How can I upload artwork without it looking grainy?

by Terry
(Winnipeg, MB)

Q: I would like to upload my artwork but when I scan it and upload it to a site it looks terrible compared to the original. Should I take a photo and upload it and how would I upload the best possible resolutions?


A: Scanning your artwork is probably going to give you a better chance of getting a quality reproduction than if you take a photo of it.

There are a couple of important things to consider when scanning your artwork. Namely, size and resolution.


When scanning for the web you only need a relatively low resolution of 72 pixels per inch (ppi). Compared to scanning for printing out a copy which requires around 225 to 300 ppi.

Now these resolution numbers are assuming that you are going to use the image at the same size as you scanned it. If you use Photoshop Elements to enlarge your image before you upload it to the web you will lose quality and it can appear jagged or pixelated.

If you want to display it online at a larger size than the original artwork you should scan it in at a larger size. Most scanners will let you enlarge your image as you scan it. Most at least give you options of increments of 100 such as 200%, 300%, etc. if not more precise.

The good news is that you can reduce the size of your image without any loss in quality. So let's say you know you need to display your image larger than the size of the original artwork. You're not sure of exactly how much bigger but you know it's not twice as large. Then you can scan it at 200% and know it can be reduced down without any loss of quality.

Okay, let's break it down to the important parts:

  • Resolution is expressed as pixels per inch (ppi). The higher the resolution the bigger your file size will be. The bigger your file size is the more space it will take up on your computer and it might take longer to load on a web page.
  • For viewing on a monitor your resolution should be at least 72ppi. For output to a printer your resolution should be at least 225ppi but 300ppi might be necessary for best quality.

  • If you enlarge a digital image you will probably notice poorer quality. The more you enlarge it the worse it will look. You can reduce a digital images size with no loss in quality.

  • If you need your scan to be larger than your original artwork you should enlarge it as you scan it rather than after it is scanned.

This stuff can be hard to grasp at first. If there is any part of it that you need clarified please use the link below to add a comment and ask your question.
Good luck Terry!

Click here to post comments

Return to Photoshop Elements Q & A.


Search This Site:


Sign up for my newsletter
BECAUSE… You get
20 FREE ESSENTIAL PHOTOSHOP ELEMENTS TIPS when you do

  • 4 Step-By-Step Videos showing Tips being used 
     
  • One-Page Printable Cheat Sheets of Tips

Get My Photoshop Elements Books for just $3.99 from Amazon



More Content… follow me:
essentialpselements
essentialpselements
essentialpselements

"Just a note to say I LOVE your site! There seem to be a few PS Elements tutorials sites, but yours is by far the clearest and easiest to understand. Thanks!" - Ellie


"Watching your tutorials even about things that I think I know I ALWAYS learn something new. A big thank you!" - Douglas


"I am thrilled to find such useful and easy-to-understand information for using Photoshop Elements. I can't wait to use your tutorials (especially with my scrapbooking obsession)" - Judy in MS


Good day Rick, "I very appreciate ALL, ALL of your tutos. Very very clear and useful tips, tricks and techniques of how-to in PSE9. A great great work!" - Hoan


"Love your tutorials on YouTube. Very clear and helpful. Thanks a bunch." -
Rich


"I love your videos! They have been such a BIG help. I bought the Dummies book, and it's OK, but I do better by watching instead of reading. Kudos to you!" - Cheers, Kathy


"Thank you for this site! I found it through one of your videos on YouTube.
Again, thank you so much!" - Vanessa


"This is really a truly generous and very admirable website!" - Cheers, Jonas


"Hi Rick! First I've got to say thank you for all the information you share. I can't wait to see the "tips and tricks" you are working on because it sounds like those will help things all come together.
I've gone thru several of your tutorials and learn so much. I can't praise you enough for your time and patience." - Vicki.


"Your website is a great service and I thank you!"
 - Kind Regards, April


"A big thanks to you and your website, and the
 information and help I get from it, its much appreciated." - Rob


Rick - "Many thanks for your advice, that I will take. A big thank you as well for you outstandingly good tutorials. You do seem to have an amazing knack of making quite complicated tasks seem easy and straightforward. I am a fan!" - With Best Wishes, Tony


"Much more helpful than PS Elements 9 for Dummies book.... Thanks so much for your site..truly easy to follow." - Karin


Hi Rick. Just wanted to say a big thank you for all of the great information contained in your tutorials. I've stumbled around PS9 for quite a few weeks now and can't believe quite how easily you explain the different aspects. It's way, way more powerful than I imagined and now, for me, usable too. A big, big thank you from the UK. - Guy