Friday, December 4

CoffeeShop Photoshop Tutorial: "Enlarging Web Images, Retaining Resolution"

If you are a designer you know what it is like to download an image to use in your designs and find that it is too low of a resolution. It looks fine on your screen (as long as you don't zoom in), but try to enlarge it  for print or web and it looks noisy and pixelated. 

Or you finish a project, save it as a .jpg, and realize later that you needed a larger image. 

Maybe you have some old phone images that are really low resolution and you want to enlarge and share them or print them for your wall. Or you posted an image of your dog or cat 10 years ago on social media and you lost the original image and want to enlarge the web image.

Well, thankfully the newer versions of Photoshop have a great way to enlarge without pixelating your image. It is called Preserve Details 2.0 and I have tried this on photos, internet screenshots, and public domain images I found on the web and it works great!!! Seriously, if you do a lot of photography or design work this would be enough of a reason to get Photoshop CC.

I am going to post a Photoshop action soon for these steps so you can do it quickly.

Today I want to show you how I enlarged this old book page I found at The New York Public Library site.

I love this image and poem, but as you can see, the  largest download option is 760px which is much too small to use in my designs. 

I downloaded the image and here are the stats. This will only work posted small on websites as it is only 548 pixels wide and the resolution is 72 pixels/inch. And if I crop out the extra paper framing it, is going to be tiny!

Here I zoomed in on my screen and you can see it looks really bad.

Enlarging the Image: This method is so quick and easy, you will love it!

Go to the top menubar and select Image<Image Size.  I checked Resample and selected Preserve Details 2.0. Then I changed the Resolution to 300 and set Reduce Noise to 0%. Note: You can also change the size if you want.

The image is now 400% bigger and as you can see the zoomed in details look pretty good. I am going to play with the Reduce Noise slider and see what happens.

In this example the image looks like a painting if I set Reduce Noise to 100%. This might be the effect you are going for, but I want to retain the details but remove the noise so I will try a lower setting.

For this image, a Reduce Noise of 12% worked great. The pixelation is gone, but the details are still there.

I also like to add some sharpening at this step, otherwise you might lose some of the focus after enlarging and removing the noise.

Sharpening: Duplicate the Background and desaturate the top copy.

Go to the top menubar and select Filter<Other<High Pass.

Adjust the Radius until you just see the details. Don't overdo it. I used a Radius of 2 Pixels.

Put this layer in Overlay Blending Mode and zoom in and adjust the Opacity.

I zoomed in the original (on the left) and the enlargement (on the right) and you can really see a huge improvement! 

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. If there is anything specific you want to see on my blog, such as new tutorials or freebies, please leave a comment below. If it is something I think would be helpful to post, I will get it up here as soon as I can. This is a great way to "order" free custom designs!

Do you want to download my favorite CoffeeShop PSE/Photoshop Actions and Lightroom Presets or Design Elements in one convenient zipped file AND help support this blog? Just click here for my action pack or here for all the actions/presets and professional design elements, storyboards, and textures. 
For complete info on installing all of my actions, click here.

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  1. Thank you so much for this valuable tutorial!

    1. Scarette, you are so welcome!!! It is a nifty little trick.

  2. Thank you so much! I learned a lot! xoxo

    1. That is great Aimeslee, I appreciate the kind words!

  3. Mind Blowing! This is so useful for older photos that I need in a larger size!
    Really it's very helpful to me, keep doing!
    Thanks Rita For your useful tutorial.


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