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Massive query concerning render resolutions vs real world print measurements.

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  • Massive query concerning render resolutions vs real world print measurements.

    Hi peeps

    I'm a 3D artist, but to my discredit I (as of yet) have never really taken the time to examine the relationship between the pixel resolution I render my images at, and how that translates to real world print dimensions.

    I rarely do work for print, and am always at a loss when (on the rare occasion) a client says ''I need a 'X inches width' by 'X inches height' image! My brain (which only knows pixels) just gets confused as all hell, thinking ''Ok how does that translate to pixels!!'

    The 3D software I use is 'Cinema 4D'.
    In C4D's render settings you CAN change the numeric values from pixels to real world measurements.
    I'm currently working on a project which requires a 3D rendered image to be printed off at 6 meters width by 2.77 meters height.

    Now then...

    Inputting 6m x 2.77m (at 150 dpi) and seeing what that is in pixels....
    That's a whopping 35583x16427 pixels!!!
    To my mind, that seems to be an absolute overkill ridiculousness... There's not even enough intricate detail in the image to warrant anywhere near that level of resolution. When I zoomed out to view the entire canvas space, I was viewing it at a scale of 4%! When viewing the image at 100% magnification, I swear I'd need a computer monitor the size of an office block to view the entire canvas.

    I attempted to render this image at that resolution. After 15 hours, C4D crashed at about 60% of the way done. So my question...

    WHAT IS the relationship between pixels and real world print measurements? How does it work? I'm sure I must be able to render at a far more practical pixel resolution? 35k x 16k pixels is crazy! And for my computer... Technically impossible.

    For 6m x 2.77m, what should the pixel resolution be?

    Thankyou VERY much in advance!

  • #2
    Hi Legmog and welcome to GDF.

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    • #3
      I don't know where you gt the 150 ppi (that's pixels per inch; not dpi), but in any case, there is no single answer to your question...EXCEPT...contact the printer.

      Images printed at your target size are often output (actually, it would be more accurate to say input) at resolutions as low as 30-50 ppi, BUT, the correct minimum resolution depends both on the output method, and the intended viewing distance. Consider that a roadside billboard requires lower resolution than, for example, an exhibit wall printed at the same size, but placed where people can walk right up to it.

      So, nail down the typical viewing distance particular to the intended application, and call the printer.
      I'd rather be killed than come to your party, but if you don't invite me, I'll kill myself.

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