Preparing your PDI Images

If you have been working on your latest masterpiece and are ready to enter it into a PDI competition, this guide will show you how to get the best from your image.

1. Resizing

The first step is to re-size the image so it is the correct size. PDIs need to be no bigger than 1400 pixels wide and 1050 pixels high. You can enter smaller images but it is generally better to make them as big as possible within the limits of 1400 x 1050.

Remember when you resize to resize the horizontal and vertical by the same amount: we have had some entries where images looked ‘squashed’ due to unconstrained resizing.

Some software offers different algorithms for re-sizing – usually “Bicubic” gives good results, but you may wish to try other options to see their effect.

2. Sharpening

For best results, always sharpen your image after resizing it.  The Unsharp Mask tool works very well for this as it protects edges and details by increasing contrast locally. Don’t over-do it: too much sharpening and you will get a halo effect on edges and a judge will notice!

3. Adding a border

A one pixel border around the edge of the image can help the presentation of the image. Generally one pixel is enough – heavier borders can detract from the image.

Re-sizing an image slightly smaller than 1400×1050 and then using the canvas size function to add white pixels around the outside is a good way to do this.

4. Save in the right format

Save your file in JPG format and if you have the option, select sRGB colorspace as that is what the competition software uses.

5. Email your entries

Finally email your entries to the competitions secretary before the competition deadline.

If you are using the Apple Mail program, beware that it will mess with your images when you attach them to the email! This can result in lost sharpness and wrongly sized images. The way around this is to ZIP your images before attaching them to the email.

Need help?

If you need help, do ask at one of the meetings – we have many experienced members who can show you how to do this.

Q: My Image looks different when it’s projected!

Images will always look very slightly different on your screen to when they are projected but we minimise this by calibrating the projector so that it displays images correctly. To make the two match closely you will need to calibrate your computer monitor using a device called a Spyder which you can borrow from the club. The Spyder software will take you through the process of setting up your monitor properly and will generate a calibration profile so it will display images correctly.