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Author Topic: Matte Layout Software  (Read 10543 times)
T_om
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« on: July 08, 2008, 08:33:37 AM »
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Some time ago I ran across a program that did relatively simple matte layouts.  You plugged in the overall matte width/length and the print width/length and it output the matte window cutout size.  Then I lost the link.  Google searching has not turned it up again.

There is one I have already found here:  http://www.framingsupplies.com/MatLayout/mat_layout.htm

That one is called Mat Layout by John Figueras... a neat but VERY simple program.

The one I found earlier allowed positioning of the cutout location using the Golden Mean and other positioning tools.  It also output the sizes for double mattes.

Anyone know of this program?

Tom
« Last Edit: July 08, 2008, 08:33:58 AM by T_om » Logged
Ken
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« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2008, 10:37:51 AM »
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I believe you're talking about MatboardCalc. Try this: http://kenschuster.com/matboardcalc
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Richowens
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« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2008, 11:11:32 AM »
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Tom,
 Was this the one by Giorgio Trucco?

 Matworks


 Rich
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T_om
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« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2008, 01:08:47 PM »
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Tom,
 Was this the one by Giorgio Trucco?

 Matworks
 Rich
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Thanks Rich,

I think that may have been the one.  Trying to depend on a fallible memory is tough.

Tom
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framah
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« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2008, 05:05:23 PM »
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You plugged in the overall matte width/length and the print width/length and it output the matte window cutout size.
 

  If you already know the print size, then you also already know the mat opening size.


This is simple math. You don't need a program to figure this out. If your print image is 10" by 12", the opening is slightly less than that so it overlays the image about 1/8" thus 9 3/4 x 11 3/4 ... or if you want a space around the image, you add what you want to the size of the print.  

A 16x20 frame with an opening of 11x14 will give you a mat border of either 2 1/2 in one direction and 3 in the other or 2 1/2 on 3 sides and 3 1/2 on the other side.

Seriously,  Buy a tape measure and a small calculator and a pencil and paper and you will be all set.
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T_om
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« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2008, 06:18:54 PM »
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  If you already know the print size, then you also already know the mat opening size.

No, you don't.

Custom size mats and prints do not self-generate (in my mind at least) fractional overlay computations and cutouts instantly.  Computer software does.

Mats are not cut to exact print sizes.  A print 7 7/16 x 4 15/32  print needing an overlay of 3/16 inch all around requires what size cutout?

Quick, lets hear it off the top of your head.

If you want that cutout in a piece of 10 5/8 x 7 3/4 matboard with the cutout offset from the bottom according to the Golden Mean, please give me that cutout location off the top of your head.  Heck, you can even use the calculator you suggested.


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This is simple math.

Really?  OK, let's see the answers to the above.  Since it is simple, do it without the calculator.


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Seriously,  Buy a tape measure and a small calculator and a pencil and paper and you will be all set.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=206510\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Seriously, work with custom print and mat sizes and use the calculator if you like.   Wonderful things can be done with a #2 pencil.  Go to it.

Personally, while you are screwing around with a calculator, I want the computer program to give me the dimensions after inputting 4 numbers.

Tom
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Gemmtech
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« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2008, 09:37:11 PM »
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No, you don't.

Custom size mats and prints do not self-generate (in my mind at least) fractional overlay computations and cutouts instantly.  Computer software does.

Mats are not cut to exact print sizes.  A print 7 7/16 x 4 15/32  print needing an overlay of 3/16 inch all around requires what size cutout?

Quick, lets hear it off the top of your head.

If you want that cutout in a piece of 10 5/8 x 7 3/4 matboard with the cutout offset from the bottom according to the Golden Mean, please give me that cutout location off the top of your head.  Heck, you can even use the calculator you suggested.
Really?  OK, let's see the answers to the above.  Since it is simple, do it without the calculator.
Seriously, work with custom print and mat sizes and use the calculator if you like.   Wonderful things can be done with a #2 pencil.  Go to it.

Personally, while you are screwing around with a calculator, I want the computer program to give me the dimensions after inputting 4 numbers.

Tom
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You are kidding right?  Quick, in your head what is 125 x 125?  Doesn't it depend on the person?  It truly is simple math and I have to agree with the person (framah) above.  That's the problem with people today, no basic math skills.  When I was a child my father would take us to the grocery store and keep a running total of all the groceries in the basket, when we got to the checkout he could tell the clerk "You made a mistake with your calculator, the total is $68.23"  He was NEVER wrong, not once, but the clerk with the adding machine / calculator was.  125 x 125 = 15,625 and I don't need a calculator.   If we were doing this exercise in person I could easily prove my point, but obviously with this being online it would be difficult to prove to you just how easy this is, especially if you used the metric system.  Quick, what is 598 x 297? DON'T USE A CALCULATOR
« Last Edit: July 09, 2008, 10:00:24 PM by Gemmtech » Logged
Gemmtech
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« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2008, 09:15:44 AM »
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No, you don't.

Custom size mats and prints do not self-generate (in my mind at least) fractional overlay computations and cutouts instantly.  Computer software does.

Mats are not cut to exact print sizes.  A print 7 7/16 x 4 15/32  print needing an overlay of 3/16 inch all around requires what size cutout?

Quick, lets hear it off the top of your head.


Tom
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I have a curiosity question, how often are your prints such "strange" sizes?  My prints are generally even numbers, such as 8x10 10x14 16x24 5x7 6.5 x 9.5 etc.  How often do you size your prints to the 32nd or 64th of an inch?    Do you really print your images at 7-7/16" x 4-15/32"?  Just curious.
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T_om
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« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2008, 10:04:01 AM »
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I have a curiosity question, how often are your prints such "strange" sizes?  My prints are generally even numbers, such as 8x10 10x14 16x24 5x7 6.5 x 9.5 etc.  How often do you size your prints to the 32nd or 64th of an inch?    Do you really print your images at 7-7/16" x 4-15/32"?  Just curious.
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Not often at those precise dimensions listed  , but all the time at non-standard ones.

4x6's are for Wal-Mart.  I sell very few, but even when I sell a 4x6 it is custom cropped and dropped onto a custom sized background.  

When selling prints, I want to differentiate myself from the common run stuff clients buy for themselves at the corner "Print Everything In One Hour" drugstore or Wally World.  

So I intentionally print and mount in custom sizes, sometimes just for the 'different' effect but mostly because the print crops to a given size for artistic reasons.  Does everything you photograph fit neatly into standard boxes?  Probably not, so why force your stuff into a box that does not fit?

Tom
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Gemmtech
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« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2008, 12:04:26 PM »
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Not often at those precise dimensions listed  , but all the time at non-standard ones.

4x6's are for Wal-Mart. I sell very few, but even when I sell a 4x6 it is custom cropped and dropped onto a custom sized background.

When selling prints, I want to differentiate myself from the common run stuff clients buy for themselves at the corner "Print Everything In One Hour" drugstore or Wally World.

So I intentionally print and mount in custom sizes, sometimes just for the 'different' effect but mostly because the print crops to a given size for artistic reasons. Does everything you photograph fit neatly into standard boxes? Probably not, so why force your stuff into a box that does not fit?

Tom
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I agree that not all images fit into a "standard" size, but (And I've have to really think about it) I don't believe there's been many if any of my images that needed to be cropped outside of 1/4" or even 1/2" increments.  In other words I can't imagine having an image that wasn't "right" at 6" x 9" but was FANTASTIC at 6-1/32" x 9-3/16".  So that brings us to the point of the software, if our images are within increments of 1/4" or we are really smart (or dumb, perspective) and use the metric system, then do we really need the software?  I know I don't and I don't use software to figure out my matte sizes, but then again I don't use a calculator for anything other than "advanced" mathematics.  One caveat, most here are probably worlds better than me at photography, I'm mostly a hobbyist and have only sold a couple prints in my life.  

So there's another question for everybody, what increments do you use when sizing your prints?  Are there occasions when you HAVE TO use an increment that ends in ? such as 1/128" 1/64" 3/32" 5/16" 31/32" ?
« Last Edit: July 10, 2008, 12:08:44 PM by Gemmtech » Logged
framah
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« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2008, 12:58:03 PM »
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Thank you Gemmtech. My point exactly.  

The fact that  you (Tom) have to have a computer program to do the math you were supposed to learn in grade school doesn't mean it is that hard to do on a piece of paper with a pencil.

7 7/16 minus 3/8" = 7 1/16" and 4 15/32 is figured out to be 1/32 off of 1/2" so you can assume to use 3/8" as the number so you subtract 3/8" and you have 4". Don't make it rocket science.

The opening would be 7 1/16 x 4.  Or to make it even easier.. 7 x4. You won't lose anything important in 1/16 of an inch from the edge of the print.
A mat with a 2 1/2" border around a 7x4 opening would be 12x9.

That wasn't hard and it was all done on a piece of paper.  I didn't even have to sharpen the pencil.

Your example of an oddball size mat of 10 5/8 x 7 3/4 is irrelevant as no one in their right mind mats anything that way.

As to a "golden mean" of openings, that is nonsense!!! Pure and simple!! I have been doing professional framing for over 16 years and am a Certified Picture Framer and nowhere in all of my learning and/or practicing has a golden mean ever came up in  matting. In wood working, yes but not in matting art. You can make a mat cut anyway you want but the general rules of thumb are that you either make all  sides the same size, or you make the bottom weighted or if you have a fixed size frame you make opposite sides equal if you cant do bottom weighting and have the other three sides equal. That being said... the next rule of thumb is to ignore the above rules whenever  they don't look right with the art.

Call any frame shop you want and I'll bet they don't use the "golden mean" to figure out where to cut the opening.
You start with the opening you want and then add whatever mat border size you want and you have the overall size of the mat and the frame. If you have a frame that is 10 5/8 x 7 3/4 and you are trying to fit something in it, you are definitely not serious about your work, otherwise you would be using the proper materials for the job and not trash picking for whatever you can find to frame your work.

Seriously, stop over thinking the matting of your art.
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Pete Berry
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« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2008, 01:06:50 PM »
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You are kidding right?  Quick, in your head what is 125 x 125?  Doesn't it depend on the person?  It truly is simple math and I have to agree with the person (framah) above.  That's the problem with people today, no basic math skills.  When I was a child my father would take us to the grocery store and keep a running total of all the groceries in the basket, when we got to the checkout he could tell the clerk "You made a mistake with your calculator, the total is $68.23"  He was NEVER wrong, not once, but the clerk with the adding machine / calculator was.  125 x 125 = 15,625 and I don't need a calculator.   If we were doing this exercise in person I could easily prove my point, but obviously with this being online it would be difficult to prove to you just how easy this is, especially if you used the metric system.  Quick, what is 598 x 297? DON'T USE A CALCULATOR
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=206867\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Your astounding calculating abilities have nothing to do with basic math (the ability to conceptualize, formulate and solve numerical problems) but with a savant-like ability to calculate, which you apparently inherited from your father.

I doubt if 0.01% of the population, including mathmaticians, could quickly multiply "598 x 297" in their heads, nor would ever be able to learn to do so if they tried. This is far different from the inabliity of many of today's youths to make change, elementary calculations, or formulate and solve a "word problem" mathmatically.

The downside of the savant "special power" is frequently large defects elsewhere in one's mental or social capabilities, eg. "Rainman", and my 55 year old sister who is likewise incapable of living independently. But arrogance is fortunately not one of her attributes!
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framah
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« Reply #12 on: July 10, 2008, 01:07:00 PM »
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As I also print for other artists as well for my own photography and then mat and frame them, I'm involved in all aspects of the process.

The idea is that no matter if the print actually ended up being  7 and 13/32, nowhere does it say you can't simplify the process and round it off to a number you can  work with.  Even if you mat outside  the art... leaving a space between the image and the mat, that 1/16" when divided between both sides will not be noticeable.

I do agree that there are times when you make the final composition when you cut the mat but you don't need to be so  exact in the process.
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T_om
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« Reply #13 on: July 11, 2008, 11:41:10 AM »
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As to a "golden mean" of openings, that is nonsense!!! Pure and simple!! I have been doing professional framing for over 16 years and am a Certified Picture Framer and nowhere in all of my learning and/or practicing has a golden mean ever came up in  matting. In wood working, yes but not in matting art.

Nonsense?  Then stick to woodworking.

Being a Certified Picture Framer is not an art degree.  It means you can successfully stick pieces of wood together so they won't fall apart and cut a hole in a piece of matboard without losing fingers in the process.

A framer does not determine where in a mat my images go, I do.  


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You can make a mat cut anyway you want but the general rules of thumb ...

Thanks for making my point so eloquently.

"General rules of thumb" are for Wal-Mart employees.  Use all the Rules Of Thumbs you like.  



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are that you either make all  sides the same size, or you make the bottom weighted...

Then you obviously have no experience with Oriental art either.


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Call any frame shop you want and I'll bet they don't use the "golden mean" to figure out where to cut the opening.

I'll bet they don't either.  They want everything standardized as much as possible so the 'guy in back' doesn't have to scratch his head setting up the Fletcher.

I would also bet most have no idea what the Golden Mean is or could define it anyway, but that is just a guess on my part based on the framers I have met over the last 40 years.  Maybe the framers in your neck of the woods have a sounder basis in art training.  My formal education was in architecture.

"Rounding off" is fine in some cases, not so fine in others.  I make that determination myself when sizing the image.

Again, framers don't tell me how to display my images.  I tell the framer.

Tom
« Last Edit: July 11, 2008, 11:45:07 AM by T_om » Logged
Gemmtech
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« Reply #14 on: July 11, 2008, 01:08:55 PM »
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"I would also bet most have no idea what the Golden Mean is or could define it anyway, but that is just a guess on my part based on the framers I have met over the last 40 years. Maybe the framers in your neck of the woods have a sounder basis in art training. My formal education was in architecture."

OK, so we have something in common since I have degrees in both mathematics and architecture.  I will agree that probably most framers do not know what the Golden Ratio is, hell I would guess that most people don't know what it is, so maybe you can teach me something here (I'm being serious) Can you give me an example of why utilizing the golden ratio (I will explain for those who don't understand it and I'm assuming you mean the golden ratio?) for matting a print would be so important?  I agree with you that I would tell a framer (I'm a woodworker, so I make my own) how to frame and matte my prints, but I can't imagine getting so specific.  Again, I will reiterate, I'm NOT a professional photographer and I can tell most here are pretty darn good (their websites are) so I wont be so arrogant as to state this is just plain stupid, I would just like to read a valid reason?    I know this will piss off a lot of people, but I prefer the art to be the main focus and I like my frame and matte to accentuate the art, possibly add a little to it, but NOT be the main focus.  Quick story, a friend of mine who is a phenomenal glass artist was commissioned to design and create a beautiful piece of glass art for a woman to give to her husband for Christmas and it was to be framed, he called and asked me to fabricate a frame, which I did.  After Christmas the woman called me and told me that she gave the wrapped art to her husband which he quickly opened, his eyes lit up like stars in the sky (I AGREE IT WAS BEAUTIFUL GLASS) as he said to his wife "This is absolutely the most beautiful frame I've ever seen, who made it"    naturally I took the compliment and was proud, but the moral of the story, the frame was too gorgeous!  

  "Thanks for making my point so eloquently.

"General rules of thumb" are for Wal-Mart employees. Use all the Rules Of Thumbs you like."

Isn't the "Golden Ratio" a "rule of thumb"?  And do we really need to use the same proportions as the Parthenon?  I'm just asking, but it really seems to be extreme to me.  Again I'll ask, are your matte sizes really so specific?  And, if you are matting a photograph of a building that was not designed utilizing the golden ratio then why does the matte have to?  Maybe I could be convinced that a photograph of the Parthenon would need to be matted using the GR, but what about everything else that doesn't follow that ratio?  Why the importance?

"Rounding off" is fine in some cases, not so fine in others. I make that determination myself when sizing the image."

So, back to my question, why is rounding off not fine in all cases?  Are there really images that you have that look terrible or not so great at 6" x 9" but look great at 6-1/16" x 9-3/32"?  I will once again make the point that by using the metric system this conversation ends!
« Last Edit: July 11, 2008, 01:21:41 PM by Gemmtech » Logged
Ernst Dinkla
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« Reply #15 on: July 11, 2008, 01:31:56 PM »
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There must be a mailing list somewhere where arrogance is appreciated :-)


Meanwhile it would be a nice experiment to check Qimage's features on image nesting, border settings, border color and cutting marks to create lay-outs for mattes. Not just for one image but multiple images and with economic use of matte board. First create some white images at the desired ratios and with enough resolution. If the printer allows it you could even print the matte board and cut just outside the cut marks. I have printed matte desings on matte boards with an Epson 9000 of 1,8 mm thick, 0,3 more than Epson specs.


Ernst Dinkla

Try: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Wide_Inkjet_Printers/
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framah
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« Reply #16 on: July 11, 2008, 04:12:09 PM »
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Gemtech...

The golden mean in olden days was used to balance the parts of the art so it is pleasing and supposedly mats were cut the same way so as to not to unbalance the piece.

If it isn't balanced properly it did what was called a visual pull-down.  To avoid this the mat is made bigger on the bottom than the sides and top. Just as I had said was a rule of thumb.... which the golden mean is, also... a rule of thumb.
Supposedly, one would use the golden mean  (a 5 to 8 ratio) as a calculation to get the right amount of bottom weighting. Serious overkill.

Tom
I do agree with you on one thing... you are the only one who knows how he wants a mat cut. When you come into a frame shop with your calculations, you give the nice person at the counter the sizes you want and it will be done...or you can go buy all of the equipment we have and do it all yourself.

At present, I have about  $50,000 in equipment here.  But then again, I have been at this for over 15 years and I  have framed to museum standards 6 pieces of Chinese art over 400 years old and over 15  presidential signatures and I do this for a very good living because I always do my best to make the art look its very best.

If I had a customer come in asking for me to use the golden mean to mat something, I would definitely research it out and make every effort to accommodate the customer. You better believe they would be charged a hefty fee for the extra work involved. This is the same as wanting museum mounting with mulberry and rice paste hinges. You will pay a hefty fee for the extra work involved but you will get what you ask for.

 Not every framer out there is a slug as you described them.

So, I guess we will just have to disagree with each other and move on. Good luck finding the program.  
Something to think about... while it's really great to want perfection in your work and you should always strive for it, unfortunately, the vast majority of the people out there will never notice that your mat is cut to the golden mean standards. It's just the way of the world.
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« Reply #17 on: July 11, 2008, 04:39:10 PM »
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Gemtech...

The golden mean in olden days was used to balance the parts of the art so it is pleasing and supposedly mats were cut the same way so as to not to unbalance the piece.

If it isn't balanced properly it did what was called a visual pull-down.  To avoid this the mat is made bigger on the bottom than the sides and top. Just as I had said was a rule of thumb.... which the golden mean is, also... a rule of thumb.
Supposedly, one would use the golden mean  (a 5 to 8 ratio) as a calculation to get the right amount of bottom weighting. Serious overkill.

Tom
I do agree with you on one thing... you are the only one who knows how he wants a mat cut. When you come into a frame shop with your calculations, you give the nice person at the counter the sizes you want and it will be done...or you can go buy all of the equipment we have and do it all yourself.

At present, I have about  $50,000 in equipment here.  But then again, I have been at this for over 15 years and I  have framed to museum standards 6 pieces of Chinese art over 400 years old and over 15  presidential signatures and I do this for a very good living because I always do my best to make the art look its very best.

If I had a customer come in asking for me to use the golden mean to mat something, I would definitely research it out and make every effort to accommodate the customer. You better believe they would be charged a hefty fee for the extra work involved. This is the same as wanting museum mounting with mulberry and rice paste hinges. You will pay a hefty fee for the extra work involved but you will get what you ask for.

 Not every framer out there is a slug as you described them.

So, I guess we will just have to disagree with each other and move on. Good luck finding the program. 
Something to think about... while it's really great to want perfection in your work and you should always strive for it, unfortunately, the vast majority of the people out there will never notice that your mat is cut to the golden mean standards. It's just the way of the world.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=207404\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


I realize what the "golden ratio" aka "golden mean" is used for and your 8/5 ratio is basically correct, we use 1.61803399 or just 1.6 phi and I realize that the proportions are very important, but is it this important for matting a photograph or any piece of art work?  You have a lot more experience than I do in this field (framing), that's why I ask.  I guess if our credit cards are close to the golden ratio than why not our mattes?     I'm always curious how the rest of the people in the world view our world?  I must admit (shame on me) I never thought about using phi to crop my photos or cut my mattes, but like I said, I'm NOT a pro.
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« Reply #18 on: July 11, 2008, 05:13:51 PM »
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Your astounding calculating abilities have nothing to do with basic math (the ability to conceptualize, formulate and solve numerical problems) but with a savant-like ability to calculate, which you apparently inherited from your father.

I doubt if 0.01% of the population, including mathmaticians, could quickly multiply "598 x 297" in their heads, nor would ever be able to learn to do so if they tried. This is far different from the inabliity of many of today's youths to make change, elementary calculations, or formulate and solve a "word problem" mathmatically.

The downside of the savant "special power" is frequently large defects elsewhere in one's mental or social capabilities, eg. "Rainman", and my 55 year old sister who is likewise incapable of living independently. But arrogance is fortunately not one of her attributes!
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=207065\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


What really comes into play (using a computer/calculator)  is when you do double/triple mattes  trying to figure out the different lips can be done by hand (used to have to do it)  but I would rather use better tools and save time to do other things that I would rather be doing.  (also with a computer I probably would make less errors? and would not have to redo as much)
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« Reply #19 on: July 12, 2008, 01:18:59 PM »
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I must have missed something here.  Why should a simple request for a software lead to this involved discussion on mental arithmetic?

For what it's worth, I have a university science background and also recknon to be pretty proficient in simple calculating.  Despite this, I still prefer to use "Matworks" as I'd rather just concentrate on the aesthetics of getting the imnage to look good.
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