Preparing a Render for Printing
SU Podium's image "resolution" settings are based on pixel dimensions such as 800 X 600 or 1920 X 1080. Podium allows for pixel dimensions that are greater than most video monitor sizes such as 4,076 X 3,304 pixels. You can even enter a custom size such as 8,000 X 6,000. Why do we offer higher pixel dimensions than what most monitors provide? Primarily for printing. The higher the pixel size image you have, the greater the paper size and document resolution you can print to. When it comes time to print your image, there are some calculations to be made.
For example, if you want to print a rendered image of the size of 36" by 24" at 200 DPI (Inkjet), the pixel resolution in Podium should be around 7200 X 4800.
SU Podium does NOT have any print capabilities. The JPG or PNG file generated by Podium will need to be printed from an image editing program such as Photoshop, Fireworks, Paint Shop Pro, etc. The one feature you will need from your image editor is the ability to change the print size dimensions and the Dots per Inch.
There are two terms often used in printing and that is PPI and DPI. They are often used interchangeably although technically they have different meanings. The default resolution in Pixels Per Inch (PPI) for JPG/ PNG generated for a computer screen is 72. Images on a monitor will look good at 72 PPI but if you print on most paper sizes at 72 PPI, the print will not look good.
Open a Podium generated PNG in Photoshop or Fireworks and look at the image size. If you opened a 1200 X 700 image in Photoshop, you would see the document resolution is 72 Pixels/Inch and the default print size is 16.667 X 9.694 inches. If you were to print at these dimensions, the resolution of the document would be poor. To get better print results, you need to increase the document resolution by increasing the PPI or DPI.
Turn Resample Image option off and increasing the PPI to 360. Now the document size is approximately 4 X 2 inches. That means if you want to print an image that has a pixel size of 1200 X 700 on paper, the paper size would have to be about 4 X 2 inches if you print at 360 PPI.
Open an image in Photoshop (or your favorite image editor) that is 3076 X 2304 pixels. Turn Resample Image option off and increase the Pixels/ Inch to 300. You can print this at 10.253 X 7.68 inches and at 300 PPI. As you can see, the higher the pixel size of the Podium image, the more document size and print resolution options you have.
Printers use DPI measurements such as 300 DPI of Laser Jets or 200 DPI for Ink Jets. Although we often equate PPI to DPI, DPI is a print term and is the number of dots of ink a printer can place per inch. Most often the printer's DPI is set to some number like 200 or 300. The main thing to consider is the higher the document resolution measured in Pixels/Inch, the better your print will look.
There is a related article here - http://photo.net/learn/resize/. A very useful image size/ paper size calculator web page is here - http://auctionrepair.com/pixels.html . Also, if you are confused about inch sizes and want to translate to MM take a look at this paper size calculator web page - convert American to Metric paper size.