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Need advice with art dimensions...

02-07-2011, 01:14 PM
#1
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 36
Need advice with art dimensions...

Hi all,

I'm beginning the initially planning stages for an app and I'd like to use hand-drawn art for this game. I've done many google searches, but can't seem to find exactly the info I need. Essentially my question is this:

What dimensions do I need of artwork to ensure that I can put out a universal app that will scale nicely across ipad/iphone4 (retina)/3gs etc...?

I wouldn't want my artist wasting time drawing backgrounds that are any larger than they need to be.

Does it simply need to be as big as the largest screen dimensions (ipad) and then once scanned and imported into Photoshop or Pixelmator simply scaled down to size?


Thanks in advance guys!
02-07-2011, 01:51 PM
#2
Joined: Feb 2011
Location: Maryland, USA
Posts: 10
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Yes. You definitely want to go large, scan the artwork, and then scale down. Of course, you'll want to use the highest quality scanner possible.

02-07-2011, 02:29 PM
#3
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 36
Thanks for the reply.
But when you say "go large" how large is enough?

After all, wouldn't a 12" by 12" piece of art become hard to see/admire when shrunk down to say, the dimensions of an iphone screen?

I'm looking for the optimum size I suppose where it will still look great on an ipad as well as smaller devices.
02-07-2011, 03:19 PM
#4
Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 247
You can't proportionally scale down art (at least, art that will be used as full screen) for the iPad and iPhone..

iPad: 768x1024
iPhone: 320x480 and 640x960
02-07-2011, 03:24 PM
#5
Joined: Feb 2011
Location: Maryland, USA
Posts: 10
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By starting off with a large picture, it's much easier to crop and scale down, as needed. Starting off small and enlarging the image will result in artifacts.

If you're going for standard canvas sizes for traditional artwork, I would say 8" x 10". Keep in mind that you'll have to chop .5" off (7.5 x 10") for the iPad (1024x768). You'll have to chop off almost 1.5" (6.5" x 10") for the iPhone versions (960x640).

I hope this helps.
02-07-2011, 08:10 PM
#6
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 36
Thanks for the responses...

Basically you're telling me that when I crop the art, I will be losing some of it, correct? Isn't there a way to keep all of it?

Or would I have to have my artist draw everything perfectly to scale?

@baris: Why can't I proportionally shrink hand-drawn art?

As an experiment I downloaded some traditional hand-drawn art off google image and had no problem shrinking it down, retaining all the same proportions, as long as the art I picked was similar to the iphone orientation I would be using (portrait)

Or am I missing something simple here?
02-07-2011, 10:24 PM
#7
Joined: Feb 2011
Location: Maryland, USA
Posts: 10
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If you crop the image, you will lose some of it. You can certainly keep all of the image, but the image will be distorted. I've included a few attachments as examples. The original is 1024x768. Notice the distortion when sizing it to 960x640 (480x320). Now look at the 960x640 cropped image. There's no distortion, but a portion of the bottom was removed. You have to decide if you can live with slightly distorted images or not.

Having your artist draw to scale is just extra work.
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02-07-2011, 11:56 PM
#8
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 36
Ahhh! I understand now.

Greenbeard, you've been incredibly helpful. Thank you so much!

One last query if I may:

The cropping you showed, was that all based off the original estimate of
8"x10" drawing? If the drawing were much larger or smaller how would I be able to calculate for myself how much I'd need to crop?

Is it a matter of trial and error or is there a concrete formula I could use?

Or is the answer simply that the ipad/iphone all have an aspect ratio of 4:3 and whatever dimensions my source art, it needs to be cropped to that exact ratio to scale correctly with no distortion?
02-08-2011, 01:00 AM
#9
Joined: Feb 2011
Location: Maryland, USA
Posts: 10
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The cropping I showed was based on a 1024x768 (4:3). Again, you'll want to start here and work down, not the other way around. Sticking with this size, you're looking at using a canvas size of 10.7"x14.2", 8"x10.7" or 5"x6.7". Th artist can simply choose a size and block off the unused space.

The iPhone/iPod touch are 3:2. So any way you look at it, you're going to have to either stretch the image or crop it. This will be an artistic decision. If it clearly looks distorted from resizing, don't do it.

I highly suggest you use a cropping tool in a program such as Photoshop. You can be selective in exactly how the image is cropped. Depending on the content, you may choose to crop it directly in the center. This means you can get away with only chopping off a little from the top and bottom of an 8"x10" image or similar size.

You're welcome!
02-08-2011, 10:30 AM
#10
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 36
Ok, I understand completely now.

Thanks again for all the help Greenbeard, I really appreciate it!

And who knows, maybe someone else will find this useful too