Precision Puzzles

Project Log # 00070

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Received a stunning digital image via email from the couple after an initial information request from the web site.   The request is for a 24" x 20" Guest "Signatures" puzzle for their upcoming wedding and reception.   The average piece size will be 5.33 sq. in. as there will be 90 pieces cut from the 480 sq. in. image size.

The negative was scanned by Kodak and the file size is 1500x1000 pixels, 340KB.


My initial concern with the image was that the resolution was too low for a 24x20 enlargement; it is desirable to keep the resolution at a minimum of 100 pixels per inch on the final printed enlargement.  A 24" x 20" print would therefore require 2400 x 2000 pixels in the digital file. The supplied digital image would only permit a 15" x 10" final size. 

Since the image was in great focus, blurriness was not a problem during the digital enhancement. I used my image processing software to enhance the resolution so that pixelization would be avoided for the enlargement.  The bi cubic interpolation gives a smooth increase in file resolution for a file size of 3900 x 2850 pixels, great for a 24x20 enlargement. 

Additional photo editing was performed to soften a bright flash and warm up the image.  A few stray fragments from scanning were edited out and the image was cropped and zoomed to remove the person on the right.  A final communication with the couple via email on the plan and its ready to sent out for enlargement. 

A final image size that works for the framing of the couple is 26" x 19", a total of 494 sq. in.  Average piece size is 5.49 sq. in., better than the initial quote for a little more writing space on the back side of the pieces.

5/8 The Kodak scanned image was great.  A comparison was made with the original negative and the Kodak scanned was better.  The image print came back stunning and ready to mount to the 1/4" 5 ply Baltic Birch plywood.  The Birch Plywood is hard and stable and will last a lifetime.  I will be going through a number of saw blades cutting it but the extra time is worth it for the keepsake.

The back of the plywood is prepped with a sealer for a long lasting keepsake.  This also helps the Blessings and Signatures from bleeding into the wood grain and smearing.


The photo is mounted to the plywood.  The photographic paper is durable, has long lasting inks and works well with the .008" wide saw blade.The photo is mounted and the border is trimmed.  It is sprayed with a few coats of protective finish on top to keep little hands from smudging the puzzle pieces at the reception.   After drying it's ready to start cutting. 
The puzzle will have piece sizes of about 2 5/8 " x 1 3/4 ", very nice for a nice sized note to the Bride and Groom. 


One Signature Puzzle style uses a grid structure to help plan the number of pieces exactly. 

The couple ordered a 90 piece puzzle so a 10x9 grid was used to guide the cutting.  This shape of these pieces will be familiar to the puzzle assemblers and will assist in solving it. A free style cut is also a good choice but is more difficult to predict exactly how many pieces will be cut when finished.

5/12 A closer look at the next level of cutting.  The first puzzle pieces can be seen to be almost square in shape.  When cutting the left to right cuts as seen here, I dodge the intersection of the top to bottom cuts so that fewer corners meet at a single point.  The cardboard puzzles that we are all familiar with are die cut and the corner of each piece meets 3 other corners.
5/12 Another look at this point.  Coming along nicely.   I am taking care to avoid cutting across eyes as they are a major focus point of a portrait.

Cutting is Complete.   A little sanding on the back to remove the fuzzies and the puzzle is ready to pack.

5/16 Signature sized pieces, 90 of them, ready for the Wedding Guests Blessings and Signatures.
5/16 A nice keepsake box for the puzzle pieces.

All done, with some extra tissue in the box so the pieces don't bump against each other too much in the mail.

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