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Image import: how big is too big?

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Depending on what type of image that is, will determine how large the bitmap will be when imported into VW.

Also, how large is the image file before importing in VW?

How much memory is installed on the computer?

Are there any other applications running, if so how many?

The import process is taken over by QuickTime in the background. If there is not enough memory for QT to import an image file - which includes the actual size of the image before and after being comverted to bitmap, then VW crashes or fails the import because QuickTime failed.

[ 04-02-2003, 04:49 PM: Message edited by: Katie ]

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I have reported this before. From experiment I found that it had nothing to do with memory allocation. The limit was about 4000 pixels in width. (or maybe 3999, somewhere around there). Doesn't matter how much memory you use, 9.5 will not import a bigger image. So I have got in the habit of limiting the size of the renderings.

Note also it has nothing to do with the resolution, it is just a function of the size of the array.

I noticed reading some of the release notes and bug fixes for v10, that it seems this limit has been eliminated. It is one of the reasons I will upgrade at some point.


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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

Hello TiTaNiuM sAMuRai:

Donald is right, the practical limit for an image is about 4000 pixels in width.

The technical reason is that the Mac OS uses a row bytes parameter to define bitmaps, but for historical reasons (when Color QuickDraw was added in 1987!) the top two bits of the 16-bit row bytes parameter are used for other things, so you're left with about 4000 32-bit pixels as the limit.

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By you post it sounds like the limit has not changed with VW10 when used in OSX. Do you mean that?

There is a workaround if larger images are needed I have found. If the image is larger than ~4000 pixels, duplicate it and then crop each one just a bit past the middle. Import each one and use the nudge tool to lap one over the other. This can be done very exactly. Of course if you need more than ~8000 pixels you'll need to use 3 or more copies. VW doesn't seem to care how many pixels are on a layer, just how many are in a given imported image.


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