Upscaling: enlarge your images the right way

With careful upscaling you can increase almost any image to the size you need.

We all have been there; sometimes a client gives us an image he wants to use for a printed material but the image is at 72 dpis for web and it is the only image he has, he can’t replace it.

Normally this is a disaster and you would need some antacids. But with a careful upscalling you can increase the size of the image and use it even for printed material.

When you make an image larger you have to contend with the problem of inventing extra information that isn’t present at the original.

Photoshop uses a method of interpolating pixels.  The problem is that interpolating tends to produce results that are fuzzy and blurry. You can’t put data that wasn’t in the original.

There are several methods to correct this. The first one is using a Plugin. Alien Skins Blow up http://www.alienskin.com/blowup/ brings a lot of detail. The downside is the price $ 199

The second method can be used directly in Photoshop, doing increases by 105%.

Sample Image: this image is 300 x 200 pixels at 72 dpis.

Step 1. 105% Increases

a)   Select image size: image > Image Size

b)   Multiply the width for 105%. In this case the result is 315.

c)    Select Resample image: Bicubic Smoother

Step 2 Repeat the process

Repeat this process several times until obtaining the desire size. You can create a simple Photoshop action to perform this task. I repeated the process several times until my image was 800-pixel width.

By repeating many small enlargements you retain much of the crispness.

Step 3 Surface Blur

Filter > Blur > Surface Blur. Set it to 7 radius and 7 threshold.

Step 4 Smart Sharpen

Filter > Sharpen > Smart Sharpen. Set the amount to 100% and play with the radius to obtain the desire result.

Here you can se a comparison of and image scaled directly to 800 pixels and the other with 105% increments.

800 pixels directly

105 % increases

In spite of the hard edges of the calculator we have a very good result. It works better in smooth surfaces as skin.

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Tuesday, March 6th, 2012 Quick Tips, Tutorials

About The Author

Javier Cantero

I'm a graphic/web designer, entrepreneur and the founder of Designer Freelance. I hope we can share lots of information and ideas. You can follow me on Twitter @designerfree

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5 Comments to Upscaling: enlarge your images the right way

  1. Great Post.Thanks for it sharing.

  2. abhinav on March 6th, 2012
  3. Superb tip!! This image tutorial is totally useful. thanks for sharing dear.

  4. Logo Design on March 7th, 2012
  5. wow its a great technique! thanks for sharing, its useful for us.

  6. New Web Templates on March 7th, 2012
  7. This is great! What about the resolution, though? Could you increase it in increments along with the re-size? Or, would that never do?
    I appreciate this article! Thank you!


  8. Su Hall on March 15th, 2012
  9. […] files in Photoshop I found this great article on the web for enlarging files in Photoshop. Upscaling: enlarge your images with photoshop | Designer Freelance I haven't tried it yet but it looks like a great way to enlarge and sharpen at the same time. Its […]

  10. Great article on enlarging files in Photoshop - PaperModelers.com on May 9th, 2012




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