Sunday, August 14, 2011

Rasterizing Images to Make a Giant (and cheap) Poster

lean your head waaaayyyy back from the screen to get the full effect! :)

Thanks for viewing the video of my new classroom; I'm super excited about it! Some of you really appreciated my ginormous Magadelene image (by Da Vinci) blown up to epic proportions on one of the cabinets in my classroom.

I've been making a new rasterized poster for every school year since I started teaching, so I don't think too much of it anymore. At my old school the parents and students were used to this. . .But, at Meet n Greet last Thursday, nearly every visitor to the art room was thrilled with the Magadelene!

Rasterizing images to make a huge poster is very easy and super affordable. My favorite part is that you can choose to laminate the pages to keep the poster for every year, or you can toss it when you get bored with it and not feel any pangs of regret. It is that cheap!

Rasterization is the task of taking an image describe in a vector graphics format (shapes) and converting it into a raster image (pixels or dots) for output on a video display, printer, or for storage in a bitmap file format (from wikipedia).

If you use Photoshop, or similar programs, there are ways to rasterize your images. . .But, to have this huge output, I use an online program called The Rasterbator (I know, I cringe at that name too!). You can download the program, but I prefer to use the online version, and save space on my computer. The Rasterbator outputs your poster into multiple 8.5 x 11 sheets in a .pdf format.

Here are the steps I follow:
1. select an image you like (any image)
2. save it to your computer
4. click on "rasterbate online"
5. select "upload image from your computer" and click "next"
6. choose your image and click "next"
7. click "crop" and crop your image (if needed)
8. click on "size." The rectangles you see represent 1 sheet of 8.5 x 11 paper. Resize your image to desired height (hint A4 is 8.5 x 11 paper)
9. click "next" at the prompt select "continue"
10. view the choices, choose what is best for you (hint the smaller your dots, the more detailed your image will be)
11. click "rasterbate" and wait
12. now you should have a pdf file that is your image. It will contain ALL the pages of your poster. When you print out, keep your images IN THE SAME ORDER.

-remember how many sheets of paper tall and wide your image is before rasterbating. That way, you will know how to lay out your image.
-lay out your image before trying to assemble to work out any kinks
-keep your print out in the same order. SO IMPORTANT, or you are trying to put together a crazy puzzle.

Enjoy! And, if you make some awesome art posters, be sure to link to them in the comments so we can all "oooh and ahhh!"


  1. Thanks for the tip. I love this idea!

  2. Great post! I did a similar lesson of teacher's portraits with 4th grade, check it out :

  3. ahh the free program that you used to use doesn't seem to exist anymore...have you found a new free program online to do this with?

  4. The modern poster, as we know it, however, dates back to 1870 when the printing industry perfected colour lithography and made mass production possible.

  5. Cheap Poster Printing
    Thanks for this!!! I have been seeing this around a lot lately and love them. You make it sound so simple! Will have to take a stab at it in three months for my little girls birthday :)

  6. This is excellent - you are very clear about what your doing and I really appreciate you taking the time to put this super useful information up. Thanks. I'm going to give this a try tomorrow!