Export File Sizes & Resolution in Adobe Illustrator - A Graphic Design for Lunch™ Class | Helen Bradley | Skillshare

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Export File Sizes & Resolution in Adobe Illustrator - A Graphic Design for Lunch™ Class

teacher avatar Helen Bradley, Graphic Design for Lunch™

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

8 Lessons (29m)
    • 1. Graphic Design for Lunch File Size and Resolution Introduction

      2:22
    • 2. Pt 1 - Problems with File Size and Resolution

      5:10
    • 3. Pt 2 - Understand Illustrator File Size and Resolution

      4:11
    • 4. Pt 3 - Change Image Resolution

      5:31
    • 5. Pt 4 - Use Save For Web

      2:23
    • 6. Pt 5 - Work with Export As

      3:16
    • 7. Pt 6 - Dealing with Stray Pixels in Images

      4:48
    • 8. Project and wrapup

      1:24
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About This Class

Graphic Design for Lunch™ is a series of short video courses you can study in bite size pieces such as at lunchtime. In this course you'll learn how to export images as png and jpg files at the size and the resolution that you want it to be. This should be easy! It isn't! There shouldn't be a need for this class! And yet it is a vital class for all Illustrator users who want to export images the right size and resolution every time! I'll demystify the process of exporting files for you so you understand what is happening and how you can get Illustrator to work for you. 

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Meet Your Teacher

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Helen Bradley

Graphic Design for Lunch™

Top Teacher

Helen teaches the popular Graphic Design for Lunch™ courses which focus on teaching Adobe® Photoshop®, Adobe® Illustrator®, Procreate®, and other graphic design and photo editing applications. Each course is short enough to take over a lunch break and is packed with useful and fun techniques. Class projects reinforce what is taught so they too can be easily completed over a lunch hour or two.

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Transcripts

1. Graphic Design for Lunch File Size and Resolution Introduction: Hello, I'm Helen Bradley and welcome to this very special episode of graphic design for Lunch. Get it right, export file dimensions and resolutions in Adobe Illustrator. Now, it seems like this class shouldn't even have to exist. This stuff should be so simple to do and yet it isn't. I've had heaps and heaps of questions from my students here asking how they export things at the right size from Illustrator. I'm here to tell you that it's not that easy. What we're going to do is answer questions like, why aren't my images the right size? We're going to ask why when I save an illustration which was made to be 1000 pixels square, does illustrator save it as over 4000 pixels square? How do I set an image to be 150 dpi or 300 dpi or whatever dpi I need it to be and have it reliably saved at that resolution? How can I create 3600 pixels square scrapbook paper at 300 dpi without pulling my hair out? Why is my image one pixel out in size? What's that mess down the right-hand side of the screen anyway? Now, all this and more we're going to address in this class. This is a vital class for anyone wanting to export images as JPEGS and pings at specific sizes and resolutions. Be aware this isn't nearly as easy or seamless as it might or should be. This is a class that basically every illustrator user is going to want to view. Now as you're working through these videos, you're going to see a prompt which will let you recommend this class to others. Please, if you're enjoying and learning from this class, do two things; firstly, answer yes when you're prompted and secondly, write just a few words about why you're enjoying the class. Those recommendations help other students at Skillshare to say that this is a class that they too might enjoy and learn from. If you'd like to leave me a comment or a question, please do so. You need to do that in the community area or with your class project and I'll read and respond to all of your comments and questions. I'll look at and respond, of course, to all of your class projects. If you're ready now let's get started on Illustrator for Lunch, exporting the right size files every time, why it isn't easy and how you can solve the problems. 2. Pt 1 - Problems with File Size and Resolution: Before we're able to come up with some solutions for saving right sides documents from Illustrator, we really need to answer the question, what is actually happening here and what is the problem that we're seeking to solve. I have a piece of scrapbook paper here and it's on an art board that is obstensively 3,600 by 3,600 pixels in size. If I can save that at 300 DPI, I'm expecting to get a 12 inch by 12 inch sheet of paper that's printable at 300 DPI. That's the standard size document that for example, you would sell on Etsy. I have my art board here, I'm going to export it. I'm going to choose file and then export and then export as. Now, I'm going to export it as a Jpeg. Here I have it, scrapbook paper Jpeg. I'm going to use my art board because I've sized my art board to exactly the size I want. I'll click "Export." In the next dialogue we get to select the color mode. That's fine. The quality which sets how much compression is applied to the file. The higher the quality, the less compression and the bigger the file. You'll generally want to be around high or maximum. I'm going to set this to high right now, and then you're going to choose resolution. Now, this looks like where we're going to set our 300 DPI. It says PPI, but these are the kind of resolutions that we typically use for print. I'm going to set high at 300 PPI and I'll click "Okay." This file is now sized. I have the folder in which I saved that file open here. When I click on this file, I can read it's size off down here in the bottom of the Windows Explorer window. It's 15,000 by 15,000 pixels. It has just blown out by a factor of over four. What's going on? What is this problem? Why can't we get a file of the size that we actually want to use? Now the other saving alternative you could use is file and then export, and we're going to use save for web. This might be somewhere else on your menus if you're using an earlier version of Illustrator. But what you're looking for is this save for web, this Legacy Dialog. Once we get our art here in this dialog, you can see that the width and height are both 3,600. We're getting an image that is going to be the size of the art board. But there's no option in this dialogue for selecting the resolution. We can choose the quality. Again, this is how much compression is applied to the image. I've got my quality set at 60 percent, but we don't have anything here that speaks to resolution. I'm going to save this file. Let's see what happens. Now, this one at the very end, I'm going to add a save for web, so we can distinguish it from the previous one. I'll click "Save." When I open up that folder, this time you can see that I have a file whose dimensions are 3,600 by 3,600. That's worked in terms of file size. But let's go to image details and let's see what the resolution of this file is. Well, it's 96 DPI. It's not the 72, it's not the 150, it's not the 300 that we saw in the export dialogue from somewhere. Illustrator has plucked out the 96 figure, and so this is a 96 DPI image. To use it on a site which for example requires 300 DPI, you can't send this. The images are right dimensions, but it's not the right resolution. Those are some of the problems that we're going to address in this video. This is the issue. If you want to be able to get files the right size out of Illustrator, that's why we need to understand what the problem is, and then we're going to come up with some solutions for solving it. We're also going to come up with an explanation that tells you why this is 15,000 by 15,000 pixels. The other issue we're going to look at is what's causing this. I have an art board here, and the art board is 200 pixels by 200 pixels in size. On that art board is a rectangle and it's 200 pixels by 200 pixels in size, and it's filled with red. It has no stroke at all. When I choose file and then export save for web, this of course would be save for web in earlier versions of Illustrator. Let's have a look and see what the problem is. Down this left-hand side of this shape, sometimes it's on the right-hand side, sometimes it's at the top or the bottom. But down the left-hand side of this particular shape is a set of pink pixels. When we look in the pink, you'll see a color table. This makes it really easy to identify that we've got some pink pixels in our red square. If we were to save this, we will be saving a 200 pixel by 200 pixel document that's actually going to work for this particular one, but it's going to have a pink stripe where we would have expected it to be red. What's happening here? What is this problem and how can we avoid it happening? We're going to deal with that again in this class. 3. Pt 2 - Understand Illustrator File Size and Resolution: Let's start with exploring why these documents are blowing out in size when we use the export dialog. I'm going to create a new document that is just 1,000 pixels by 1,000 pixels and I'm using raster effects at 300 ppi, but this has no effect on what's happening, so it's not this that's causing the problems. I'll click "OK." I'm going to add a rectangle to this that is the exact same size, 1,000 by 1,000 pixels in size, click "OK." I've got this set to align to artboards, so I'm just going to square this up over the top of the artboard. I'm going to turn off the strike, and I'm just going to give it a colored fill. It doesn't matter what color it is. Now we have a 1,000 by 1,000 pixel square. When I choose "File," and then "Export," and then "Export As," what I'm going to do first of all is just give this a name. In this, case I want to use the artboard because I want everything to be 1,000 pixels by 1,000 pixels. I'll click "Export." Now at this point, this is where we set the resolution, and we set the resolution at one of these three values or the value that we choose. Now, if we choose Screen at 72 ppi, this document is going to be 1,000 pixels by 1,000 pixels. But if we choose High, the document is going to be 4,166 or 67 pixels square, and this is the reason for it. I'm going to my calculator. What I'm going to do is I'm going to type in 300 because that's the resolution that we're looking at, and I'm going to divide 300 by the 72 because we know at 72, or you know because I've told you that at a resolution of 72, the file is actually going to be 1,000 pixels by 1,000 pixels. Let's see what happens when we divide 300 by 72. We get this magical figure, this multiplier 4.166666 repeating until we get seven, of course, because it's been rounded up. What's happening is that when we choose a resolution that is not 72, what Illustrator is doing is multiplying the size of the file because it thinks that we didn't know what we were doing. It thinks that we really need a much bigger file, and so that's why our file sizes are going to blow up by this factor of 4.16. Let me just clear this for a minute and let's have a look, and see if we were using a 150 as extensive DPI. Well, 150 divided by 72 is 2.083. If we were to save this at a 150 DPI, then our file size is going to be twice and a little bit bigger than it started off being or what we assumed it would start off being. Now the file's saved, let's go back into the folder. Here is our file and you can see as promised that it's 2,083 pixels. It's a factor of 2.083 bigger than we wanted it to be, but there is some logic to what illustrator is doing. Now the Save for Web option, that's very simple. When you choose Save for Web, what Illustrator's doing is it's going to export this at 96 DPI. That's it, that's all you get. You don't get a choice here, but you will know that everything is going to be exported at the exact size that you specify, but at 96 DPI. Of course, if 96 DPI is not what you want, then you need to do something to fix the resolution once you've exported your file if you're going to use that option for exporting files. I actually think that it's the best option to use, and I'm going to show you a workaround for getting files the right size out of it. But I think actually, Save for Web, even though it's a legacy format, is actually going to be better for people who need a specific size file with a specific resolution, just that you're going to have to fix it a little bit at the end. 4. Pt 3 - Change Image Resolution: In order to find you a workflow that's going to make sense to you, let's have a look at what your options are. In this video, we're going to look at Save for Web. I've got my document here that is 3,600 by 3,600 pixels. This rectangle is 3,600 by 3,600 pixels. I would choose File, and then Export, and Save for Web (Legacy). I would make sure that the size here and the image size area, read 3,600 by 3,600 and I would go ahead and save this. I've already saved this once before so I'm going to actually call this version two. So I'm just going to put v2 on it so we know that this is the one that we've just created. I'll click "Save", it's going to take a little while to save. Let's go back to that folder. Here's our version two, it's 3,600 by 3,600 but when we go into Properties and Details, and have a look at the resolution of this, it's 96 DPI. Well, here are some solutions and one of the options is to use Photoshop. I'm going to click here to go to Photoshop and let's just take this document and drop it into Photoshop. It's the correct dimensions, it's just the wrong resolution. This is what we do in Photoshop; we choose Image, Image Size. Now, the first thing you're going to do is turn off this Resample because you don't want to resample the image, which means that the only things that you can change are the width, and the height, and the resolution, and you're going to change the 72 that it says here, even though it was a 96 DPI image when we had a look at it in Windows, let's just ignore that. Let's type in what we actually want, which is a resolution of 300 pixels per inch and now, the width is 12 by 12. This is standard scrapbook paper size. The dimensions are still 3,600 by 3,600 but the important thing is that you disable this Resample because we don't want to touch the image size, we just want to change its resolution. We'll click "OK" and now I'm going to save this, File, Save As. I'm going to put it back exactly where it came from but this is going to be v3 because this is the edited version. At this stage, I will confirm that I want to use sRGB as my profile. I'll click "Save". Again, I get to choose the quality. Now, one thing to be really aware of here is that every time you open a file, that's a JPEG and save it, you're going to be losing some quality. We've just lost some quality because we're double handled this file. It's a necessary [inaudible] so you may want to increase the quality at this stage just a little bit so that you don't lose too much. You may want to be using slightly higher qualities than you would if this system worked perfectly the first time, so just click "OK". Now, let's go and have a look at our v3. Again, the dimensions are still 3,600 by 3,600, so that part of it has worked. Let's go to Properties, let's go to Details, let's scroll down and we have a 300 DPI image. This is now the image that we could sell on Etsy, we could upload to any site that required a 12 by 12 sheet of paper or 12 by 12 document at 300 DPI. Of course, you don't have to be making scrapbook paper here, I'm just using this as an example. All you want to do is make sure that the file is saved out of Illustrator at the pixel dimensions that you need. Open it in Photoshop, change the resolution to 300, or 150, or whatever you need, and you're off and running. Now, if you don't have Photoshop, here's what I suggest. I'm going to give you a link to this website but it's a convert website and what it does is it changes the DPI of images. I'm going to start off by typing in here a new DPI value. So I'm leaving it at 300, which is what the site defaults to but you can just type over this with whatever DPI value you need. I'm going to click "Choose File" and going to click on the paper that we created, the v2 paper that is the right physical dimensions but the wrong DPI. I'll click "Open". We'll wait this is uploaded and converted. While we're here, you can save that if you use Windows, you can download a DPI image desktop App. But my image is now completely converted. This is the one that I just converted, the v2. I'm going to right-click choose "Save link as" and I'm going to resave it in here but I'm going to make this v4 for just so that we can identify it. This is the one that's come from the web. Let's have a look at it inside Windows Explorer. Here's the v4, let's check its properties. It's 3,600 by 3,600 pixels so it hasn't changed size, its resolution has changed. Again, this would be of a size and resolution that would be suitable for anything that needed a 12 by 12 sheet of paper or 12 by 12 document to be printed at 300 DPI. Now, I know that this is double handling of the file but you know what? I really like the Save for Web dialogue a whole lot better than the Export dialogue. In the next video, I'm going to show you exactly why I think it is your dialogue of choice. 5. Pt 4 - Use Save For Web: I'm back in Illustrator, and here I have an art board that's 1,000 pixels by 1,000 pixels in size, and it's got a rectangle on it that's a 1,000 pixels by 1,000 pixels. So instead of looking at blue fill, let's have a look at a pattern. I've created something that is a size that is not 3,600 by 3,600, but I decide I want a document that's 3,600 by 3,600 out of it. Well, this is why I love the Save for Web dialog, File, Export, Save for Web. The default size here is a width and height of 1,000. That's the size on our board that I had in Illustrator. But I can change this. I've got these options here locked down so that if I change the width, the height is going to adjust accordingly. I'm going to type 3,600. Illustrator is going to re-render this image to be an image that's 3,600 by 3,600 pixels in size. Unfortunately, when I save it, it's still going to be 96 dpi, but it up-sized this image for me. So now when I click Save and call this test two, click Save, and we've got our test two document here, which is 3,600 by 3,600 pixels. All we have to do is open it in Photoshop and change its resolution if we want it to be something other than 96 dpi. The real benefit of that Save As dialog is that you can do just that. You can specify just how big you want your image to be, so you can scale it up and you can scale it down. Also from this dialog, you can select PNG as your file format if you want to. With JPEG, of course, you can specify the quality of the JPEG that you're exporting. But I really like this dialog, it's what I use. I don't use Export As because I don't like to have to get out a calculator anytime I want to get a right size file. But if you want to continue to use Export As, then in our next video, we're going to have a look and see how you can mathematically work out how big a document you need to export to get the right size document at the other end. 6. Pt 5 - Work with Export As: In an earlier video, we saw that when you use export as illustrator, assumes that you're going to be exporting a 72 DPI document. If you want your document to have a higher resolution then illustrated as blows the file size out. So let's see how we would adapt to this behavior. I have a document here of art board that is 1000 pixels by 1000 pixels in size and the artwork on it is 1000 by 1000. If we want it to stay 1000 by 1000 but we want a 300 DPI, we're going to have to change the size of the file before we export it because otherwise, it's going to end up being 4000 pixels in size. So here's what we're going to do. We're going to take 1000 pixels, which is the current dimension of this file and we're going to divide it by 4.1666, repeating and we'll just add a seven on the end just to round it up and we're going to get the answer that is around 240, it's 239.99 so it's 240. So what we need to do is to size this document down. So when we save it at 300 DPI, it gets blown up to the right size. We'd need to go to our art board selector and we'd need to size our art board to 240 by 240. Then we're going to the art on the art bond. I'm going to select it all, I'm going to the transform option here and I'm going to scale all of it down to 240 by 240. I'm just clicking a lock icon here, so it's scaled vertically and horizontally at the same time. Now, I have a art board and a piece of art that's 240 pixels by 240 pixels. Now when I choose file export, export as, I'm going to call this test four, I'm going to click use art boards, I'm going to click export and from the resolution I'm going to make sure that I'm selecting 300 DPI because that's the calculation I based this document size on. I'll click okay. Now when we go to our folder and we have a look at test four, we've got a document that's 1000 by 1000. That's what we expected it to size up to. When I check its dimensions using the details panel here in properties, it is 300 DPI. So it's possible, as you've seen, to export a file at the right size and the right resolution using export as but you have to do some mathematics and if you don't start off with the right size document to begin with then not only will you have to do some mathematics but you're also going to have to re-size the document in the process and I think that's cumbersome. Which is why I like save for web a whole lot better but of course your mileage may vary, you may prefer this so this is how you do the mathematics to make sure you either start off with the right size file or you end up with the right size file that you can export and get the results that you're looking for. 7. Pt 6 - Dealing with Stray Pixels in Images: Now there is one thing for us to still have a look at before we finish this class, and that is the problem of those extra pink pixels. When I choose File, Export, Save for Web Legacy in this document, you'll see that there is a row of pink pixels down the side here. Now, sometimes you might see some JPEG artifacts, so this is not a JPEG image. But if I go to JPEG and choose 60 percent quality, you'll see a little bit of discoloration through the image. That's got to do with the quality of the JPEG. The pink problem is something completely different, and choosing JPEG or PNG is not going to make a difference here. We really do have a problem. This is a red square with a row of pink pixels. If we were to save it, that's exactly what we're going to get in the saved file. I'm going back to Illustrator, and we're going to work out what it is that is causing this, and it's to do with the artboard. I have the artboard tool selected and when I read off the artboard, the position of this artboard, is at 100.5 pixels. It's not a round number of pixels. There are two things that can cause this offset pixel thing around the edge of your documents, and it's either that the artboard itself is not positioned at an exact pixel location, it's 0.5 or 0.25 or something, or it's that the artboard itself is not a whole number of pixels. Here I'm going to make this 100 pixels. So its position on the x-axis for the middle of this artboard is at 100, 100. They're both whole numbers. These need to be whole numbers as well, the width and height. Having fixed that, now let's choose File, Export, Save for Web Legacy. Now you'll see that we don't have that problem any longer. The rectangle hasn't changed. The rectangle was always the right size. The artboard was causing issues, the positioning of the artboard, but it could just as easily have been the size of the artboard. So you want to make sure that your artboards are always round numbers of pixels, and that they're always positioned at a value that is a whole number of pixels an x and y position. That will avoid the problem of having stray pixels around the edges of your documents. Now, I note this similar problem is about to happen to me here. Now, I have an artboard here that is 300 pixels by 300 pixels and it's at a whole number of pixels position. So extensively, there's nothing wrong with this, and it looks as if I've got a green rectangle, or a green square here that's covering up the artboard. I'm going to choose File and then Export, Export As. I'm going to call this 300 pixels square. I'm not using artboards and I'm going to click Export. I'm going to send this art as a 72 PPI image, which means that it should be 300 by 300 when it gets saved. Now I have the folder, open here, so let's click on this image and say what's happening. In fact, the dimensions of this image are 302 pixels by 300 pixels. It's too pixels wider than we expected. There is an explanation for this, and there are a couple of ways to solve it. When I select this rectangle, you'll say that's 300.7 pixels by 300 pixels in size. It's a little bit over 300 pixels, and it's that 0.7 that's causing the excess file size. We could do one of two things. We could actually make this the correct size, 300 by 300, so it covers the artboard. Or when I choose File, Export, Export As, I can choose Use Artboards. I'm going to call it 300 pixels square version 2. I'll click "Export." Again, 72 PPI, so it shouldn't change in dimensions, because we're not applying any multiplication factor here. This time, the 300 pixels square one is correct dimensions, it is 300 pixels square, so it's matching the artboard. If you want to make sure that things go at an artboard size, always make sure to select the artboard. Even if the objects that are on the artboard aren't size perfectly, the exported file is going to be the correct size. Of course, you still need to make sure that your artboard is at whole numbers of pixels in position. Because if it's off by half a pixel then you're going to have a resulting image that's likely to be off by half a pixel. 8. Project and wrapup: I hope that you've enjoyed this class and I hope that you are now able to export your documents either as JPEGs or PNGs in a size and at a printing resolution that you need to export them in. I would really appreciate it if it's your class project, you just told me which part of this video really helped you. Let me know whether you plan to use the legacy Save As web option or if you're going to stick perhaps with Export As. As you are watching these videos, you will have seen a prompt to recommend it to others. Please, if you enjoyed this video and learned something from it, say yes to recommending it to others and write just a few words about why this video was valuable to you. These recommendations help other students to say that this is a class that they too might enjoy and benefit from. If you'd like to leave me a question or a comment, please do so either in the class community area or alongside your class project and I will respond to all of your questions. Well, I've tried to cover the key eventualities in this video, if there's something that I've left out, please let me know and I'm quite happy to make a bonus video to help you out if you're encountering problems. My name is Helen Bradley. Thank you so much for joining me for this episode of Graphic Design for Lunch, and I look forward to seeing you in an upcoming episode soon.