EVERYONE FUCKING… DPI… JUST… OKAY… I got this question, and I’m not going to answer it as an ask because you should spread this around. There is a bigger, more important issue at hand here, which fundamentally confounds a lot of people. WHAT IS DPI?
DPI is a sort of a “myth.” It’s arbitrary. It’s not a unit of measurement. It’s a ratio that YOU decide. Which means it is essentially nothing, and ultimately sort of pointless in MOST digital art uses. People don’t really understand that 1500x1500 at 72DPI is the SAME SIZE as 1500x1500 at 600DPI. And 1500 x 1500 is a relatively small canvas size. It’s tiny. And regardless of its DPI, it’s going to look the same on your monitor.
Don’t believe me? Try it. Open an image in your art program. Any program. Change the DPI to anything you want, but keep the dimensions the SAME (some programs auto change the dimensions). Does it look any different? No. Because it isn’t. It’s the same pixels on the same monitor.
DPI is used to assign measurements for a final source. For example, generally computer monitors are 72DPI. So that means you fit 72 dots in an inch. Print on paper is 300 dots per inch. Mobile devices pack an insane amount of dots in, but then double pixel for a lot of graphics. Printing on fabric is generally 100. It’s only useful to know the DPI so you can talk and understand things relatively. 300 is the standard for “art,” since “art” is usually printed. That’s just our standard. If you DIDN’T assign a DPI as a source, no device or person would know how many pixels translate into how many whatever-units-the-file-being-exported-to-uses.
But for digital talk, it doesn’t even fucking matter. Saying 72DPI is pointless since everyone is measuring in pixels ANYWAY. Very few people are printing things. Give someone the exact PIXEL dimensions. 640x480. 1920x1200. etc. We’re all using the same standard, more or less.
Here’s an EASY to understand example: A soccer field is 7140 Square Meters. It’s also 8539 square yards. But it’s the same fucking size, no matter how you want to define its units. If you take the field from Europe to America, or vice versa, the DPI changes, but the SIZE IS THE SAME. (I hope I got my math right. Regardless, the principal stands.)
1500x1500 at 72DPI is the SAME SIZE as 1500x1500 at 600DPI. You’re just measuring out the area differently. You could invent a unit called a fuckwad that is exactly 1/5th the size of the longer edge of a soccer field if you wanted to. You could measure things in fuckwads. The soccer field would be five fuckwads on the longer axis, But things would STILL be the same size.
Regardless, 1500x1500 isn’t suitable for a lot of things. That’s like playing soccer on a fourth of a field. It’s not enough room for everyone to make large-scale plays or detailed movements. In digital terms, it’s generally not enough room for you to draw on.
So the next time you are confused why your 500px canvas isn’t getting “more detailed” when you jack up the DPI to 10000, you know why.