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Smarter Image Upsizing (Even for Low-Res Images)

Another thing I love that Adobe’s engineers do in each new version of Photoshop is that they go back and make existing features even better. In Creative Cloud, they came up with a new option for upsizing images (making them larger using the Image Size dialog) with a new mathematical algorithm for upsizing your image while maintaining more detail and sharpness than ever before (and this includes better results from upsizing a low-res 72 ppi image).

Step One:

Here’s a low-resolution 72-ppi image we want to resize to a high-enough resolution to make a print of it. Go under the Image menu and choose Image Size to bring up the Image Size dialog (by the way, the Image Size dialog is resizable). You can see our image has a resolution of just 72 pixels per inch (or ppi, for short). Make sure the Resample checkbox is turned on and then choose Preserve Details (Enlargement) from the Resample pop-up menu. When you do this, a Reduce Noise slider appears beneath the menu that might come in handy if you notice that the noise gets increased along with the size of your photo (but using it adds a little blurring, so use it gingerly). By the way, you can compare different sizing methods by pressing Option-1– Option-7 (PC: Alt-1–Alt-7) to toggle through the different Resample options.

Step Two:

Now, in the Resolution field, enter the new resolution you want. Here, we’ll enter 300 ppi (if you don’t want to change the resolution, you can just type in new physical dimensions instead, a resize percentage, or both). The preview window shows you how the image is going to look at its new size or resolution. That’s it! In the Before and After shown below, you can see how much more detail and sharpness is now maintained after the upsize. One last thing: if you resize to some particular sizes a lot, you can save your own custom size presets. Just go under the Fit To pop-up menu and choose Save Preset.

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