I'm commissioning an illustrator to make some portraits for my game. These are mostly just bust shots and will take up about the same amount of space on screen as the portraits in Persona 5(https://i.ytimg.com/vi/bTo6esvJfAw/maxresdefault.jpg), for example.
The artist wanted to know what dpi she should make the portraits at, and also the size of the portraits (in inches or pixels). I didn't have an exact answer and now I feel bad!
Can anyone help me figure out what I should be answering? I have my game running at 1920x1080, if that helps.
Of course, I recommend simply working on a bigger resolution/DPI because scaling down is much better than scaling upwards. Have your artist work at 300DPI, on a 2k+ canvas, and you'll be free to adjust as you need later on. The only downside is that it might slow down the PC if your artist is running on very old hardware, so check if it'll affect her.
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Generally I recommend doing any artwork at 2-4 times the size you'll need it. This helps hide imperfections, and also allows zooming in if you want.
For a portrait size like Persona 5 uses on a 1080p display, the portrait is taking up roughly a quarter of the screen, so 480 x 960. So if I were creating the artwork, I'd want it 2-4 times that size. So 1920 x 3840 for instance. That also means that you could print the artwork on a A4 size sheet of paper and still have it look nice.
Those are just suggestions, but remember that you can always reduce an image and usually retain very good quality, but you cannot do the reverse and enlarge a small image and have it turn out well.
EDIT: Zylander beat me to it, but it appears we are in agreement.
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