Quick Tip: A Great Way to Resize Low-Res Images in Photoshop

The most recent video to come out of Adobe’s “Photoshop Playbook” series of tutorials offers a quick and useful tip for if you ever find yourself having to resize a low res image. It’s meant for relative newbies to Photoshop, so it’s not anything groundbreaking by any means, but if you use Photoshop CC it could come in very handy (and yes, this particular method is limited to Photoshop CC).

So check it out and let us know what you think. And if you like these basic tutorials, be sure to watch the Photoshop 101 video we shared a while back, and then lean more about Adobe’s Photoshop Playbook Tutorial Series by clicking here.

  • HQDev

    By removing the “noise” while upscaling, he is actually smudging and destroying the details…

  • Brett

    Is this supposed to be better than bicubic smoother? Or am I missing some special point? I’d rather have the noise to break it up than, if anything, making the edges more apparent.

  • Stijn Vandenbussche Nowforever

    the fact that he talks about 72 PPI is a killer for me. What is he going to do ? take a physical ruler and hold it against his screen? If you have 610px by 610 px than the PPI says nothing. When will people learn.

  • Stijn Vandenbussche Nowforever

    Breet : don’t bother. The guy is saying so many mistakes(apart from personal preferences on how to do something) that it is hard to take him serious.

  • Joxhwen333

    bullsh*t….. you need no tricks for resizing in PS.

    back in the 90s when PS resizing sucked it gave some tricks.. but guys it´s 2014 now.

    this is just nonsense….

  • 34345r35235

    stupid noob tutorial….

  • Rob Elliott

    Hey I had no idea that this existed..

    I was handed a crappy image to upscale.. this would have saved me a ton of time.. Yes this method looses some detail.. but you can get some of it back.

    There are lots of way will likely be used. I have been known to get asked upscale wallet size images from the 50s scanned in 1998..

  • bob cooley

    Sorry, but this is a poor tutorial. At very least misleading.

    After resizing the smaller image, he shows the area where there is low detail, high contrast (lettering on the back of the pickup truck), but when he briefly pans up to the area of high detail (the dogs in the back of the truck), you can see how poor of a job the up-scaling produces.

    No information is no information – Photoshop tries to interpolate, but at 300% the results on highly detailed areas are always going to be poor. This technique works suitably with images that have simple lines and large fields of color (flower details, etc). but is poor for anything that has any complexity.

  • jrconner

    This discussion reminds me of the arguments we used to have over film developers. Adobe’s tutorial introduces tyros to combining noise reduction with upsampling, and reminds old Photoshop hands that the application now provides functions that once required third party plug-ins. How much noise reduction one should apply depends on one’s artistic vision and other factors. A longer tutorial might have explored the nuances.

  • Gabriele Profita

    This is sooooooo stupid, it would be funny to see a low resolution picture with lot of fine details like hair, eyes, flowers and so on…
    He’s just fully destroying the picture, not adding any detail.
    Face with this: if the starting resolution is low you can’t triple the size creating pixels and information from nowhere, you will just end up with a blurry and smudged picture.

  • romstein

    occasionally i’ll get requests like this at work. if you have a better method, please feel free to share it. thanks!

  • romstein

    i would definitely not have reduced noise by 100%. occasionally i’ll get requests like this at work where saying “it can’t be done” isn’t an option. if you have a better method, please feel free to share it. thanks!

  • Gabriele Profita

    As I said there’s no magic trick, you can’t create information where there isn’t.
    Best thing you can do is to use some plugins that try to create fake details such as Genuine Fractals and Perfect resize, but still they will never be real details and you can tell it’s a low quality enlarged picture (just not as much as using the standard photoshop resize tool).

  • romstein

    thanks for those tips! i’ve never used either plugin, but i’ll see if there are free trials and go from there.

  • Korios

    Wow, is it possible to resize a 1 MP image to a 9 MP one? I really thought that was impossible. Is this done via oversampling?

  • bob cooley

    There really isn’t much you can do with images below 500px in size.

    Genuine Fractals from OnOne works well if you have to take an larger image and make it really big, but larger images have a lot more density of information (the number of pixels making up each of the details). In low-resolution images, many details are a single pixel in size, so when PS tries to interpolate, its a rough guess.

    You can also google a technique call ‘stairstepping’ – making multiple small, incremental enlargements using bicubic sampling; but again, the image has to have a minimum of detail to start out.

    Hope that helps!

  • bob cooley

    You can make the file any size you want – but it will look like crap. There just isn’t enough info there to make that type of enlargement.

  • Matt

    No. You are basically duplicating the pixels you have, a little more involved than that, but essentially that is what can be done. It can NOT create detail. That is, a 1 MP image will have the same amount of detail when resized to 9mp. It will just have more pixels, not more detail. No plug-in or procedure can create detail. The process can somewhat help you control how that detail is ultimately printed, but that was really true a while a go and is not really very true today.

  • Matt

    Hey, I’m not an expert, but the request put on you is a little nonsensical. Maybe if you provided some more framing around the request it might help. Such as why would the image need to be resized to more pixels? What are they doing with it? Is older (+5 yrs) equipment being used like scanners or printers?
    Usually today there is not many real reasons to resized.

  • romstein

    in my case, i oftentimes have to resize logos from one of our defunct subsidiaries where the only version that exists is maybe some 100 x 100 pixel image that i’ve found through google images or wayback machine. sometimes I can recreate in Illustrator, but if there’s a photo or complex graphic that goes with it (somehow someone thought that was a good idea!), then I’ll have to at least enlarge that part.

  • Matt

    Resizing logos and such willl work fine with the normal resizing in photoshop. No details to create there. But, if it is really small to begin with, you already know that you have to recreate it.
    A photo or graphic may not have to be enlarged. It depends on if you are doing web display, printing or outdoor marketing (and how big it really is). Usually the people at printers or outdoor marketing will be able to help you out and tell you if it needs to be enlarged.

  • Dan

    Let me get this straight Adobe is “So Against Piracy” that they created CC but, yet here they are showing you a video on how to pirate images from the internet. Good Job Adobe.