Once, I planned a surprise for Marica’s birthday. I’d found this wonderful *free* software ‘the Rasterbator‘, which takes your standard image and allows you to print it big. Way big. Hugely big. You run out of toner and paper big. Christo wrap the coast of Sydney big. Big.
I grabbed part of an image of Marica. Tuned it in photoshop – vignetted, sharpened, groomed, and greyscaled it, and then printed it out on my less-than-special laser printer. Some moments with a roll of tape and a blob of blu-tak and the job was done. The results were then hung in our house foyer, ready for her to skip downstairs (as is her wont) on the way to breakfast. I’d hung the work a day or two beforehand behind a quilt my sister had made and so I managed to slip the surprise past the kids as well, a rare bonus.
The tiles are printed on A4 sheets – that’s 210mm x 297mm – there’s some banding apparent which probably wouldn’t be there if there’d been a new cartridge in the printer. The image is a 6 x 6 image – so 36 sheets of paper were required. Rasterbator can also produce colour, but I haven’t had the opportunity to try it yet. I think the best results when printing in black is to convert the image to greyscale so you’ve got a better idea about how the tones will work. The Rasterbator converts the greyscale image into differing size dots – not unlike how a newspaper photo is presented.