Is there a fine art printing solution available to fine art printers and fine art photographers?
Printao 8 Review:
Certainly there is an easier and better way, at a reasonable cost, to arrange different size image files on a canvas or 24 x 36 sheet of fine art watercolor paper.
And I found it. LSI’s Printao 8. It’s for Mac users only. Meaning Mac users have quite an advantage over other OS platforms.
Silverfast scanning software is LSI’s. I have been using Silverfast for many years and trust LSI with their software.
Printao 8 had been available for a while and I was not aware of it. I did become acquainted with Printao 8 recently and am very comfortable and pleased with Printao 8.
With “Start-Pilot”. I am guided throughout all the necessary steps to prepare to print a single image file, or multiple image files. I thought the “Start-Pilot” was presented the same as it is in Silverfast scanning software. Possibly other Silverfast users will look for the Silverfast’s style Start-Pilot. You will find it at the very top, center of the options view when Printao 8 is opened.
There is a black side box on my left with five guides for me. PRINT TO; PRINT ON: QUALITY: SOURCE: SIZE:
When I first open up Printao 8, I am asked to load the printer I am using. I use the Epson Pro 9900 printer. That is simple.
The face of the dialogue box has two choices for choosing the base paper, and for me that is Epson Watercolor paper Radiant White.
Just to the right of that, is choosing a custom paper, which to me means the custom .icc profile I have created. In this report, I will say I put my custom .icc profile for Epson Exhibition Canvas Matte.
Clarifying, I have chosen my media type, Watercolor Paper Radian White, and my Printer Profile, Epson Exhibition Canvas Matte.
Printao 8 does have a selection printer profiles from various paper and canvas vendors. They can be automatically downloaded using . These are useful for print studios not creating there own custom .icc profiles.
The Add Print Media box opens up the Media Manager. Three more choices are available. Installed paper, Available papers, and Custom paper.
Choosing Available papers downloads the .icc profiles I mentioned above from the LSI web site.
Quality offers me normal and high quality as well as print with finest detail.
Source is where I choose roll or sheets.
See, I said it was easy.
Size for rolls offers some suggestions, and, not the final say. I have the final say on length of roll. And for cut sheet, there are suggestions as well add an Extended paper size selection. When I get to the actual time to print, I do have more size options, and that is written about later on in this reviews.
At the far right bottom is the word Create. Click on that and the program opens ready to choose an image file or files.
There are templates for my use, and I can create my own.
On my left are the image files I can select. In the middle is where I drag and drop my choice of image files. This is the arena where Printao 8 arranges image files.
On the top of the screen are more options. They include center on page, crop to fit, rulers,metadata, queue manager, media manager, and print.
And on the far right are image properties that let me choose image size. There is also Cell properties for manipulation.
Image properties dialogue includes a yellow to green to red slider bar. I understood, and wrongly so, I must keep the slider in the green. Darren Vena explained that is not necessary. Thank you Darren.
As I wrote, Printao 8 really does it all for me. So simple! ! !
The print dialogue box reviews my previous settings of base paper, Epson Watercolor Paper Radiant White and my custom .icc profile, in this example Epson Exhibition Canvas Matte.
At the very bottom on the right I can choose paper sizes I want….this is great.
Any image critical photographer and and fine art printer really does need to use the Demo application. See for yourself what Printao 8
Sure, Photoshop CS5 and Lightroom 4 both permit placing separate image files on one large canvas or a sheet of 24 x 36 fine art paper. In PS CS5 I first must be sure all the file sizes are the same as the the “new document”. In other words, they must all be the same ppi. Then, figure out on my own how to use the the surface of the “new document” to my advantage.
In Lightroom 4, I must figure out how to place individual image files in arrangements to be economical with the “new document”.
Now comes Printao 8. What a relief. Printao 8 arranges the image files I want to print economically with no effort at all.
I implore Mac users printing their own fine art, to try Printao 8. The download of Printao 8 is complete. All sections are active. There is a watermark for the trial.
I owe much gratitude to Darren Vena of LSI for his assistance, as well as putting up with me. I am very critical, and as my wife reminds me, high maintenance.
Apologies to Darren. I asked many many questions. Darren, you are appreciated!
Written by David B. Miller, Pharm. D., member, Millers’ Photography L.L.C.