All graphics added to ArtiosCAD are embedded into the ARD file as a compressed, lower-resolution, preview-level bitmaps. For a PDF, this size is 1100 pixels of the longer page size x equivalent ratio of the smaller page dimension. So for e.g., a PDF with a page size of 12.5" x 18.889" would have a resulting bitmap with a resolution of 1100 x 728 (12.5/18.889). PDFs are never embedded within the ARD. Bitmap images for e.g., JPEGS come in at the bitmap resolution with an assumption of 100 dpi. All this is done to keep ARD files as compact as possible.
In the example given below, the original ARD with no embedded graphic is 5k. The PDF used in this case for the graphic is 103M. With an embedded bitmap graphic, the ARD file grows to only 120K.
However, a link is maintained to the PDF. As long as that link is maintained, ArtiosCAD will be able to resample the PDF in 2D and 3D and improve the graphics quality. PDF (and Adobe® Illustrator®) files are vector based and technically have no resolution. The resampling allows a new bitmap to be generated with a higher resolution.
When the user converts to 3D, ArtiosCAD can find the PDF, resample and then use the 3D Rendering and Image Quality to improve the quality based on the graphics card capability.
If the PDF file is missing, the preview-level embedded bitmap will always be used.
When the user converts to 3D, the graphics are low quality and there 3D Rending and Image Quality tool can not do much to improve the quality.
Bitmaps (for example: JPEG)
Here is a case where a JPEG would be used. The resolution is 132x155 pixels. At 72 dpi, the printing would be result in a size 1.8" x 2.1".
When ArtiosCAD attempts to register this bitmap on this design which has a blank size of 6.3" x 11.3", it can not resample a PDF (vector). ArtiosCAD must use the existing bitmap resolution and scale the image to 3X its intended size. The image starts to look pixelated.
When converting to 3D, the image looks fuzzy. In fact, attempts to improve the quality, expose the pixelated appearance.
If a higher resolution bitmap is used at the start, then the resolution will come close to that in 3D.