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If you decide to take a picture, use a slow speed film, ISO 50 or ISO 100 preferably, set-up your tripod and shoot three frames one with a shutter speed of 1/15th sec, one at 1/30th sec speed and 1/60th sec speed.
Get your prints from the lab, pick the best one of the 3,scan it in and voila !!!
Time to take my anorak of, bye-bye :)
This sounds like one of those situations where your best bet is to tinker with your settings until you figure out the best method for the effect you want, and then WRITE DOWN your settings so you won't have to experiment next time around.
If you were going to take a photo of the screen, you'd have to be very careful with the ambient lighting to prevent that strange blue cast CRT tubes seem to give off on film, and I'd recommend using an actual film camera... otherwise you end up with another low-resolution image to tinker with.
Good luck! Please let us know what works best for you! (Unless a computer magazine employee is lurking around somewhere, and would like to share their secrets... ;) )
If you do come up Photoshop solution, I'd be interested to hear what you do. I agree that you need to keep anti-aliasing turned off.
When you open Photoshop, select File > New and when the new image window pops up, set the resolution to 300 (or whatever). When you paste your screenshot into the layer, it will have the resolution you specified. I just tried it and it worked for me.
A 30cm X 20cm screen shot pasted into a 300dpi photshop file only takes up about 8X5cm of the page area.
If I create a new photoshop file at 72dpi, paste the screen shot, convert to 'indexed colours', increase the resolution to 300 dpi and view the image at 'print size' it looks ok on screen. But I suspect that it should look good when viewed at 100%. A 300 dpi scan looks good at 100% view.
Load up your actual screen grab....
Go to HELP ¦ RESIZE IMAGE
Then enter in the size of your image for print etc...It'll tell you to rescan your image but, unless you fancy sticking your CRT in the scanner I'd ignore this.
I've never tried this for what you're doing so, Good Luck!
While posting URLs is a sticky subject here, mentioning the name of a specific piece of software (without a link or URL) is often necessary in the Graphics forum... often, a specific graphics technique or effect will vary greatly in execution depending on which piece of software you're using, or someone's looking for software for a very specialized purpose.
So, if you know of a cheap piece of software that can solve the screen shot dilemma, just mention the name, and anyone who's interested can find more information about it on any major search engine!
There simply IS a limit on the quality you can get. But 300dpi is not very hi-res for printing, so decent results are possible.
But the way that books, magazines, brochures and so on print large and beautiful screenshots is by faking it. They may start with a screen capture, but they also go back to an original source hi-res graphic, they re-set the type, etc. A true screen capture just doesn't have enough starting information.
In order for the original screen shot to be resampled to a higher ppi without fuzziness OR distortion: You must switch the original image to indexed color, and increase the resolution by multiples of 4.
If your service bureau can handle a 288ppi file instead of a 300, without resampling it themselves (and thereby screwing it up), option 1 is quickest: Just switch the image to indexed color mode, then change the resolution from 72ppi to 288ppi. Switch the image to CMYK (for printing), save it as a TIFF file, and away you go... a high res. screen shot with no distortion or fuzziness.
If they insist on exactly 300ppi, you'll have a slight bit of fuzziness from this method, but not much at all: Switch the original screen shot to indexed color mode, resize to 1152ppi (288x4), then switch to RGB mode, and change the resolution down to 300ppi, switch to CMYK, save as a TIFF, and live happy in the knowledge that downsampling the crisp super-high res. 1152ppi image gave you virtually no fuzz at all in your final 300ppi file...
Both these methods (of course) leave you with a high resolution image that's the same original dimensions as your screen shot. I didn't feel like messing around with the file dimensions too... but the rule of x4 with the Indexed color image should work for the pixel dimensions of the image too... between that and some creative cropping, you should be able to tweak out the right size.