View Full Version : Resolution for final colored comic page? + Angry drawing

07-14-2003, 07:35 PM
I am about to begin coloring on some comic pages. Can anyone tell me what should be the final resolution of each comic page in DPI and pixels, for printing in (a) standard comic book size (DC, Marvel etc) and for (b)magazine size format (Asterix etc)? Thanks.

Here's a couple of panels from one of the pages, each page would be around 6 panels. CnC welcome.


07-14-2003, 08:01 PM
Hi, Neole, and welcome to Penciljack.com. Sorry to have to move your thread, but it's important that we keep art posts separate from discussion posts. Since you lead your topic with a question about resolution, etc. I've deemed this to be primarily a discussion topic and have thus moved it to the Tips & Tech forum. Please feel free to post your artwork in a separate topic in the Drawing Table, free of other off-topic subject matter.

Dash Martin
07-14-2003, 08:38 PM
400dpi and...I think 6.625 x 10.25 for the dimensions. I could be wrong on that part though.

Phil Clark
07-15-2003, 12:14 AM
I have heard people say 400DPI before, and I am not saying that it isn't the accepted correct answer. However...

Postscript image setters used for creating film to make printing plates are set up with a mathematical formula for deciding the resolution of screened images (any image with levels of gray or color). That formula is Image resolution = printing line screen (which determines the number of halftone dots per inch) X 2.

So if you want to print for a newspaper which typically prints at an 85 line screen it would be figured as 85 Line Screen X 2 = 170dpi image resolution at the printed size.

A postscript image setter ignores (or throws out) any information in excess of the resolution required to print the screened image. The only benefit you get by exceeding the formula is that your line art will be smoother. There is not a major difference in image quality between 300 dpi images and 400 dpi images. There is a difference in file size and in printing (ripping) time.

Keep in mind that all resolutions are intended as "resolution at the printed size" although that is not stated explicitly. So an image scanned at 300 dpi and then printed at half size has an effective resolution of 600 dpi (at the printed size, the image resolution is doubled). 600 dpi is the effective resolution, or the resolution of the image when it is scaled to the final printed size.

I have not personally worked with plate setters, but as they are also run by postscript rips, the lines screen/resolution rules should still apply.

But the bottom line is, if a printer asks for art at a particular resolution, give it to them at that resolution. If you do not know who is printing it or what linescreen will be used then use the standard image resolution for print of 300 dpi. It is the best compromise between quality and efficiency. IMO.

Robin Riggs
07-15-2003, 10:09 AM
Originally posted by Phil Clark
So an image scanned at 300 dpi and then printed at half size has an effective resolution of 600 dpi

That's a rather confusing figure to quote, Phil, since few people work at twice up these days. Nearly everyone works at half up so if you're scanning an 11"x17" original at 300dpi it'll give you 450dpi at print size. If the 11"x17" scan is at 400dpi it'll give you 600dpi at print size.

Marvel Comics currently requires scans of 11"x17" originals at 400dpi.

07-15-2003, 10:52 AM
Thanks for all the info!

Marvel prints at 600 dpi? Whats the average print dpi for comics?

I'm particularly interested in print resolution and size for 'Heavy Metal' magazine, if anyone has that.

Penciljack - no problems with moving the thread, I just wasnt sure where to post it so I added in the drawing to fit.

Phil Clark
07-15-2003, 06:41 PM
Originally posted by Robin Riggs
That's a rather confusing figure to quote, Phil, since few people work at twice up these days...

I agree. In fact, the whole concept of image resolution, effective resolution, linescreen and screening algorithyms is extreemly confusing, which is why I was using a general term. Thanks for putting it into better context.

I wonder if Marvel did research to determine if the added files size and rip time were offset by an increase in quality. Still, it is good to know this.

07-20-2003, 06:26 PM
Over the years, I have slowly increasing the resolution of my own color work. I started at 300 dpi, and worked up to 320, 340, then 360, and then took a big leap tp 400, where I do most of my work now. DC required I work at 451 dpi, so that's what I did. At the time I worked for Marvel, 360 was fine. Small increases in resolution can sometimes actually be a big increrase in appearance.

While the theory is that anything over twice the line screen is wasted, it is not entirely true. Not only is th eline work crisper (a BIG deal!) but so are edges of any value above 50%. It would be tricky to explain, without printed examples to demonstrate, but there is a difference.


07-21-2003, 12:01 AM
When you color at a higher resolution does it get printed at a higher resolution, or the quality difference comes just from coloring at a higher resolution even if it is printed at 300 dpi?

Phil Clark
07-21-2003, 12:12 AM
If you are printing at 300 DPI, then there is absolutely no benefit to working at a resolution higher than that. Most of the debate that has gone on so far relates to printing to an image setter or plate maker that generally uses resolutions of 1200 or 2400 dpi. Most are capable of the higher resolution, but most printing plates are made at a maximum of 1200 dpi. The eye doesn't see much difference between 1200 and 2400. Heck, in my personal test the eye doesn't see much difference between 600 and 1200 dpi. Some, but not much.

07-21-2003, 01:11 AM
So Marvel/DC print at 1200 dpi?? What are their print resolutions?

07-21-2003, 02:00 AM
"So Marvel/DC print at 1200 dpi?? What are their print resolutions?"

It is somewhat confusing... The plates or negatives are printed at somewhere between 1200 and 3600 dpi, to produce actual line screens (printing dot patterns) ranging from 120 lines per inch to 200 lpi. The lines per inch determine a minimum dpi that the file must be, usually double the lpi. However, higher dpi can produce a crisper image, in both line art and in the color. There is a point at which it becomes insignificant, however. I believe it would take some very close examining, and careful attention to detect noticable improvement much beyond 400 dpi. The higher resolution of the image setter simply helps produce a cleaner dot at the chosen size. See example


Imagine this to be a magnification of a book printed at 175 lines per inch. Same number and size of dots, but the higher resolution of the image setter will produce cleaner dot shapes. Not a huge deal, but results in cleaner transitions, and clarity. The higher resolution dots will permit greater subtly in a gradient, and less apparent banding.

07-21-2003, 02:06 AM
Thanks for the explanation. Its starting to get clearer now!