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Old December 19th, 2011, 01:35 PM   #1
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Disk and Case Design Software/Tools

I am just beginning my journey into designing and printing quality images to DVDs and Bluray disks. What software/tools do all of you use to create disk and case printing projects?
I will be using an Epson Artisan 50 printer.

Thanks for the help!
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Old December 19th, 2011, 03:19 PM   #2
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Re: Disk and Case Design Software/Tools

I've been using Photoshop for years and it works great for me. I think a lot of folks use PS or some other photo editing software.
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Old December 19th, 2011, 03:22 PM   #3
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Re: Disk and Case Design Software/Tools

I use the software that came with the Epson printer. Allows you to print on the entire white area of the printable dvd.
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Old December 19th, 2011, 10:08 PM   #4
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Re: Disk and Case Design Software/Tools

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Bloom View Post
I've been using Photoshop for years and it works great for me. I think a lot of folks use PS or some other photo editing software.
Thanks, Don! Could you explain your workflow when creating and printing disc lables and DVD case inserts? I'm using CS5.5 Production Suite.
-Do you work in PS to design, and then print directly from that app?
-Do you use a template for each of the labels? Are they a downloaded app, or bundled with the software?

Greg: How is the software that comes with the printer?
-Can you import a design from PS into the Epson software?
-What about DVD case inserts?

Thanks, guys for all the help!
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Old December 19th, 2011, 10:25 PM   #5
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Re: Disk and Case Design Software/Tools

I should have mentioned that I also have and use the Epson CD print software but when I need something intricate for the DVD face I use Photoshop. If I design a DVD face in PS then I pick it up in the Epson software and print from there since it's a bit easier. As for cases they get designed and printed in PS and yeas I have a couple of templates I use depending on which case I'm using. It works out pretty well and is fairly quick but for the last couple of years I have been going more for the simple look so I don't need to spend a lot of time designing.
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Old December 19th, 2011, 11:23 PM   #6
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Re: Disk and Case Design Software/Tools

Don-

I have been researching the workflow and what it takes to go from PS to a successful print on a DVD and it doesn't sound very easy or straightforward. Could you possibly lay out your workflow for me so that I could get an idea what needs to be done to create a graphic in PS to successfully printing onto a DVD with the Epson?

Your time is greatly appreciated! Thank you for helping me out!

*Edited for clarity*
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Old December 20th, 2011, 05:53 AM   #7
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Re: Disk and Case Design Software/Tools

Hmmm, sounds like you might be reading too much ;-)

First I must disclaim that I am using PS version 7 which is quite old but for what I use it for it works fine and I have no need to update. I would have to think the workflow is the same in any version.

IF I am creating a DVD FACE I have a template that has inner and outer circles which when I print (if I print from PS) I hide. Anyway I take a freeze frame from my timeline which gives me a 72dpi PNG or JPG image (I usually use PNG but it doesn't matter) bring the frame into PS, adjust color, levels, crop...whatever I feel I need to do then copy that layer over to my template. In most cases I'll also make the image 150dpi which yes will cause certain parts to breakup a bit BUT keep in mind that we're talking about a roughly 4 inch circle. If I need a "perfect" print on the DVD face I'll use a still camera and get a much larger image to start with. OK here's where I wavier a bit. By and large I'll take what I did in Photoshop, flatten or merge the image and save it as a JPG then use the Epson CD print software to bring it into and print from that software. It will not take a PSD file so it has to be JPG, BMP or PNG. This all sounds like a lot of work but it really isn't and honestly more and more often I'm simply doing some minor color bump in PS then bringing the freeze right into Epson CD and making adjustments there. Again I don't get real crazy on my DVD faces anymore. I tend to use the KISS method.

As for inserts, I use 2 different cases. One are the Jewelboxing cases and there is a Photoshop template for the inside and outside covers and inserts, I pull a freeze frame or use a still from the photog size it, etc drop it on the template, do the others in the same manner and hit print. Not comlicated at all.
For the standard type Polyline DVD cases, I have a template I designed some years ago showing me the top, bottom, side edges and the center spline. Again freeze frames or still, some text and print. As long as it's all where I want it and fits in the template there's not much more too it.
I don't know what else to tell you but it's not as hard as it looks or sounds.
Play around with it a bit you find it doesn't take too long to get it right.
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Old December 20th, 2011, 10:45 AM   #8
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Re: Disk and Case Design Software/Tools

Thanks for the explanation, Don! It makes much more sense to me now.

Did you create your DVD face template, or did you download one?
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Old December 20th, 2011, 11:02 AM   #9
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Re: Disk and Case Design Software/Tools

How is the software that comes with the printer?
Pretty basic, but has everything you need. It handles all the page setup to the printer, which is probably the confusing part. I just do a screen grab from premier and add it as a background (which you can adjust and crop properly).
-Can you import a design from PS into the Epson software?
You could, but its easier in the epson software.
-What about DVD case inserts?
I don't use them, so I guess you would have to use photoshop?

We use this service sometimes, he has examples (templates) and a tutorial. Also a great company to work with.
Disc Printing Service | Loktah
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Old December 20th, 2011, 11:08 AM   #10
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Re: Disk and Case Design Software/Tools

Made it in PS. I simply measured edge to edge of the outer diameter and same for inner hub drew the circles in PS with an almost invisible black fill just so I had a reference point and saves it as a PSD so when I save it as a JPG or PNG I can hide those 2 layers.
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Old December 20th, 2011, 12:13 PM   #11
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Re: Disk and Case Design Software/Tools

Thank you, Don and Greg! I think that is enough to get me started.

I'll post back with results.
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Old May 16th, 2012, 09:29 AM   #12
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Re: Disk and Case Design Software/Tools

I'm late to the party, I know, but since I recently overhauled and simplified my workflow, I thought I'd post for the sake of the OP and anyone else who searched.

Cases: I finally ditched the black DVD and blue Blu-ray cases that were long my mainstays. I now use super JewelBoxes (King size), which you can get at Jewelboxing - Super Jewel Box Packaging System - CD and DVD Cases or, like me, elsewhere in bulk at less expensive prices. The super JB's really are a few cuts above the garden variety cases. They're also quite uncommon, so when I hand them out, people really take notice.

Case inserts/templates: jewelboxing sells precise laser-cut inserts for the JB cases. They also provide exact templates for just about any design software on the planet. I use Adobe Ilustrator (AI).

Software: I design everything in AI. Photoshop is certainly OK, but I prefer AI's superior typesetting and utterly total control of all design aspects; this is what the program is for, so I use it.

Any rasterized images, such as photos or 3D stuff from my modeling program, gets imported into AI. Everything thing else generated within AI is in vector format, so it stays tack sharp no matter how I resize or change it. I print directly from AI to the JB case inserts (on my Epson Stylus Photo R2000). Color space is CMYK (as it should be for print) and I let AI handle the color management, so it's turned off in the print driver. Prints are absolutely stunning.

AI is massive overkill if all you need/want is to paste some text over a low-rez frame grab. In my case, you'd still need to use a JB template in some (simpler) program.

Discs: I print directly onto white hub printable DVD and Blu-ray discs. It can be done from AI, but (for me) a far easier procedure optimized for discs in particular is: export my disc project (using the artboard, not just the graphics) from AI as a PSD file (300 dpi), import the PSD directly into Discus, a tidy little program from Magic Mouse Productions - Home of the best cd labelling software, adjust any offset for the particular disc media, and print. Done. Looks absolutely spectacular, especially on Watershield DVD's.

Hope this helps someone.

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Old May 24th, 2012, 07:01 AM   #13
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Re: Disk and Case Design Software/Tools

Steve, thank you for that great reply. I love those super jewel cases BTW. Nice!

What I have been doing since posting here with Don is:
-Producing graphics for disc, and disc case covers in PS (I really enjoy doing this art work for some reason)
-I print case covers directly from PS, cut to size and stuff
-save disc art as a JPEG and import into Epson Print Disc software, then print from there.

It has been working quite well I must say. And with using the Epson Artisan 50 with the CISS, you can't beat it. You literally print ALL YOU WANT without having to worry about ink costs.

I have printed LOTS and I'm still within the first quarter of the large ink tanks. When those get low, I'll just order up refill ink from Ebay or Amazon and fill her up.

I know that some people have reported having issues with their CISS systems, but I for one can say that I have not had 1 issue with mine. Thank you CISS manufactures!
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Old July 5th, 2012, 04:05 PM   #14
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WoW! Found what I wasn't even looking for!

Came here to see what I could learn about DVD burners and found so much more. Steven's JewelBox suggestion looks really interesting. Anytime one has a client who is paying a lot of money for something, saving a few cents on the deliverable is probably not the best place to save.

Then the next post by Blane about the CISS printing system was also interesting. Again, I'm not into heavy printing but should the day come this could open doors.

The reason I stopped by is I'm looking for something to either install in my Mac Pro 1,1 or have as a stand-alone shared burner. The idea of LightScribe is of interest too. I'm not a heavy user of DVDs .... yet. At the moment it is just for me, family, and friends.

I want to avoid using the burner in my MacBook Pro to help improve it's longevity.

Comment: I'm trying to think of a way to avoid jewel cases all together. For my own use this is possible using a three-ring binder and plastic pages with sleeves. Obviously this isn't a good idea for a deliverable, though.
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Old July 5th, 2012, 04:30 PM   #15
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Re: Disk and Case Design Software/Tools

John, I very, very seriously doubt that you'll wear out a burner, especially given the rather light volume you mention (friends and family). I've had my burner for 4 years in my monster PC; it works as good as the day I bought it. Wearing out a burner is an illusory concern, I believe.

I once looked into LightScribe. Years ago. Probably after a glass of wine. Then I realized that it looks almost worse than stick-on DVD labels. It lacks color. It is cheese-whiz in can: kind of a novelty, then looks, well, cheesy. Blech.

You can buy VERY inexpensive DVD cases, a printer that will print directly onto DVD's, case inserts (templates or plain old paper then cut to size [probably A4]), and excellent DVD media.

My method above is pricey, but it is the result of my eliminating what I didn't like after years of using alternatives, it is rock solid and looks and feels absolutely spectacular. It is designed to last a long time. Discs aren't going anywhere: people (in my patch of the planet) just love handling them, viewing the art, loaning them to grandma (who may not know what to do with a Vimeo link, if she has a computer), etc.

$0.02,
Steve
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