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Image Resolution for 3D Rendering: A Beginner’s Guide

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Understanding Image Resolution: A Comprehensive Guide for 3D Rendering and Printing

Have you ever downloaded an image from the Internet, only to find that the printed result did not meet your expectations? This difference in quality often boils down to the image resolution. On your computer screen, the raw image may appear vibrant and sharp, but it may print smaller, blurred, or ‘bricked’. The cause of this discrepancy is the resolution of the image.

The Importance of Higher Resolution in 3D Visualization Rendering and Animation

For 3D rendering and 3D animation, higher image resolution is imperative. Understanding all the subtleties of image resolution can be time-consuming, but this article aims to shed light on rendering quality and the essential nuances when selecting it. Below, you will find illustrative examples of low- and high-resolution images.

Resolution Optimisation: The resolution of a 3D rendering image depends on the number of pixels used to create the image. The higher and denser the number of pixels in the image, or pixels per inch, the sharper and more precise the final image will be. Using 3D rendering software, 3D artists can create more realistic images based on how the resolution is configured.


Bathroom 3D Render High Image Resolution
Bathroom 3D Render High Resolution – 3D 4K

Resolution Optimisation in 3D Rendering

Image resolution in 3D rendering depends on the number of pixels used to create the image. By utilising technology such as Ray Tracing, the higher the number of pixels, or pixels per inch (PPI), the more precise the final image. Your choice of image resolution impacts how realistic the image needs to be.

What is Render Resolution?

Rendering resolution is the number of pixels (dots or coloured squares) per unit area of the image. On a printed image, this property is measured in dots per inch (dpi) or “pixels per inch” (PPI) (displayed on a screen). 3D modelling software provides tools to set the image resolution and determine the render quality. The image’s height and width are shown as two values relating to 3D graphics at high quality (HD renders) to produce real-life effects.

Each artist configures rendering resolution in their method, depending on the circumstance, the task, and the level of quality that they want to achieve. There is no unambiguous opinion regarding the default settings of any rendering engines or real-time rendering engines. Depending on the system, some settings need to be adjusted. The render will be larger and take longer the higher the quality is.

Using Image Resolution to Determine Size

The definition given above is straightforward. The actual or perceived size of pixels can also be described using the word “resolution.” Resolution plays a significant role in creating a 3D scene or 3D movie that mimics the real world. The pixels in a digital image aren’t sized because they are not physical objects. The pixels in an image take on their actual size when printed or shown on a tangible object.

The size of the pixels themselves is referred to as resolution, and the number of pixels that fit into one inch is called render resolution. The process of creating images that are computer-generated relies heavily on the correct resolution settings.

Is Higher Resolution Better?

Absolutely, yes. Better resolution is required for renderings of high quality. The more detailed and high-quality render, the higher the option. A low resolution will cause the image to appear blurry or washed out. The quality of a computer-generated image on the screen and when printed is also affected when it is resized in pixels and how big it appears on the screen. The size of an image has a direct impact on its resolution as well.

Image Resolution for Print and Web

Understanding resolution in computer graphics can be complex, as it involves different aspects. It’s crucial to differentiate between web (screen), image, and printer resolution, as they all refer to distinct aspects. Photo editing software can scale raw images, usually only downscale. But new features are now allowing AI to upscale images.

Web Screen Resolution

The operating system and computer system determine web (screen) resolution. It dictates the size of an image that will fill the entire screen, measured in pixels.

Printer Resolution

Printer resolution, a printer feature, defines the number of distinct dots that can be printed in a unit-length area. It’s measured in dpi and determines the size and quality of an image.

Requirements for Image Resolution in Printing

Printing Publications

Image resolution should be at least 300 dpi for printing a full-colour image. For high-quality 3D-produced graphics, resolutions up to 400 dpi are commonly used.

Newspaper Printing

A 200 to 250 dpi resolution is typically deemed sufficient for newspapers, with 400 to 600 dpi for line images.

Banner Printing

Lower resolutions, such as 30 dpi, are often acceptable for large-scale printing like billboards.

Picture Printing

A resolution of 250 dpi is considered ideal for high-quality photo printing.

Choosing Render Image Resolution

Render resolution varies according to the artist’s preferences, the task, and the desired quality. For preliminary renders, resolutions such as 720×480 or 1800×1200 pixels are typical. For better quality, consider:

  • 1200×1500 px initially
  • 3000×2400 px for final renders

Resolution for Animation

When selecting animation resolution, consider that a video has approximately 30 frames per second. Increasing 3D resolution adds more pixels, demanding a powerful GPU. Typical resolutions include:

  • 1920x1080p at 72 dpi for architectural graphics (full HD)
  • 30 FPS for video games
  • 24 to 60 frames for videos


High-quality 3D animation and rendering require optimal image resolution. In this guide, we have explored render resolution, the benefits of high resolution, appropriate settings for web and print, and the ideal dimensions for animation. By understanding and applying these principles, you can significantly enhance the quality of your 3D renderings and printed images in 2D images or viewed on 3D TVs. Remember, image resolution is not just a number; it’s a critical factor that defines the clarity and detail of your visual content.

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