Video – Jagged ID Plates and Printing

This week’s video is on a topic that’s bit weird – jagged Identity Plates. See, if you’ve never tried to import a custom identity plate graphic into Lightroom then you’ve probably never had this problem. But if you have then you’re probably about ready to shoot somebody. Just about every time I try to use a custom graphic in the Print module as an Identity Plate it comes up jagged on the page. Notice I said “just about”. That’s because sometimes it doesn’t. Until now, there was no rhyme nor reason to it but, with some help, I think we’ve figured out a way to get around this issue so you can create some pretty cool print design right inside of Lightroom.

Click here to download the video

Author: Matt K

Matt is a full time Education Director for the NAPP and Kelby Training. He's a best-selling author of various books on Photoshop and Photography co-hosts the live weekly photography talk show "The Grid" and is co-host of "Photoshop User TV". In his spare time he practices as a 1st degree black belt in Taekwondo and enjoys spending time with his family in Tampa, FL.

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27 Comments

  1. Matt,

    I watched the video and played around with a similar setup in LR. I’ve never noticed the problem with my usual signature nameplate for printing. However, when I made a similar square nameplate and used it as you did in the video, I ran in to the jagged problems in the text. It got somewhat better when I reloaded the signature, but didn’t seem as clear as yours. So I guess that bug is there in the Print module and I’ll have to keep that in mind for future printing.

    Eric

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  2. Huh that’s too weird. Good to know though. So computer like. Load it again, or hit it and maybe it will work.

    I have had problems with identity plates in LR (non graphical though) They always seem to reset to the default text that’s the name om my mac. Guess that’s a separate issue though.

    Gav

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  3. This comment doesn’t have anything to do with today’s post, but couldn’t figure out how to ask about previous one on installing adjustment brush presets (teeth whitening, etc). I followed all instructions and your presets and see them exactly where you said they should be. After restarting LR, I didn’t see them under LR presets or User presets. I then tried to import from their location on computer using typical import procedure…no go. Sure would appreciate it if you can say if I need to do something else. If not, I’ll try reinstalling…

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  4. I have never tried using something like this (too lazy) but it seems if 72 DPI works perhaps a multiple of the 72 might also work 144, 288, ect.

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  5. May I suggest a different kind of workaround for this problem? If you’re going to be regularly using a graphical element identity plate in a lot of your print layout designs, why not import the graphic into lightroom as a photograph? Store a number of these commonly used graphics and identity plates in a collection so they can be added to your print layouts as additional ‘photograph’.

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  6. HOLY KOWSKI!! that’s great, Matt. I’ve been plagued by this even in LR 1 when I tried to do this same thing with my signature. But, why does it work? (just kidding……like who really cares?)

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  7. Hi,

    I know that this is a bit off topic.
    Is it possible to save from the printmodule as a jpg?

    I dont print my self, and need some way to move my images from my computer to the lab. That dont have lightroom!

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  8. Mike – that works fine in the layout that I chose because it was a balance 2×2 grid layout. However, you can’t move your photo/id plate around where ever you want like you can a real ID Plate so it’s kind of restricting.

    Tommy – Yep, at the bottom right of the print module is a Print Job panel. Just change the “Print To:” setting to JPEG.

    Thanks,
    Matt

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  9. Great video tip to start the new year! Thanks Matt!

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  10. Well…here is another fix to the jaggies.

    If you, in Print, resize the plate graphic then import the graphic the graphic will come in ok and can be resized. Then if you save the plate, it can be used in the slideshow and display clearly with the 300 dpi graphic. I have been struggling with this in the slideshow for ever it seems. However, if I try the same trick while in slideshow the graphic seems to always come in with the jaggies when rendered.

    Hmmm, great tip…the workaround of clearing and reimporting did now work when I tried it…I though like an adobe app…render, remder and re-size and re-render and there you go.

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  11. Hi,

    just a short question. How do you print those templates to e.g. JPEGs? Is there a way? Cause all those ideas look really great, but 90% of my publishing is online.

    cheers, Nick

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  12. Another problem I have had with Print Module ID Plates is when the ID plate image includes a photograph which creates profile printing issues. In LR1 (I have not tried this in LR2) I had a need to create a memory mate style border which included a group photo as part of the template so I can then easily insert the individuals image into the template and then batch the whole print job. Problem I had is a profile mismatch where the photo in the template would not print properly to match the inserted photo in the template. I tired different ID plate image profiles (sRGB, PhotoPro, Adobe RGB) and none of them would make a difference. Its almost like the ID Plates in Print module are not color profile aware? This would not be as noticeable with logos or signature images however, if the ID plate includes a photo, it can be a problem. Has anyone experienced a similar problem and does anyone have a suggestion on how to correct it? Thnx

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  13. Matt,

    This question is about HDR and shooting interiors. You mentioned that you need to make sure that you have shadow detail by overexposing the highlights. To make sure that almost all of the LCD display is blinking with highlight warnings. Do I this correct?

    -Mike

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  14. Hi, Matt! Whassssup!? LOL….. Anyway, I was wondering if you could create a triptych photo print template for vertical pictures that allow you to resize them equally across a regular size page, 8×10. I’m new at this, so I’m sure it’s easy but I just need a little push on how to do it. Or maybe just create a tutorial on how to make them, period. You may have and I may have just missed it. If you have or if anyone reading this knows that he has, can you please post the link to it for me?
    Thanks so much!!
    xoxo

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  15. Oops, I found it. How easy was that!?!? Wow! Lovin’ the layouts we can create! Thanks for everything! You’re “the man”! ?

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  16. Hi Matt

    I just save my ID Plate as a .png instead of .jpg and never have a problem. Extra bonus as .png supports transparency.

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  17. Thanks Ken,
    It may work for you but unfortunately it doesn’t work for me. I’ve tried every file format possible and they always come in jaggy.

    Matt K

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  18. Hi Matt, a very interesting work around. I’m courious how Scott found out importing it twice would help? does he try stuff like that to see if it makes a difference. Wayne

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  19. Matt,
    This is off topic but didn’t know how to get this question to you otherwise. I have been noticing that you keep your RAW files in Nikon’s .NEF format. Is there any reason(s) why you do not convert your RAW files to .DNG’s

    Thanks,

    Tom

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  20. Matt,

    When you were in PS, the dimensions were only 288 pixels square. I couldn’t tell what size your print page was, but was it really that tiny? I.e. was the identity plate going to print at less than an inch per side? Is the problem not one of ppi but absolute resolution?

    Tony

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  21. Matt,
    I have been having the jagged problem in the web module as well. I have tried several file types and resolutions, as well as scots workaround. Nothing seems to work. Any other suggestions?

    Thanks

    David

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  22. I’ve noticed in your videos the line that comes off your identity plate and helps with placement (I hope that’s clear enough). My problem is that my identity plates never have that, and I’m finding it difficult to center it on my layouts. Did I push a wrong button and turn this feature off?

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  23. I have made a related discovery as regards ID plates in Web Gallery. If you enable the plate and go to import a file, you’re given information about the size of the file (In the layout I chose I was told the file could be up to 57px high, for example).

    On importing a 57pix file, everything got radically distorted. I tried all kinds of stuff to fix this and finally figured it out: the -actual- pixel size for the PNG generated by LR was smaller: 44px high. So if I gave LR a file which was 44px high, it came in perfectly.

    The way to get your dimensions in this regard is to let your chosen design export a gallery of the type you want. It can have only one photo in it: you won’t be using this output. Somewhere in the resulting content (in the “resources” folder of a Flash gallery) you’ll find a logo.png file. That gives you the proper pixel size for a plate for that layout. Emulate that in the file you create and import, and everything will be OK. Hope this is clear.

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  24. Hey Matt,

    I use the print module all the time on location with a Sony Snaplab printer. I figured out the jaggy problem but have lately noticed that this trick no longer works for printing. I often use a logo as my ID plate and it shows up looking great but prints jagged. The last job I was on I couldn’t get a clean print and ended up printing from PS which gave me perfect prints but a much longer work flow. Any idea why it looks fine but prints jagged from LR but prints great from PS?

    Thanks,
    Keith

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  25. I wouldn’t have ended up on this post if I hadn’t been tearing my hair out trying to figure out why my graphics would not load right in the plate editor. Thank you for pointing this out.

    But…..arrrrgggghhh, my biggest pet peeve. PPI is relative!

    If you have a file that is 300 pixels x 300 pixels, it doesn’t matter whether you save it at 1 ppi or at 300 ppi. You still have the same amount of information. It’s up to the software to interpret. So if you have a graphic for an identity plate that’s 1500 x 1500 pixels, but you have to save it @ 72 ppi, no problem. It ought to print just fine assuming the software can interpret correctly.

    So yeah, Lightroom ought to be interpreting the file for the plate a little better.

    But please stop the madness about 72 vs. 300 ppi. I can’t stand when clients/labs insist that my file is no good unless I submit it @ 300 ppi. So I’ll send them an image that’s 100 pixels, but saved at 300 ppi and one saved at 3000 pixels saved at 1 ppi and ask them which looks better.

    Cheers,
    Jonathan

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