Become a MacRumors Supporter for $25/year with no ads, private forums, and more!

Retina Display: low res art looks blurry?

Canubis

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Oct 22, 2008
254
220
Vienna, Austria
I work with and prepare a lot of lower resolution graphics assets (e.g. 1024x500) using my Mac. In the past I used a Mac with a classic, non-Retina display. Few weeks ago I upgraded to a MacBook Pro 2020.

Same graphics that look pixel-crisp and sharp on a non-Retina display look super blurry and low quality on the Retina display now. This esp. occurs to me when i do a quick view in Finder or open the image in Preview. It's is kinda weird and ironic, since Retina has become a buzzword for greater quality and I would expect graphics at least not worse…

I understand that the low-quality look is because macOS scales up the image and also by some weird percentage, esp. since the standard display setting on the MacBook Pro is to act like a 1440x900 display while actual amount of pixels is 2560x1600 – which doesn't result in a clean 1pixel = 4 pixel scale up but some odd ratio.
But setting the display options to use 1280x800 not only reduces the screen estate, also it doesn't really make the art look much crisper.

Just wondering, does anybody else suffer from the same problem or are Retina/4K displays just really bad for working with smaller graphics assets where the aim is to look pixel perfect?
 

robvas

macrumors 68040
Mar 29, 2009
3,232
623
USA
You can use image editing software that scales appropriately, or buy an external monitor that is normal resolution.

by default it applies filtering to the scaling of non retina images.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Canubis

Canubis

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Oct 22, 2008
254
220
Vienna, Austria
@robvas - thanks for your reply.
When using Photoshop I noticed the image is displayed much smaller at 100% than in Preview or Finder, when both viewed on the Retina display.
I indeed started using mainly my external Cinema Display for this kind of tasks. However it's weird to have a new, super expensive machine with a high res display, having such a major "flaw".
 

robvas

macrumors 68040
Mar 29, 2009
3,232
623
USA
@robvas - thanks for your reply.
When using Photoshop I noticed the image is displayed much smaller at 100% than in Preview or Finder, when both viewed on the Retina display.
I indeed started using mainly my external Cinema Display for this kind of tasks. However it's weird to have a new, super expensive machine with a high res display, having such a major "flaw".
It’s really not a flaw - 100% is pixel for pixel so it’s half size
[automerge]1594395731[/automerge]
Also this has been since 2012 when the retinas came out :)
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.