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Printing high quality proxies

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Printing high quality proxies

Postby chillpenguin » 10 May 2013, 01:52

What is the best method for printing high quality proxies and/or alternate art cards? I tried the transparency method and it looked really bad. Pretty soon I am going to try printing directly to the card to see how that looks. I was told that you need templates to make your cards, because scans look bad. I have a feeling scans could be even better than using templates though as long as the scans were really high quality. What do you guys think?
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Re: Printing high quality proxies

Postby Huggybaby » 10 May 2013, 02:38

This subject comes up frequently. Scans probably would be the best way to make a proxie, esp. if you wanted them to look as close as possible to a real card, which is printed by an offset press and so the artwork is screened, breaking it into dots.

Our scans have been optimized for use in computer games, so the dots have been removed.

The clearest looking proxies are made by photoshop or similar, but that's a lot of work for the average person like me. I think the best looking proxies are made by the HQ Card Generator here: viewforum.php?f=30. Unfortunately there is still some learning curve with that program. Other programs like that exist that are easier to learn but I don't think their quality is as good as the one above.

BTW, what is the transparency method?
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Re: Printing high quality proxies

Postby chillpenguin » 10 May 2013, 03:06

Thanks for your help man.

The transparency method is where you print out the image to a transparency sheet, then you use spray adhesive to stick the sheet onto a de-inked mtg card. There are a lot of videos on youtube, it seems to be the most known method. One reason it is cool is because you can make foil cards that way. But overall the quality is not the same as a real mtg card.

Other methods I know about:

Window decal method
"sticker paper" method
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Re: Printing high quality proxies

Postby chillpenguin » 10 May 2013, 03:16

I checked out that program earlier but I don't know how to get the artwork. Is there a torrent for the cropped artwork that i missed? And do you know of a download for the text?
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Re: Printing high quality proxies

Postby Huggybaby » 10 May 2013, 03:26

Look here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=445

Then spend an hour checking out the rest of the forum. Make sure to actually scroll down and take time to make sense of everything. For some reason folks never scroll down. :)

And thanks for the answers. I just put a proxie inside a sleeve on top of a land or something.
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Re: Printing high quality proxies

Postby chillpenguin » 10 May 2013, 03:57

Thanks man I found the crops.
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Re: Printing high quality proxies

Postby woogerboy21 » 11 May 2013, 03:57

I've done a good amount of printing using various methods. There are about 3 ways I can say things are done. Either the decal/transparency (as you mentioned), directly printing to a white faced mtg card, or using a paper stock (such as playing card stock or paper card stock.). I have used both scanned images as well as generated my own using Photoshop. Here's a few quick pointers. When using decals / transparencies make sure you have a photo printer that actually has a printing option for transparencies and select that paper type. Otherwise you will end up with what you describe (terribly blurred image). If printing to face of a magic card use laser. Many modern ink's will not absorb properly to the paper face. When printing to paper stock laser is once again the way to go. There are different card stocks that you can get that are more rigid than the stuff you would pickup at your local office store and don't require the magic card behind the slip of paper trick that Huggy describes. Just keep in mind your spending more for that type of paper though and is the proxies worth that to you (I'm talking like $2USD per page)?

The last couple of recommendation, seal the image when using laser toner. What happens is after time the toner will begin to flake off the face of the surface of whatever medium you print to when you bend and flex it. Also when using the scanned images give you a more faded out look (I like them for older cards), using Photoshop or generated images give you a much richer colored proxy and generally work better for more modern cards IMO.
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Re: Printing high quality proxies

Postby Huggybaby » 11 May 2013, 04:04

What do you seal the laser print with?

And, IIRC you can use hairspray for inkjet to make it waterproof. Which is OT, but hey. :D
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Re: Printing high quality proxies

Postby woogerboy21 » 11 May 2013, 04:09

Huggybaby wrote:What do you seal the laser print with?

And, IIRC you can use hairspray for inkjet to make it waterproof. Which is OT, but hey. :D
I've tried a couple of actual sealants but this is the one I find to give the smoothest look that I like:
http://www.plaincards.com/Store/shopdisplayproducts.asp?id=47&cat=Playing+Card+Coating+-+ONLY+SHIPS+TO+THE+CONTINENTAL+U.S.

I just ordered some of there paper so I can't say for certain the card stock they offer is any good but I do get playing card stock else were to make a more realistic acting proxy that doesn't need the card behind it.

And if your curious (as most the time the next question is what printers do I use) I have 3 printers. An Epson R300 (for decals / transparencies), a Brother HL4040CDN and Brother HL3075CW for printing to card faces or paper stock.
Last edited by woogerboy21 on 11 May 2013, 04:21, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Printing high quality proxies

Postby woogerboy21 » 11 May 2013, 04:26

Check this out:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tci9h4_gZLU
(not sure how far to discuss this sort of thing as I have no intention on encouraging counterfeiting)
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Re: Printing high quality proxies

Postby Huggybaby » 11 May 2013, 04:54

Our official policy is that you can talk about anything you like here at CCGHQ.

<edit> That's one high-gloss proxy! LOL
Last edited by Huggybaby on 11 May 2013, 05:00, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: spelling
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Re: Printing high quality proxies

Postby woogerboy21 » 11 May 2013, 04:57

Huggybaby wrote:Our official policy is that you can talk about anything you like here at CCGHQ.
Yea, im not worried about the discussion aspect. In fact I would more than glad to post images of proxies I have created to give you an idea on what the results look like when I do them. I just know that I have worked very hard to produce a really good proxy since I dont like damaging my real cards and in doing so actually scared myself and a few others on how good they really looked and decided at that point I take steps to make sure cards that I produce are clearly not real (whether that be I put some type of screen / stamp on the border that indicates it or that the card is missing some aspect such as not printing a mtg card backing on paper stock type proxies).

I just don't have faith in others to take the same path.

<edit> That's one high-gloss proxy! LOL
Yes it is. That's what happens when you over spray a proxy using the sealant i listed above :D
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Re: Printing high quality proxies

Postby chillpenguin » 12 Sep 2013, 20:50

Could you link me to a good photoshop template that would produce better proxies than the HQ Card Generator?

Also is it not true that someone here has 600 dpi scans? I understand that they take up a lot of space and all that, but I would really like a few of them so I can compare how much better they look compared to other proxy methods. Is there anyway to get some 600 dpi scans? I'm not talking complete sets i'm talking like a few cards so I can compare the quality.
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Re: Printing high quality proxies

Postby Huggybaby » 13 Sep 2013, 04:13

I think they have Photoshop templates over at MTGSalvation somewhere.
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Re: Printing high quality proxies

Postby chillpenguin » 13 Sep 2013, 22:40

They apparently had some good ones at one time, but they had to remove them because people were using them for counterfeits... I guess they purposely don't have anything over 300 dpi. Does anyone here have some photoshop templates that are above 300 dpi? 300 dpi just doesn't look good when you print on a card. It looks good on a computer screen, but not on a card.
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