Pixel Confusion
Posted: Thursday, August 01, 2019 1:47:59 PM
This is all very new to me and just when I think I understand something, I end up confused again. The website says use a resolution of 300 for posters and prints, 200 for some other things and 150 for others. But everyone else says just choose 300 for everything. I thought I was doing that. I set the X axis in Gimp for 300 and the Y axis in Gimp for 300. So I thought that meant a resolution of 300.

Then I read somewhere that an image to go on a product depends on how large the product is, so that a 4 by 6 item would be set to 1200 by 1800 and not 300 by 300. I had been setting 300 by 300 for everything, regardless of size.
so, a 4 by 6 item, should not be 300 by 300? Very confused and I think I'm confusing image size with image resolution.

I received this info:

600x600 or 1000x1000 pixel for small items such as medals, watches, necklaces, magnets etc.

2200x2200 pixel for phone cases and similar sized objects, included 5x7" cards (if I block the 8.5x11") size

3000x3000 pixel
for all stuff up to approx US letter size, included iPad cases and such
4200x4200 pixel to cover 20" pillows and other stuff from 20 to 25"

6000x6000 pixel to cover large stuff and posters up to 30x40"

8500x8500 pixel to cover large blankets and shower curtains and such (used to be 8000x8000 but the sherpa blankets have an extra bleed)

and finally 12000x12000 as my max standard size that covers well king size duvets and largest tapestries

Now I found out that I should use a resolution of 1200 for everything. Is that 1200 for the x and 1200 for the y or is that something else?


Also, these sound more like pixel sizes to me (1200 pixels by 1200 pixels), but the customer service rep said these are resolutions and that a 1200 by 1200 is a 1200 resolution.


Thanks.
Posted: Thursday, August 01, 2019 2:24:32 PM
in Gimp under the image tab select "print size"

This will set the resolution (dpi dots per inch)

the x and y need to be the same number... 300 works for most things.


It is a complicated subject and I am not going to try to explain it because I don't want to confuse you more but 300 works for designers that have been here for years so it should work for you too.

I think the reference to 1200 you see is talking about 1200x1200 pixels in image size not resolution. but it is neither here nor there... you will need larger images than that at 300 dpi in order for them to work across multiple products. try something like at least 5000x5000 square and you should avoid the low res warning most of the time.

things like blankets and shower curtains and large tapestries need even larger images or tile them.

I hope this helps... I am a self taught Gimp master in training.

Adding: I realize that it was a Z rep that told you 1200 was referring to resolution but they seem to have misinformation.

if you set your resolution to 1200 you will need super large pixel sizes that are just silly... I think the rep was confused too. no disrespect intended... but they are not always correct.
Posted: Thursday, August 01, 2019 3:01:35 PM
I am going to add this just to try to explain a little bit about how it works.

an image with 100 dpi will print the same size in inches that the pixel size is set to.

for instance 1200x1200px at 100 dpi prints a 12x12 inch print.

the higher you set the dpi the smaller a print you get.

the same 1200x1200 image at 300 dpi only prints a 4x4 inch print.

the reason you hear people talk about dpi and ppi as if they are the same thing is because they are very similar

dpi=dots per inch and refers to the printer resolution of an image

ppi=pixels per inch and refers to the screen resolution of an image

This doesn't change anything I recommended in my previous post, but I only hope to clear up some of the confusion.

I am not sure what Zazzle does with our images behind the scenes. It is possible that they convert them to some other format for printing... but like I said before some of the longtimers here have been using large images in the region of 8000x8000px with 300dpi and it works for them so we can safely do the same.
Posted: Thursday, August 01, 2019 5:33:12 PM
It's easier to think in terms of pixels rather that dpi. Most of my images are 6000x6000 pixels. For posters I make the image 4800x6000 pixels if I can't fit a design with square dimensions on a 16 x 20 inch poster.
Posted: Thursday, August 01, 2019 5:38:20 PM
waterart wrote:
It's easier to think in terms of pixels rather that dpi. Most of my images are 6000x6000 pixels. For posters I make the image 4800x6000 pixels if I can't fit a design with square dimensions on a 16 x 20 inch poster.


I also meant to mention that I use 3200x4400 for greeting cards because it it the perfect aspect ratio to fit them edge to edge.

using a larger image than is necessary will crop the image and you will have to play around with the placement.

If you want exact dimensions you can do like some do and use a screenshot of the product to make a template in Gimp or PS or what ever software.
Posted: Thursday, August 01, 2019 5:57:45 PM
I try to use one image file per design for as many products as I can and the 6000x6000 works for most. But Shelli you're right, the image can get cropped especially on rectangular products so that's why I sometimes use 4800x6000, really depends on the design, my latest design is 4800x6000 and I'm using it for both square and rectangular items:

Posted: Thursday, August 01, 2019 6:53:16 PM
waterart wrote:
I try to use one image file per design for as many products as I can and the 6000x6000 works for most. But Shelli you're right, the image can get cropped especially on rectangular products so that's why I sometimes use 4800x6000, really depends on the design, my latest design is 4800x6000 and I'm using it for both square and rectangular items:




that sounds like a good round number to use I might try it too.
Posted: Thursday, August 01, 2019 10:10:44 PM
Thank you all for your answers. I spoke to another rep at Zazzle
and he told me that resolution is not pixels per inch, that
resolution refers to the total number of pixels in a graphic.
Yet with the X and Y resolution in Gimps, next to it says
pixels for inch. I also read that dpi refers to screen and
pixels per inch refers to printing, while others say the opposite
is true. REally confusing stuff.

thanks for your responses. I really appreciate them.
Posted: Thursday, August 01, 2019 11:51:49 PM
Here is why dots per inch is the print resolution, because printers use a dot matrix.

On the other hand screen resolution is measured in pixels per inch because screens use a pixel matrix.

The only thing the number means is smaller or bigger dots and more of them packed into a square inch

Same with pixels.

It’s too bad there is so much conflicting opinion to make it seem more confusing thsn it has to be.
Posted: Thursday, August 01, 2019 11:55:17 PM
Shelli Fitzpatrick wrote:
waterart wrote:
It's easier to think in terms of pixels rather that dpi. Most of my images are 6000x6000 pixels. For posters I make the image 4800x6000 pixels if I can't fit a design with square dimensions on a 16 x 20 inch poster.


I also meant to mention that I use 3200x4400 for greeting cards because it it the perfect aspect ratio to fit them edge to edge.

using a larger image than is necessary will crop the image and you will have to play around with the placement.

If you want exact dimensions you can do like some do and use a screenshot of the product to make a template in Gimp or PS or what ever software.

I preferably use 3300x3300 for greeting cards. This covers the 8.5x11" US letter sized large one at 300 dpi. The square allows to create more stuff around, so you can use it also on other paper stuff or other products with different ratio, and the shopper may also change orientation, if not locked.

For the inner pages, I use 1500x2100px true size designs for the 5x7 ones. You need to, if you wanna have perfectly fitting background images over both sides. No need to go higher, cuz the 8.5x11" one has a different ratio and needs a dedicated version. Would be great, if Z finally would add the background area over both pages, as on other folder cards. That way you could create inner backgrounds that work on all 3 standard sizes.
Posted: Friday, August 02, 2019 2:59:32 AM
Shelli is absolutely correct. Our computer screens are measured in pixels and anything printed is measured in dots of ink. Given that we’re designing digitally on screens, our concern is pixels, not dots. I believe that the folks at Zazzle, being printers who think in dots, have often spoken to us in dpi (dots per inch) because it comes naturally to them, but it can confuse the new designer. When they say dots, we should forgive them and turn the word into pixels.

I use 300 pixels per inch no matter what I do and where I do it. I’ve never come across a situation where it causes harm. It creates an ease in thinking. For instance, if an image is to be printed in an 8 inch by 10 inch size, I can quickly calculate that, on my screen, I’ll need to create an image that’s 2400 pixels by 3000 pixels.

I don’t use Gimp, but I assume you can set it at a default of 300 ppi and then set an image size in inches if you prefer not having to multiply.
Posted: Friday, August 02, 2019 4:24:19 AM
Colorwash wrote:
Shelli is absolutely correct. Our computer screens are measured in pixels and anything printed is measured in dots of ink. Given that we’re designing digitally on screens, our concern is pixels, not dots. I believe that the folks at Zazzle, being printers who think in dots, have often spoken to us in dpi (dots per inch) because it comes naturally to them, but it can confuse the new designer. When they say dots, we should forgive them and turn the word into pixels.

I use 300 pixels per inch no matter what I do and where I do it. I’ve never come across a situation where it causes harm. It creates an ease in thinking. For instance, if an image is to be printed in an 8 inch by 10 inch size, I can quickly calculate that, on my screen, I’ll need to create an image that’s 2400 pixels by 3000 pixels.

I don’t use Gimp, but I assume you can set it at a default of 300 ppi and then set an image size in inches if you prefer not having to multiply.


Here is a handy link that might help

https://guides.lib.umich.edu/c.php?g=282942&p=1888164
Posted: Friday, August 02, 2019 8:47:29 AM
It's easy to get confused about all of this, but I find these two explanations to be the easiest to follow, as they 'cut to the chase' of how to calculate what you need:

Shelli Fitzpatrick wrote:
an image with 100 dpi will print the same size in inches that the pixel size is set to.

for instance 1200x1200px at 100 dpi prints a 12x12 inch print.

the higher you set the dpi the smaller a print you get.

the same 1200x1200 image at 300 dpi only prints a 4x4 inch print.


Colorwash wrote:
I use 300 pixels per inch no matter what I do and where I do it. I’ve never come across a situation where it causes harm. It creates an ease in thinking. For instance, if an image is to be printed in an 8 inch by 10 inch size, I can quickly calculate that, on my screen, I’ll need to create an image that’s 2400 pixels by 3000 pixels.

So don't tie yourself in knots worrying about ppi vs. dpi vs. resolution. They're good to know about, but focus on this formula when creating things for Zazzle:

length x 300 & width x 300

Make sure you graphics application is set at 300 for the pixel density (which most either call ppi or misleadingly, dpi.)

You can get away with less for items where Zazzle specifies less, but 300 is still safe for those items, and nearly everything else. I've only seen one item that calls for more (the acrylic tumblers were announced as needing 600 instead of the more common 300.)

If you need to know what size something will print, you do the reverse:

divide the length and width in pixels, by the pixel density (ppi)

So long as your have sufficient pixel density, Zazzle will be able to convert the image for printing just fine.

Where you could run into an issue is if you start with a small image and try to put it on something larger (like a shower curtain) - that's why many people use a larger size (like 6000 x 6000 at 300) as their 'go to' size - you can generally scale down with no problem, but scaling up has limitations. Zazzle's design tool warns you if overdue the upscaling. Sometimes you just have to make things at a larger size.

But if you want to know more:

Terms like pixels per inch (ppi), dots per inch (dpi), and resolution are all related terms, but with specific applications. You might only need to care about actual dots per inch if you're working directly with a printing company, to be sure what you give them and how they print it are going to produce the quality you need. Resolution, for our purposes, refers to the quality of a displayed or printed image - with ppi or dpi being the measurements used to describe it. But what you care about as a Zazzle designer, are the specific measurements that apply to your image - its pixel density, described as pixels per inch (ppi; and misleadingly in some graphics programs as dpi).

ETA: (Ugh, spelling demons be super wicked today!)
Posted: Friday, August 02, 2019 11:17:00 AM
That thread and discussion is one more evidence, that Zazzle shall finally add pixel sizes to their products, as all others do. All problems and confusions solved. Or at least the design area size AND the requested dpi/ppi resolution, so you can make your calculations and provide correctly sized images. Actually it's a pure mess, sorry.

Not the time to go into details for the x-th time (some Einstein dumped 4 large maremma shepherd dog pups at my rescue place 2 days ago and I'm literally destroyed - they're evil, little gremlins and as destructive as a hurricane, pure cuteness tho *melt*), but I've seen, my pixel advices/list got mentioned, so there are all info needed to get it right on practically all products. Stick to them and you can forget the whole dpi/ppi stuff. And for the ones who love to create 300 dpi 18'000 x 24'000 pixel large blankets, even if they're printed at 1/3 of that resolution/size, enjoy and good luck in finding raw material that size.

Happy weekend all together Smile

P.S. the terms dpi and ppi are interchangeable when in relation to image resolution. Initially dpi was generally used, both for printing and image resolution. The term ppi came later. That's why many still refer to dpi but mean ppi. So, dpi or ppi, doesn't matter for what we do here. If you're in printing business and are specifically targeting a technical print resolution, then it's a different story.
Posted: Friday, August 02, 2019 4:55:53 PM
Usually, something isn’t named before it’s invented, so I bet pixels were called dots until a creative sort said, “This isn’t working since they’re two different animals. Let’s call them...um...pixels!”
Posted: Friday, August 02, 2019 5:56:13 PM
Colorwash wrote:
Usually, something isn’t named before it’s invented, so I bet pixels were called dots until a creative sort said, “This isn’t working since they’re two different animals. Let’s call them...um...pixels!”

It dates back to 1969, and is a shortening of sorts for "picture element", describing the parts of a television image.

ETA: Found another story saying first publication was 1965, with a JPL connection related to describing images of the moon and Mars, but possibly dating back a few years earlier.
Posted: Saturday, August 03, 2019 2:31:43 AM
Fuzzy Felosarix wrote:
Colorwash wrote:
Usually, something isn’t named before it’s invented, so I bet pixels were called dots until a creative sort said, “This isn’t working since they’re two different animals. Let’s call them...um...pixels!”

It dates back to 1969, and is a shortening of sorts for "picture element", describing the parts of a television image.

ETA: Found another story saying first publication was 1965, with a JPL connection related to describing images of the moon and Mars, but possibly dating back a few years earlier.

Interesting, that it dates back that long.

Back to the DPI/PPI thing, I always dealt with dpi in my decades of working with images, pre-printing and professional offset printing services. never dealt with ppi until a few years back. And even today it's a no-brainer, when communicating with printing services for specific details on special prints (such as huge billboards). You ask for print sizes, bleed, the requested dpi (or ppi, name it as you like) for raster images - what may vary, color scheme and recommended/used/requested profiles, plus PDF details (version, embedding or not your color profiles, etc).

On Zazzle you don't have to mess with all that stuff, the tool does all for you. The only thing you need to do is uploading large enough images for the resp. item and size. That image size is defined in pixel. So, get the needed pixel sizes and you're set and don't have to annoy your brain cells more than necessary to get it right.
Posted: Saturday, August 03, 2019 7:54:49 AM
I like my story better. Grin
Posted: Monday, August 05, 2019 7:52:29 AM
Well thank goodness that Zazzle allows vector images.. since you do not have to worry about fitting a card AND a tapestry.. it will fit without any pixelation of the image.. none of the other PODS allow the use of vectors.. I wish they did.. for me, making images that would not be ruined by cutting off part of the image say from a square product to a rectangle product is paramount. Just another POV
Posted: Monday, August 05, 2019 8:10:45 AM
JustCards wrote:
Well thank goodness that Zazzle allows vector images.. since you do not have to worry about fitting a card AND a tapestry.. it will fit without any pixelation of the image.. none of the other PODS allow the use of vectors.. I wish they did.. for me, making images that would not be ruined by cutting off part of the image say from a square product to a rectangle product is paramount. Just another POV


Yes, My next big learning experience is to teach myself to use inkscape that I downloaded several months ago, I just need more time!lol
Posted: Monday, August 05, 2019 8:43:33 AM
Shelli Fitzpatrick wrote:
JustCards wrote:
Well thank goodness that Zazzle allows vector images.. since you do not have to worry about fitting a card AND a tapestry.. it will fit without any pixelation of the image.. none of the other PODS allow the use of vectors.. I wish they did.. for me, making images that would not be ruined by cutting off part of the image say from a square product to a rectangle product is paramount. Just another POV


Yes, My next big learning experience is to teach myself to use inkscape that I downloaded several months ago, I just need more time!lol


Provided you know how to fill and set outline.
Start small with easy shapes, just get comfortable and before you know it you are an expert in vector design.

I recommend to learn to melt shapes and cut bits off of shapes. With these two skills you are able to do almost anything. And export to PDF not SVG if it is multicolored.

Here is 11 min tutorial for doing that:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jxhR9aT6crU


These are the basic skills you need for vector.
Once you know how to make the first heart construction,
you move on to the next heart construction.
And if you have a pen and tablet, you can create
the heart in the third row.


Here is 5 min video to teach you to combine lines for the second row of how to create a heart:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=luj1dYoGydo

You get there in no time.

As the next step learn to convert outlines to shapes. From there nothing can stop you to become an expert designer in inkscape.

Smile
Posted: Monday, August 05, 2019 9:07:40 AM
vivendulies wrote:
Shelli Fitzpatrick wrote:
JustCards wrote:
Well thank goodness that Zazzle allows vector images.. since you do not have to worry about fitting a card AND a tapestry.. it will fit without any pixelation of the image.. none of the other PODS allow the use of vectors.. I wish they did.. for me, making images that would not be ruined by cutting off part of the image say from a square product to a rectangle product is paramount. Just another POV


Yes, My next big learning experience is to teach myself to use inkscape that I downloaded several months ago, I just need more time!lol


Provided you know how to fill and set outline.
Start small with easy shapes, just get comfortable and before you know it you are an expert in vector design.

I recommend to learn to melt shapes and cut bits off of shapes. With these two skills you are able to do almost anything. And export to PDF not SVG if it is multicolored.

Here is 11 min tutorial for doing that:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jxhR9aT6crU


These are the basic skills you need for vector.
Once you know how to make the first heart construction,
you move on to the next heart construction.
And if you have a pen and tablet, you can create
the heart in the third row.


You get there in no time.

As the next step learn to convert outlines to shapes. From there nothing can stop you to become an expert designer in inkscape.

Smile


Thank you! this will be very helpful! Love
Posted: Monday, August 05, 2019 9:30:47 AM
·▽·


Your welcome.
Here is another 3 min tutorial on how to break down your subject into basic shapes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VHAk061Vlzk

Once you have your subject broken down into basic shapes, you can reconstruct it in inkscape with basic shapes.
Posted: Monday, August 05, 2019 10:01:59 AM
vivendulies wrote:
·▽·


Your welcome.
Here is another 3 min tutorial on how to break down your subject into basic shapes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VHAk061Vlzk

Once you have you subject broken down into basic shapes, you can reconstruct it in inkscape with basic shapes.


I am bookmarking these to look at tonight after my house calms down...
Posted: Monday, August 05, 2019 6:05:48 PM
·▽·


Here is one more tutorial, this one is esp. for Shelli Love:

Fractal design in inkscape:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aWkjgciz1LY
Posted: Sunday, August 11, 2019 8:38:39 PM
vivendulies wrote:
Shelli Fitzpatrick wrote:
JustCards wrote:
Well thank goodness that Zazzle allows vector images.. since you do not have to worry about fitting a card AND a tapestry.. it will fit without any pixelation of the image.. none of the other PODS allow the use of vectors.. I wish they did.. for me, making images that would not be ruined by cutting off part of the image say from a square product to a rectangle product is paramount. Just another POV


Yes, My next big learning experience is to teach myself to use inkscape that I downloaded several months ago, I just need more time!lol


Provided you know how to fill and set outline.
Start small with easy shapes, just get comfortable and before you know it you are an expert in vector design.

I recommend to learn to melt shapes and cut bits off of shapes. With these two skills you are able to do almost anything. And export to PDF not SVG if it is multicolored.

Here is 11 min tutorial for doing that:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jxhR9aT6crU


These are the basic skills you need for vector.
Once you know how to make the first heart construction,
you move on to the next heart construction.
And if you have a pen and tablet, you can create
the heart in the third row.


Here is 5 min video to teach you to combine lines for the second row of how to create a heart:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=luj1dYoGydo

You get there in no time.

As the next step learn to convert outlines to shapes. From there nothing can stop you to become an expert designer in inkscape.

Smile


Thanks for posting this, Vivendulies! As soon as I get some extra time I'm going to go through this on Inkscape. I still have a lot to learn on there, and have not had a lot of time to practice on it.
Posted: Sunday, August 11, 2019 8:40:59 PM
Shelli Fitzpatrick wrote:
vivendulies wrote:
·▽·


Your welcome.
Here is another 3 min tutorial on how to break down your subject into basic shapes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VHAk061Vlzk

Once you have you subject broken down into basic shapes, you can reconstruct it in inkscape with basic shapes.


I am bookmarking these to look at tonight after my house calms down...


LOL! I've bookmarked this thread so I can refer back to it later, although how much you want to bet that I'll forget all about it? I'm easily distracted!Laughing
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