Thursday, March 3, 2011

Canvas Wrap Preparation

I like the looks of a gallery wrap for my canvas images and have gotten requests to explain the process so I thought I'd post it here. Although there are several actions available to do this I've found that I get better results and more satisfaction doing it my way. Your mileage may differ..

I use either heavy duty or medium duty stretcher bars depending on the image size. The heavy duty wrap adds approximately 5" to the image size while a medium duty adds approximately 4". I also cheat. If I have an image that's 30x20 (9000x6000 at 300dpi) I first increase the size to 30.15x20.1 (9045x6030 at 300dpi). I want that slight increase in image size to allow for a better finished image after stretching; besides I'll be using Glamour II to protect the canvas and there's some slight shrinkage and this just helps.

Father Crowley Point, Death Valley

The next step is to increase the canvas size to the size needed to accommodate the stretcher bars; in this case we'll use medium duty as an example. The 30.15x20.1 needs to be increased to 34.15x24.1.  Click on Image, drop down to Canvas Size making sure that Relative box is checked and add 4" to both the Width and Height.  You should now have a 2" border around the image.

I need to stop here and explain this is the very last thing you've done prior to the actual printing thus you need to begin this process with a flatten image file.

Okay back to the process...

Your background image in layers should now show the image with the white border which is the same as you working image. Drag the background image down to the icon directly to the left of the trash can which will add a second layer named "Background copy".

I normally work top and bottom then left and right.

Going to the tools pallet click on the Rectangular Marquee Tool. Using this tool go to the top of your image and dropping down ever so slightly, begin to open the box from left to right the full length of the image and approximately 2" down. Next go to Edit, Free Transform and click in the lower middle of the box dragging it upwards. You should see the image being moved in a mirror effect toward the top. Click on the check mark to okay the move. Click Control D (I'm on a PC) to deselect the tool. Do the same for the bottom opening the Rectangular Marquee Tool along the bottom then using the top of the box in Free Transform move the selection down into the white border and click okay. If you end up with a thin white line between the image and what you just mirrored redo your Rectangular Marquee Tool to just slightly inside the image and try again.

By now your background copy image should show the top and bottom being mirrored and you're left with the left and right white borders. What you need to do is one of either next step. The choice is yours. You can either flatten the image or going to Image and Duplicate, duplicate the image. I've done both. Either way you need to flatten the image to work on the sides.

Once you're ready to work on the sides you should again have a flatten image and just the background image showing. Duplicate the background making a copy of it.

The process of adding to the image is the same as what you've done to the top and bottom. By the time you're finished you should now have added a mirror 2" border all the way around your image and your image size should be 34.15x24.1. You should see some mirroring effect to the image however that shouldn't be a problem as you're looking at the side where the image is wrapped. If the mirror effect is bothersome then you might need to do a little cleanup using cloning or other effects.

Finished image
You might see a thin white line where the image wasn't copied onto the mirror side. This can be easily fixed using either a clone or fill action or left alone if it'll be on the rear of the image after stretching; this is where your experience will come into play with the more you do it the more you'll know.

As I said in the beginning, this process has worked well for me and I print over 80% of my images on canvas using an Epson 9800.

I hope this helps.


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