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Looking for advice on how to set up "tiled" print files

Discussion in 'Designs & Layouts' started by Glavin_ID, Sep 21, 2018.

  1. Glavin_ID

    Glavin_ID New Member

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    We have a 12'x16' file that we are looking to tile into 4'x8' sections so we can make one big sign out of 4'x8' MDO panels. We have a new artist who doesn't have a ton of experience and I only know the basics of design and layout. Can anyone lend us advice on the best way to set up each individual print file with bleed? We are digitally printing on adhesive backed material to lay onto the MDO so we need bleed on each panel but we also need each panel to match up once we cut off the bleed. I know how I would do it but no one around here agrees with me and I don't to waste 130' of material and lamination to find out I am wrong. The customer's graphic designer sent us a flat file at full size. Any input is appreciated.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

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    I usually do a 1" bleed and put small crop marks where the actual print area needs to be. Is that what your asking about?

    Making a 12'x16' will be a pain because of the horz & vert. seams
     
  3. Glavin_ID

    Glavin_ID New Member

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    Do you just tile the whole image into 4'x8's then add 1" bleed to each individual piece once you have cut it apart?
     
  4. Nickprints

    Nickprints Member

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    Most Rip software like fiery or a workflow layout software like esko have nice options for tiling larger prints
     
  5. RISEgraphics

    RISEgraphics Member

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    What rip software are you using?
     
  6. shoresigns

    shoresigns Very Active Member

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    You can set this up in Illustrator in under 5 minutes.

    Just start a new document with these settings.
    ai-12x16-tiled.PNG
    Turn your bleeds on after starting the new document, otherwise your artboards won't be edge-to-edge.

    Then place the client artwork and export to PDF. That's it.
     
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  7. signman315

    signman315 Signmaker

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    There’s many different and successful ways to do it. Many RIPs will do it for you but I’ve seen that go awry when occasionally a panel somehow is misaligned or not scaled correctly, but that’s another conversation. I’ll tile an image by first creating the layout of the 4’x8’ boards in Illustrator, resulting in a layout of 4x8s that create the overall size of the finished sign...in your case 12’x16’. Then I’ll use the “offset path” feature to add a 1” outline to the 4’x8’ shapes I’ve arranged in illustrator resulting in an overall size of 12’2”x16’2”...this will also create overlaps of each of the panels. Place your 12’x16’ artwork into illustrator and center it on the 12’2”x16’2” group you just created. You will now notice that your original artwork actually needs to have a 1” bleed, resulting in a file size that’s 12’2”x16’2”. You can add that yourself or have the customer resend the artwork with the bleed added. So now you’ve ended up with artwork and vector shapes that both are 12’2”x16’2” and centered on each other in illustrator. Now all you do is use those vector shapes (each 50”x98”) to create clipping masks for each panel. To do this you will copy the artwork, create the clipping mask for panel 1, paste the artwork back in place (control+b) and create the clipping mask for panel 2 and so on. The end result is you have a bunch of tiles each with a 1” bleed that will be applied to your 4’x8’ MDO. I usually separate them into separate illustrator files mostly for file size and referencing later on if needed. Installation is best if you apply panel 1 to the MDO then line up the next blank board and line up the print for panel 2 to panel 1 and apply and so on. It’s harder to explain in this post then it is to actually do haha! Once you’ve done it a few times I could tile a 12’x16’ in less than a twenty minutes, and most of that would be waiting for files to save! There are other ways to do it in Photoshop or using grids of artboards in illustrator which I still do on occasion but I prefer the method above. It gives more control and a record of how the panels were printed in case the sign gets damaged and a panel replacement is needed. Also if it was a vehicle wrap and not applied to 4x8s then you could manipulate where the seams are by an inch or two to make line up for installation easier by moving seams in between words/letters or into other easier to align spots, or lining up with body lines/edges of the vehicle...or if it’s a wall mural to avoid an electrical outlet and so on. Lot of ways to do it but i find this way to be fast and give full control of the process, hope it helps!
     
  8. CL Visual

    CL Visual Member

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    first off, make sure your boards are actually 48x96. Many boards show up a 1/4" over. Next, let us know what type of rip is running your printer. Probably easy enough to do in the rip. Less than a minute of work.

    I agree with what everyone else is saying also. The only way I would differ is that 1" bleed is too much. I would put 1/4" bleed around the boards so it's quicker to line up.

    Finally, the easiest way to do this. Install the boards, then wrap them live. It will avoid a lot of issues you may run into.
     
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  9. rjssigns

    rjssigns Major Contributor

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    CL Visual is on point. Or you could set a dead level ledger board along one wall of your shop. Screw the panels to the wall, take final measurements and go to town. I've done them this way and it makes life easy.
    I'd do 12' panels. Easier to register.
     
  10. AKwrapguy

    AKwrapguy Active Member

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    Several different ways. What rip software are you using?
     
  11. myront

    myront CorelDRAW is best

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    We make all our own tiles in corel much the same manner as described above with illustrator. Oversized and overlapping Powerclips.
     
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  12. CamTX

    CamTX The Granbury Wrap & Sign Guy

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    I know this isn't a part of your question, but I would also recommend laying out your substrates on the ground/floor (if you have the available space) and making sure everything is going to line up before applying graphics. Doing this instead of just installing the graphics on one substrate at a time may help you out.
     
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  13. shoresigns

    shoresigns Very Active Member

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    That's a lot of unnecessary work. You know you can just place one instance of the full-size artwork across all your artboards and export to a multi-page pdf? No clipping masks, no copying and pasting. See my method above.
     
  14. signman315

    signman315 Signmaker

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    It's actually a very quick process, minutes. But your method is also correct, for me personally I can set up vector shapes as fast as artboard shapes and so in a lot of ways it's the same process whether artboards or clipping mask. The artboard method has the advantage of saving file size and the clipping mask method has the advantages described in my post, primarily seam control and ease of repeatability. Six of one, half dozen of the other...both methods very easily execute the finished product in the same amount of time....I'll use either method given any specific scenario. With a billboard of 4' x 8' panels the clipping mask method doesn't hold much advantage over the artboard method, but when it comes to vehicle wraps and wall murals it can save a lot of install time to fine tune where the seams land.
     
  15. shoresigns

    shoresigns Very Active Member

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    I re-read your posts a couple times and I really don't understand how clipping masks and separate Illustrator files are serving any purpose at all, besides multiplying the size and number of files you have to deal with, and multiplying your work.

    All you need is one Illustrator file with one object in it (the linked artwork file), placed over multiple artboards. If you want to control seams, you just adjust the artboards.
     
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  16. signman315

    signman315 Signmaker

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    In my experience there are minor advantages/disadvantages to both methods and both methods are executing the job equally successfully, I use both. So it’s kind of an arbitrary debate, find what works for yourself or the specific scenario and run with it.
     
  17. Glavin_ID

    Glavin_ID New Member

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    Wow, not sure why I didn’t get the notifications of all these responses. Thanks for all the feedback. On this machine, we are using flexi’s rip. We ended up just clipping the files and it worked well. We will definitely try some of these ideas next time!
     
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