Chapter 8. Output
After you’ve put the finishing touches on your photo, you’ll want to get it out of Phoduit and out to the world. We covered how to export an image in Chapter 2. Getting Started but you should take a couple of extra steps to make your work look its best.
Cameras capture an amazing amount of detail. Many smartphones take pictures with enough detail for a large printed banner. Using these images directly often means using images with file sizes much larger than necessary. It also means these images will have to be made smaller which reduces sharpness. You can correct for this if you handle the resizing yourself.
Resizing an image means to “scale” it. Scaling an image to make it larger involves creating new pixels by making educated guesses using the existing pixels. Scaling an image to make it smaller involves removing pixels in a way that the image retains its overall look. Depending on the method, the resulting image will appear softer or blocky.
To scale your image, use the Scale node located under “Geometry” on the Nodes Toolbar. You can set the Unit field to either “Percentage” of the input image’s size or “Pixels” to be more precise. You’ll usually want to set Unit to “Pixels” when preparing your image for output. The exact size you’ll want to set varies by medium. If you’re planning on uploading to an image sharing web site, check their recommended size guidelines.
Right of the “Width” and “Height” fields is the “Link” button. It can toggled by clicking to link or unlink. When linked, the current aspect ratio is locked so that if you change the width or height fields, the other one will change to maintain proportion.
You should always set Method to “Bicubic” when using the Scale node for output. It’s slower than the other options but it produces the best looking results.
Does Your Image Appear The Same Size?
If the Canvas Zoom combo box is set to “Fit”, your canvas is always scaled to fit your screen. Hence, your image might not appear to have changed size when using the Scale node. You can see your image’s true size by changing the Canvas Zoom to 100%.
The very last step before exporting your image is sharpening. You should have sharpened your image at least once early on in your graph like was covered in Chapter 4. Essentials. Now you should sharpen again because your edits and resizing will have softened your image. Luckily, you still use the Unsharp Mask node just like you did before. The exact amount to sharpen varies but an Amount of 0.5, a Radius of 2, and a Threshold of 1024 is a good place to start.
To get your image out of Phoduit, so you can share it, you need to export. The image you want to export must be connected to the Render node. Then click File on the menu at the top and click “Export Image As…”. You’ll be prompted with a dialog that is used to select where you want to save your image and which file format to use. See the Export Image section of Chapter 3 for details on each file format. If you are planning on uploading your image to the web, you will typically want to create a JPEG.
After selecting where you want to save your image and which file format, you’ll be prompted with a dialog where you can configure file format specific settings. The default options are appropriate for most cases. See the Export Image section of Chapter 3 for details on all of the available settings.
The Color Profile setting requires special attention when uploading to the web. Color profiles describe the gamut and intensity of the colors in your image. Ideally, everyone has color calibrated monitors and uses color managed software so that images look nearly identical from display to display. Unfortunately, most web browsers ignore color profiles or assume images are in the color space described by the sRGB color profile. In practice, this makes the hue and saturation of your photos vary slightly on different monitors. To minimize this effect, you should set Color Profile to “sRGB built-in”.
Once you’re done changing settings, click the “Export” button. Your image will be rendered at full quality and then saved to your hard drive.