Increasing image size – keeping clarity of image – is it possible?

S
Posted By
Stardancer
Oct 21, 2003
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1486
Replies
26
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Closed
Greetings, All,

I’ve created some complex graphics and want to increase the size and not lose the crispness of the detail. The graphics were created from digital photographs that were shot at high resolution, then the photo was resized smaller, and a small section of the photo was used. (See www.earthmandalas.com for a description of the type of image I’ve created.)

How can I increase the size of the completed graphic and not lose the detail? I’m wanting to end up with an image that when printed on photographic paper will measure about 12 to 15 inches across.

I’m using Photoshop 5

Thanks in advance for all suggestions.

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GH
Gary_Hummell
Oct 22, 2003
The short answer is that starting with a given number of pixels upsampling always yields an image that will have lost crispness. But, it is a matter of degree. What size image in pixels are you starting with? You will need about 2800×3600 pixels for a 12×15.

Gary
S
Stardancer
Oct 22, 2003
Hi Gary,

Thanks for your response.

I begin making these graphics by using a mask template on the first layer. When I open the mask template and select Image -> Image Size, in the ‘Print Size’ fields, the width is 5.833 inches, height is 5.833 inches, and resolution is 72 pixels/inches. The size of the file is 517K large.

I tried changing the height and width fields in Image Size to 15 X 15, and the file increased to 3.9 Meg.

I then tried changing the Resolution field to 200 pixels/inches, and the result was the file increased to 3.9 Meg., but the print height and width stayed at 5 inches.

The ‘constrain proportions’ box was checked. The ‘resample image’ box was checked, and ‘bicubic’ was selected in the drop down.

When the image is enlarged, it seems to lose its crisp edges that it had when it was smaller.

My goal is to print a clear 12 x 12 or 15 x 15 image. I don’t want to have to recreate the images I have already made.

I also would like to know the how to make the mask template the correct size and resolution for printing a 12 x 12 or 15 x 15 when I begin a new graphic design. It would seem logical that I would just put the appropriate sizes (i.e. 12 height, 12 width) in the ‘Print Size’ fields of the Image Size box, and select 200 as the resolution. Do I *really* need that high of a resolution?

Lots of questions… thanks for your assistance.
PC
Patty_Clarke
Oct 22, 2003
Stardancer,

I’m an "intermediate newbie" at PS, so take my words lightly. First, I’d like to say that you’ve created some very beautiful "mandalas" that I viewed on your site. (No need to take my compliments lightly–those are for real.)

Here’s another thread dealing with printed resolution–although it’s from a scanning positions—I still think you will pick up bits and pieces of important information.

<http://www.adobeforums.com/cgi-bin/webx?128@@.2ccde7f7>

I’m not sure what you mean when you say that you start with a "mask template"—but one thing I do know is that you can’t start with an image that you create at 72 pixels and hope to be able to print it at
15×15 size with a sharp image.

Many variables that the "smart people" will help you with—but the printer info will be important. Inkjet or ???

Patty
GH
Gary_Hummell
Oct 22, 2003
It would appear that basically you have a starting file that is about 383 x 419 pixels. The 12×15 file at 240 ppi would need 2800×3800 pixels. The basic way to look at this is that some software is going to calculate new pixels for about 85% of your big image. While some software does better than others, none that I have seen will create fine detailed images at that percentage of upsampling.

As to future techniques, if you are working with camera files, you will need every pixel the camera delivers. Plan your images so that they are composed well when the image is taken. Remember it is easy to downsize for web later.

When you set up your next project in PS, start with a 12×12 file at a minimum of 240 ppi. If you are acquiring images by scanning, check out:
<http://www.scantips.com/>

Gary
S
Stardancer
Oct 22, 2003
Patty,

Thanks for the feedback. Thanks for the compliment re: mandalas, but I can’t take the credit for *all* the mandalas at the Earth Mandala’s site. Komra Atiri Cheyean Moriko is the artist and designer of that website – <http://www.earthmandalas.com/com/bio.html>
She’s been generous to share how she created those beautiful mandalas by providing a tutorial on her page. She did select one of my mandalas to place on her Visitors Mandalas page. As a result of going through her tutorials, I have created a selection of my own mandalas.

Thanks for the scanning link. There is some good info there (I read through it last night).

Re: your question about ‘mask template’, check this link on Komra’s tutorial page: <http://www.earthmandalas.com/how/templates.html> All the mask templates are provided there to make mandalas.

I’m beginning to realize that I will probably have to attempt to recreate the smaller mandalas I created in a larger format. I guess it’s time to invest in a larger monitor ! 😉 I was hoping not to have to recreate them. Oh well,… back to the drawing board.

I will probably have them printed at a local photo store.
S
Stardancer
Oct 22, 2003
Gary,

Thanks for your feedback. You are correct – the images were created using a fairly small height / width measurement, and 72 ppi. I’m quickly beginning to understand that upsampling from that beginning to what I would need to create a 12 x 12 print is close to impossible.

I am shooting ‘high quality’ resolution with my digital camera, so my photo’s that I create these images are large enough, and a good quality of saturation of pixles and color. I have had to significantly reduce the size of them to create the smaller mandala image.

I will attempt to recreate my smaller images using your suggestion of starting with a 12 x 12 file and 240 ppi. I have a really old monitor on the PC where PS is installed, so the image will take up just about all of the monitor. If I’m going to invest in a new flat-screen monitor, do you have a suggestion as to best size for this type of work? And I guess while your at it, if you would suggest vendors, etc., I’d appreciate a recommendation. I’m probably willing to spend around $400 for a new monitor.
GH
Gary_Hummell
Oct 23, 2003
If you are interested in working with Photoshop in a serious artistic mode, then at the $400 range, you should be looking at CRT monitors in the 19 inch size, in my opinion. The gap in display quality between LCD and CRT is certainly narrowing, but for the money spent, CRT is still the way to go for image editing.

Gary
P
Phosphor
Oct 23, 2003
I second Gary’s CRT recommendation.
S
Stardancer
Oct 23, 2003
Wow! That’s a surprise. A CRT monitor is better quality than some of the newer LCD flat screens? You might have just saved me some $$$’s as I’m currently using a hulking CRT monitor, but it’s probably only a 17 inch size. The quality on the one I have is not bad, even thought it’s probably around 4 years old. I was hoping to invest in a newer technology, larger flat screen monitor. Do you think the image quality is significantly different between CRT and LCD?

If I do go with LCD flat screen, are there specific brands you would recommend? Specific brands to avoid?
JM
John_Mensinger
Oct 23, 2003
It’s not necessarily a question of "quality," per se, Stardancer. The reason CRT’s are recommended for serious image editing work is because they can be calibrated and profiled much more accurately and reliably than newer display technology, (LCD).

This is often critical in a color-managed environment.
P
Phosphor
Oct 23, 2003
Plus, the simple fact is they’re much cheaper.

I can buy two 19 inch CRT monitors for less than the cost of one good, reasonably-sized LCD. And, my god, man, think of the screen real estate for two 19inch monitors! For less than US$800! Color management is a known quantity in the equation for CRTs; LCD color management is still in its infancy, and there is a lot of conflicting advice about how best to optimize any particular set up.
K
KlausNordby
Oct 23, 2003
There exists several programs specially dedicated to enlarging bitmaps while retaining decent sharpness. My favorite is S-Spline Pro from www.shortcut.nl. More than a year ago I reviewed the previous version in my column at www.graphics.com. Check out the review there, if you need more info – it’s still online.
S
Stardancer
Oct 23, 2003
John / Phosphor,

Good advice on the CRT monitors. Thanks for that. I didn’t realize the LCD monitors didn’t have the same ability to be calibrated.

I was surprised to see the relatively inexpensive cost on-line for some of the 19" CRT monitors. Even though I was hoping to eliminate that hulking CRT I’m currently using, I guess I’ll stick with the same monitor type, maybe just go for an upgraded size.

Klaus,

Thanks for the suggestions on S-Spline Pro. Do you think it can upsample from a relatively small graphic to a 12 x 12 without losing a lot of detail? I’ll check out your review and see if I can get a demo copy of S-Spline Pro to try it out.
S
Stardancer
Oct 23, 2003
Klaus,

I went to www.graphics.com and did a search on your name, and also on ‘S-Spline Pro’, and couldn’t find your review of the product. I’d love to read it. Would you provide the URL here?

I didi look at the product review at the www.shortcut.nl website. The product looks pretty impressive, and is relatively inexpensive. Don’t think there’s a demo copy available, though. Thanks for the tip. I’ll look forward to reading your review.
K
KlausNordby
Oct 24, 2003
Stardancer, my name and my column is right there, on the front page! The Painter 8 review has links to all my previous columns, right top corner. But anyway, here’s the URL to my review:

< http://www.graphics.com/modules.php?name=Sections&op=vie warticle&artid=1>

And they do have a well-working demo, too.
PC
Patty_Clarke
Oct 24, 2003
I’ve learned so much from the "smart people here" that I’ve acquired a comfort level to ask "dumb" questions that might result in a "duh, slapping of the forehead moment.

Here goes.

1. I have a 19" monitor. It doesn’t matter if I create a 12x12in doc with 240 res or a 45x45in 300 res document—I can se the entire document on the monitor. So, I’m confused by what you all are saying.

2. I’m also confused with the "printed mandala image" that Stardancer is talking about. Why would monitor color calibration be an issue for printing?? (except for the what you see is what you get in selecting colors)

3. As long as the "mandala template" is set at the same size and resolution of the document you are creating–what would be the problem there?

4. I’ve not heard of "S-Spline Pro" before–but the price is very reasonable. I’ll try to download the demo. (The problem I usually have with software trial demos is that I can’t figure out how to "use them" without training.

TIA,

Patty
GH
Gary_Hummell
Oct 24, 2003
Patty, one advantage of a larger screen is that you can see more of your image when editing at 100%. In Photoshop any view other than 100% won’t render detail and color accurately on the monitor. The accuracy of the monitor is only important when creating and editing the image. You don’t need a good monitor to print.
RE
rogier_e2
Oct 24, 2003
wrote in message news:…
4. I’ve not heard of "S-Spline Pro" before–but the price is very reasonable. I’ll try to download the demo. (The problem I usually have with software trial demos is that I can’t figure out how to "use them" without training.

Hi Patty, you can download the S-Spline Pro demo from our website: http://www.shortcut.nl/redirect.php?page=downloads.product&a mp;id=ssplinepro

S-Spline is very easy to use, it’s really a matter of simply opening an image, specify how large you want it (you can change the pixel size, inches, or dpi, whatever you want) and save. The on-screen preview will show the quality of the enlargement.

Hope you’ll enjoy the website!
Rogier.
RE
rogier_e2
Oct 24, 2003
wrote in message news:…
I didi look at the product review at the www.shortcut.nl website. The
product
looks pretty impressive, and is relatively inexpensive. Don’t think
there’s a
demo copy available, though. Thanks for the tip. I’ll look forward to
reading
your review.

Actually there’s a free trial version available of S-Spline Pro on our website: http://www.shortcut.nl/redirect.php?page=downloads.product&a mp;id=ssplinepro

Hope you’ll enjoy the product!
Rogier.
PC
Patty_Clarke
Oct 24, 2003
Okay, I get it!

Thanks Gary.

Patty
RE
rogier_e2
Oct 25, 2003
(Rogier E.) wrote in message news:…
Hope you’ll enjoy the website!

uh.. i meant software, not website 🙂
MS
Michel_Sylvestre
Oct 25, 2003
Try increasing the picture size in 5% or 10% passes. I does a much better job.
JY
Jean_Yates
Oct 26, 2003
Shoot Raw, start large, avoid size changes, leave the dpi at 300 when reducing size for web, avoid manipulation, try not to cry when the phenomenal resolution you get with print goes all gooshy in your final 300p wide image.
JP
Jack_Phelan
Oct 30, 2003
I just happened to browse through this thread and came across exactly what I came to the forum for originally. I am thinking of switching to LCD monitors also. Aside from the problem with color configuration, I was concerned if it would be possible to use the airbrush without getting pixilation on the LCD while creating subtle transitions and blends. In other words, I like to see exactly what’s happening as I do it. Is that a problem withe LCDs?

Thank you,

Jack
J
JGR
Oct 30, 2003
In my experience working at a digital print shop, it all depends on:

1) the Resolution (pixels/inch) of your Photoshop file (Image->Image Size)
2) the purpose of your printout (commercial? personal? fine art?)
3) the printer you are using to output (home? Fiery? Fujix?)

The short point is, you may be able to increase the physical size of your image to 12"x15" while reducing your Resolution, and not suffer any *perceivable* degradation on printout.

Step 1, go to Image->Image Size, and input your 12×15 in the width and height fields. Make sure that you TURN OFF RESAMPLING (at bottom)… and let it plug in whatever numbers it plugs in for Resolution (pixels/inch).

Step 2, your resulting pixels/inch will determine what, if anything, you need to do. –> If all you want is a print on Photo paper for your own personal use, a resolution of 200 pixels/inch or higher will print out great. 150 pixels/inch would be fine on a personal home printer, Epson/HP/etc., you still would not likely notice any loss in crispness. Under 120 pixels/inch and you are pushing your luck, but if you have good quality paper you might still be ok.
–> if you want to put this into a magazine or publication, you are in a whole different ballpark and need to consult your printer
–> if you want a big poster print out from a large-format printer (24"x36" or higher), heck, you can probably go as low as 80 pixels/inch and probably would not notice much degradation in crispness.

Fact being, you never want to have to upsample your image and sharpen it… just not worth the trouble in most cases. Hope this helps…
S
Stardancer
Oct 31, 2003
Michel,

Am I understanding correctly that you think increasing the picture in 5% or 10% increments does a better job than a software package like S-Spline? See info at <http://www.shortcut.nl/redirect.php?page=products>

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