I'm trying to illustrate my childrens book in Clip Studio Paint and the art (mostly done with pen so far) looks highly pixelated.

I started out with my settings at 72 DPI, then drew for a while. I noticed the art was pixelated, so I switched my settings (within the same file) to 300 DPI and drew more. There was no difference between the drawings made at 72 and 300. On top of that, my program switched my settings back to 72 DPI after a while.

So I opened a new document and set initial settings at 300 DPI. Again, the quality of the lines was indistinguishable from lines drawn at 72 DPI. Same for 600 and 1200 DPI.

I tried using both vector and raster layers. The raster is more blurry and pixelated, but the vector is also pixelated.

Can anyone tell me what I might be doing wrong?

  • See this and this. Use vectors on a larger canvas.
    – spike_66
    Mar 22, 2018 at 7:18

3 Answers 3


Changing the DPI of an image does not change the quality of the image. The dpi is the output resolution, it's not the actual resolution of the image. The real resolution of an image is the number of pixels it contains. More pixels = finer detail and less pixelisation.

What you need to do is begin with a larger canvas/image size.

For example, if you wish to print the painting at A4 size 8.267" x 11.693", and have it printed at 300 dpi, the image size needs to be 2480px x 3508px.

To work out the size in pixels you need, multiply each dimension in inches by the dpi.

For example, 8.267" x 300dpi = 2480.1px

  • Thank you so much for responding. Your answer and the other answer helped me figure it out. I'm sorry it took me a few days to get back to you. Mar 28, 2018 at 1:10

My forever specific recommendation.

  1. Make a file of 6000 pixels on the longer side... Take that number as a base. If your computer handles it well, go for it. If your computer gets slow try reducing this value, for example, 5000px, but try not go below 4000px on the longer side.

  2. Forget about physical dimensions and PPI settings. That is only a relative number, just maintain the correct proportion.

I recommend this 6000px value for digital paint, or 3D renders for images that need to be printed. It is similar to a 24Mpx photo of a DSLR camera, with good size to be printed but also in a manageable weight to be manipulated.

Why 6000?

It is an easy number to remember. Additionally, you can correlate it, as I say with a 24 Mpx camera.

But there are more numbers to it.

An image to be viewed at 30cm, for example, a letter size magazine, at 300 PPI is 3300px, but I could round these numbers more, to repeat the 30.

A 30 cm image (a tiny bit larger than A4), viewed at 30 cm from your eyes, of 3000px, is 100px per cm. Which is a pretty good resolution. (254 PPI) 6000 px is just the double in case you need to blow the image.

Now an explanation of your settings.

As Billy Kerr mentioned, the PPI settings have nothing to do with any pixelation, at the end depends on what is the real size of your image, in pixels, which leads you to my initial answer. Make it about 6000px on the longest side.

  • I'm sorry for the delay in responding. Your answer was great and incredibly helpful. Thank you! Mar 28, 2018 at 1:10

Try changing the unit of length in preferences, so the line work won't be too small for print.

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