View Full Version : How do I set up a digital canvas for high quality printing

06 June 2007, 02:35 PM
Can someone explain to me the proper way to set up my pixel ratio and resolution so I can later print my digital paintings/drawings as high quality prints? I would like to print at basic sizes 8 x 10 or larger. 18 x 24 for example.

I don't know if I am doing something wrong. I am fairly new to digital work. I set up a new file as

width 5400 pixels
height 7200 pixels
resolution 300

thinking I would be able to then print a high quality 18 x 24 print. Doing this turns my computer into a slug and every touch of my wacom pen is hesitating. Is there a better way to set up a painting? Please help if you can.

06 June 2007, 05:26 PM
Hi resolution images require a fast computer with lots of ram. Theres no 'setting' you can change that will make your computer faster at higher resolutions really. You can adjust the cache size and the number of undos for the history pallette to help though. Also make sure you do a fresh boot and there are no other apps running in the background or big images in the clipboard. Basically free up everything you can to get the best performance.
You can also be tricky depending on the quality of the image needed, by working half size and scaling up, using a 3rd party plugin such as Alien Skin Blow up will help in that department as well. I'm not sure what youre trying to do, but if you're using it for fine art type 'painting', other tricks are to block out the shapes and colors at a lower res and scale up for the final detail, so you arent working on a slow computer the entire time. You can also crop an image into parts and only work on quadrants and then assemble them at the end and touch up any seems if necessary. Good luck-

06 June 2007, 05:34 PM
Hi claymover, the size of an image in pixels are different than inches. If your image is set at a resolution of 100 PPI, this basically means it will take 100 pixels to fill up one inch of space. So you'd need a 1200 pixel wide image to print a 12 inch wide shot. If you are printing an image that was strictly made as a web-based image, you simply aren't going to get enough pixel information to fill a high quality print (the image tries to fill itself with pixel information, when it needs to which is why low resolution images look so bad). The higher the resolution, the more information per pixel, the better the print... To find the largest photo quality image you can print, simply divide each dimension by 300:
3266 / 300 = 10.89 inches
2450 / 300 = 8.17 inches
Good quality inkjet printers can make a nice looking print at 250 or 200ppi. At 200ppi, the maximum print size becomes:
3266 / 200 = 16.33 inches
2450 / 200 = 12.25 inches
Here is a simple reference chart I prepared for these are just examples.
2048 x 1536 = 6.82" x 5.12" at 300dpi
3264 x 2448 = 10.88" x 8.16" at 300dpi
4920 x 3264 = 16.40" x 10.88" at 300dpi
5380 x 3620 = 17.93" x 12.06" at 300dpi
A great site to check out is there can find more info from artists such as Ryan Church, Dylon Cole from there web sites. Here is a small article from the respected great concept artist Ryan Church which the credit goes to:
A: Generally, I start the painting by blocking in on a 1500 pixel across canvas so I can quickly use large brushes (ease of working). At work, I start with an image that's 1500x640 pixels across which is a 2:35 aspect ratio which is what Star Wars is. I block in the painting at this resolution because it's quick, when I need more detail in there I uprez it to 3000 pixels, sometimes even 4500 pixels across and finish it out- that's how big my images usually are. You can see that article here for yourself by this link... Well claymover I hope this helps.

06 June 2007, 10:31 PM
wow! thank you both so much for taking the time to respond. It helps ALOT! I will definately reference your remarks more than once until I get the hang of it. You are great!

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