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Looking for my place in all of this...

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I am loathe to post a new topic for fear of getting heckled off the board, but I could sure use some guidance from much wiser and experienced members. Here’s where I’m at:

I’ve acquired the original DEEDs as well as the NJVC DEEDs (plus bonus discs) and test burned several of them using my new Pioneer burner. They work great, so no issues there with the stuff that really matters. From Amazon, I bought a spindle of 25GB Verbatim BD-Rs (branded surface), a few 50GB Verbatim singles (branded), a Verbatim 50GB spindle (printable surface - evidently sourced from Japan), and five 100GB Verbatim M-Discs (going to burn the RARs onto these and stash them in my safe deposit box).

Now I would like to create a couple decent-looking physical/presentation copies that I can watch myself and loan out to friends and therein lies where I’ve hit a bit of a wall.

The artwork and physical construction part of this is a bit overwhelming, to say the least. First I need to find some artwork that I really like and then get it in a format that can be printed onto the discs. I’m thinking that I will take my chosen design to a local print shop (FedEx Office, Office Depot, or a small business?) and see if they will print it onto the discs. I don’t want to buy a disc-compatible printer myself for such a small volume job. I’m not ready to jump into slipcases just yet. I am artistically illiterate - I couldn’t draw you a stick figure and make it look like a stick figure. I’m looking for something that retains some of the original theatrical poster artwork and says “Despecialized Edition” on it - I like that.

And then there’s the issue of the cases. At the moment, I really like the idea of putting these in a Blu-ray case (blue colored with the logo) because, well, they’re Blu-rays (my OCD likes that), but most posts talk about these “Criterion cases” which to me look more like clear DVD cases.

Questions:

  • Do I print the discs before I burn them? My concern is damaging the discs during printing once they’re burned. Not sure this is a valid concern. I’ve never had a reason to print discs before.
  • What’s up with these Criterion cases? Am I missing something or is it just straight preference?
  • What are the key items that I should be looking for with artwork, particularly dimensions pertaining to the case so it fits correctly. What format (PDF, jpg, etc)?
  • Any other ideas, items, or insults that I should consider?

Thanks in advance for the help.

Han Shot. Period.

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I will answer shortly, but I must prepare the post to address all of your questions.

The NJVC Custom Bluray Set of Harmy’s Despecialized Editions is up on Mega.

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Q: Do I print the discs before I burn them?
A: It’s up to you. Printing on the top of a disc isn’t really risking damage all that much.

Q: What’s up with these Criterion cases? Am I missing something or is it just straight preference?
A: The spines can be sized a little differently. I got my cases from casetopia.com. Notice in this selection there are cases with 6mm, 11mm, 12mm, and 14mm spines. 12mm is the most common commercial size and the size that most of the people who post cover art here use for their projects.

Q: What are the key items that I should be looking for with artwork, particularly dimensions pertaining to the case so it fits correctly. What format (PDF, jpg, etc)?

A: Depends. Different image formats have different properties (lossy vs lossless, etc.). I’ll let you research the merits of the different image formats yourself. If you are going to try to take your project to a print shop, they will probably want it as a pdf.

If you are going to print at home for a 12mm case, the most important thing is to initially print at approximately these dimensions:

Width:
10 & 9/16 inches
Height:
5 & 15/16 inches

Then trim off 1/16 inch from each side. This will cut very slightly into the outside of the picture so there will be no white at the edge.

32 lb glossy paper works well for covers. Make sure whatever you get is compatible with your printer. Glossy laser printer paper will not work in inkjet printers for example; the ink would just smear off. You can technically use 8.5 x 11" paper, but that leaves less than 0.25" margins on the sides, and that might cause issues. If you can get your hands on 8.5 x 14" paper it’ll work better, but it can be hard to find.

Even though they probably won’t print the covers for you because of copyright concerns, places like Staples or Office Depot usually have large paper trimmers they let the public use that are ideal for this type of cutting.

The most important thing is that your finished dimensions for a 12mm case will be:

Width:
10 & 7/16 inches
Height:
5 & 13/16 inches

But remember Phildesfr’s stuff in the mega link at the bottom of his post is already properly sized for all that.

If you want to do a double sided insert (ie have stuff on the inside and outside), print the first side image of it aligned with the top left hand corner of the paper. Then take the printout, flip it over, and print the second side image of your insert, but this time aligning it to the top right hand corner of the paper on the other side, like so:

It won’t line up exacty, but by having it be just a tad oversized, you end up trimming the slightly misaligned excess from the edges anyway.

Q: Any other ideas, items…

A: If you do need to resize for some reason, there are scaling options in the print dialog of the free Adobe Acrobat Reader program.

This link or the photo below might be helpful.

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There’s lots of cover art in this section of the site:

Or here are several other specific threads from which you might get some good art to use and/or design ideas:

Phildesfr’s Blu-Ray Complete Set

Tyler0013’s Boxless Boxset

Star Wars THX “Faces” Covers Posted by “TheDarkKnight”

Detolas Custom BluRay Set - (Pic Heavy)

Also a few other things I will address via pm.

Q: …or insults that I should consider?

A: Hmmm. Well, I guess if you really want an insult, I could say you are a nerd, but I clearly live in a glass house, so throwing those types of stones would probably be kind of foolish on my part. 😉

This post has been edited.

The NJVC Custom Bluray Set of Harmy’s Despecialized Editions is up on Mega.

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solkap said:

Q: …or insults that I should consider?

A: Hmmm. Well, I guess if you really want an insult, I could say you are a nerd, but I clearly live in a glass house, so throwing those types of stones would probably be kind of foolish on my part. 😉

solkap, thank you so much for the thoughtful and detailed reply. I am going to reference it often.

I may also look into modifying some of the cases/covers to add the “bonus” features details of the NJVC compilation to the inside cover and the words “Despecialized Edition”. Do you know if I would need an additional font pack or something to use with Nuance PowerPDF (which I presume will have some capability to edit these adequately).

Han Shot. Period.

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From the looks of that program, I would assume Nuance PowerPDF could handle that, but I’ve never used it, so I can’t promise.

If it turns out it can’t, I ended up using GNU Image Manipulation Program GIMP. It’s not the most user friendly program, but it’s learn-able with a little practice and research, and it’s free.

As far as fonts, I used Episode I Font to put “Despecialized Edition” on my discs.

The NJVC Custom Bluray Set of Harmy’s Despecialized Editions is up on Mega.

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