Jump to content
Haydenovative

DPI, Page Size and Marquee Export

Recommended Posts

Hey Gang,

I'm not even quite sure where to begin. I work in entertainments so perhaps this doesn't apply to everyone.

My issue is around viewports on sheet layers and the export of those images. Can I start by asking if someone can confirm my theory: a 300dpi viewport on an A3 sized sheet layer (Assuming the image is scaled to fill the page) will have 4 times as many dots (Pixels) as a 300dpi viewport on an A4 sized sheet layer because there is 4 times the area to cover?

So my confusion is really around the correlation between sheet layer size (in mm or Inches) and the dpi of the viewport.

I've arrived at this issue because I have A4 landscape sized sheet layers and I've created 16:9 viewports from renderworks cameras. Should I adjust the size of my sheets to be in 16:9 ratio as well so as I am not exporting white sheet when I export image files?

On the matter od exporting image files, I've found enormous discrepancies in quality between exporting the whole page VS exporting just the viewport via the marquee tool. Isn't dpi dpi no matter how its attacked?

Why isn't there an export viewport option within the export image file window, if the viewport doesn't completely fill the page every export option apart from Marquee will export the white section around the image. Odd.

So what I would like is to find a best practice for our whole company, to make the best quality image with the smallest file size. Exporting renders in PDF form is unreasonably large. Thank you so so much for taking a look at this, I look forward to hearing from others who've been in this boat.

Share this post


Link to post

Maybe use several options rather than just one mandated process?

Couple things, not real answers, but might suggest a direction:

If you select a vwx object(s) and copy to clipboard, the clipboard can paste the selection into other software (eg email or some image editors) as a pdf. That's in MacOS anyway, not sure about WinOS. Selection could be a rendered VP. This would not show the surrounding white space on the sheet. Downsides: system controls resolution - usually not super high. Also, Mac or VWX puts a narrow white border around the pasted graphic. Wish it didn't do that.

Screenshot, esp via marquee? Creates png in MacOS. Again OS controls resolution.

-B

Share this post


Link to post

I have seen some unusual results with image export recently but haven't fully nailed them down yet. However I have absolutely noticed a discrepancy in resolution from images exported as full page vs marquee, which shouldn't happen normally. However, I first noticed some of these issues in Vectorworks 2014, so they may not be "new" issues.

Exporting viewports has been submitted as a wish, in my regular workflow I have to do marquee exports of viewports frequently and its a serious time sink with lots of room for manual error.

I'll run a few tests and see if I can narrow down the specifics.

Share this post


Link to post

Unfortunately VW has the worst image export interface ever.....

My workflow is Export PDF at known DPI > Open in Photoshop > Flatten, colour correct and crop as needed > Save as desired image

I wish VW was more like C4D where cameras (including the editor camera) had controllable render settings for exporting (file format, aspect ratio, translucent crop borders when active, proper colour support, etc.). I also like that all renders go into a list so you can do a whole series, compare them and export the best. So much more intuitive and useful....

Kevin

Share this post


Link to post

Oh man I love the picture renderer (Or Render to Picture Viewer, it may be called?) in C4D. After playing with it recently, as you say above, one of the side benefits that isn't entirely obvious at first, you can easily go back and see previous renders to compare a change you just made. In Vectorworks, you'd currently have to manually export an image or take a screenshot each time, if you forget? Have to sit and wait for a re-render. I broke C4Ds UI for that into parts and filed them as requests directly.

Also recently requested a simple Right-click > Save viewport as image contextual menu, often there is no desire to go through a full dialog like Publish for a quick on-off of a rendered viewport.

However in the case of the original post, I think something underlying is still broken currently, I will keep looking.

Share this post


Link to post

Confirmed.

You'll note on either a sheet layer or design layer, if you set the page to say, 8x11, if you do a marquee export and snap to the corners of the page area, when the image export box pops back up it claims the image size is significantly smaller than 8x11, im even seeing 4x5 in some tests. If you try to set it to pixel dimensions, you'll notice that the pixels reported by the marquee UI dont even come close to matching the pixel dimensions in the dialog afterwards, which leads to way lower quality than you might expect.

One of the other techs here submitted this as a bug, but I'm adding this thread and some new info to it. This did not occur in previous versions.

Share this post


Link to post

Jim,

Just following up on the above, I would wish that if a user owns a C4D license there was a way to use the Picture Viewer somehow for rendering cameras (I think VW must use a stripped down version of this as Renderworks). I guess I'm essentially looking for a value added system for those of us that have invested in both pieces of software..... something that is in between doing a full Send to C4D.

Kevin

Share this post


Link to post

Just following up on the above, I would wish that if a user owns a C4D license there was a way to use the Picture Viewer somehow for rendering cameras (I think VW must use a stripped down version of this as Renderworks). I guess I'm essentially looking for a value added system for those of us that have invested in both pieces of software..... something that is in between doing a full Send to C4D.

Correct, we use portions of MAXON's Cinerender engine to make up the majority of Renderworks.

I have asked about things similar to this before (originally the thought was, if users have a C4D license, can they use their Team Render capability directly with Vectorworks?) but apparently it comes down to what licensors of MAXON's Cinerender engine are and are not allowed to implement. Generally, if a feature is brand new in their rendering engine, it won't be available to licensors of the engine until a few years later. Generally a lot of what can be added comes down to politics in this area in addition to the normal time constraints engineering has to work within.

However in this case, I am not sure that this (the Picture Viewer-like UI) constitutes using a feature of their rendering engine really, I'll check and see if it would be possible.

Share this post


Link to post
Oh man I love the picture renderer (Or Render to Picture Viewer, it may be called?) in C4D. After playing with it recently, as you say above, one of the side benefits that isn't entirely obvious at first, you can easily go back and see previous renders to compare a change you just made. In Vectorworks, you'd currently have to manually export an image or take a screenshot each time, if you forget? Have to sit and wait for a re-render. I broke C4Ds UI for that into parts and filed them as requests directly.

Also recently requested a simple Right-click > Save viewport as image contextual menu, often there is no desire to go through a full dialog like Publish for a quick on-off of a rendered viewport.

However in the case of the original post, I think something underlying is still broken currently, I will keep looking.

+++++++1

me too

Share this post


Link to post
On 3/4/2015 at 3:38 PM, PVA - Jim said:

Confirmed.

You'll note on either a sheet layer or design layer, if you set the page to say, 8x11, if you do a marquee export and snap to the corners of the page area, when the image export box pops back up it claims the image size is significantly smaller than 8x11, im even seeing 4x5 in some tests. If you try to set it to pixel dimensions, you'll notice that the pixels reported by the marquee UI dont even come close to matching the pixel dimensions in the dialog afterwards, which leads to way lower quality than you might expect.

One of the other techs here submitted this as a bug, but I'm adding this thread and some new info to it. This did not occur in previous versions.

 

Just dropping by, FIVE YEARS LATER to note that this bug is still not fixed, in VW2018 or 2019. I don't have 2020 yet. Don't know if anyone can confirm whether it's still an issue there? I'll put my money on it not being fixed.

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

VW2020 is still all sorts of poop when it comes to image exporting at accurate sizes. 😕

 

Because the Export Image marquee is functionally broken, whenever I need pixel-accurate exports I use another method which is more reliable:

 

I typically render with a 16:9 aspect ratio camera, and I make my viewport 16"x9" and line it up precisely with a Sheet that's also 16"x9". That way the viewport perfectly matches the sheet.

 

If I set my Sheet dpi to 120, for example, and hit Update on the viewport, then the number of pixels rendered is 1920x1080 (Full HD). When I go to Export Image I choose "Each Page as a Separate Image" hence me aligning it perfectly. Note that you have to manually type in the dpi you rendered at (120) and the width (16"), but if you do all those steps then it will actually export at the right size! 

 

Back to the topic of the marquee, it actually displays wrong numbers TWICE. Here's a screen grab of the above situation which should be 1920x1080:

1100644573_ScreenShot2020-06-10at11_07_01PM.thumb.png.1d3842e2b112a5e62fb48692c442f3a6.png

The floating data bar shows completely arbitrary pixel numbers. Then when it returns to the Export Image pop-up, it inserts some other set of arbitrary numbers:

1233254169_ScreenShot2020-06-10at11_15_48PM.thumb.png.31a8e14bf15033f778bc3d55431a1e94.png

 

It should be smart enough to automatically use the correct pixel dimensions...

 

BTW, it would be amazing to have an actual Picture Viewer like C4D, or a right click option to just export the rendered pixels as mentioned above... But even if those don't come to fruition, it'd be great for Vectorworks to at least fix the existing tool to work as designed.

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post

Yes. At the moment I'm doing something slightly complicated that involves exporting a large number of renders that need to be an exact pixel size for a website.

 

All I need is to be able to right click on the viewport and extract what I know VW can produce (because it produces it if you do cmd-K on the veiwport).

 

I can't really use the exact-size sheet method you describe because the number of viewports, and I want them on the same sheet so that I can transfer class settings and other stuff easily.

 

Doing a copy-to-clipboard nearly works but it adds a white border, and something weird happens to the resolution which is then a big faff to sort out in an image editor.

 

I did some experiments to see if there was a sheet resolution that would produce output from the marquee tool that was the same pixel dimensions as VW had actually rendered. It turns out it would have to be something like 92.26dpi, and the sheet settings only accept whole numbers. If I try with 92 or 93 dpi, the marquee tool gives me an image that is just a few pixels larger or smaller than the actual rendering, so it must resample it somehow and this must result in a loss of image quality.

 

The saviour is the great script produced by @herbieherb which can be found here. That gives me something reliable and predictable (and also allows me to batch export a bunch of images, already named correctly if I give the viewports names). Unfortunately it doesn't export anything on an annotation layer though.

 

So it looks like my workflow is going to have to be

-Export from VW using that script

-Open in an image editing programme, and do all my annotations on layers in there

-Export from there to produce the final output

 

The whole step of messing around in an image editor could be avoided if VW could just provide a very simple command, which we know would be technically possible to implement, and which was requested at least five years ago.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

In a further unwelcome twist to this story ... it would appear that for some reason, re-rendering a viewport, without changing the crop or anything else about it, is liable to result in a new image that is just a few pixels different in size from the previous one. So, any workflow that relies on being able to replace the old render, with the new one, in exactly the same position, gets broken.

Share this post


Link to post
8 hours ago, line-weight said:

I can't really use the exact-size sheet method you describe because the number of viewports, and I want them on the same sheet so that I can transfer class settings and other stuff easily.

 

You can also tile multiple pages on one sheet layer. I have one "Render" sheet layer that has any number of tiled pages, each with a viewport aligned to it. Of course that only works if they're all the same size viewport...

 

And yes, that script can be super handy! It exports the correct pixel dimensions as rendered, though one slight annoyance is that it only exports at 72dpi and changes the image dimensions accordingly to keep those same pixel dimensions. But can still be a real time-saver.

Share this post


Link to post

I've never been able to comprehend the relationship between image size, resolution, and the marquee in Vectorworks.  And I guess now, finally, I know why!  Evidently there isn't one... 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


 

7150 Riverwood Drive, Columbia, Maryland 21046, USA   |   Contact Us:   410-290-5114

 

© 2018 Vectorworks, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Vectorworks, Inc. is part of the Nemetschek Group.

×
×
  • Create New...