Have you rasterized today?
I have been given a tip on how to make HUGE enlargements for exhibits from a recent law school graduate, and I want to pass it on to everyone. The process is called "rasterizing" and it pretty much is breaking a picture into parts, and printing each part on a sheet of paper for assembly into one big picture.
Lawyers keep getting younger, and smarter
Every year I teach at a continuing education seminar hosted by the North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers. The Seminar is designed to provide recent law school graduate with a "working knowledge" of things they don't teach in law school, such as personal injury law. I teach on "How to Handle Personal Injury Cases from Start through Trial" which is a lot to cover in one hour.
Anyhow, a young lawyer named Shane Perry from Charlotte sent me an email giving me a tip on another way to make poster size (or larger) enlargements for trial exhibits. Shane recently opened his own law firm in the Lake Norman area with an emphasis on real estate and franchise law. Check out his website above for more details.
Rasterizing?! What's that?
Well, if you want a thoroughly confusing "computer" definition that involves vector graphics and bitmap images, you can click right here.
Here is my definition: Rasterizing is when you take any image file and ask the computer to make it significantly bigger. Rasterizing uses those little "dots" of color you see in newspaper images. The rasterizing program then figures out how much you can fit on a printable page, and "divides" up the image into that many pages. Then when you print it, you get pages that will fit together into one big "poster" size version of your smaller picture. Like drawing a huge picture on a field of post-it notes and then stacking them all up for easy carrying. You could then reassemble them anywhere into the original "big" image.
The Rasterbator is Free
Shane sent me a link to http://homokaasu.org/rasterbator/ which is a free on line software program called, you guessed it, The Rasterbator. You can either upload a file from your computer or use any file that is publicly available on the Internet. After you have cropped the image and selected a desired size, the rasterbated image will be sent to you as an easily printable pdf file.
Rasterbator says you can enlarge your image to 20 meters (@ 60 feet) in size. Yikes, that's huge!
Rasterbating is Easy
I rasterbated an image of a courthouse reflecting in a pond that I use on my website. I enlarged it to poster board size which constituted 12 sheets of legal size paper.
The Rasterbator gives you an option for black and white, monochrome (select a color), and full color.
You upload the image, then crop, then select your output size. The computer then rasterizes the image and sends you a .pdf version to print.
That didn't work for me. I could never find the .pdf. But there is a download of the program which did work for me. The download did not have the "crop" feature, but you can simply crop your original image instead.
I'll come back and post a "before" and "after" photo but I'm not exactly sure if this is the best way to enlarge images for trial. I'll have to experiment a little more, but the problem I see is that the image is best if viewed from a distance and gets a little weird if viewed up close. I'll also have to see how words look when rasterized.
It is still a neat tool to have. Thanks, Shane.