Graphic Design F.A.Q.

//Graphic Design F.A.Q.
Graphic Design F.A.Q. 2016-12-15T18:59:13+00:00

Graphic Design Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are the differences in the types of Graphics/Animations?
2. Why do the graphics I create show blurry on the sign?
3. Can existing content already created be modified to look good on my sign?
4. What are PPI and DPI? and how do they apply to my sign?
5. How long does it take to create graphics for my sign?
6. How do I determine the Pixel Matrix of my sign?
7. What are the differences between Virtual Pixel Technology and Real Pixel Technology?

What are the differences in the types of Graphics/Animations?

This is an explanation of all the different types of graphics and/or animations that appear on the quote form.

Typed Text: Any message that can be typed into the display matrix without the need or use of custom formatting.
Hand Drawn Text: Any message that has to have the text drawn pixel by pixel to achieve formatting.
Image File Conversion: Any supplied motionless graphic converted from one file extension to different file extension. Example: Converting a .jpg file into a .bmp file)
Image Redraw: Any supplied motionless graphic that is redrawn, in the size of the display matrix, to mimic the original graphic’s content.
Image with Text: Any message containing the combination of an Image and either Typed Text orHand Drawn Text.
Typed Text w/Animation: Any text that can be typed and animated into the display matrix without the need or use of custom formatting. Typically these text animation contain a enter and exit transition animation
Hand Drawn Text w/Animation: Any message that has to have the text drawn pixel by pixel and animated. Typically these text animation contain a enter and exit transition animation.
Image w/Animation: Any supplied image that is animated with an enter and exit transition.
Image Redraw w/Animation: Any image that is redrawn to fit the display matrix then animated in any fashion.
Image w/Text and Animation: Any Image Redraw with Hand Drawn Text that is animated in any fashion. This is the most popular option.
Video Conversion: Any supplied video converted from one file extension to different file extension. Example: Converting a .mov file into a .avi file.
Video Editing w/Typed Text: Any message containing video content combined with Typed Text.
Video Editing w/Hand Drawn Text: Any message containing video content combined with Hand Drawn Text.

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Why do the graphics I create show blurry on the sign?

DCI Digital Displays give the convenience of automatically re-sizing images and videos to the actual display matrix. Unfortunately most customers do not realize that pixel difference between most original images/videos and their sign. When an image or video is automatically fit to a display, it reduces or stretches the content accordingly. This can cause a reduction in the number of pixels used or the addition of more pixels depending on the sign of your sign. In either case, blurring will occur because the image or video is no longer at the same number of pixels as it was first created.

The technical term for the “Blurring” is called Anti-Aliasing. This feature was designed to automatically smooth images to make them better appealing to the eye. On Printed content, Anti-Aliasing is actually useful because the resolution is incredibly high. In an LED’s case, the typical resolution is drastically lower, and thus Anti-Aliasing hurts the image quality.

Unless the content to be played on the sign is created specifically for the pixel matrix of the sign, then Anti-Aliasing will occur.

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Can existing content already created be modified to look good on my sign?

This is a tricky question because it has not definite answer. It all depends on the size of the sign’s display matrix and the pixel matrix of the content desired to be placed on the sign. In some cases the content desired to be put on the sign is just too much for the sign itself.

Example 01: Say you have a 4′ Tall Sign and you wanted to display a person on it. If you display the entire body of the person proportionally then you might be able to tell that the image is a person on the sign, but you would not be able to tell any identifying features. Now, if you decided to crop and display the person from the shoulders on up, then you would defiantly get more facial detail and possibly be able to tell who is being displayed.

Example 02: Say you have a sign with a display matrix of 16×64 and you want to put a picture with text on the sign. The picture is a man’s face and the text reads “Congratulations John on being our 100th customers, you win the jackpot in our sweepstakes.” Ok, first let’s take in consideration the absolute minimum number of pixels needed to make any character in the alphabet “5” plus “1” for spacing equals “6”. Divide the length of the display (64) by “6” , then round down, it gives you “10”. Then determine how many lines of text you can put on a 16 pixel tall sign, by dividing the height (16) by “6”, then round down, giving you “2”. Finally multiple the Max lines by the Max number of Characters (2×10) giving you 20. The amount of characters in the text you want to display is 86 (including spaces). So there ifs no way you can fit all of those letters on the sign at the same time. You will have to break it up into mutiples of 20. Even still, that does not leave any room for an image. Adding an image will further reduce how much text can be applied to a sign at once.

These are just two of multiple scenarios that could happen when trying to create content for you sign. It is for these reasons that we discuss one on one with the customer what it is they would like to display. Then we inform them if it is possible to do and what their realistic expectations can be from the artwork.

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What are PPI and DPI? and how do they apply to my sign?

PPI stand for Pixel Per Inch and DPI stand for Dots Per Inch. These are only used in printing and therefore do not apply to your sign. Only the Pixel Matrix is used when creating content for your sign.

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How long does it take to create graphics for my sign?

It really depends on the complexity of graphics being requested, but typically most all graphics are completed within a two week period. This estimated time frame may vary depending on the volume of work at the time. A more accurate time frame can be given at time of order.

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How do I determine the Pixel Matrix of my sign?

There are two ways you can go about finding out your Pixel Matrix. The first method is call whomever you bought the sign from and ask them. The second method is to go out to your sign and count how many pixels tall your sign is, and then count how many pixels long.

Example: If you count your sign being 32 pixels tall and 80 pixels long, then your Pixel Matrix is a 32×80.

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Can I change graphics or animations that I have already purchased from DCI?

Yes. Any change to graphics or animations made by DCI will price according to the modifications. If the change entitles correcting a mistake made on the original message, then no costs will be incurred.

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What are the differences between Virtual Pixel Technology and True Pixel Technology?

Before I can explain the difference in the technology, I need to explain how images are comprised. Any Digital Image displayed uses pixels to determine image quality. The more pixels in an image the better the quality. Furthermore images use physical sizes with pixel to determine resolution. The more pixels in a smaller physical size, the better the resolution.

The main difference between Virtual and True Pixel Technology is that Virtual Pixel technology is an illusion.

True Pixel Technology can place the exact colors of an image into each pixel to be shown on a sign. If the image is too large for the number of pixels in the sign, the technology starts taking color averages of the image as it shrinks it down. Any color average taken is then displayed on a pixel utilizing all colors available, allowing it to display the color accurately.

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Virtual Pixel Technology tries to simulate an invisible pixel using pixel interpolation. This technology first requires an image double the resolution of the sign itself. The idea is for the image to quickly alternate between two outputs so fast that the human eye will not notice the difference, effectively blurring the two images together. It shrinks the image down, assigning each individual LED a color from the original image. Those LEDs then attempt to display the assigned color using what shades of color are available to the LED itself. This method of display often yields lower levels of brightness, so many manufacturers tend to “overdrive” the LEDs in an attempt to solve this issue. Unfortunately by overdriving the LEDs, the physical life of the LEDs is reduced by as much as ten times. Taking a display that should last for up to 10 years to only lasting 1-2 years.

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PROS

      True Pixel Technology
– Lower Power Consumption
– High Brightness Capabilities
– Sharper Image Clarity
– High Definition Video Capabilities
– Greater Viewing Range
– Higher Text Resolution
      Virtual Pixel Technology
– Video Diffusion
– Typically Cheaper
(Due to less LEDs being used)

CONS

      True Pixel Technology
– Lower Pixel Pitch needed for Video
(10mm – 19mm Pixel Pitch Work Best)
      Virtual Pixel Technology
– Higher Power Consumption
– Screen Flickering
– Image Loss and / or Rogue Artifacts
– Image Blurring
– Greater Pixel Deterioration
– Low Visual Proximity
– Low Text Resolution
– Lower Pixel Density

 

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