How to Set Up Your Digital File for Canvas Wraps Using Adobe Photoshop

How to Set Up Your Digital File using Photoshop for Canvas Wraps

There are many easy tricks to understanding exactly how your digital image will look on a Canvas Wrap.  By following these general guides in setting up your digital file, this will give you full control over cropping and image quality concerns.  First, one must know exactly what must be included for the wrap, or edge of the canvas.  Cg Pro Prints specializes in multiple sizes and thicknesses when it comes to Canvas Printing.

Solid-Faced Canvas Wraps = 1.5 inches for the wrap per side

Traditional Thin Wrap Canvas Wraps = .75 inches for the wrap per side

Traditional Thick Wrap Canvas Wraps = 1.625 inches for the wrap per side

Traditional Chunk Wrap Canvas Wraps = 2.5 inches for the wrap per side

In the above example created by Circle Art Group, this digital file is sized at 19.977 inches x 13.317 inches at 300 PPI.  For this example, we will resize the file to be a complimentary aspect ratio to show as much as much of the image as possible.  The most common aspect ratio for most cameras, including I-Phones, would be a 2:3 aspect ratio.  Let’s say your client would like to order a 20" x 30" Canvas Wrap.  If you would like an image wrap, do not forget to include the measurement for the wrap itself.  For example, this file will be cropped at 23" x 33" at 150 PPI instead of 20" x 30" if we were to add 1.5" to all sides to order a Solid-Faced Canvas Wrap.

To do this, click your Crop tool (Shortcut is C) on the left side bar.  Once your crop tool has been selected, the top bar must say “W X H X Resolution”.  Here you can enter 33 inches x 23 inches x 150 PX/IN in the resolution box.  Notice in the above example how we are losing a small amount due to the ratio on the left and right side.  There are a couple tricks to get around this if you think you or your client may not be happy.  From here, you can stretch out the bottom corner of the crop box to include the full image.  This will then apply a white area on top and bottom which you will need to fix afterwards.


After your crop window is set up as anticipated, press ENTER to crop.  So you know exactly where the edge of your canvas is go ahead and set down guide lines on all four sides at 1.5 inches for the Solid-Faced Canvas wrap.

Now we need to do something about this white area on the top and bottom, as this will show on the wrap.  There are two tricks to fix this.  We can either use our Marquee tool (Shortcut is M) on the side tool bar to stretch this area or mirror it.  With such a small amount of white space, it would be best to select the area for the bottom wrap using your Marquee tool, press CONTROL + T (or Transform) and simply drag this part of the image to the edge.  Then Repeat this step on the bottom.


                                      Before Transforming the edge                                                                                                                          After Transforming the Edge

Hooray!  Your image is now ready to print.  Let’s say we want to show the full image on the front of the canvas and we don’t want to lose any of our artwork on the wrap.  One approach is to set up your file at the desired canvas size (in this example we will continue to use 20" x 30") and upload to  CG Pro Prints does have an option built into their canvas editor tool for a solid color border wrap to show the most of the image as possible.  To do this upload your file, then change it from Classic to Color under "Border Style".  From here you can play around with color choices using the Custom button or Palette button to the right under "Border Color". 

 Alternatively, let’s try a mirror wrap instead and see how this looks!  First, crop the digital file at the canvas size being ordered (for this image we will be using 20” x 30”).  In the next step we need to add extra space for the wrap and our guides.  Go to the IMAGE tab on the top tool bar and then Canvas Size (short cut is CTRL + ALT + C).  The canvas width and height should start at the size being ordered (for this example 20 and 30).  From here, this is where you will need to add for the wrap.  For Solid-Faced Canvas wraps, we will add 1.5 inches per side, totaling 23 inches x 33 inches and press OK.


Once complete, you’ll see a white border around your image.  Set the guides down at 1.5" on all sides and it should look something similar to the example below before mirroring the edge.


There are many ways to mirror the edges of your canvas wrap, but one way is to select the edge of your image using your Marquee tool like the example below (make sure your layers are not locked) and copy and paste the small selection, which will automatically be pasted to a new layer.  Once your edge has been copy and pasted, you can select the new layer, and go to edit - transform - flip vertically or you can use the shortcut CTRL + T to mirror your edge. 

Repeat this step for the bottom layer, and then select all layers, right click, and select Merge Layers so you can easily transform and mirror the left and right edge. 

Once you have completed this edge, you will repeat this step for all other sides so it looks like the example below.  Be sure to not save over the RAW or original file. 

But how do we know how the image quality is going to look?  For Professional Photographers and Fine Artists, it is essential to understand what to expect in terms of pixilation, blurriness or distortion.  Since canvas is a textured surface it can be very forgiving when it comes to minor pixilation and will, in most cases, hide image quality issues.  Make sure the image is cropped at exactly the size you will be printing the file in and then go to your top tool bar, click View- Print Size.  Once you have this selected, you’ll find the image will enlarge to the real life image quality size allowing you to check the image quality and any retouching that may need done.  As you can see in the full print size enlargement below, this file looks crystal clear at 20” x 30” and we can proceed with this for printing!    

The digital file will get more and more distorted the larger the size or higher the PPI.  Experience and understanding the material you would like your file printed on will help you determine acceptable qualities to push for your client.  Keep in mind that since canvas is a textured surface, it is also very forgiving on images with quality concerns and is typically printed at 150 PPI due to the weave and absorbency of the canvas material.  This can be the perfect surface to print sentimental images for a client that may not have a high resolution image available. 


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Justin Leitner