Do-It-Yourself Decals

I'd like to make custom decals and have a great scanner, inkjet printer and a decal film kit. All that's missing is the trained operator ...
I have several great decal sets to scale up or down, but here's the rub - they all have a background color and I'm too lazy to cut them out. (Heck, if I were that artistic I'd just paint them on!)
So, computer/decal gurus - what's the quick and dirty way to scan an existing set of decals, scale them up or down, and then print just the "objects" on clear film?
Dennis
PS: I'm posting this question in several forums, so don't be surprised if you see it elsewhere. Curious minds want to know!
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Depends on the program you have available. I use Photoshop. What I do is to select the background with the magic wand tool, select the inverse then copy. Open a new canvas then paste. Save as a Gif file with transparent background. Scaling up or down is just a matter of changing the image size to what you want. I usually do it by a percentage instead of pixel size. As far as clear film, I know you can do it onto clear tape but forget the way to do that. You can also buy Belcal (think thats the company) decal kits that come with either clear backed, white backed or both decal sheets and a clear coat spray. I have had good success with that but would recommend putting on a second clear coat that is fuel proof. Mine wasnt so the decals are getting pretty gummy now.
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This doesn't really work with pixel formats. If you try to scale, you end up with a horribly pixelated result. You need a program which works with vectors such as Illustrator or Freehand.
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Peter File wrote:

Actually, this works pretty well with .tif files if you are scaling down. The algorithms for doing this provide quite good results.
Jim - AMA 501383
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If you come up with a good way of printing to sticky-back clear film or what-ever let me know via this NG. I'm at this stage right now. Have practised with 3M aerosol glue and also canopy glue, not successful.
V

printer and

rub -

(Heck,
the
surprised if

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Why not print to clear inkjet label material? -- Paul McIntosh http://www.rc-bearings.com

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The closest thing to clear I have been able to find was anything but clear even though it was labeled as such. It comes in 8.5 X 11 sheets but was semi-opaque (sp?).
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Sqame thing here! Matked as clear label, but they were actually opaque!

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How about putting the clear tape on a sheet of wax paper then printin
on it? Should be able to remove the tape without any problems afte printing...
Just thinking out loud
-- cs ----------------------------------------------------------------------- csc's Profile: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/member.php?action=getinfo&userid113 View this thread: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid#321
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I have some clear labels and they are clear once you place them. They get even clearer once you spray a clear coat over them to protect the printing. Got them at Staples and used them on several planes.
-- Paul McIntosh http://www.rc-bearings.com

the
an
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On 5/22/2004 1:05 AM Ted shuffled out of his cave and grunted these great (and sometimes not so great) words of knowledge:
Like Fubar, I also use Photoshop for removing the background and scaling (sizing). Then I normally do a test print on a regular piece of paper to check for size and anything I may have missed in Photoshop. When everything is OK, I print on the Bel Decal paper. I use 2 LIGHT coats of either LusterKote clear or Ultracote clear. I have not had any problems with the decals using 2 light coats of the clear.

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Dennis,
The FORMAT you can save your images into has everythig to do with "scaling up" the graphic... If the image is a bitmap (.bmp, .tif, .gif. or, God forbid, a .jpg), you can just about forget scaling them up, as "pixelation" will render the images virtually useless.
To be able to scale an image "up" accurately, it must be saved in VECTOR format (.ai, .cdr, .eps, or the like...
The graphics programs that can save images in true vector format don't come cheaply...
Same for the machines that can produce those graphics...... A good digital printer/cutter runs arouns $22K..........
There ain't no free lunch...
Cheers,
Bill http://www.customcutgrafix.com /

and
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Before you could get decal adhesive paper, I used to make decals by taping transparent solarfilm/monocote etc to an A4 sheet adhesive side OUT - then printed what I wanted straight to the adhesive side. Need to do a mirror image to get it looking corrcet when applied. Film then applied to the planes covering film using a film type adhesive such as you used to get from solarfilm ( UK ) . You could iron on but needs care with heat on film on film to avoid wrinkles and/or distorting the "decal"
hope this helps for those who cannot get adhesive type paper for computers
john

and
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Sounds like a great idea for certain applications, never wudda thought of that. Thanks!
Dennis

rub -

(Heck,
if
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