View Full Version : How to "line up" an image for a canvas/gallery wrap:

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12-02-2010, 04:50 PM
Scott had asked me for a writeup when I mentioned how I resize my images for a gallery wrap. The trick is SOME of the image will be wrapped around the edges. This means you lose the ultimate corners of the shot, and you also have part of the image on the SIDE of the canvas so it's not easily seen from the front view. So I always line these up in PS BEFORE I send the file in to be printed...

A few assumptions/points first. I'm doing this for a 16x20 canvas with a 1.5" wrap. That's a common size. .75" wrap is another common size. BUT YOU MUST CHECK WITH YOUR PRINTER TO SEE HOW MUCH THEY RECOMMEND YOU LEAVE ON THE SIDES!!! 1.5"/2=.75" per side, but I know some printers will tell you to plan the image with 1" on either side, or 2" total. So make sure you check with them BEFORE you start as that number comes up quickly in this tutorial.

The second number you'll need is the approximate resolution of your image when printed at this size. Let me walk you through an example for a 7D file I just printed.
This is the image:
that's a 7D file so it's 5184 x 3456.
I want to print it on a 16x20 canvas with 1.5" thick sides. So add 3" to each dimension for 19x23. Now take the long end of the resolution of the file (you can find this in photoshop under image -> image size) and divide it by 23 for 225dpi. So, now let's start in PS:

file -> new:

put in the resolution for your file and the dimensions of you canvas WITHOUT the edge included... So a 16x20 canvas goes in as 16x20. But the pixel dimensions should be 3456 DIVIDED BY 19 (16" + 1.5" + 1.5"). 3456 is the resolution of the skinny side of the file.

you should now have a new file open in PS:

zoom out a bit to give yourself some working room (ctrl and -) and if your window resizes just grab the corner and make it big again so you're looking at this:

my ruler is always on in PS (see it to the left and top of the image?) but to turn it on go view -> rulers. You also want "snap" turned on, which is under view -> snap:

then left click on the ruler itself and HOLD it down and drag a "guide" (it's an aqua line) out to each of the sides:

do that twice from the top, once for the bottom once for the top, then twice from the left, once for each side and you should have this:

if your guides are unlocked (view -> lock guides should be unchecked) you can reposition a guide with the top right tool in PS... You can also clear the guides in the same view menu and start over again if you get them wrong. Snapping turned on means they'll line themselves up with the sides.

now we need to add the extra edge for the gallery wrap. Go up to image and then canvas size:

you then want to use these settings, 3" comes from DOUBLE the size of the wrap (1.5" in this case). Relative means you input 3" (instead of 16" + 3" for 19" total). You want the center selected so it grows on all sides evenly. Then use white so it matches your file:

you should end up with something like this:

then all you do is paste in the image you're going to use, and use the top right tool again to grab it and move it around:

if you need to resize it a bit, there are LOTS of options, but a quick easy one I like is transform which you can use by pressing ctrl-T then dragging the corner of the image. Hold down shift when you do it so it stays the proper ration.


12-02-2010, 05:52 PM
Thanks for this, Ben!

Pretty sure I'm gonna use my groupon credit to go 24x36 on this puppy:


12-02-2010, 06:14 PM
^ niiiiiiiice. You might want to go for the thinner version so the right hand tree doesn't get wrapped, but using this tutorial will make that easy to judge.

you might want to size the canvas up twice and do two sets of guides actually. Make the 24x36 in the first step, then add 1.5" total to the canvas twice adding guides as you go so you can see it both ways before ordering?

12-02-2010, 09:18 PM
Thanks, Ben! Very, very good write-up. I'm sure plenty of folks will appreciate this!

12-02-2010, 10:24 PM
Thanks Ben!

12-03-2010, 12:43 PM
Good info... I've been considering using the "mirror" function for the edges, I don't know if all printers have this option but Adorama Pix offers "Stretched" or "Mirrored" for the wrap (or you can choose a solid color).

12-03-2010, 12:53 PM
mirrored as in they mirror the image, or they put some 70s reflective mirror on it? :lol:

I wonder how exact they can line that up? I'd imagine pretty sell since they position the frame right?

12-03-2010, 12:57 PM
Thank you very much Ben, I was going to order a print from a friends kids 1st birthday part like this, not that big though, lol. but yeah, this should work nicely.

Just curious, what are you saving your file as to send them for printing? are you doing a tiff or other format file?

12-03-2010, 01:09 PM
Correct, they mirror the image. Hopefully they are able to correctly align it, I'd be pissed if I spent $100+ for a print and the edges were mis-aligned.

They also have a flash viewer that let's you view the image in 3D, showing you what to expect. I don't think this is 100% accurate, but I used it to create a few sample images for my web store.

These two are mirrored:



These two are stretched:



12-08-2010, 04:04 PM
^ nice. Mirror would work great for some things and not so much for others I'm guessing. Something to play with for sure though.

Just curious, what are you saving your file as to send them for printing? are you doing a tiff or other format file?

I use jpegs. They're not the devil a lot of people accuse them of if you only use the format once per image and keep the quality high IMHO. If they support .tiff, go for that too if you want. It's "better", I just haven't seen anything missing with JPEGs.

07-29-2012, 01:47 PM
Wow, This was an awesome write up. Appreciate it.