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when i upload a texture in sl what size shall i have it?


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I’m texturing a mesh jacket, the mold of which i have bought.... the provided templates come as 1024x1024 textures, and I'm working on them, putting fabrics, etc... when I upload them back to SL do I have to resize them as 512x512... I’ve heard SL downsizes them in these dimensions anyway... is that true? will my textures look sharper  if i work and upload their textures in say 2048x2048 dimensions?

also i forgot to ask, does the resolution play a role too? for example, will the looks benfit if the texture is uploaded with a 300dpi resolution instead of 72dpi?

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Any textures that are applied directly to the avatar body are automatically downsized to 512 x 512 pixels, but it is much wiser to do the downsizing yourself before you upload.  You will do a much more careful job than the automatic system does.  You may work at any scale you wish in GIMP or Photoshop.  In fact, it is smart to work at a large scale like 2048 x 2048 and then downsize, so that you get the advantage of sharpening details. Your uploaded images must have pixel dimensions that are powers of 2, so 32, 64, 128, 256, 512, and 1024 are allowable dimensions. You may not have any dimension larger than 1024 pixels.  Dimensions that do not match one of those are downsized to the next lowest power of two, so a 600 x 500 image will become a 512 x 256 image when uploaded. Again, it is wiser to set the dimensions yourself than to trust the system, so that you maintain the aspect ratio that you expect.

DPI has absolutely no meaning unless you are printing an image, since the resolution that a user sees will depend on the pixel density of her monitor and how much she has zoomed in to view your texture.  All that counts is the number of pixels.  A 512 x 512 image that is seen on screen as a 1 inch x 1 inch square will have 1/4 the number of pixels as a 1024 x 1024 image viewed at the same size.

Finally, it should be obvious, but the larger an image is, the more memory it will demand of a user's graphics card and therefore the greater the potential lag she will experience.  Experienced designers will opt for the smallest dimensions that provide an acceptable image quality for the application.  There is little point in using a 1024 x 1024 image to texture an earring that few people will zoom in to view closely -- or will even see for more than a fleeting second.  A texture for the side of a building, however, may justify a higher scale.  For most applications in world, a 512 x 512 image is more than adequate.

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