I curious about the levels of success people have had with printing images created in Blender. I’ve done 2D art for years with both Gimp (the only one I use now) and Photoshop with very unpredictable results and lots of wasted paper, ink, and money. I understand that when you’re working on a computer you have a back lit light source and printing is front lit, which creates a huge complication. One thing I’ve noticed about Blender is that the colors seem to be ‘more natural’ within the image than photo editing software (or maybe I just suck). Any and every comment will be welcomed.
That’s what color correction software is for… Yes I know, it doesn’t work most of the time, but it’s a worthwhile fight. I use Coloreal Visual that came with my graphics card, but I notice that there are other programs that tend to make their own adjustments and I have to go back and recalibrate many many times. It’s a big pain.
There are some open source colour management tools. Google for LittleCMS. You can set up industry standard colour profiles for your printer, monitor and scanner also included are profilers for jpeg, ps, tiff etc. It will take some reading and research but once you have it set up what you see is pretty close to what you print.
Don’t forget that you can render a small area of your image. You can use this small area to test printing as well to save on consumables.
I just remembered that Scribus an opensource desktop publishing package uses littleCMS for colour management – You may find some instructions on setting it up on the Scribus site.
Plenty of success, but you’ll always need to mess with the image after rendering it. You’ll need to use something like Photoshop for the correction, ink level adjustment, etc. in the conversion to CYMK. It also gets very tricky if you want to use spot colours, I’ve managed to get around it by doing tricky stuff like rendering out greyscale images of the parts I want to be a spot colour, then use those as layer masks in Photoshop with the layer filled wth the spot colour. In any case, it’ll be a cold day in hell before you get professional qualty print output from a JPEG you’ve saved straight of Blender (or just about any 3d program for that matter).
as ppl said before, there are a couple of things that you need to know/do before printing.
1 - save your images larger or equal pixel size of the final print material. in most cases 300dpi resolution is ok, sometimes you might need higher resolutions. general rule: the larger the print medium and final size, the less resolution you’ll need. last summer i did a job on a 101m x 6m banner, which had a final resolution of 6 dpi.
2 - save the image in a lossles format (i.e. either no compression or lossless compression). use TGA’s, NO jpeg.
3 - convert your image to CMYK. even if you have no cms running, this is better then sending rgb files.
4 - make some test-printings on the target printer to see how colors come out. create a test picture together with a color- and greyscale-stripe next to it and print that. compare the output with your monitor and start tweaking (color correction)
5 - for more predictable results inform yourself about color management. on the mac, it’s easy to set up a working (not perfect, but usable) cms even without calibration hardware. should be similar under windows, and linux? hell, i don’t know. the GIMP doesn’t even support the CMYK color-space…