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Measuring your screen resolution

From: Photoshop CS3 Sharpening Images

Video: Measuring your screen resolution

Over the course of next few exercises we are going to be discussing how to gauge the sharpness of an image on a computer monitor, which can be a tricky thing. For example, consider this. Imagine that you are going to be printing an image, which is not an uncommon scenario, so you are going to printing the image through an inkjet printer or a laser printer or sending it to a commercial print house for offset reproduction. Presumably, you are going to be printing the image at a high resolution, something like 267 or 300 or 360 pixels per inch, those just being a few common print resolutions.

Measuring your screen resolution

Over the course of next few exercises we are going to be discussing how to gauge the sharpness of an image on a computer monitor, which can be a tricky thing. For example, consider this. Imagine that you are going to be printing an image, which is not an uncommon scenario, so you are going to printing the image through an inkjet printer or a laser printer or sending it to a commercial print house for offset reproduction. Presumably, you are going to be printing the image at a high resolution, something like 267 or 300 or 360 pixels per inch, those just being a few common print resolutions.

All of them are heck of a lot higher than the resolution of your monitor. Now the reason that makes a difference is because you are going to be effectively shrinking your image when you print it and that means you are going to be reducing the thickness of your halos and so the halos are going to possibly disappear and the image is not going to look to sharp when you print it, at all. For example lets consider this guy right here, which is this by now familiar Sharp Shapes.pst files found inside the O1HowitWorks folder and I am currently looking at the Standard version of image.

Well compare to the Sharpened version of the image by selecting this layer comp, inside the Layer Comps palette. I am seeing the image at the 200% zoom ratio, the sharpness is altogether visible on screen. Too much sharpness going on. However, if I zoom out a little bit to the 100% zoom ratio, the image doesn't look quite so over sharpened. It's still over sharpened over on this screen; in the video it may look actually pretty darn right because our videos get resampled down a little bit. But for what it's worth, here's the difference between the sharpened version and the standard version of the image, so a more subtle change, not altogether subtle, but more subtle.

Now lets zoom out to the 50% zoom ratio right here and compare the standard version of the image to the sharpened version. Now on my screen I can see the difference. In the video possibly you'll see just the slightest difference on earth, and then if I zoom out to the 25% zoom ratio, this is the difference between Sharpened and Standard. I dare say in the video you are not going to see any difference whatsoever, and that's what happens, an image that looks sharp on the computer monitor at the 100% view size, does not end up looking sharp when it's shrunken down for print.

So what you have to do, before you can actually gauge the sharpness of the image, you need to be able to compare the resolution of your output to the resolution of your monitor and I am going to show you how to do that right now. And of course that depends on knowing what the resolution of your monitor is. So I want to show how to measure your screen resolution. Now contrary to the popular belief, it is not 72 pixel per inch. That's an absolute myth, as it turns to be based on very, very old information. Lets go ahead and switch to this slide right here. The name of this image if you care to open it up, it is available to you.

Its called Screen Resolution.tiff found inside that same O1HowitWorks folder. I am going to go and Shift+Tab away my palettes and notice that its telling us the screen resolution measures anywhere from a quarter to one-half the print resolution. Now this is assuming that you are printing somewhere between 267 - 360 pixels per inch. So here's the deal, the days of the 72 pixels per inch, PPI Screens are long gone, they are so long gone, people, they are dead, gone dead. That's back in the days of 1984, that's based on old Macintosh computers.

The original Macs, your Mac 128k, your Plus, your Classic, your SE, those guys, those little box computers that we kNow love and hate, they used to be 72 pixels per inch, but that was the end of that. They never were 72 pixels per inch again. However a lot of applications out there still presume that's a screen resolution iTunes. For example, if you are dragging and dropping an album cover from Photoshop into iTunes it has to be 72 pixels per inch in order to look right, and that is based on that old screen resolution.

So its a little bit of a convenience, but its a total myth. So its what I would call a convenient myth, is basically what it comes down to. But it has no bearing on today's monitors. Assuming default settings, modern monitors have resolutions of approximately 96 - 120 pixels per inch, now that is approximately. They can be lower res or higher res than that and certainly you can change the resolution of your monitor if you want to. But let us take an example here. This is a diagram of MacBook Pro Screen, a 17-inch MacBook Pro.

It has a native resolution of 1680X1050 pixels. So even though, its a 17-inch screen that's a diagonal measurement, that's how all monitor vendors and computer vendors, that's how they measure the screens. Presumably it's because the vendor would what are we supposed to measure, are we supposed to measure the width or the height. You kNow we spilt the difference when we pick the diagonal measurement. In fact that makes the monitor sound bigger because that's the biggest distance you can possibly measure on the screen. What I want you to do is take a measuring tape or ruler out and actually measure your screen. And in the case of this screen, it is 14.4 inches wide and it is 9 inches tall.

Now you want to measure the image-able area, that is the portion of the monitor that can actually display an image on screen. There is always a little bit of blackness at on the outer edges of monitor, don't measure that. So this has a resolution of 1680, which is the width in pixels, divided by the width of the screen, 14.4 inches. So 1680 pixels divided by 14.4 inches gets you 116.7 actually, but I am rounding it up to 117 pixels per inch. I want you to also to do the same measurement for your height.

So you would take 9 inches divided by 1050 pixels in this case and you get the exact same value 116.7. Now when you're measuring an LCD screen, you are probably going to get the same measurement in both directions. When you are measuring a CRT screen, which is a tube, a big monitor with a tube, then its very possible that your height and width measurements are going to be different. So the resolutions, that is to say, are going to be different for the height and width. If that's the case, I want you to select the smallest of the two resolutions and write it down.

So I actually want you to do that right now. I will tell you what to do with that information in a couple of exercises. Do the measurement, write the information down, then join me in the next exercise when we will look at the wacky world of zoom ratios inside Photoshop.

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This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CS3 Sharpening Images
Photoshop CS3 Sharpening Images

115 video lessons · 17002 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
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  1. 50m 30s
    1. Why every image needs sharpening
      2m 38s
    2. Understanding the effects of sharpening
      5m 26s
    3. Understanding the mechanics of sharpening
      4m 19s
    4. Understanding sharpening and gradual transitions
      3m 21s
    5. Understanding sharpening and noise reduction
      4m 0s
    6. Understanding amount and radius
      7m 50s
    7. Measuring your screen resolution
      6m 19s
    8. Using reliable zoom ratios
      5m 30s
    9. Calculating the actual print size
      4m 54s
    10. Gauging the ideal sharpening settings
      6m 13s
  2. 59m 31s
    1. Everyone knows you sharpen last (and everyone is wrong)
      1m 8s
    2. Understanding the conventional sharpening workflow
      5m 4s
    3. Flattening and saving to TIFF
      6m 39s
    4. Downsampling (and why you shouldn't upsample)
      6m 8s
    5. Understanding last-step sharpening
      6m 44s
    6. Recognizing problems with the conventional workflow
      9m 38s
    7. Erasing sharpening with the history brush
      4m 30s
    8. Using alternative sharpening workflows
      2m 37s
    9. Sharpening a scanned photograph shot on film
      2m 45s
    10. Sharpening a digital photograph
      3m 6s
    11. Sharpening specific details
      3m 43s
    12. Finding broad workflow conclusions
      2m 49s
    13. Learning that technique trumps timing
      4m 40s
  3. 1h 27m
    1. Comparing and contrasting neighboring pixels
      1m 6s
    2. Using the Gaussian Blur filter
      4m 25s
    3. Using Gaussian luminance distribution
      4m 47s
    4. Using the Unsharp Mask filter
      4m 54s
    5. Understanding the history of Unsharp Mask
      3m 51s
    6. Building your own USM with Gaussian Blur
      7m 35s
    7. Using the Smart Sharpen filter
      7m 35s
    8. Compensating for camera shake
      8m 50s
    9. Building your own Smart Sharpen with Lens Blur
      6m 59s
    10. Using directional sharpening with Emboss
      9m 13s
    11. Using Smart Sharpen extras
      8m 56s
    12. Using Convolution Kernels for more accuracy
      7m 8s
    13. Using the High Pass filter
      7m 32s
    14. Using Luminance Sharpening
      5m 5s
  4. 2h 14m
    1. Smoothing filters, smart objects, and masks
      1m 25s
    2. Using the Median filter and Dust and Scratches
      7m 7s
    3. Using Smart Blur and Surface Blur
      6m 12s
    4. Using the Despeckle filter
      8m 17s
    5. Softening flesh tones selectively
      10m 15s
    6. Using the Reduce Noise filter
      7m 27s
    7. Combining smoothing and sharpening
      8m 24s
    8. Making an image into a smart object
      9m 24s
    9. Applying editable smart filters
      6m 8s
    10. Combining two smart filters
      8m 5s
    11. Assigning a filter mask
      5m 59s
    12. Nesting one smart object inside another
      10m 32s
    13. Employing a static High Pass layer
      8m 59s
    14. Matching static pixel-level edits
      4m 37s
    15. Avoiding clipping with luminance blending
      9m 7s
    16. Sharpening and smoothing
      6m 36s
    17. Making an edge mask
      8m 14s
    18. Making a non-edge mask
      7m 17s
  5. 1h 33m
    1. Sharpening with Adobe Camera Raw
      1m 29s
    2. Introducing Camera Raw (4.1 or later)
      8m 13s
    3. Understanding why to sharpen for source
      5m 14s
    4. Using Camera Raw’s sharpening control
      5m 52s
    5. Previewing limitations and tricks
      6m 45s
    6. Why downsampling doesn’t work
      3m 12s
    7. Reducing chromatic aberration
      7m 30s
    8. Using the Defringe option
      3m 32s
    9. Understanding high frequency, low radius
      5m 21s
    10. Raising the Detail value
      3m 6s
    11. Using on-the-fly edge masking
      5m 41s
    12. Sharpening a low-frequency portrait
      6m 36s
    13. Eliminating color noise
      4m 47s
    14. Reducing luminance noise
      4m 42s
    15. Correcting “false sharpening”
      7m 15s
    16. Reducing shadow noise
      5m 22s
    17. Approximating ACR sharpening in Photoshop
      8m 35s
  6. 59m 8s
    1. Gauging and exploiting luminance frequency
      1m 27s
    2. Using low-frequency source sharpening
      5m 53s
    3. Using High Pass for portraits
      4m 19s
    4. Actioning a low-frequency edge mask
      7m 42s
    5. Modifying the source sharpening
      5m 21s
    6. Using high-frequency source sharpening
      5m 26s
    7. Using Smart Sharpen for cityscapes
      3m 2s
    8. Actioning a high-frequency edge mask
      5m 4s
    9. Downplaying color artifacts and clipping
      4m 4s
    10. Sharpening a medium-frequency image
      5m 24s
    11. Sharpening a layered composition
      7m 16s
    12. Sharpening for multiple frequencies
      4m 10s
  7. 1h 8m
    1. Who needs dull when you have sharp?
      56s
    2. Focusing in on a person’s eyes
      4m 22s
    3. Blurring the area outside the eyes
      4m 22s
    4. Sharpening eyes and other details
      5m 38s
    5. Darkening the lashes and eyebrows
      7m 13s
    6. Sharpening dark-haired people
      5m 2s
    7. Edge mask and emphasize
      3m 39s
    8. Nesting a Smart Sharpen effect
      4m 48s
    9. Density mask sharpening
      5m 35s
    10. Adding depth of field
      4m 39s
    11. Sharpening a background
      4m 23s
    12. Masking background from foreground
      8m 51s
    13. Eliminating halos around a person
      5m 38s
    14. Deepening and warming a background
      3m 28s
  8. 1h 18m
    1. Reverting back to convention
      1m 37s
    2. Understanding the use-neutral composition
      4m 15s
    3. Restoring much-needed antialiasing
      4m 2s
    4. Reducing noise in a high-frequency image
      7m 24s
    5. Making a third-level smart object
      3m 55s
    6. Preparing an image for print
      5m 18s
    7. Using ideal settings for commercial reproduction
      5m 37s
    8. Calculating very large-format settings
      5m 11s
    9. Using ideal settings for inkjet output
      4m 26s
    10. Sharpening for commercial reproduction
      5m 45s
    11. Sharpening for inkjet output
      4m 58s
    12. Revealing high-frequency multipass sharpening
      5m 21s
    13. Using Gaussian Blur to sharpen hair
      5m 41s
    14. Flatten, Save As, Resample, and Sharpen
      5m 9s
    15. Revealing low-frequency multipass sharpening
      3m 30s
    16. Sharpening an image for web or screen
      6m 22s
  9. 1m 50s
    1. Goodbye
      1m 50s

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