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Thread: What is the best DPI to save paintings in Artrage for printing off to sell?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    What is the best DPI to save paintings in Artrage for printing off to sell?

    Hi, does anyone know about selling paintings using ArtRage 2.5? I have read some info about painting using 300 DPI (not PPI) for all paintings so that they can be blown up to the larger sizes when selling on Art print websites. Does anyone have experience of doing this and the difficulties & issues involved?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    Virginia, USA
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    Hello,

    First, RobertSWade did a writeup of how he sells on Etsy.com. His information is good and accurate.

    Second of all... DPI... sigh... :-(

    DPI stands for Dots Per Inch. And that's all... there's nothing magic here. Nothing mystical.

    The only thing to know is that some output devices have a specific, native DPI that they work at. Screens are between 72 and 96 DPI (usually). Printers vary... inkjets are usually 150, laser printers start at 300. This DOES NOT mean that you can ONLY print at that DPI.

    So what? So get out your calculator and multiply the size, in inches, that you want your image to be times the DPI. Then you'll get the size the image should be, for that device.

    An example: you want to make an 8 inch by 10 inch print. You have an inkjet, so you use 150 DPI. That would then be a 1200 by 1500 pixel image (since 8 times 150 is 1200, and 10 times 150 is 1500). Is that fairly clear?

    What if you decide you want to make it bigger? Someone is willing to pay you $$$$$ for a 20 inch by 25 inch print. What do you do? Well, alas, it depends. You can either just send your 1200x1500 image to the printer, and see how it looks. If it's cheap enough, DO THIS FIRST. Don't use image scaling unless you *absolutely* have to. Oh yeah: What DPI would this be? That's right, you're going the other way, so divide: 1200 (pixels in your image) divided by 20 inches gives 60 DPI. 1500 divided by 25 gives 60 DPI.

    So what (again)? Well, alas, again, it depends. Some printers do the automatic scaling thing by themselves, and they do a pretty good job of it, so it *MAY* look okay. That's why I said "try it out" above.

    ALAS, someone will just say, "DUDE! Just resize it! Use Photoshop! It's magic!"

    Turns out that image scaling is ***NOT*** magic. This is particularly hard on photographers... we're painters here, we can stand a little fuzzing without flipping out (usually :-). You can spend HUNDREDS of dollars on programs that just do image resizing... and they all do variations of a not-very-good job. Dig around with google, particularly reviews of the various programs, and you'll find a lot of disappointment.

    But Photoshop (or Irfanview, or Pixelmator, or ArtRage, or whatever tool you have) might work for you! If the image isn't very good, find the native DPI of the device, do the math and scale appropriately. Print, examine, lather, rinse, repeat.

    You know how you can zoom OUT and it still looks pretty good? Things get smaller, and you lose detail. On the other hand, notice that when you zoom in (particularly on a photo) after a point it just gets worse and worse? That's because the program is having to guess about what "should" be there. That's the problem.

    Please post if you have any questions about what I've written, or if any of it wasn't clear and needs further explanation.
    Last edited by yachris; 04-13-2009 at 09:11 AM.
    WARNING: ArtRage can cause serious loss of time, and excessive smiling! Use with care! Frequently!

    “All creativity is an extended form of a joke.” – Alan Kay

  3. #3
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    True, but creating an ArtRage painting for print is easy and you don't need all that calculation (although it's nice to know).

    Create a new painting; set the measurement units to inches or cm; and set the dpi to 300 (or anything between 150-300). For a smaller print you can use 300 or 240.

    For a large print, say 36" x 48" poster or bigger, you usually don't want to go above 150 dpi cuz you end up with enormous file sizes in a GB range.
    --LES

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by pentool View Post
    True, but creating an ArtRage painting for print is easy and you don't need all that calculation (although it's nice to know).

    Create a new painting; set the measurement units to inches or cm; and set the dpi to 300 (or anything between 150-300). For a smaller print you can use 300 or 240.
    That's a perfectly reasonable approach. I use 200, RobertSWade finds 100 (in the article linked above) is fine for him. It really depends on how detailed your painting is.

    It's just easier to go from too much to less, rather than hope you can go from not enough up.

    Quote Originally Posted by pentool View Post
    For a large print, say 36" x 48" poster or bigger, you usually don't want to go above 150 dpi cuz you end up with enormous file sizes in a GB range.
    That's a really good point too... too big, and your computer slows down too much for it to be fun (or really do-able for some of the tools) any more!
    WARNING: ArtRage can cause serious loss of time, and excessive smiling! Use with care! Frequently!

    “All creativity is an extended form of a joke.” – Alan Kay

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    6

    My Query Answered

    Thanks guys for the informative replies; I have taken all of it on board. My maths is pretty weak though but great tips & advice nonetheless.

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