The "Scaled Up" Nightmare in the Export Section

Hi all,

Shoutout to the Repper team for this awesome app. I took a one-year sub and I’ve been trying to make something out of it. So far, the Export section is getting in my way. Let me explain below!

It’s easy to either search for an image or load one up and get lost in the ease and beauty of creating patterns one snapshot after another in the Repper App. However, there could be some improvement in the user experience of the app.
In my case, I’m making patterns pack, like 20-30 patterns each and I want all of them to be 3600 px x 3600 px. So, I’d concentrate on creating the packs then take care of the bulk export later. It’s all fine and dandy UNTIL I switch to the Export section, only to start getting the “The source image is scaled up …%, so effective dpi will be …”. So, after making dozens of packs, I must decrease or increase the repeats which totally change the visual aspect of the pattern in the new snapshots; In almost all cases, it means to scale down the repeats. Well, after doing that, my snapshots are not as desirable as I originally envisioned or created them.
As an example, I’d have a pattern with 8 repeats which visually look awesome in the snapshot. However, when I got to export, it was scaled up by 230% without me realizing it. The fix recommended by the app is to increase the repeats close to 20-22. At that point, visually, everything becomes so tiny.

The problem is that while creating the patterns, there’s no way to know (or remember) the scale is too high or too low. I think as a solution, the “scaled up” warning in the Export section should be automatic in the Pattern section so actively a user can see and monitor how high or low the scale of the patterns are as we work on them. That way, it would not be a surprise up till the point of exporting. Because honestly, having at the finish stage defeat the purpose of taking snapshots with a certain number of repeats only to realize that we can’t use them.

Well, maybe it’s my approach that sucks :upside_down_face: , I don’t know! If there’s a different approach that the team or any other user in here knows about to avoid this warning as much as possible then I’d be more than happy to hear about it. Still, I also hope that is a situation the Repper team can look at for future improvement of the UX by having the warning happen in real time in the Pattern section.



Well, no one is responding to you so let me have a go. I’m trying to get my head around the logic of what you’re doing overlaid on top of how Repper actually works. Is it possible that you are trying to download a single tile instead of the repeated tile construct? If you were trying to download one single tile then it would make sense that Repper is trying to make it larger. I don’t see any other reason for Repper increasing the size. I think you’re confusing these two somehow.

Hi @dadarkman,

First off, thanks for using Repper, for joining our community, and happy you like the app (at least the designing part of it up until now :wink:)

General resources about export and resolution

We know that exporting is the trickiest part of making patterns for most people. We’re continuously working on support materials to help people figure out the nitty-gritty details of working with resolution, formats, and DPI. A few places that I’d like to draw your attention to:

And in a few weeks, we have a long video coming up about working with the export settings!

But now onto your specific issue…!

Your upscaling issue

If I understand you correctly, you are happily making patterns in Repper, they look good on your screen, but by the time you get to exporting, you notice that at the size and DPI you want to print them, they will require a lot of upscaling. Ouch!

If I was from any other graphics software company (say Adobe :smiling_imp:) I might simply say that it’s your responsibility to provide sufficiently large source material and pre-plan how you will use it. When you resize an image in a Photoshop document, in most circumstances it won’t even warn you that you’ll be upscaling and you may find out once you print it that it doesn’t look so good (as lower resolution tends to look better on screen than in print).

Well, we made Repper to try and be as helpful as possible in the creative process, so we want to do better than that! That’s why we will help you export your tiles automatically at the best possible size and warn you of upscaling for surfaces.

Beyond that, let’s see what tips I’ve got for you right now to avoid the “nightmare” (:wink:) of upscaling, and next talk about possible product improvements we could do.

What you can do right now

First, here’s what you can do already to avoid disappointment once you get to the export stage:

1. Keep an eye on the tile size

At the bottom of the “Pattern” tab, you can see the image size and the tile size (see ① in image). The tile size, as you probably guessed, is the size of a single tile. You can click “Tile” (see ② in image) in the top bar at any time to see what the tile for your current tiling is.

This is a vital bit of information. Here you see that my tile is almost 4000 by 2300 pixels. Now let’s say I am printing on fabric and I know I’ll be printing at 100 DPI. This means that 4000 / 100 DPI = 40 inches. So a single tile can be printed at 100 DPI at up to 40 inches without upscaling.

Before you start your project, ask yourself: what DPI do I expect to be printing at? If on paper, let’s say 300 DPI. Now I know that if I have designed a pattern and I imagine this particular design to be about 2 inch wide (5cm) per tile, I would need at least 2"x300DPI = 600 pixels width to do some without upscaling.

I realise this requires a bit of calculation, but especially if you typically work with the same printing technique and DPI requirements, I think you’ll be able to develop an intuition fairly quickly about what these tile dimensions mean for your prints. Note that the tile size can change substantially from tiling to tiling, as it depends a lot on the complexity of the tiling.

Preset your surface and switch between “Pattern” and “Export” tab regularly

If you already know what surface size you wish to print something at, you could go straight to the “Export” tab, set your custom surface size, and go back to the “Pattern” tab to design at the surface size. While you’re designing, whenever you like your pattern and zoom level (aka repeat count), quickly switch to the “Export” tab to check if it’s going to work scale-wise, and if not, go back to “Pattern” and see if and how you could make it work better.

I realise it still requires switching back and forth, but by presetting the surface, it becomes a matter of quickly switching tabs back and forth.

How Repper could be better

I can see two ways in which we could improve Repper to help you review faster whether a pattern will meet your resolution needs:

  1. Beyond pixel size of the current tile, also show physical dimensions at a DPI level, so it’s easier to relate to within a printing context.
  2. For the current surface size, we could warn you in the editor that it is upscaling, even if you are not in the “Export” tab. I don’t think it needs to be as prominent as in the “Export” tab, but I can imagine it being useful as a small warning.

I will add both of these to our feature wish list. I can’t make any promises if or when these will be implemented, as we have many more things we like to build than we have time for! That said, these aren’t necessarily complex features as far as I can see, so maybe we can fit them in between other features in the near future :slight_smile:


I hope that answered your question a bit. If you have remaining questions or if this raised new questions, please let me know!



@Wouter! Thanks a bunch for the incredibly detailed answer to my post. I’ll apply all the suggestions as I work on my next batch of patterns. I’ll be checking on the resources for some reading and more understanding of the app. Since I usually know the surface size I want, then I’ll make it a habit to set a custom size from the start, get my snapshots on, and keep an eye on the Export section in between. Got it!

Once again, I appreciate the details.

Thanks, and keep up the good work!



Thanks for replying and trying to come up with a solution for me. Well, Wouter came through with the very explanation and guides for the problem I was having. Hopefully, his post here can help other users who may be looking for the same answers in the future.


You’re welcome, happy to help! And thanks for sharing your situation, it’s helpful seeing what specific parts of the app people find the most challenging!

I am just seeing this now, but as someone who has been using Repper since day one, and/or before as I was one of the beta testers. I use Repper daily, to this day. It’s just become a huge part of my daily life. It’s great for mental stability as well, as it’s so much fun, and you never really know what you are going to get from each image you use as your base to create your patterns/pattern collection, etc.! The outcomes can be endless works of beauty :wink:

I create coloring pages and patterns, textures, backgrounds, etc…

When I create the coloring pages they have to be a certain size (the pattern in order to be colorable) not to small or to big. This said… Not all patterns are created equal. Some patterns are smaller, some are bigger.

So the challenge becomes that IF/WHEN you download the patterns they don’t all fit the same amount of repeats in order to look good, or to color, etc…

There IS AFTER-work involved! EVEN IF you download EACH pattern separately with it looking the way you want it. YOU WILL STILL want to make sure the edges are the same top/bottom and left/right… IF/WHEN you are selling them. Also for coloring pages I put a border around the outside of EACH pattern.

So when you download a collection in batch, they might not look how you want the finished patterns to look.

I look at each pattern in Photoshop and adjust it there to how I want the final pattern to look.

You can always download the tiles and work on them there in Photoshop OR your desired photo editing software. IF you want to download 100 patterns from Repper all in one shot, the problem is: The ENTIRE collection will be exported at the SAME dimensions and repeats you choose at the time of export. It’s NOT individual. THAT is what would be required for EACH pattern to look as you designed it originally in Repper.

EVEN IF export/download the pattern after you complete it, looking the way you want it, you might have to resize the edges and/or trim them.

~I hope this makes sense. ~Roz Fruchtman


ok my issue is twofold here.
one: the 3d preview is not at ALL the same as the pattern when its time to export.
i love the way the mockup looks, i want that part of the pattern. click , done , right , NOPE
the numbers jump so much between view modes, its nearly impossible, why cant the 3d preview just send you to the appropriate part of the pattern during export? is it meant to be confusing? ive taken up day drinking somewhat related to the frustrations between this, printify, photoshop, networking my two laptops, video card driver issues, bad hdmi cable, etc etc, does it always have to be monday?

and the second part of my issue
the ZOOM is so spazzy, abrupt , drastic, inaccurate.
single clicks on the mouse wheel completelychanges the preview area view. god forbid i want to switch to custom at the same time. its not possible. you have to start over.
in FIt Preview Area mode, the mouse wheel works for zooming in out, though still overly sensitive by FAR.
but when you go into custom mode, the mouse wheel doesnt work at all for me, and the clicking of the zoom toggle above is so absurdly destructive to the pattern i had found, ive almost given up several times, as its impossible to get back to where it was ,
so that really is three problems in one. im getting great results, but not anywhere close to what im finding in the explore mode. vs the export. yes i need to watch the videos again, but
i really wonder , is the zoom necessarily best as a battering ram, or can we get a little more precision please?
my next issue is with the sample area gui, but thats for a different rant.
thanks: :wink:

@orangebrainunlimited Thanks for asking those questions.

First and foremost: I hope Repper does not promote any addictions apart from pattern-making addictions!

On the question of why the 3D preview of a (metamorphosis) pattern does not (always) align with the 2D preview: There is so much to say, I made a new topic to describe this. You can read it here (please place replies there too, so it’s linked to the answer).

About zoom

Zooming is not jumpy for me with my pretty standard Logitech mouse. It does nice small steps.

  1. First thing to check is whether your scroll is set too sensitively (if so, you likely also experienced rather fast scrolling in other apps)
  2. Second option is to use the zoom slider in the top bar. This will give you very fine-grained control over the zoom level

Step size of scroll zooming on my computer:
Screenflick Movie 174

Zooming changing more than just zoom
Now there is a little shortcoming currently in Repper that I think you are also describing here. Just like with the 3D preview issue above, it has to do with panning/dragging the 2D surface.
When you drag the 2D surface so it is no longer centred, zooming will still be towards the geometric centre or origin (x: 0, y: 0) of the pattern, not the shown surface area. This means the further you are from the center, the more zooming will not only zoom, but also move the shown area of the pattern. This is simply a shortcoming of Repper at the moment when zooming a surface that isn’t centred. We hope to fix this in the future.

Cannot zoom when 2D surface has custom size
You are right, the zooming with scroll wheel doesn’t work when viewing the 2D surface as a custom size. This would be great to have, and I will add it to our wishlist of improvements. In the meantime, you can still zoom by (1) using the zoom slider in the top bar or (2) using the repeats in the export settings to set it very precisely.


I hope this helped. I may not be able to take away your frustration entirely, but maybe this helps to (1) understand what’s going on and (2) have some workarounds to deal with it.


P.S. If you have issues like these that aren’t directly related to the topic (like in this case), please considers starting a new topic, so it’s easier for people to find. Cheers!

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