While having done a lot of research and having a relative grasp on resolution and pixels, I am still very confused on the approach to take for downsampling my document.
Basically I have a client who wants a piece of art for the web at 1400px x 780px but they would also like to be able to print it. Unfortunately they did not specify a print size, so to cover my bases, I went with an A2 size, figuring I was better to have it too big than too small.
It's current dimensions are width 9920px x height 11186px (the height has excess on it that I will crop off later)
Document size width 420mm (A3) Height 473mm
Resolution 600ppi. (I asked the printers to scan at 600 as the original sketch was an A3, so by scanning it at 600ppi, I figured I could then print an A2 at 300ppi.
I'm half way through it and I'm starting to wonder if I have made the right decision. It's occurred to me, that buy starting so large - the final degradation when downsampling to 1400px is going to make it look horrible. So my question is - when you have a final destination of say 1400px by 780px - would it be fair to say that the larger the starting image, the worse the final look? And is the difference much? If I had started at say a A3 at 300ppi, would my final image have looked better, even though the starting image was of a lower resolution because it had less pixels to discard?
My next question is, would I be better to down sample the document now and keep working on it at a slightly lower image size or is the degradtion not going to be bad enough to bother (though it is painfully slow to work on).
I looked at downsampling it myself and the process I followed was this -
I took the original, and with downsampling unchecked, I switched the resolution to 300 to give me a better idea of actual print size, which left me with the same px dimensions but gave me a document size of approx 84cm wide and 94 cm high.
I then checked the resample box and changed the image width to 65cm at 300ppi (slightly larger width then an a2) which gave me a new px width of 7677px by 8657. It's not a huge saving, but I thought it might help?
Have a done this correctly?
I'm sorry for the long explanation, but the digital painting is due on Monday and I'm unsure wether to proceed at the new size or old size. I'd hate to spend all this time on a large complicated, intricate picture just to have it look rubbish at the end. I'm about to put all the little details on so now might be a good time to change.
Thanks in advance for any help.