View Full Version : floor tiles...size and resolution

10-18-2009, 11:33 AM
i'm planning to create some floor tiles for use online and table top. i'm wondering what the best size and resolution would be for these applications. i've already made a nice set at 50x50 px and 72dpi but before i continue i'd like to know what would be best.

i've been thinking 1 inch squares at 96 dpi for online and 1 inch squares at 200-300 dpi for printing.

i'm old school. i've never played online or used printable tiles so any advice would be great...

10-18-2009, 11:54 AM
dpi doesn't matter for online play. I'd say that you should go for 100px for a 5' square for online use, though dunjinni goes up to 200px for 5' squares.

For print, 300dpi would translate to 300px per 5' square which is a lot. 150dpi is probably fine for printing. Hope that helps.

10-18-2009, 12:11 PM
it does help. i see you've done some nice stuff here. thanks for the advice.

10-18-2009, 12:28 PM
No problem. Happy to help.

11-01-2009, 08:37 AM
one clarification...

everyone talks in terms of 1 square = 5 feet or 10 feet. no one really talks about the map. as in 1 square = 1 inch.

are you suggesting 1 square = 1 inch = 100 px(150 px for print) = 5 feet

1 inch seems correct for 25mm figures. that seems to put a human male at around 6 feet tall. 25mm is what we used in the 70s and 80s. is that still the most widely used?

btw, we weren't this technical back then. i uses one inch graph paper in a plastic sheet cover (the kind you put in a 3 ring binder). we simply drew on that with a marker. ;0

11-01-2009, 09:53 AM
There are various scales of miniatures especially when you move away from Fantasy. But in general, miniatures are 1/60th scale so that a miniature of about 1.5 in tall including holding up swords etc converts to 1.5 x 60 inches in real life which is 7.5ft.

So 1/60th scale is 1in table top = 60in real life = 5ft. So only if using normal miniatures do you want 1in = 5ft.

So if 5ft squares are 1 inch on table top then a map showing 5ft needs to be printed so that it comes out at 1in. Normally printing is done with DPI and you set this when you start to make a map. Actually the exact DPI does not matter as long as you can tell the printer what size to print an image.

So lets say you have an image 2400x3000 on A4 less a bit of border so that you make it 8x10 print. Thats 300dpi and would give a really nice sharp print on a good printer. My opinion is that you should go for 200+ dpi and 300 is ideal. So for 8x10 inside A4 paper 1600x2000 or better is required for the map size. But you could for example use a 2000x2500 or whatever so long as you print it 8x10.

So my advice, make it 2400x3000, print 8x10 or 300dpi centered on A4 - jobs a good'un.

Oh and for online it depends on the VTT or method used to play. Some VTTs have fixed sized images for tokens so that they are all in scale to each other. Other VTTs, like mine, you input any ole image and then tell it what size it should represent and it does the scaling for you. In those cases, higher res is better.

11-01-2009, 10:18 AM
In most computer programs you can zoom in and zoom out, so 1 square=1 inch will only be true at one zoom. In print that's not true and it's conventional to set 1 square = 1 inch. If your image is 300px per square then you need to tell your printer to print at 300dpi for it to print correctly.

Now I mentioned smaller resolutions than Redrobes because one A4 sheet will only be 8 by 10 squares in size. Now when a character in heavy armour can charge 8 squares, you're going to run out of space fast if you're building a large dungeon. So you'll need more squares, spread over more sheets of paper. Even a relatively constrained encounter can easily take 9 sheets of A4 to run. At 300dpi that's an image 9000px by 7200px in size - which is going to eat a lot of memory when you create it. A couple of larger dungeons I've built have taken over 50 sheets if they were to be printed out. Lowering the resolution helps avoid the memory constraints. The print quality suffers, but the question is how close and detailed you want to worry about when looking at a printed battlemat for one encounter?

For VTTs it's a different deal. If you're zoomed into 100% where 1 square really is 1 inch on your screen then the computer will be using 96 pixels or 72 pixels to display that inch. Unless you're going to zoom in further, 300 pixels per inch is just wasted information. If you go for 100 pixels per inch you'll be fine for screen resolution. Obviously you won't be catering to those people who run games on their HD TVs but that's something we just have to live with :)

And yes, a 1 inch square battlemat was a great thing. Can't say I miss them too much though :)

11-01-2009, 11:02 AM
HD TV is very low res. Even the high standard 1920x1080 on a small 30" TV is a mere 1920/30 or 64dpi and old DVD format which is still pretty watchable is less than half that. Only high res 1600x1200 laptops with 17" displays are the stuff of >100 dpi. But for printed materials it starts at about 100 and high quality magazines are 600dpi or more. A lot of printed material half-toning or the color res is done on a screen of 240dpi tho.

11-01-2009, 11:17 AM
I didn't know that - that's very interesting.

It's projectors that get me though. Their resolution is terrible! I do a bit of projector gaming and the text is unreadable. Not that it makes too much difference to the people across the room

11-01-2009, 11:33 AM
Yes, its said that for normal viewing position that if you have a small telly and you sit only a little closer to it then there's not much to be had from going from 720 to 1080 types.

The feel of a bigger screen is nicer tho. Makes a huge difference if gaming on an XBox tho where your putting cross hair over small characters in the distance.

Projectors can be useful bits of kit but they are truly terrible in the DPI department. The older ones were 640x480 but at least newer ones are 800x600 or 1024x768. Even there at top end tho for a nice 60" screen projection that's 17dpi. It was sub 10 for the older ones. Chronic.

Actually this is something about the MS Surface that hasn't been touched on much. For surface gaming its not going to be all that great res on the table top. Because all the HD screens are meant to be viewed from 10ft+ away then using it at 18" is gonna show up the pixels pretty bad. Something that will no doubt improve as time goes by tho.

11-01-2009, 01:00 PM
On Redrobes point regarding magazine dpi, most interiors are 1200 dpi and most covers are 2400 dpi - but that's printed on a web press.