How do I prepare a Glass Eye 2000 design for publication?

Glass Eye 2000 is generally used to make patterns for fabricated artworks, but it can also be used by designers who want to publish high quality images of their designs.

You are probably aware that print publication requires high resolution images, but the term "resolution" is often misunderstood. In simple terms, an image's resolution specifies the size of the pixels when printed. For example, if you have a 6000 x 3000 pixel image, and a resolution of 300 pixels per inch (sometimes called "dots per inch" or "DPI"), then the print size of your image will be 20" x 10".

When using common photo processing software such as Photoshop, you don't concern yourself with the real-world size of the image but only the printed size. Thus, if you need a 2" x 2" image of the earth, and you need it at 300 DPI, you'll have to have a 600 x 600 pixel image. The fact that the earth is around 8000 miles in diameter never enters the process.

The situation in Glass Eye 2000 is different, because the real-world size of your design is very important. The printed size of your pattern is most often the same as its actual size. In fact, designs don't carry with them the concept of a printed size, which is important to consider if you are exporting your pattern. If you have a design measuring 20" x 10", and you export it at 600 DPI, then your resulting image will measure 12000 x 6000 pixels. This is the necessary amount if you intend to print it at 20" x 10", but it is an excessive number of pixels if you intend to print it at, say, 4" x 2". At that print size, an image with 12000 x 6000 pixels has a resolution of 3000 DPI!

If you are preparing Glass Eye 2000 designs for publication, no doubt you have some image processing software, such as Photoshop. We recommend pasting your design into that software and doing your image manipulation there. In addition to setting print size and resolution, you can perform all the image manipulations for which these programs were designed, such as brightness and contrast adjustments.

To get the best results when doing this, don't think about "resolution" at first. Think instead about pixels. In general, the more pixels you start with the better your final image will be. Open your design in Glass Eye 2000, and then zoom in a couple of times by pressing the "+" key. Next, do a "Select All" and then a "Copy" to put the design on the clipboard. The design is placed on the clipboard at the size it appears on your screen. That's why you did the zooming: to get more pixels. Now open your photo editing software and paste the design there. Use its tools to set the required print size and resolution. Doing so will probably reduce the number of pixels to some manageable amount, but because you started with a lot of pixels the result will be of high quality. Now export it from your photo editing software in TIFF format or whatever format the publisher recommends.