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Printing large, high-res images?

Littlerock

numb with cold
I've tried to research this one on my own, but I can't seem to find the info I'm looking for.

I'm looking to print out a piece of digital art that's still a work-in-progress, and the base so far is 3000x3000px. The final will most likely be a bit smaller than this, but not by much. So the questions; is 72ppi a good res to print at for a poster-quality print? And if I print a 3000px tall image at 72ppi, roughly how tall in inches will it be? If 72ppi is a bad choice, what would be a better choice, and how tall would the same image be at this better choice res?

Also, I'd like to hear any opinions on your favorite printing styles, papers, and lamination. I'm looking to make a set of posters for selling out of this particular piece, but I want to make sure I'm making it the correct size for a decent poster before I finish it. It'll be a color, glossy print.

For reference, here's a 50% of the wip in question. :p I'll also gladly take any comments and crit regarding this image as well! (It's intended to look like an emaciated, mangy werewolf. Much of it's still in the sketch-to-lineart stage, but I got bored and colored his face in to give myself a feel for how the final will look.)
 

Saeto15

Member
For printing, the higher the resolution the better the print quality. 72dpi is not going to get you a very good print. Since you're still in the early stages of painting, I suggest you raise the dpi to at least 300. You'll have to go over the areas you already painted because it'll be pixelated after the change in resolution.

I also convert my files to cmyk before printing for better color quality.
 

Arshes Nei

Masticates in Public
It actually depends on what size you're trying to print. For Poster sized prints 150 ppi is just fine, 200 is recommended. The reason for the lower point density is because Posters are meant to be viewed at a distance.

These prints are meant to be larger than 8x10 although these are for photos the guidelines are pretty similar.

http://flyingsamphoto.com/digital-photo-printing-megapixels-200.shtml

http://www.bigposters.com/how-big-blow-up.html

So 300 dpi in this case is a little overkill. It's the same kind of thing of understanding why newspapers use lower ppi or lpi when printing certain items. The paper quality :p

Least nowadays you don't have to cut your own amberlith or rubylith, but it was far worse in older days. I remember that oil painters had to paint their own color plates for printing D:

Also in case you're wondering why I said ppi, most imaging programs give you pixels per inch, not dots per inch (dpi) there's also the fact not all printers are dot matrix, I've mentioned lpi which is lines per inch.
 

Zydala

Kisses for everyone!
ppi = pixels per inch, so if every 72 pixels is an "inch".... it will be a pretty low resolution compared to if you were to have, say, 200 per inch.

DPI (Dots Per Inch) is also similar and usually used in printing, same idea... more dots per inch means a crisper printout.

Here's a great explanation: http://www.andrewdaceyphotography.com/articles/dpi/

A lot of programs have presets for when you click the "file>new" option by paper size (A4, A3) or paper size expressed in pixels. What program are you using? There's a lot of online printers that specify what sizes they print posters in, so you can calculate how many pixels per inch you'll want to work in depending on what PPI you set to, and how many inches you're going to be printing out to.
 

Saeto15

Member
Yeah, I don't know much about printing, I just tend to err on the side of caution with my file resolutions now, since when I first started painting digitally everything was at 72dpi, which doesn't make for very good prints.
 

Littlerock

numb with cold
For printing, the higher the resolution the better the print quality. 72dpi is not going to get you a very good print. Since you're still in the early stages of painting, I suggest you raise the dpi to at least 300. You'll have to go over the areas you already painted because it'll be pixelated after the change in resolution.

I also convert my files to cmyk before printing for better color quality.

The reason I keep quoting is simply because it was the default ppi setting, so I had imagined that it would produce a decent print. Oh well! Thanks for the tip about converting to cmyk; it makes sense, but I had never thought of it.

It actually depends on what size you're trying to print. For Poster sized prints 150 ppi is just fine, 200 is recommended. The reason for the lower point density is because Posters are meant to be viewed at a distance.

These prints are meant to be larger than 8x10 although these are for photos the guidelines are pretty similar.

http://flyingsamphoto.com/digital-photo-printing-megapixels-200.shtml

http://www.bigposters.com/how-big-blow-up.html

So 300 dpi in this case is a little overkill. It's the same kind of thing of understanding why newspapers use lower ppi or lpi when printing certain items. The paper quality :P

Least nowadays you don't have to cut your own amberlith or rubylith, but it was far worse in older days. I remember that oil painters had to paint their own color plates for printing D:

Also in case you're wondering why I said ppi, most imaging programs give you pixels per inch, not dots per inch (dpi) there's also the fact not all printers are dot matrix, I've mentioned lpi which is lines per inch.

Such handy links! Thhey explained everything I wanted to know. I'll probably be trying to fit this image as a 2'x3' poster at 150ppi, after reading all of this. As it is currently, I can get the same image cropped onto a 16"x19" paper at 150ppi, so either I leave it small and make small prints, or re-paint over what I've done. I'm unsure yet which to choose, considering I'd like to sell these prints, and the smaller images might not sell as well. Such a conundrum.
ppi = pixels per inch, so if every 72 pixels is an "inch".... it will be a pretty low resolution compared to if you were to have, say, 200 per inch.

DPI (Dots Per Inch) is also similar and usually used in printing, same idea... more dots per inch means a crisper printout.

Here's a great explanation: http://www.andrewdaceyphotography.com/articles/dpi/

A lot of programs have presets for when you click the "file>new" option by paper size (A4, A3) or paper size expressed in pixels. What program are you using? There's a lot of online printers that specify what sizes they print posters in, so you can calculate how many pixels per inch you'll want to work in depending on what PPI you set to, and how many inches you're going to be printing out to.

Another excellent link! I'm using the GIMP 2.4.1, and it's got the calculator built in to the program. It's very easy to set the ppi higher or lower, and there are several default paper sizes preset, all at 300ppi. I just really didn't know how much better 300ppi was compared to 72ppi, but now that I do, I feel pretty inadequate as a digital artist, having worked on such low resolutions for most of my experience.

Oh, here's part of Gimp's dialog box regarding aforementioned settings. The drop-down including the preset file-sizes (templates) is omitted.
 

Arshes Nei

Masticates in Public
Yeah, I don't know much about printing, I just tend to err on the side of caution with my file resolutions now, since when I first started painting digitally everything was at 72dpi, which doesn't make for very good prints.

No worries. A lot of people tell you to scan or work at 300 ppi but don't tell you why. It can be a rather confusing subject. 72 is for web but you can go that low depending on the circumstances. I mean if you're looking at something 15 feet away, you don't need that many points for it to work. I remember when they were just making billboards that used prints, and the print quality looked like old school newprint/comic books. When you looked far away they looked amazing.

It was an interesting time when I saw these billboards, most were hand painted before then.
 

Zydala

Kisses for everyone!
I just really didn't know how much better 300ppi was compared to 72ppi, but now that I do, I feel pretty inadequate as a digital artist, having worked on such low resolutions for most of my experience.

Haha don't feel bad - 72 is perfectly find for web/screens, like arshes said. It's only when you worry about printing (like right now) that you think about ppi. c: most of my stuff is still in 72 ppi, and probably will be until I start actually thinking about printing things.
 
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