Article B1: Resolutions, Raws and the Working with Layers


72 ppi 80×100

This tiny picture has the same resolution as the image at the top. They’re both 72 ppi.

However, they have different pixel dimension. The one at the top is 960 x 1200 pixel dimension. This can look big if your computer screen is set at 800×600 resolution. Unless your computer screen resolution is 1280 x 1024- might be just about right.

But wait, don’t a lot of people say/think that the dpi is what creates the quality of the picture- if it is too low, it’s going to look blury. This is true….for printing purposes.

As you might know 300 dpi is the safe amount of dots per inch (dpi) for printing.

A 72 dpi is going to make these images (lizard pic) look horrid printed.

72 ppi (pixel per inch) sounds just about right for web usage.  ppi refers for web. dpi refers for print.

As you can tell by their captions they have different ppi. However, on your computer screen they appear with the same quality.

Pixel Dimension matters most than ppi for the web. Pixel dimension has a dependence on computer screen resolution. Pixel dimension is set by W x H. 


Unlike Photoshop, Illustrator is measured by point than pixels. Illustrator does not use pixels what’s ever.

Illustrator uses vector lines on a vector field. What’s great about vector is the rescale-ability. When an image is stretched in pixels, they start to become low quality due to the limited amount of ppi it has. Illustrator’s vectors don’t do that. They retain the same quality and can appear bigger. Thus, the reason why most graphic designer, creative designers use Illustrator for logos. By the way, Illustrator can do more than just logos.

Since Illustrator doesn’t work in pixels, then how the heck does a graphic art gets put on print or the web or both?

One way is by opening the vector file as a raster file or simply copy and paste the vector art as a smart object in Photoshop. Pasting it as a smart-object reserves it as a vector- letting it be scale-able while retaining quality. Once the edits are done, you can save it as a png (to reserve transparency- if it needs to.)

For steps on how to do this exactly, go to: Vector Files to Photoshop.

You know what’s odd? Photoshop doesn’t exactly work with Camera RAW files. They can be converted to JPEG using the Plug-in Adobe Camera Raw.


Camera RAW file

“Raw files are images that can be create only in a camera, and they contain the unprocessed image data directly from the camera’s image sensor.” Schwartz, Rob. Learn Adobe Photoshop CC for Visual Communication: Preachpit, 2016. Print.

Due to it being unprocessed image data, Photoshop can’t really work with them.

So why even bother with Camera Raws?

The camera RAW files allow the white balance to be corrected or adjusted to desire in Camera Raw. Camera RAW files can also be worked on Adobe Lightroom- which the program can create stunning edits on Camera RAW files.

Besides, when a camera RAW file converts to a jpeg. Well, the compression cause lost of data. It’s editable, just you can’t create more desirable quality with a Jpeg compared to a Camera Raw.

With Camera RAW files, photographers can create HDR! For that high dynamic range, you need all the image data of the different exposure.



Layers in editing software like most adobes programs are described as a sheet of glass or paper that stack vertically.

The adobe Programs that use layers are Photoshop, Illustrator, Lightroom, InDesign, and Premiere.

Adobe Premiere Layers work with timing and effects on Video clips and graphic. Photoshop can do a bit of video- but it can’t compare to Adobe Premiere’s capabilities.

So what’s used as a base for editing? Answer is the lowest layer. The lowest layer can be the background layer or any layer that is stacked at the very bottom.


Layers affect the ones below it. Layers can act like a sheet of glass due to the ability to be transparent. They can be controlled percentages in the layer panel where it states Opacity. At 100% it’s considered opaque. Although it may not seem like it. When a new layer is made vie button at the bottom of the layer panel, it created on top of the layer selected with nothing in it with a 100% opacity. If you were to brush in a color, it would be opaque due to the opacity.

There are more features layers allow designers to get creative. There are blending modes that change the effect on how the layer appears onto the layer below it. another effect that can be applied to a layer is Layers Styles. “Such as shadows, glows, and bevels- Change the appearance of a layer’s contents in a nondestructive way.” Adobe: Layers effects and styles

Nondestructive: edits that do not affect the image/base permanently. While the opposite is true for destructive ways. (will go into this more in the next week article.)

Another thing that’s fun about that can be done with layers is duplication. Duplication helps with backing up an image or an effect when a destructive method has to be done. It doesn’t have to be used as a backup. It can be used as a way to manipulate a side of the image to be a replica of the other side.

This doesn’t mean that’s all layers can do or be done with. There’s a lot more creative ways to use layers. It’s up to the designer on how to use them. 




Printing (DPI)

Explanation DPI/PPI

Digital Image

Camera RAW

Illustrator points, picas, and other units

Guide to Resolution

Image Size and Resolution

Resample vs Resize

Layer Basics

Layer Styles

Raster (Bitmap) vs Vector

Determining an image file size from the web


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