View Full Version : Resolution to work at without bogging down AR

D Akey
10-14-2015, 02:17 AM
I'm sure this has been asked many times I just don't know where to look precisely. I'm doing a painting I want to put on a 16x20 giclee. Any suggestion how high I need to go with the resolution/dpi and all that preliminary setting stuff?

I just bought a super quick PC, screaming video card, very good ram, and even at that I'm finding with my higher settings that it lags when I'm using for example an airbrush that's maxed out (?) at 500%. I have been trying actual size at 300 dpi. And with a big brush my stylus is way out in front of the mark I'm painting.

I'm using a Cintiq 27" (not touch). And I'm getting into it now and I'm finding myself scumbling around my brush on the color palette in the lower right like I used to do with my paint brushes and palette. So my body's remembering and taking over. A good sign.

So my only real snag at this point is the resolution setting because the computer is about as good as is on the market for a personal computer. But the print's gotta look fairly sharp and professional.


10-14-2015, 04:46 AM
I find that working that large and even larger is the only way I get to make the art I want to make, detail wise. I often work out the under painting, and such at a lower resolution and bump it up for detail work. I also find that I have to adopt a slow hand approach and allow my mind and process to slow to the speed the hardware / software can handle. Only you can decide when slow is too slow. ;-)

I have read of others using the script recording to paint at lower resolution and play back at a high resolution. I have not done this myself, but it might be an option to explore.

I do hope you will share your efforts. Having never seen any of your work (that I know of) I have always been curious about your creations. :-)

10-14-2015, 06:00 AM
In this thread:


...it is said that it does not matter if you work in 72 or 300 dpi. Only the size of the canvas matters.


D Akey
10-14-2015, 01:30 PM
Thanks for that Fashmir. Scripting sounds like a good way to go but I've never tried and it's not quite the time to experiment cause I'm running into the due date soon.

And thanks also Micmac for that link to that earlier thread as well.

Welp, diving back in. I was doing it as a full on painterly painting, but I may opt to do line and wash owing to the speed being a little quicker for the rate I move the stylus (I presume). I always liked that look anyway and it certainly has worked for many caricaturists over the years. I literally haven't done a painting in well over a decade. Sheesh! Look at me, I'm a beginner again every time I tackle a new technological wonder.

:cool::cool::cool::cool::cool::):):):):):cool::coo l::cool::cool::cool:

10-15-2015, 04:35 AM
i'm new to art rage, but have been an adobe illustrator / photoshop user since 1988-89 (i had to look up the years they came out, it's been so long!), i have extensive experience printing my work.

there's no one answer to your question of resolution, but _THE_ most important measure is the number of pixels and how they are allocated _not_ the resolution. your 16x20 image at 72 PPI would be fine for screen viewing, but if you double the PPI to 144 without resampling the pixels, the size would be 8x10 (which could print fine, depending on the output method), or if you make it 300 PPI, the size would be 3.84x4.8.

i do my illustrations at 300-400 PPI (at 8.75" x 11.25"), because they will be printed in a magazine via an offset process, but i could get away with as little as 200 PPI, if my art was mostly color graduations and not details.

i've printed some stuff for work on huge commercial inkjet printers, where the viewing distance is far away (like for a billboard or bus wrap), these printers only need 150 PPI at size (meaning if i'm working at a 1/4 scale, to keep it manageable, i'm working at 600 PPI).

the giclee printing method requires 300 PPI, from what i read, meaning your image should be 4800 px x 6000 px.

D Akey
10-15-2015, 08:51 AM
Thanks marcc! Great info. I tried painting last night at the higher resolution (dpi/ppi whatever) and so long as I reduced the size of the brushes it was manageable (500% size is asking a lot and is probably why they created the fill bucket). The output is important to know obviously because that size sets how to paint. So I've slowed how fast I make my marks and reduced the size of the brushes to find the habitable zone.

Brings to mind a sci-fi movie long ago where on this particular invented planet that was near to a sun there was a narrow constant band between the freezing nighttime side and the blistering daytime side -- a sort of perpetual twilight area which was habitable. That's where I'm aiming on this one. Gotta love speculative fiction for analogies.

Thanks again. :cool::cool::cool::cool::cool:

10-15-2015, 09:38 AM
almost no one knows or cares anymore, but the proper way to describe resolution for images on screen in PPI (pixels per inch).

DPI is dots per inch is the way to express resolution of printers. over time, the two became synonamous.

for good measure, LPI is lines per inch, that is how we talk about line screens (or halftones), so commercially printed images you see in magazines are 133 or 150 LPI (but the individual dots themselves are printed at 1200-2400 DPI).

you're welcome and good luck w/ the painting.

D Akey
10-15-2015, 09:52 AM
Interesting. LPI huh? 1200-2400 dpi. . . I can feel the gears in my computer grinding.

I work with someone who prints lots of organization posters which are generally viewed from a distance, where he is the final judge of whether it's good enough, so he's tried all kinds of resolutions over time, mostly because he's often using old photos where you have to work with what you have.

He says one can print out a lower resolution, but the effect will be that it gets blurry. And of course that wouldn't fly with most clients. And that's the last thing I want to happen with what I'm doing and it's all in my hands how I set it up. So thanks for putting me on the right path.

10-15-2015, 11:34 AM
Here is another route to go

They have trials:



D Akey
10-15-2015, 11:42 AM
Oh right. That's an idea. Don't know if I'll be doing enough to warrant buying it. But it's definitely an alternative, where I can work at a comfortable size and then scale it to whatever. Good idea. It looks super clean. :):):):):)

10-16-2015, 09:14 AM
Hey DA...

I have found that if I do my work at 72 DPI I have no problems (except if the brush is above 400.. that's slows down a bit). When I am finished with my project.. I use a free program called IRfanview (basic picture viewer I have been using for years and love) to resize it. THere are settings to really get a good resize that is clear. Anyway.. at that point I will resize to 11 X 15" (or whatever) and 600 DPI. It seems to work well and gives crystal clear prints and images. THere are filters which make it very good.. you can actually see the pixels readjust.. LOL!

10-17-2015, 09:51 AM
Hello D Akey,
Thought I would add my two cents worth with a couple of things you might try to improve work speed, if not now then with another project;
1: Start the work at a smaller pixel size of canvas when you are mostly using large tools and and blocking in stuff. As the work progresses keep upping the canvas pixel size as you start to do more detail work with smaller tools untill you reach the desired pixel size and are just "noodling" the finer points.
2: Consider a different primary tool? The airbrush, at large sizes is one of the most CPU intensive tools in AR. I have found that using the Pastel/Chalk tool and then softening it after with blenders from someonesane's Pencil Work pack (LINK: (https://forums.artrage.com/showthread.php?44963-I-need-a-finger-for-my-pencil-work&p=451625#post451625)) can give very similar results to an airbrush and for me at any rate makes for a viable alternative to using a large airbrush.
3: Not always an obvious one this but if working on a very large canvas, restart the the computer and make sure AR is the only thing running or that you only have other things running that are absolutely necessary for the work you are doing, so that nothing unnecessary is making calls on the CPU or RAM.