Recreating Printed Items From Photos - BSG Special




About: I am a British Graphic Designer and Photographer, when I am not working, I spend my time making an array of projects. I used to make a lot of props, but now I spend most my time building crazy cameras and sh...

Ok, here Im going to show you how to take a photograph of a printed item, eg a letter, or a business card, or in my case a paper prop from battlestar galactica.

I found my image on the internet, so as long as the quality is good, you should be able to do the same.

This method is also great for re-creating logos from scans and pictures.

Let me know what you think!

The only things you need are photoshop, and a laser printer!

Step 1: Resize It

Ok, im gonna run by pictures as usual

Pictures 1 & 2 - Open up the files!

Picture 3 - Duplicate the layer by dragging it to new layer button (this is a back up for when we mess up)

Picture 4 - Drag some rulers to the edges of the page, these will be used to straighten it out.

Picture 5 - Go to Edit > Free transfrom - or press command/ctrl - T

Pictures 6, 7 & 8 - While holding down the command key(ctrl in windows) click onto the anchor points in the corners, pull to get a feel for how this transforms the picture, Drag the edge to match up with the rulers.

thats it resized! If you image now looks a little squashed then use the corner anchors (without holding anything down) to resize it till it looks comfortable.

Step 2: Making It Black and White!

Picture 1 - Firstly change the colour mode, do this by going to Image > Mode > Grayscale

Picture 2 - Click don't merge on the following box (we want to keep the back in place)

Picture 3 - Go to Image > Adjustments > Levels…

Picture 4 & 5 - Click the black eyedropper tool (see image notes), Then click on the lightest Black area of the image.
Click on the white eye dropper tool, then click on the darkest white area of the image

It should now be mostly black and white.

Step 3: Finish Off the File

Ok, now we need to just play with the file a little more

Picture 1 - go to Image > Adjustments > Brightness/Contrast

Picture 2 - Push the Brightness slider down, and the contrast slider down, until you get a defined black and white

Picture 3 - Here we see the final file

Now onto the printing!

Step 4: Making the .pdf

Using quark i quickly places the two image files in, and added a few extra tick marks for the corners.

however, unless your going for a bsg special, you shouldnt need to add extra corner tick marks.
So you can just print straight from photoshop!

Step 5: Print It!

Ok, so, i then printed the file on a Black and white Laser printer, i printed it on some nice creamy colour stock, just like in the series!

Cut it out, and then there you go!



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    15 Discussions


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Sent you a pm. I'm trying to put a BSG scrap book together with various memorabilia like insignias, schematics, rosters etc. This ballot would make a fine addition. I'm having problems finding a good image. Can you help me out? Thanks.

    1 reply

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    I stumbled accross mine when googling battlestar under the 'high res image option'


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Erm, there is pictures for almost every step - you do need a small amount of photoshop knowledge also. If there is a particular bit your stuck on, just ask.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    yes, its about £400-500, a free alternative is 'the gimp'


    10 years ago on Introduction

    This really only works for images and logos that you: A. Already have a high quality image of and B. Were taken from taken from a top-down angle. I'm afraid this is nothing more than a photoshop resizing ible.

    3 replies

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Actually, its more focusing on the converting it into a solid black and white image (and i don't mean greyscale, i mean black and white) The same technique can be used for creating stencils. And you say 'I'm afraid this is nothing more than a photoshop resizing ible.' as if its not worth having? some people have got to learn to do these things?


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    I suppose that's true, I simply felt that the title implied instructions on recreating something more difficult to obtain / recreate. I apologize if I offended you.


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    well, as long as its a relatively good quality picture, this method should work fine. Don't worry, it would take alot more than that to offend me!

    gmjhoweJedi Ronin

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    if you press
    • cmd r
    or on windows
    • Ctrl r
    Then to get the guides, drag from ontop of the ruler.