Instagram help - blurry images

  • Hello! I'm wondering if anyone here has recommendations for the right file size to use for instagram. I noticed that my images are showing up kind of blurry, but when someone else reposts my work, theirs looks crisp! I think the file size I'm using might be too big, or maybe I need to do jpeg instead of png? Has anyone run into this?

  • @carlianne Hiya, I’m not sure what others are doing but I save mine 1080x1080 @144dpi or 72dpi for posts. This guide may help with other formats

  • Hi @carlianne, definitley agree with @lizardillo I make mine 1080px minimum - I use 'save for web' out of Photoshop - you can adjust the pixel dimensions and save a copy without effecting your original files. I export as jpegs - you can also adjust the quality setting there.

  • @lizardillo @Emma-Echter thank you! I’ve been doing pngs at 300 dpi so I’m thinking they were too large, I’ll try that for my next post !

  • @carlianne Yeah I had the same problem where the "downsample" caused the issue because of my original sizes. You basically want to stop them from modifying the image before it can post. I agree with @Emma-Echter where you'd crop it to the size ratio you want then do a save for web in PS and you'll get exactly what they're looking for.

  • @carlianne dpi don't indicate size, is an instruction for the printer that says "when printing this image I want 300 dots per inch of paper". The size is indicated by the number of pixels "width and length".
    You can have a 1080 pixels width by 800 pixels length image and you can set it to 72dpi, 300dpi, or 800dpi, no matter what dpi number you set, the image doesn't change. Look always to the pixels of the image to be sure what size you are working in.
    Every program I know indicates this number in the interface continually once you open the archive. I'm using Krita, for example, and this number is at the bottom of my interface so always can check it out without having to click any button.
    A trick for Photoshop users that I used a lot is with the square selection tool I drag and select the entire image and the number of pixels appear automatically aside my cursor.
    I hope it helps.
    Have an amazing day

  • SVS OG

    @Samu is this correct? this seems really wrong.

  • @Nyrryl-Cadiz Yeah 😃 this is correct. There's a difference too, between dpi "dots per inch" and ppi "pixels per inch". Is easy once you understand it.
    The important thing is, size is indicated by the number of pixels.
    There are hundreds of videos dedicated to this issue because it causes a lot of confusion:

  • @Nyrryl-Cadiz By the way, your work is awesome! Are you from Cadiz, Spain? I'm from Madrid, but I live in Barcelona.
    Have an amazing day

  • SVS OG

    @Samu i disagree. One dot is equal to one pixel. Dpi directly affects an image’s size.

  • @Nyrryl-Cadiz No, it's not. Check it out. I send you a video but there are a thousand out there. One dot it's not equal to one pixel, one dot is one droop of ink in a paper. A pixel is equal to a pixel.
    Sometimes happen that if you have your size set to cm or inches, and you change your dpi, that can change your image size and you can lose information if you make it smaller. But if you set your size to Pixels, you have no problem at all.
    Do the text. set your image to pixels and change the dpi and you'll see that it doesn't change the image

  • SVS OG

    @Samu i’m still not convinced. Please link a video

  • @Nyrryl-Cadiz

    This one is good and simple. Don't worry it talks too about photographs, Designers, photographers, and digital artist is the same, we work with digital images.
    If you want more, put "dpi vs ppi" "image resolution explained" "pixels vs dots" etc on youtube

  • @Samu thanks sam! I'll look into that! It's always good to understand the terminology better 🙂

  • @Samu Hi, just want to chime in again on this. Yes, a dpi is a dot of ink on paper. A ppi is the digital approximation for screen usage. 300 dpi (interchangable with ppi in Photoshop) is the file setup requirement to print an image sharply. Laser printers will actually print mono images up to 1200 dpi. But it's not really a dot from a laser printer. Digital laser printers fuse toner onto paper, they don't lay down dots. But that's another topic...

    The dpi and the physical size (in inch/cm/mm) work in unison to form the image size. For screen display, pixel size rules. For print usage pixels AND physical size need to be considered.

    But offset printing uses 300 dpi, and can have different results depending on who is printing it. Proper offset printing is absolutely an art. Proofing images and print files on screen is very common now, and is one of the reasons finished printed artwork is sometimes not as expected. All screens display colour differently. Screens are set to display at different resolutions. As well as different printers having different skill sets and level of care - sometimes printing skill doesn't match actual printed colour proofing sheets.

    I'm actually a little surprised to find that working in RGB is so common for illustrators. I'm a graphic designer (+15 years industry experience), and we work with CMYK images for print. We convert RGB image files to CMYK, adjusting the ink balance as required for different printing methods and substrates. Having said that though, photographers work in RGB...

    It is only quite recently that pre-press operators have been happy to accept RGB images, as the rip software they use is now able to interpret the RGB colour profile quite effectively.

    I can only assume that it is because RGB is monitor colour, so you get a 'true' example of what you're creating as you are creating it. However this then isn't 'true' when converted to CMYK for printing - or even on another screen. The only other reason I can think of is that the software has dictated this - in that some effect tools and lighting/layer adjustments only work in RGB colour mode.

    By using the 'save for web' function out of photoshop you are using the technology as it was designed to optimise a 'print useage' digital file for display on screens/web. I have done extensive testing on this output method and found that it is the best way to ensure crisp web graphic assets. It is not ideal to set text in Photoshop (rather in layout programs which create vector edges); this is not the case for some online advertising requirements where we are forced to include text in Photoshop.

    I've gone a little off-track here, but it is relevant to understanding file setup, and how to setup for use across different media.

  • @Emma-Echter Thank you, Emma. You put a lot of time into your answer.
    About dots, I said what I said to clarify that is different than pixel without overcomplicating things, you are completely correct.

    In this whole issue, I think we don't need to know everything, but definitely we have to understand image size, resolution, resize, and constrain proportions so we don't resize never without understanding what we are doing.

    "I'm actually a little surprised to find that working in RGB is so common for illustrators" 😃 Tell me about it! I worked as a photographer, I bought a ColorMunki Smile to calibrate mi screen, I did it every two weeks, I edit and retouched on ProPhotoRGB and then convert to CMYK for printing and sRGB for web... the printer preferred sRGB, I insisted on doing some proofs and I couldn't see the difference, seriously, so I give up and send my photos for printing sRGB, not even Adobe RGB, forget about CMYK. It's crazy. Then I found out that very well known and respected and successful photographers don't calibrate their monitor never, and really I couldn't see any difference neither. I think if you have a decent monitor not too old and from one of the brands that make monitors especially for retouching you are safe without even calibrating.

    I'm sure that this is not the case everywhere, and that some commercial high-end jobs take these things very seriously and they definitely see a difference, but in my case what I learned was that I realized that we like to complicate things a lot, and resolve to not do that unless necessary 🙂

    Thank you for your time and have an amazing day, Emma!

  • @Samu Hi! Was a bit worried I'd sound like a pedant.... But yes, it's such a complex area - we were discussing it at work today particularly regarding photographers having the colour 'right', and unless a photo is taken with a colour reference square in it, it will not be 'correct'. It's the only way to be sure irrespective of screen.

    And yes, it's only been in the last 5 years that the printer technology has been sophisticated enough for RGB out of gammut colour.

    And yes, we do work on some high end commercial jobs, so have had lots of agonizing to match samples...

    I guess I just wanted to put some fleshed out info because to setup a file in a way that limited potential usage, and to find out after hours and hours of work is awful!

  • @Emma-Echter Pedant never, Nerd, and nerd is good 😃 I love nerds and consider myself a little nerd.

    Yes I didn't mention the color reference (ColorChecker) because is the only thing that really works great. I love it! ColorChecker are important because camera manufacturers don't make cameras that give you right accurate colors, not even if you shoot in RAW. They compete with each other and they enhance the colors to be more attractive to potential customers. Some brands are known for beautiful skin colors, some for beautiful skies, etc. And then, the RAW issue, the information that the sensor catch in light have to be translated to ones and zeros so there's always a filter that have to be interpreted. Not even different persons view colors the same, so, the ColorChecker creates a Color space based completely in your lighting. You have to make a photograph with it in it with the lighting you are going to use for the shooting and you are good to go.
    I don't say it gives you accuracy because I don't think accuracy exist, but gives you consistency. And in practicality it gives you accuracy because the range of change is far from the human brain to notice, I was a little nerd there.

    Have an amazing day and keep up the good work!

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