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Adobe Photoshop CC - Advanced Training

How to enlarge images without becoming blurry in Photoshop

Daniel Walter Scott

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Hi there, in this video we're going to look at enlarging images, way beyond where they should go. We all got jobs like that, somebody says, "Here's a tiny JPEG, I want you to make it into a billboard." So we'll go through the different ways of enlarging, and the kind of different effects, we'll even show you cool little shortcuts on how to kind of compare them all in three little windows. All kind of checking details, deciding which Enlargement Algorithm is going to work best for us. Let's jump in there now. 

Let's open up the file in '04 Fixing Images', and it's called 'Resizing 1'. So there’s different methods for resizing. At the moment this document is 2000 pixels, remember our shortcut down here. Click on this, this is 2000 pixels wide, but we need it for a billboard, it needs to be huge. So we're going to bump it up to like 8,000 pixels wide. You might be just doing a little change, maybe not something this big. It's under 'Image', let's go to 'Image Size'. And in here, what we're going to do is, let's say it needs to be under Pixels, it now needs to be 8000 pixels. Make sure Resample Image is ticked on. By default everyone just leaves it at Automatic. 

Problem with the Automatic is that there's some other settings, and they might be great. The thing we're going to do also is just make this a bit bigger, because it's nice to see it rather than that tiny window. So you've got-- basically Automatic is going to pick this first setting here out of this group. These are all the kind of Enlargement Automatic settings. There's just one for reducing, and to be honest you can test these other ones. Because it doesn't have to just be for enlargement, you could use this for reduction. Just give you kind of different looks. 

You might find one of these better for reduction. But enlargement is generally the most problematic one, and the ones we're going to stick to in this video. So Automatic is picking this one, and that's fine. Even if you do use automatic there is-- if you switch it to it and say, I want to use this actual Preserve Details, I can play around with the Reduce Noise, and just kind of decide. Can you see? Before, after. You can just have a little bit more control with even that one. Now a good thing you can do to kind of compare these three, you can just, like be super quick and easy and just go - actually I was going to toggle through that one - this one, and just kind of decide which one's good for you. 

So you might decide that this quick, easy and dirty method is just good enough. You can just kind of like, eyeball it, and say-- because this one here, Preserve Details 2.0 is the brand new one for Photoshop CC 2018. But it's not default yet even though it often has a better kind of finish. Or at least a different finish, so decide which of these works for you. If you want my humble opinion, this one here works better. There's a mixture of kind of like noise, but also some kind of sharpening that goes on around high contrast areas. I find it looks good when I get up to bigger sizes. If you want to be a bit more scientific about it, I'll show you a nice little trick. 

So I hit 'Cancel', what we can do is we can go to 'Layer', let's go to 'Duplicate Layer', so I'm going to make three versions of this. So I'm going to say, instead of duplicating this layer, I'm actually going to stick it inside a new document. I'm going to call this one 'Option2', let's just call 'Option 1'. Click 'OK', so it's kind of taken that file, duplicated itself, and called itself 'Option 1'. So it's just a completely separate-- it's the same as doing 'File', 'Save As'. So I'm going to duplicate it three times to compare the three different options. Go back to 'Resizing 1', back to 'Layer'. 'Duplicate Layer', 'New', and I go 'Option 2'. Back to the first one, and we'll go to the third option. You can go through all of these. 

Like if you are like, "Man, this is a super important job", you might not just use the enlarged ones. You might use the reduced ones, the gradient ones, because who knows what your content might be, it might be Repeating Patterns or Gradients, or weird trippy kind of 3D stuff, so have a play around with them all. We're just going to do these three. And it closed down the original. So my 1, 2, and 3 options are exactly the same. I'm going to start with 'Option 1', and I'm going to go 'Image', 'Image Size'. I'm going to go '8000' I'm going to just say, you are that first option. 'Preserve Details', click 'OK'. Go to this 'Option 2' to do the same thing, 'Image Size'. And let's go to 'Preserve Details 2'. 

Let's bump it up to '8000' pixels, click 'OK'. Same thing with 3, we'll use our shortcut, 'Command-Option-3'. 'Ctrl Option'. Sorry, 'Command-Option-I' to go to Image Size. Or 'Ctrl-Option-I'. '8000', we're going to go to that last option. Click 'OK', so now we want to compare them. So now you can just cycle through them if you want. You can hold down the 'Command' key on a Mac, 'Ctrl' key on a PC. If you're on a Mac now, hold 'Command' and hit the apostrophe key. It's generally kind of tied in with that wavy Tilde key. I'm just toggling through the tabs, we looked at it earlier. If you're on a PC, hold 'Ctrl Tab', I think, to move through them. You can just kind of see the difference, 'Option 1', which is the default, 'Option 2', 'Option 3'. I find, in this case 'Option2' is probably the best. It's a mixture of bit of sharpness, but it's not too milky like this last option. 

Let's go even a bit further to kind of compare the three. So let's go to 'Window', and go to 'Arrange'. And we're going to say '3-up Vertical'. You might be comparing four options, or six of them, depending on how many you have open. I go to this '3-up Vertical', it just shows me all three of them here. I'm going to be on this first option, I'm going to move it to kind of where the eye is. And what you can do then, is go to 'Window', go back to that same thing where it says Arrange, and say, actually just match all of the zoom location and rotation. So they all match up. Then you can kind of start doing some comparisons. 

Another little shortcut is, remember, 'Shift' and drag around kind of moves one around, using your Hand Tool, but if you hold--, actually I said 'Shift', didn't I? So if you hold 'space bar' down on your keyboard, and just click and drag, you can move it around, but if you hold 'space bar' and 'Shift', it kind of does all of them at the same time, so first up let's 'Arrange', and let's 'Match All', then we can hold down that 'Shift' and 'space bar'. We can just kind of work our way around, just say, like, okay for the teeth, that one there-- I think this one here is the best for my option. 

There's always going to be pixels. There's this goop in here which I'm maybe not happy with. What I might do is start blending a couple of these images. Start masking our parts. It really depends on how hard core you need to go here. So my advice is, don't listen to me or other Photoshop experts, who say, you have to use Details 2.0, do the test yourself. It doesn't take too long, and it's-- just decide, yeah, that's the one that works in this instance with this image. Just think of them as Option 1, 2, and 3. 

Before we go, last thing you might do is, go down to 'Window', 'Arrange', and 'Consolidate all into Tabs', just to get them all back into, like this regular old tab structure that we had before. We didn't cover Reduction mainly because, in my opinion, I don't run into trouble reducing images. I leave it set to Automatic, and it picks this one here, and it works fine. But again, if it doesn't for you, go through, test them all. See which one works for you. 
All right, that is going to be the end. See you in the next video.