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{EHPhoto} 10:06pm, 12 October 2009
I made a 12x12 hard cover with premium paper and the images were grainy. I am a professional with extremely sharp images and it was like I could see grain coming from their printing methods. Anyone else experience this?
James_Shook 12 years ago
No. In fact, images I have scanned from slides which show considerable film grain in the scan are surprisingly smooth when printed for me.
Paul Holman 12 years ago
No. Images correctly sized and sharpened are excellent within the possibilities of an offset process.
image freak Posted 12 years ago. Edited by image freak (member) 12 years ago
Perhaps you should use a higher res for your images. I always use 300 ppi/dpi and size my images accordingly. I have no grain/noise issues and only see it if I intend it to be there.
inconclusive wilderness [deleted] Posted 12 years ago. Edited by inconclusive wilderness (member) 12 years ago
...one is for sure: you need 2-3 times test-copies in private since finalize your book !
good luck
{EHPhoto} 12 years ago
@paul holman: what do you mean by 'correctly sized'? In what way might I be missing that step can you please explain? Sounds like that could be my problem
loricherokee 12 years ago
Did you use the photo dimensions given on the photo containers? When you hover the mouse over a container, the recommended photo size is shown - when this option works correctly. I lost it last night but after rebooting my computer, it was available again.
skylove...busy 12 years ago
{EHPhoto} : you're images will look grainy if you use low res pictures on a 12x12. you need to use high res for that size. you also need to do soft proofing (sample print) before you finalized your order to make sure you got the right output especially the color/white balance. :)
The Analog Eye Posted 12 years ago. Edited by The Analog Eye (member) 12 years ago
I just got my first book and though i do feel it was worth every penny im a little dissapointed with the print quality of the inside pages. I used hi-res images but the results are a bit mixed. I will use the service again but my expections will be a bit lower now that i have seen the final product. Not sure that process is fool proof for getting the best results. FYI I ordered the 7x7 size which im reading many other people have had mix results with.
Paul Holman 12 years ago
Getting the very best results from Booksmart needs careful attention to detail. There are two key aspects;

1. Resolution and sharpening.
Make sure the image is the same size as it’s placeholder. Booksmart isn’t the best tool for resizing images, so do it yourself in a good imaging program, then sharpen correctly (using a Photoshop plug-in like Photokit sharpener or Focalblade makes this easy and repeatable).
Hover the mouse over a picture in Booksmart and it’ll tell you the optimal size the image needs to be. Using low resolution images will give poor results and also using too high a resolution isn’t ideal either. If Booksmart says the image will print at 1200px wide, make it that size.
Getting this right can be time consuming and tedious, but it does pay dividends in improving photo quality.

2. Get the colour right.
Ensure that your monitor is correctly calibrated and profiled. Take care to ensure your monitor is not overly bright, if you’ve any issues with photos tending to print too dark this is the likely cause.
Use sRGB colourspace for your images.
IF you understand the issues involved with soft proofing, soft proof with Blurb’s supplied profile.

For advanced users the PDF and B3 routes to print offer the most control.
The Analog Eye Posted 12 years ago. Edited by The Analog Eye (member) 12 years ago
If Booksmart is not the best tool for resizing then they should tell you that up front. I trusted the tools that were provided to me and was let down in the end by them. It's funny that there is more information on flickr on how to get the best results than there is on blurb.com. Thanks Paul for the information. I will try again at some point.
Paul Holman 12 years ago
Loud films;
I don't think it's particularly fair to criticise Blurb about this, Booksmart does a reasonable job of resizing for the majority of users. Getting the ultimate of image quality will always rely on bespoke individual adjustments for each image to get the ultimate quality possible from the system.

Providing full information about their system is fraught with problems. Too much technical information scares some potential clients off because they're scared of it, although the defaults will serve them perfectly well. Actually there's a greater wealth of information on exacting the best possible results from Blurb's systems on their support/discussion forums than there is here on Flickr. The problem is finding it amongst the wealth of other less useful comment.
image freak 12 years ago
I agree with Paul. Blurb Booksmart should be the final resting place for your processed page layouts. There are plenty of good programmes to process your text and images in.
rubared 11 years ago
My conclusion is that Blurb print quality is poor/grainy. (white/colour balance, saturation etc... is fine)

I got some 18x12inch prints done locally where the printer used was an HP Indigo, and the print quality was like the book cover of Blurb books, ie: smooth and impossible to distinguish grain/halftoning in the print.

I speculate that Blurb probably prints covers at "full resolution" and the inside pages at "eco mode" resolution. Disappointing for the price!
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