it is good and did I mention free and you should always have a free photo editor on your computer.

So now you have Photoscape up and running and I want you to bring it up, let it load and then click on the Print section of the tools menu. On my computer it is in the lower right quadrant of the selection wheel.

Once the Print section is up it will probably have a bunch of small frames in the center of the screen and one or more sections of your computer where your images are stored. On the right there is a bar with 5 x 7cm in it. Click on that bar and it will pull up a drop-down menu and four from the bottom you will see 4 x 6 which just happens to be the size of an official, actual, real and genuine U.S. Postcard. That's what you want and you can go ahead and select landscape orientation cause that will work for both horizontally and vertical images.

Now go back to the left where you see your images and select two really good ones. Drag them one at a time until they lock inside the frames of your 4 x 6 print form. Okay so if you have followed along you should have two images in the forms and you can now print.

I won't tell you how to print cause every printer is different and on some you may have to select photo printing or some other setting to get the right quality image.

Did you get the Xerox 80 lb semi-gloss paper I told you about/ sure you can use any paper but this type does a really good job of taking the ink and holding up as a card. There are a lot of papers you can use which will do one or the other but not too many which can do both. Try this stuff, it will amaze you.

So you printed out the image and now you have two images in the center of your 8.5 x 11 page and you don't know what to do next.


We have to have a word about what happens if you haven't used the Xerox paper or even if you have and your printer uses extra ink to get photo quality images.
In most cases if you haven't used the Xerox paper or even if you have and the printer uses extra ink you will need to allow some time for the print to dry. If you don't it will smear ink all over your printer and extra paper and the stuff which gets inside of your printer can be the very devil to get out so just take a minute and let it dry.

When you think it is dry enough not to smear take the paper by the right bottom corner as it faces you in the tray and turn it over. Again the right way to do this depends on the printer, my Epson has a straight paper path as does the Log Sufferin's Canon so that part is easy for us but if you have an HP they do a curl print path and you'll have to reason out how to get the orientation right.

Now for the part where I help you out again...

See I told you I was going to help you. Just download this image to your computer and you'll be ready for the next step. Be sure to name it Postcard Back or something which will help you remember what it is cause sometimes Windows hides downloads in strange and curious places and you'll have to know what you called it to find it when windows hides it from you cause it knows better than you do what you want to do with things which you download.

Now go back to Photoscape, you still have the images in that print form so they need to go. You can right click them or at the top of the page you will see thumbnails of these images and you can right click them and select delete. Now find the postcard back you downloaded and drag it into one of the forms. Then do it again with the second form. Yes, Photoscape is smart enough to know that you don't want to actually use the master image for this, it loads a temporary copy and now you should have two postcard backs in the printer form. Print.

Nope no special instructions for this cause any printer setting will do for the back part of the print job. If you followed my direction and rolled the page over from right to left it will have the correct orientation and the forms will print on the back of your images and now all you have left to do is trim away the excess making sure that you don't cut off either the edge of the picture or the postcard back.

There it is a beautiful, sturdy postcard, suitable for mailing and you made it yourself. And the nice part is if the first image you select doesn't work right you can try it with another. After all you are doing all of the works so there's no lag time waiting for the printer to get the thing Mastered Up and printed and sent back and no extra add-on charges and no lost in shipping just a new card whenever you want to run one

Now wasn't that fun?

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