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How to work with HUGE documents?

Jan 23, 2013 10:50 PM

Hey guys!

   I am working on my first very large publication for print. It is 96 inches tall and 151 inches wide! Currently it has anchors that number in the thousands! So, when I try to work with it, such as adding a drop shadow to some objects, it takes about an hour on my Octi-Core PC! I can't work like this, it is driving me crazy. One effect took an hour before comming up with an error: There is not enough memory to preform this operation. So my questions is this:
   "What is the industry standard for working with large publications? Should I start with a small, but properly porpotioned publication, then increasse the size at print time, or should I work on a huge work area?"

Bonus question:
    "Why is it so slow? Is it the size of the document, the sheer number of anchors, or both?"



  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 24, 2013 12:17 AM   in reply to Christ-Guard

    Nobody would even attempt to apply pixel effects on such large docs in AI, given its limited abilities in that department. It simply sucks. That's stuff that takes 2 minutes in Photoshop and therein lies the answer: Once you have finished your initial drawing, move on to PS for the fancies - if you really must work at these insane sizes. Though, to be honest, none of what you describe makes any sense to me. 96"x151"? That would be a 3x5 meter poster and this stuff is already in a region where people work to scale and the actual print is never done at 300 DPI or higher, so as a matter of fact half or even quarter that size in AI at 150 DPI would still beautifully print as your large format poster. So in all fairness, you are probably the maker of your own problems by hopelessly overcranking. The best advise is really to do a little reading up on resolution vs. physical dimensions vs. pixel dimensions. This forum here and the InDesign forum have plenty of threads on that. Also inquire about the exact specs from the company that is going to do the print. Again, no point in designing something on your end that will hopelessly overburden their RIP and not print any differently than a 30 megabyte PSD file...



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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 24, 2013 2:12 AM   in reply to Christ-Guard

    You must consider the distance from which your lantern will be viewed.

    You talk of 150 DPI (I suspect you mean ppi – pixels per inch) but you will probably be able to get away with a lot less.

    Do a test print in, say, 72 ppi and another in, say, 30 ppi, view them from the correct distance and see if you notice any difference.


    High resolution is pointless unless you plan to poke your nose into the finished article.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 24, 2013 5:56 AM   in reply to Christ-Guard

    This is aimed at the fine art world, but is still a very good article on viewing distance / resolution:




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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 24, 2013 7:12 AM   in reply to OldBob1957

    Good one. More people should read (and understand) this.

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