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Suggested dpi for non-vector image

Discussion in 'Vehicle Wraps' started by missytoe, Sep 14, 2019.

  1. missytoe

    missytoe New Member

    Jan 16, 2019
    Houston TX
    We typically deal with vector art but our customer has a large photo image (say 3.5 feet x 3.5 ft) they want to use. What dpi/resolution is appropriate?
  2. bob

    bob Major Contributor

    Nov 4, 2005
    It's not so much the size of the image, it's more a question of how much memory are you packing. Depending. The optimum color output usually is obtained by printing at no less than a 4:1 ratio of input resolution to output resolution. Using an RGB bitmap at 150ppi and printing at 720dpi, or 75ppi ath 360dpi, or whatever, with a bitmap rendering intent of 'Perceptual' will usually render result as close to what you see is what you get as you're going to get without taking a deep dive into the world of the radical coloristas.

    This rule of thumb should work just fine for a mere 42"x42" output.
  3. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

    Jun 7, 2006
    Is the file gonna be full size ??
  4. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

    Oct 21, 2016
    Frisco, TX
    I go with 150 dpi to scale... or 300 if it's a small image.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. unclebun

    unclebun Very Active Member

    For a "perfect" printed image, I do the same as Tex. 150 dpi at final size on the printed piece. 100 dpi at final size is usually quite acceptable, and 72 dpi is usually OK most of the time. 50 dpi and below it will be obviously pixelated.

    That said, the quality of the image plays a large part in this. Pictures that are really sharp and in focus, with bright colors and good contrast will still look pretty good even at fairly low dpi. Pictures that are blurry or out of focus or that are low contrast with low mid-tones will not hold up well to enlargement.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  6. missytoe

    missytoe New Member

    Jan 16, 2019
    Houston TX
    Thank you, all! The customer is providing the image and I have not seen the quality or resolution yet. I will forward these instruction on to them and check the image when I see it. Thanks!!
  7. jfiscus

    jfiscus Map Wraster

    Apr 2, 2009
    Cincinnati, OH
    If the resolution looks questionable, get yourself a copy of Gigapixel AI and run it through that.
  8. missytoe

    missytoe New Member

    Jan 16, 2019
    Houston TX
    Cool, I hadn't heard of this. I usually set up PSD at 100% scale and final dpi, place the original and save. It will be blurry but not pixelated. This particular image is kind of abstract so I think it will be okay even if a blurry.
  9. shoresigns

    shoresigns Very Active Member

    Nov 1, 2011
    Vancouver, BC
    PPI is the resolution of the image file before your RIP processes it.

    DPI is the resolution of the ink dots your printer outputs.

    Two completely different things. A common scenario for a large printed sign might be a 150 ppi image, printed at 720 dpi. Also, note some software incorrectly refers to the ppi of an image as dpi.
  10. burgmurk

    burgmurk Member

    Oct 24, 2016
    Auckland, New Zealand
    when in doubt, I print a cropped piece at full size, stick it on a wall, stand back and eyeball it from the distance that it's going to be viewed from. If i'm worried, i make sure the client has seen this too.
    • Like Like x 1

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