Optimal Image File Options and Recommendations

My oldest is an aspiring digital artist and is going to make me an image for promotional art, but I’m clueless about file types.

What format, size, and resolution is best for social media use like Facebook?


What format, size, and resolution is best for use with *image in Choicescript?

I’d guess it would be the same, but I don’t know.

While I’m asking, what iPhone/iPad apps do people use for this kind of stuff where it starts on paper and ends in digital? Mars uses an assortment already, but I’m curious for recommendations. Also, does a Macbook/PC offer vastly better options, and if so, what software do you recommend?

Not sure what you’re looking for, but…

PNG has better resolution, and JPG has better compression rates. Unless you need high resolution, most web application and websites will use either JPG or WEBP.

If you wanna know the suggested sizes for banners, thumbnails and things like that, I suggest you google for those specifically. For example “Facebook banner size”, or something like that.

I really don’t know what you’re asking here. Do you want recommendation for image editing software? What do you mean by “it starts on paper and ends in digital”?

I believe his eldest draws with ink and paper, so they will need a device (scanner?) to transfer it into digital form. I believe @Jacic mentioned something recently, but I cannot locate the post at this moment.

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Sorry for the confusion.

I’m curious what type of file and resolution size a picture should be to be shared on Facebook and put into Choicescript games.

Additionally, I’m curious if anyone does digital art on their iPads, and if so, what apps they use.

Like I said, it’s better to Google the image sizes.

I think Apple devices are capable of “scanning”. Check this out. Although I would suggest using a proper scanner if possible for higher resolution.

The people I know that use an iPad as a drawing tablet all use Procreate, so I’d say it’s the best app for this (?).

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It’s always best for the designer to do it in a large file/canvas size, that way, they can scale down if they need to. It ultimately depends on what the image is supposed to be exactly, like chapter headers or cover art, but going big is a safe bet as long as you’re able to edit it to your desired size.

PNGs are typical and allow you to have transparency while jpgs, to be honest, I don’t know what the pros are there except for smaller file size.
SVGs are a popular file format for vector based graphics that allow you to scale them without losing quality, but I don’t know how accessible they are in choicescript.

If the design is finalized on paper and they’re only touching it up digitally, they can usually use a printer to scan it to transfer it to photoshop or something.


That is a pretty huge pro in web. Also before pngs were a thing (lack of support in certain browsers), they were better option if you had a photo or painting or somesuch, because gifs have a way more limited palette.

I hear Clip Studio is popular, but it’s a subscription service, so I have no personal experience (I prefer programs that need to be paid for once only). I personally use Procreate, Affinity Photo, Affinity Designer (for vector art), Pixaki (for pixel art) and Comic Draw.

Procreate is a bit finicky as far as line stability is concerned, which is a good thing to be aware of. On my experience, Affinity Photo is more forgiving on that regard. Procreate also isn’t the app to go to if you want a Photoshop-like on iPad. Take Affinity Photo for that. Or, you know, Photoshop.

PC obviously does have more options (or at least storage space and computing power, so potentially more options inside the software) available, dunno about Macbooks (apart from hardware point of view - different operating system, potentially different software options). The aforementioned Photoshop is good, if you can afford it. It’s the industrial standard for a reason. Gimp is also good, if you want to go the open source route and can handle the user interface. Also you’ll need a drawing pad, unless you absolutely want to draw with mouse.

I personally prefer iPad, because the user interface is more paper-like (even if the feel isn’t… drawing pads are better on the feel department), since I can look and draw at the same location unlike with computer (unless you have a touchscreen computer I guess) where you draw in your lap/table and stare at screen (and last time I tried there was an annoying delay, but that was on my old computer) although I suppose you could use Duet Display or something to use iPad as a drawing pad for computer.


Haha yeah sorry I did talk about it somewhere… Can’t remember where though. Sorry I don’t own any tablets so work on my computer if I’m messing with images. I usually use photoshop for most things (and occasionally other programs like ArtRage if I want something that looks more traditional art-ish.) GIMP is a free photoshop program artists have been using forever. Has a lot to offer and is free, but last time used it (admittedly some time ago) it wasn’t nearly as user friendly as PS. (But PS is pretty pricey unless you plan to use it a lot, can borrow the computer of someone who has it, can get access to an old copy (non-subscription) someone doesn’t need any more, or have access through work/uni etc.)

Traditional lineart is a bit of a pain to use digitally but its do-able. You’ll need a clear image or scan with as little shadow and a bright and clear as possible to make your life easier. The cleaner your lineart is (inked is best) the easier it will also be although I’ve worked with pencil too if it’s sharp enough. (Unless you want a sketchy look like the image I have for Raishall which is a pencil sketch coloured and textured digitally.) You also need a program that will allow you to work with layers and having settings like screen and multiply also are a big help.

Option 1- Set the lineart to semi-transparent and use it as a template to recreate it by tracing digitally. (Really hard unless you have a pen and tablet.)

Option 2- Clean up the traditional lineart and use that. Heaps of tutorials around, depends on the program you’re using. Youtube and deviantart are good places to look. (This is a very quick one on youtube but I’ve seen more in depth ones somewhere on deviantart. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j9Ub_IdceF4)

I don’t think there are recommendations for games. I’d say no larger than a 15" laptop screen max (and smaller than that is probably recommended.) To a point the images seem to resize to the screen they are on. Save as .png files ideally (COG prefers it and the images are less scratchy than jpgs usually). Bear in mind they can be significantly larger than jpgs and some people get REALLY cranky if the app on their phones is huge (Re remember when that Oz game came out?), so if adding a lot of images, check the size of the files.

In saying that, keep your originals large, keep the layers and scale down to fit what you need (keep them, they can come in handy if you need to change things later- This just saved me when I had to give COG some extra images for one of my games.)

For facebook- IMO whatever as long as its clear. You don’t need high res on facebook. Somewhere between 800-1500px width is probably fine depending on what it is.

Jpgs compress the crap out of images generally making them much smaller. That’s sometimes a big plus, but for all other purposes, pngs are better. Every time you edit a jpg it probably loses more of the original data from the file which can cause artifacts. Not a huge deal for little images generally, more annoying if you need higher quality images. You can make a png into a jpg, but you can’t restore the original png from a jpg file.

I am really hating the trend for everything to go on subs with no option to purchase. There’s a possible rationale to offer it as an option for super expensive programs like PS, but often they work out cheaper to just buy outright if you don’t need every little update that comes along. I guess they know a lot of hobbiests are quite happy with 5+ year old programs so know it’s a way to force an ongoing income so I can see why its become a thing.