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Preventing draped / floating bitmaps from looking

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This is a common problem with raster images. If you zoom in on your original bitmap using a generic graphics program you'll see that the lines can look jagged, and if you zoom out the quality will improve. On the screen or on a printer the problem is similar except that program must resample the image, either leaving out pixels or adding them. Viewing quality is best when the viewing resolution of the device (the screen or printer) is close to the resolution of the bitmap.

The good news is that there are ways to work around these limitations. More sophisticated resampling algorithms exist which will allow you to resize the original image without losing too much quality. In RockWorks we've recently added a utility to allow you to resize your bitmaps. Go to the Geological Utilities tab, and go to the Util|Images|Raster Conversion program (RW2002) or Grafix|Images|Raster Conversion (RW2004). You can open your bitmap in this program and then go to Edit|Resize to resize.

The tricky part is finding a size that will look good on the screen and/or the printer. Most screen resolutions are 96 dpi and printer resolutions range from 300 dpi to 1440 dpi. Some examples: if you want your viewable image to be 5"x5" then you would resize to an image that is 480 x 480 pixels (5 in x 96 pixels/in). For the printer usually 300 dpi is a "good enough" resolution to aim for. You'd end up with an image that is 1500 x 1500 pixels (5 in x 300 pixels/in).

If you're only going to be viewing this on the screen then use 96 dpi. If you also plan on printing then use 300 dpi. The quality on the screen might be little lower but should still be acceptable. Always save the file with a different name so that you don't actually change the original.

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