26 Replies Latest reply on Sep 10, 2016 5:03 AM by rob day

    Images still appear too pixelly to design with even on High Quality display

    Pat481 Level 1

      I'm finding it really hard to design in indesign lately as even on the highest settings the images appear pixely in preview. Lining up multiple images ontop of each other or making a pixel perfect design is really time consuming.

      My cpu and graphics card isn't being used much, why can't indesign render at a higher quality? Is there a setting i'm missing?

       

      Thanks!

       

      Screen Shot 2016-09-09 at 8.52.42 AM.pngScreen Shot 2016-09-09 at 8.53.14 AM.png

        • 1. Re: Images still appear too pixelly to design with even on High Quality display
          BarbBinder Adobe Community Professional

          I see you have Allow Object Level Display Settings enabled. What happens when you select the image, and go to the Object menu (not View menu) and change the Display Performance there? Or if you just disable Allow Object Level display settings in the current menu? When it's on, it overrides the document-wide View menu settings on an object-by-object basis.

          • 2. Re: Images still appear too pixelly to design with even on High Quality display
            Pat481 Level 1

            Thanks Barb!

            I gave it a go, it seemed to refresh when object level was turned off, but still very jagged and pixelly. Turning on and off GPU performance had no effect either.

             

            Thanks
            Screen Shot 2016-09-09 at 9.11.26 AM.png

            • 3. Re: Images still appear too pixelly to design with even on High Quality display
              Willi Adelberger Most Valuable Participant

              As this image is a type of image where a vector file should be used, use AI or PDF/X-4 for that image to save before importing it into InDesign.

              What file type has this image yet?

              How did you import it?

              How does it look like when you export the INDD file to a PDF?

              • 4. Re: Images still appear too pixelly to design with even on High Quality display
                Scott Falkner Level 5

                Are those rasterized images? They look like screen captures or renders, not vectors and text. If that’s a placed image, what is the format?

                • 5. Re: Images still appear too pixelly to design with even on High Quality display
                  Pat481 Level 1

                  Thanks for replying Scott and Willi.

                   

                  The images are high dpi screen caps, here's a side by side comparison of the native file at that scale and Indesign's rendering. It seems to be using a very rough method of scaling with no anti aliasing whatsoever making it difficult to design with.

                   

                  Screen Shot 2016-09-09 at 5.15.44 PM.png

                   

                  Eps and ai work great and I use them when possible and practical, PDFs are rendering perfectly, i'm currently rendering out my work constantly to check if the details look good and if i have lined up my images with my vectors correctly. I created a pdf with a mixture of vectors and photography also and have included it as an example, it works fine. Is InDesign just terrible at displaying pngs? Screenshotting Ui to use in a page layout seems to be a fairly common use case imo.

                   

                   

                  Screen Shot 2016-09-09 at 5.19.30 PM.png

                  • 6. Re: Images still appear too pixelly to design with even on High Quality display
                    Willi Adelberger Most Valuable Participant

                    Ups, EPS you should NEVER use!

                    And if you have line art, the effective resolution must be much higher in comparison to an image. That is, why it is strongly recommended, to use for line art (and text) vector files, like AI or PDF/X-4, but not EPS.

                    • 7. Re: Images still appear too pixelly to design with even on High Quality display
                      Willi Adelberger Most Valuable Participant

                      And you did not answer, how you have imported the images and what file type they are.

                      • 8. Re: Images still appear too pixelly to design with even on High Quality display
                        Willi Adelberger Most Valuable Participant

                        Important is also, which version of InDesign do you use and what screen, like High Resolution, you are using.

                        • 9. Re: Images still appear too pixelly to design with even on High Quality display
                          Eugene Tyson Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                          Hi - good question and comes up a lot. I think your specific issue is to do with the image itself though.

                           

                          Have a read of a blog post I wrote explaining how InDesign displays images and all the controls around them.

                           

                          http://indesignsecrets.com/high-res-image-look-low-res.php

                          • 10. Re: Images still appear too pixelly to design with even on High Quality display
                            nikitaj56891351

                            One question: What is the resolution of your screen? Did you try to compare the issue on the internal / external screen, if you work on a laptop? In case it is an external screen: Is it a High-Res screen, or a normal resolution screen?

                             

                            I have exactly your problem when working on an external normal-res screen. In certain zoom-steps it is ok, but you nailed it with:

                            " It seems to be using a very rough method of scaling with no anti aliasing whatsoever "

                             

                            I also adressed that problem in my thread which seems to be the same problem!

                            https://forums.adobe.com/thread/2205120

                             

                            The answers here are not really helpful, since it is very obviously a SCALING problem which seems to result from a broken antialiasing in the preview of indesign (and Illustrator too!).

                             

                            As explained in my thread, I have the feeling, that it could be a mac-problem since Sketch (a non-adobe-program) has the same issue. I guess Apple might have changed something about the rendering on external screens.

                            • 11. Re: Images still appear too pixelly to design with even on High Quality display
                              rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                              Is InDesign just terrible at displaying pngs? Screenshotting Ui to use in a page layout seems to be a fairly common use case imo.

                              InDesign doesn't alter the pixels of a placed image—when you scale the pixels are resized not resampled. But obviously the preview proxy does have to get resampled as you scale the image or zoom the page. With a page layout you want to sacrifice some preview quality for performance even with a High Quality Display setting because you could have hundreds of placed images in a single document.

                               

                              Screen captures make the sacrifice more obvious because the UI you have captured was drawn exactly to the pixel, so if the preview proxy isn't fitting into to the screen grid (1 image pixel to 1 screen pixel) you will get an unpleasant anti-aliasing. You can see that here where the placed capture on the top looks good because it is being viewed at the 1:1 ratio (66.1% on my 109ppi iMac), but the duplicate window magnified and viewed out-of-sync looks bad (it won't output that way).

                               

                              Screen Shot 2016-09-09 at 10.19.06 AM.png

                              • 12. Re: Images still appear too pixelly to design with even on High Quality display
                                Pat481 Level 1

                                That is, why it is strongly recommended, to use for line art (and text) vector files, like AI or PDF/X-4, but not EPS.

                                100% agree with you, but in a real world scenario no one on earth would even set aside an hour to redraw website screenshots from scratch in illustrator when you have access to high dpi raster images. Unless I really hated my client for some reason and wanted to extort as much money from him as possible of course. Still a good point though.

                                 

                                Sorry I wasn't clear about the format, png.  PPi is more than enough.
                                Screen Shot 2016-09-10 at 11.25.37 AM.png

                                 

                                I get the same issue on both high and regular dpi screens. Some great points nikita, although i'm reluctant to think it's on the apple's end. It would be interesting to hear if anyone on the pc is having this issue. Shocked to hear that Sketch does it too, that's really disappointing.

                                Screen Shot 2016-09-10 at 11.53.46 AM.png

                                 

                                Thanks Eugine, looked into everything in the article.

                                Thanks Rob. I think you might be right there but thats a little disappointing if thats the case since other apps can do it on the fly. 

                                 

                                I can edit 3 1080p videos simultaneously with a live colour correction on two with my laptop but InDesign can't cache an accurate zoomed version of a png because there may be too many pages. I remember being stuck back at the office til 8pm on a friday constantly last year because it took two minutes to scroll to the end of my document, my GPU just sitting idle before the update that actually supported using the graphics card for InDesign finally rolled around. Love the program but optimisation and performance definitely aren't up to scratch.

                                 

                                Looking around for a solution, I'll try wrapping the image up in different formats to see if i can get it to display properly.

                                • 13. Re: Images still appear too pixelly to design with even on High Quality display
                                  Willi Adelberger Most Valuable Participant

                                  Often such graph applications can also save as vector files. But if this is not possible, I would recommend to zoom in and make then the scren shoot. 397ppi for line and text art is not high, it will come pixelated. It does not matter how your screen is, there is no more information here. If you have line art the resolution should be 4 times higher than it would be with images. That is how it works.

                                  When it comes to screen display it is difficult to judge how someone sees it as a screen has pixels only and how those lines and text are displayed.

                                  • 14. Re: Images still appear too pixelly to design with even on High Quality display
                                    Pat481 Level 1

                                    Thanks for your reply Willi,

                                     

                                    Unfortunately it is a website, and it would require me to actually track down the original designer to get an old version of the wireframes or remake it myself. We're unable to zoom in more as that would cut off some of the information. I'm open to suggestions on how to improve my workflow in order to suit indesigns quirks, but I can't really budge on the fact that it's a screenshot unfortunately. The deliverable is a digital pdf that needs to be high res enough for the consumer to print if they need to, but the intended use is digital, thus using an rgb format.

                                     

                                    397ppi for line and text art is not high, it will come pixelated. It does not matter how your screen is, there is no more information here.

                                    I strongly disagree. Here is the exact same image rendered flawlessly using Preview next to the image InDesign. It prints perfectly. 300 ppi is standard for print, I believe that our printer is printing at that resolution so more information would not be useful. Hell, i've even included the source image so you can try for yourself.  Why can this app extract 'more information' in it's preview than indesign, when it is just a consumer level preview app and indesign is a fully fledged app for design professionals that need to see the detail of the images they are working with? If the answer is performance, i'm staring at a 60% usage of ONE of my 8 cpu threads which duplicating images, importing or scrolling a 100+ page document with another 4 documents open, so it's a bit confusing to me.

                                     

                                    Worth noting that at the scale in the screenshot the image is upwards of 400 dpi, it's zoomed out not in.

                                     

                                    Screen Shot 2016-09-10 at 3.05.38 PM.png

                                     

                                    Screen Shot 2016-09-10 at 3.30.19 PM.png

                                     

                                     

                                     

                                    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/24416004/apmasphere%20about%20us%20mock/Halo%20Screen% 20Insights%209th%20Sep7.jpg

                                    • 15. Re: Images still appear too pixelly to design with even on High Quality display
                                      Willi Adelberger Most Valuable Participant

                                      300ppi is standard for print for images, not for text and line art.

                                      • 16. Re: Images still appear too pixelly to design with even on High Quality display
                                        Willi Adelberger Most Valuable Participant

                                        You did not tell us, which ID version you use. But I think it is CS6, it does not support High Resolution Displays. It is to old for that.

                                        • 17. Re: Images still appear too pixelly to design with even on High Quality display
                                          Pat481 Level 1

                                          Thanks Willi,
                                          Thats a good point, I never considered that text inside of an image should be above 300 dpi, great tip. However, I'm not sure that you're responding to my issue as it looks perfect when printed, perfect on screen when exported, perfect when previewed in another app, only bad when previewed in InDesign, when i actually need to work on it. I'm using the very latst version of InDesign 11.4.1.102  2015.4. I have this issue on a regular monitor AND a high dpi monitor. If you have a minute free, do you see this issue on your end with the image I provided? https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/24416004/apmasphere%20about%20us%20mock/Halo%20Screen% 20Insights%209th%20Sep7.jpg

                                           

                                          Thanks!

                                          • 18. Re: Images still appear too pixelly to design with even on High Quality display
                                            Eugene Tyson Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                            I don't think you realise, you're not going to get a better preview in InDesign.

                                             

                                            You're not looking at the image in InDesign, you're looking at a thumbnail version generated by InDesign.

                                             

                                            If it looks ok in Preview (not my choice of app for previewing images) then that's great. But it's nothing to do with InDesign.

                                             

                                            If you need to work on these images at a higher resolution preview... I don't know why you would... are you adding text to them or what?

                                             

                                            You're working with what seem like screen grabs, placed in in InDesign. And what you get on screen is no reflection to the output. That's true for Preview, Illustrator, Photoshop, Corel, Xara, Affinity, and all the other software programs on the planet.

                                             

                                            Your preview in InDesign is never going to be any better.

                                            • 19. Re: Images still appear too pixelly to design with even on High Quality display
                                              Willi Adelberger Most Valuable Participant

                                              That is why it is important to keep text and vector as live objects as long as it is possible. It is never a good idea to make text on an image in Photoshop or any other image editor and flatten it or place it in a form which would make a pixelated output, like placing a PSD or TIFF in InDesign, or print a PSD with text layers out from Photoshop. Better is in such cases, to save as PDF or PDP and print out from Acrobat or place that PDF or PDP in InDesign. This would reduce file size and increase quality.

                                              If you have no other possibility than using screen shots, as it is here, you have to accept the poor quality and communicate to your client, why it is the best you can get with these means.

                                              • 20. Re: Images still appear too pixelly to design with even on High Quality display
                                                Pat481 Level 1

                                                Eugene, if fidelity of InDesign's preview is causing me to have to export my design to actually see if a shape aligns with an raster image then that should be an issue, no? I don't understand why in 2016 we can't expect an accurate preview of our design from a $1000 professional desktop publishing app. Photoshop and Preview do currently provide this to a level of accuracy which is acceptable, personally - (if, as this thread seems to suggest, there is no workaround) - InDesign does not for me. Your milage may vary.

                                                 

                                                I understand your point, but there is no reason why indesign can't cache a version of that png at different scales or use modern scaling techniques.

                                                • 21. Re: Images still appear too pixelly to design with even on High Quality display
                                                  Willi Adelberger Most Valuable Participant

                                                  Additionally I would recommend you to make a try, make in Photoshop a PSD file with some vectors and small text. Save it as PSD and print this out from Photoshop, save it also as PDF/PDP and open that in Acrobat and print it from there.

                                                  Place both, the PSD and the PDF/PDP in InDesign and export to PDF, and compare the output of both.

                                                  • 22. Re: Images still appear too pixelly to design with even on High Quality display
                                                    Eugene Tyson Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                    I completely understand your frustration and you have to realise that there is nothing any of us here can do for you in this regard.

                                                     

                                                    All the back and forth on why and etc. is getting us nowhere.

                                                     

                                                    As said - screenshots need to be placed at 100% in InDesign to see them clearly, any distortion to the scaling reduces the preview quality.

                                                     

                                                    There is a feature request here Feature Request/Bug Report Form

                                                     

                                                    Sorry that you didn't get the answer you were looking for - but the answer is simply, InDesign's image preview is quite limited in certain circumstances, like yours.

                                                    • 23. Re: Images still appear too pixelly to design with even on High Quality display
                                                      Eugene Tyson Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                      Pat481 wrote:

                                                       

                                                      Eugene, if fidelity of InDesign's preview is causing me to have to export my design to actually see if a shape aligns with an raster image then that should be an issue, no? I don't understand why in 2016 we can't expect an accurate preview of our design from a $1000 professional desktop publishing app.

                                                       

                                                      Photoshop and Preview do currently provide this to a level of accuracy which is acceptable, personally - (if, as this thread seems to suggest, there is no workaround) - InDesign does not for me. Your milage may vary.

                                                       

                                                      I understand your point, but there is no reason why indesign can't cache a version of that png at different scales or use modern scaling techniques.

                                                      Further to my earlier comment.

                                                       

                                                      First bolded part

                                                      InDesign has never had full image preview - this saves on resources for other InDesign related functionallity, which I don't really want to see compromised for the sake of seeing an image at full resolution.

                                                       

                                                      Second bolded part

                                                      As explained earlier - Photoshop uses the actual image to view, you're not looking at a placeholder(proxy) image in Photoshop - as you are in InDesign. In Photoshop it's designed for viewing pixels, it's a bitmap editor first and foremost, that's why it looks better in photoshop.

                                                       

                                                      Third bolded part

                                                      I completely agree with you - but InDesign has never shown the full resolution image, it's just not how InDesign works. It's not the same as Photoshop, or Illustrator. They are built completely differently for different purposes.

                                                       

                                                      InDesign is a Page Layout tool and it has rich layout options along with multipage documents, for creating books. It's not and never has been an image editor/viewer/etc.

                                                       

                                                      Again, please refer to the link for the Feature Request.

                                                      • 24. Re: Images still appear too pixelly to design with even on High Quality display
                                                        Eugene Tyson Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                        The best thing I can think of for you here is to place your PNGs into Illustrator.

                                                         

                                                        Add the text/icons/arrows/ or whatever you need to from here.

                                                         

                                                        Save it as an .ai file with a pdf compatible.

                                                         

                                                        Then place that into InDesign.

                                                         

                                                        I know it's in a PITA having to replicate all the work you may have already done - but you'll be a lot more accurate.

                                                         

                                                        Sorry if it's not the answer you were looking for.

                                                        • 25. Re: Images still appear too pixelly to design with even on High Quality display
                                                          Pat481 Level 1

                                                          Yea, you're right, i think a feature request is what I should do instead of whingeing in the forums. Getting results with using a different CC app and importing them in, thanks for the suggestion.

                                                           

                                                          Just a frustrating situation. The graphics card update really improved things, I hope that continues.

                                                          • 26. Re: Images still appear too pixelly to design with even on High Quality display
                                                            rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                            It prints perfectly.

                                                             

                                                            The fact that it prints perfectly shows you the issue is only with the preview proxy and not with either output or export quality.

                                                             

                                                            Anyone who has done production on computer books knows that actual or effective resolution is irrelevant with screen captures. Unless there's a problem with the capture utility, you've captured the UI drawing with all of its information and most attempts to "improve" the resolution via resampling would actually degrade the output.

                                                             

                                                            Here is the exact same image rendered flawlessly using Preview next to the image InDesign.

                                                             

                                                            Yes and the same is true with Photoshop. But with an image editing application there's only one bitmap that needs to be sampled for the zoomed preview, so there's no meaningful performance hit for a higher quality sample. Those applications can afford to use a bicubic resample zoom strategy because there's only the single image, but again ID layouts could have any number of placed images all needing to have their proxies sampled as you zoom in and out, so ID is using a faster nearest neighbor style resample for the proxy.

                                                            1 person found this helpful