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Anonymous asked: Hello 😀 how do you change the Canvas size and print size to get best print quality? I am looking for 8×10 print ^__^ also what should the ppi be set to?

This post should answer all your questions: But I’ll answer here as well.

The most important things when designing images for print is not actually the DPI itself, but:

  • The actual size in pixels (you can set the DPI to anything you like later, as long as you’ve got enough data to play with)
  • The aspect ratio (your paper is going to be a certain shape, your width:height needs to match)

But it definitely helps to understand how you reached those numbers, so I’ll walk you through the whole process of setting your canvas size up.

Caveat: I am assuming this is for a new or unfinished painting, or for checking on the actual size. If you’re trying to stretch an old painting, it may not work as you lose an increasing amount of quality as you scale upwards (10-20% is usually okay, but it depends on the picture). 

1. Are you using the desktop software or mobile? 

If it’s a mobile app, you have a limited canvas size anyway, so most of this is moot. Your maximum canvas size is 2048×2048 on most devices, which will just about let you print nicely at 8″x10″ (I’m assuming inches because it’s larger than centimetres, so this will cover both possibilities), but you might find your device memory limits you before you ever reach that large a canvas size (dear gods we hate the RAM limits on tablets and phones).

You can record scripts (iPad, Android) and play those back in ArtRage 4 at any resolution though, so you can use that to work around the size limits and choose your final size later.

2. Desktop? Great, here’s how to resize canvases.

If it’s one of the desktop software programs (Anything with a number after the name on Windows/Mac OSX, basically), you can set canvas sizes in the New Canvas screen or by going to Edit > Resize Painting or Edit > Crop/Expand Canvas.


So then you get this screen. 


Guide to the screenshot: 

 Arrows: Toggle between tabs to set the size in either pixels (’Screen Size’) or real world measurements (’Print Size’). This lets you see what your changes are doing and lets you use the options you are most comfortable with.

  • Screen Size is the actual size of the file in pixels.
  • Print Size is the estimated print size based on the pixel size and the pixels/inch.
  • Pixels/Inch is the density of the printing (effectively, how detailed/how many pixels are squished into each inch of paper)

A: ‘Preserve Original Aspect’ only appears in the Resize Painting menu. It forces the Width/Height to automatically stay at the same ratio. Great if you want to scale everything up proportionally, but you need to untick it to set up a completely different canvas ‘shape’.

B: Enter your desired numbers here. So I’ve entered 8″ and 10″.

C: You can switch measurements between CM/MM/Inches

D: Here’s where you set the Pixels Per Inch (DPI/PPI). 72 is very low. Anything over 350 is probably unnecessarily high, 150-200 is a good ‘decent quality printing’ range.

When you change the Pixels/Inch measurement, pay attention to …

E: Preview of the Screen Size (or Print Size if you were in the Screen Size tab).

720 pixels is tiny, so you can easily double or triple that by increasing the DPI and not affect your computer speed. But if you’re working at very large sizes, you may want to compromise on the DPI a bit to spare your computer 😀


Increasing the Pixels/Inch will increase the actual pixel size to 2400×3000 – still nice and easy to handle in ArtRage Lite or ArtRage 4 (which have 64 bit support so are really fast), but older computers with earlier editions of ArtRage might find stuff is starting to slow down if you keep increasing the size. 

So what does this mean in practical terms?

Practically, you probably don’t need to worry about computer speeds when printing this small, so it’s a matter of picking your preferred printing set up.

Once you’ve calculated the:

  • ratio (i.e. width: height) of pixels and
  • minimum canvas size you want to use

then you can just switch over to the Screen Size tab and increase it some more to give yourself some leeway (if you might want to crop it), or just because you like working at larger sizes. Or you can just start painting.

Presets: you can also save canvas sizes as new presets, so you don’t need to keep doing this.