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jeff prince

Image Prop best practices

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We have been experimenting with image props in preparation to create a new library of regional plant materials to be shown in elevation and perspective.

Are there any recommendations or best practices for:

  • Image Size (width & height)
  • Resolution/DPI
  • Color Mode/Depth
  • File Format

Are there any pros & cons to be aware of for various setting?


I would like to nail down all these settings before turning my staff loose on what will be a fairly large task.  Our intent is to use these images for the construction of image props, display in the plant database in a custom report (to show a larger image and less data), and as Photoshop entourage.


Thanks for any help,



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I go with 'actual' size. So a 15' tree would be a 15' tall image in Photoshop. I then based my DPI on my output. I prefer to use PSD files with an Alpha channel to make the image prop, I think that gives me better control over the masking than I can get in VWX. So, If I'm rendering to a tabloid size sheet,  and printing with an inkjet printer, I try to keep my image props at 1-2Mb. Sometimes that means 5DPI, sometimes 25, etc. 32 bit RGB color.


If you sometimes or often print for large format presentations, that would be another factor. In that case, I might consider two sets of props.

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So 2 years have past since I set out to find the best way to create image props with Alpha Channels.  The question was never properly answered by by tech support when I had a Service Select membership.  Seems that there are some magic settings needed to get VWX to behave when exporting to other software formats, notably C4D.  Read my story of woe below.  Hopefully a solution manifests itself soon.  None of my imageprops will export correctly, VWX is altering the Alpha Channel on export!   100s of manhours wasted potentially 😞



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