10 Replies Latest reply on Feb 15, 2012 1:02 PM by lilia@

    PSD images not clear in InDesign


      I am baffled by this. I am creating a brochure for a property. The PSD image I placed into the document is very blurry and pixelated. I have tried to go and view it in high resolution many times and it hasn't helped. When I looked at the image size in photoshop it says the resolution is 1. Whenever I try to change the resolution to anything, the file takes a while to convert and is huge. Any tips on how to make photoshop images clear in InDesign that isn't changing display preferences. This is happening to me in almost all my Photoshop images when I place them into InDesign. HELP!

        • 1. Re: PSD images not clear in InDesign
          Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

          Select the image in InDesign, open the Info panel, and tell us what you see for Acutal PPI and Effective PPI.

          • 3. Re: PSD images not clear in InDesign
            Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

            Most likely the image is direct from a camera and was never processed in an application like Photoshop with a reported actual resolution of 1 ppi. This isn't a problem, per se, except that it affects the preview size and makes it a pain to place (the saved dimensions, if you open it in Photoshop now will be 809 x 365 inches) unless you drag to create the frame as you do the placing. You could "edit original" and change the dimensions to something more reasonable (with Resample Image UNCHECKED) and you'd have the same image, but with a different "actual ppi" value and it would give you a more compact preview and be easier to handle when placing.


            But the bottom line here with the image quality is the Effective PPI number, 121. That's just really low. For press you want 300 (though you might get away with 200). For digital printing, 200 or higher would be good, with 150 being the lowest I would even attempt for decent results, so you need to use this at a smaller size.

            • 4. Re: PSD images not clear in InDesign
              BrittanyInSite Level 1

              So basically with this photo, there is nothing I can do to make it more clear except make it smaller

              • 5. Re: PSD images not clear in InDesign
                Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                Basically, yes.

                • 6. Re: PSD images not clear in InDesign
                  lilia@ Level 2

                  your not physically making it smaller... just making it easier to see.


                  look at it this way...

                  you stand up really close to a tv screen is it clear? no its pixelated and huge (the area of the tv screen) ... its because you are seeing the colours (pixels in this case) up close

                  stand back and the picture gets clearer... better perspective.


                  so looking at your pic you see 1 pixel per inch ... same as seeing 1 colour instead of 300 colours.

                  • 7. Re: PSD images not clear in InDesign
                    Michael Gianino Level 4

                    I agree with what you are saying, but I wonder if it could be said a bit more clearly.


                    To follow the analogy (not a bad one, by the way), when your face is up against the TV, it's pixelated, but when you step back, it's more clear, but why? When you're up close, the TV is large, and when you step back, it gets relatively smaller, even though you're looking at the same TV. In the case of the brochure, the problem isn't that the image is bad, per se, but it's too large. There aren't enough pixels to display this image at that size, but it would be fine if you made it smaller, to the point where the effective ppi is into the 200-300ppi range Peter talked about. Like the TV  remaining the same, the image's pixels will remain the same, but be distributed across a smaller area, and will be a better concentration of pixels. Just be sure to follow Peter's tip about not resampling if you change the resolution in Photoshop.


                    So, practically speaking, if the OP needs an image at this particular size, then Peter is right, and there's not much that can be done, and it's better to get a different image. But, if this is the only image the client will accept, and it has to be used, then making it smaller would make it better (provided that is acceptable to the client).

                    • 8. Re: PSD images not clear in InDesign
                      Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                      I like to use a balloon to illusutrate the realtionship of dimensions and resolution. I draw a checkerboard on it, then start to inflate. As the ballon gets bigger, the pixels (checkerbaord squares) get larger, but still touch one another. The density or resolution (number of squares per inch) goes down as the ballon gets larger.


                      This is sort of like the moving toward and away from the screen, but not really the same thing. That's a demonstration of how much resolution is needed for a clear image at a particular viewing distance. As you increase the viewing distance, the required resolution goes down because your eyes cannot resolve the individual pixels when they drop below a certain apparent size threshold. Billboards, for example are extremely LOW resolution because they are viewed from great distances. Even at 1 ppi you probably couldn't see a single pixel.


                      It's important to understand, though, that resolution is a somewhat artificial concept in a program like photoshop. Resolution has no meaning until you print the image, and then the resolution is determined by the pixel count and the size that the image is printed (the "effective resolution" in ID). You can reassign the resolution without resampling in Photoshop until the cows come home and yo won't cahnge the actual image pixels, or the output, one iota.

                      • 9. Re: PSD images not clear in InDesign
                        Eugene Tyson Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                        It's fairly basic Maths and I don't think it needs any visual references at all.


                        It's called Pixels Per Inch. The word Pixel is a shortened version of Picture and Element, or PIX EL. A pixel is the smallest addressable size on a monitor.


                        Images are measured in Pixels Per Inch or PPI when on screen. If the image is made up of 1 Pixel Per Inch. That means for every INCH of the image, only 1 pixel appears.


                        Web images are made up of 72 PPI - that's 72 Pixels per inch. Basically means that for evey Inch of the picture there are 72 pixels in each inch.



                        For professional print you require a "rule of thumb" 300 PPI. But in truth it depends on the LPI of the output device * 1.5 (not 2 that's inaccurate). But lets not get into that right now.



                        Back to the simple math if your image only has 1 Pixel Per In


                        Your image is 809 (w) x 365 (h) pixels @ 1PPI


                        = 809 Pixels Per Inch and 369 Pixels Per inch (@ 1 PPI)


                        That gives your actual image dimensions of  809 inches x 365 inches. - because we've already established that at 1 Pixel Per inch - for evey inch a pixel resides.


                        In your screen shot it is Scaled it to 0.8%


                        That means it's now - 809*0.8% = 6.472 inches in width

                        And in height it's now 365*0.8% = 2.92 inches in  height



                        We have now established your image at the Size you Placed it as 6.47 inch x 2.92 inch image.



                        Effectively - you've got 121 Pixels Per Inch - and here's how


                        You started with 1 pixel per inch


                        You had 809 inches width

                        You reduced to 6.47 inches


                        You had 365 inches in height

                        You reduced it to 2.92 inches


                        809/6.47 = 125 ppi

                        365/2.92 = 125 ppi


                        The program probalby calculates to decimals, but only displays in absolutes, it probably scaled it to 0.85%


                        And if you do the calc based on 0.85 it turns out at 121 ppi.




                        So if you have  72 ppi image and you want to know what size to scale it to get it 300 PPI exactly.


                        (72/300)*100 = 24 %


                        Now you can scale all your 72 ppi images to 24% and they will all be 300 ppi.


                        So place your 72 PPI images to 24 % and you will get a 300 EFFECTIVE PPI image.



                        150 PPI


                        (150/300)*100 = 50%



                        213 PPI


                        (213/300)*100 = 71%




                        What you have is a 1 PPI


                        (1/300)*100 = .33%



                        You'd have to scale your image to 0.33% to get it to 300 PPI.


                        Your image at .33 % would be


                        809*.33% = 2.97 inches wide

                        365*.33% = 1.02 inches height




                        It's all in the math.

                        • 10. Re: PSD images not clear in InDesign
                          lilia@ Level 2

                          yayyy... i'm sure it's all clear now.