Increasing picture size without affecting resolution

on Friday, 28 June 2013
What will you do if you have a low resolution photo which you have to enlarge? Turn to Photoshop. That is the answer. I will show you how. It is quite easy. Just follow the steps below.
Take for example this image. Let me see its resolution and size.

Step 1 : Go to Edit>Image Size. You can use the shortcut shown. Press ALT+CTRL+I.
Step 2 : The Image Size dialogue box opens. You can see that the Width and Height in pixels is 200x301, while the size of the image is 2.778 inches by 4.181 inches. The Resolution is only 72 pixels/inch. All in all a poor quality of the image. This you have to increase in size without loss of quality.
Step 3 : Change the Resolution to 300 pixels/inch. Notice that the other parameters of the image change automatically as shown by the blue arrows.
Step 4 : I have now changed the Width to 6 inches. The other dimensions change immediately. See the blue arrows.
Step 5 : Now click where the red arrow points to Resample the Image. If you are using Photoshop7 leave the setting at Bicubic. In Photoshop CS 2 you have another choice. Change it to Bicubic Smoother. Click ok.
Step 6 : You will see that you photo suddenly becomes very big filling up the work area in Photoshop.
Step 7 : Go to File>Save as. Save the image on your computer as Jpeg.
Step 8 : Save the image file. I have saved it in My Pictures and named the file 'young man'. Click Save.
Step 9 : The Jpeg Options dialogue box opens. Change the Quality to Maximum, then click ok. Then close the image file.
Step 10 : Go to File>Open Recent. You will find the image 'young man' that I saved on top.
Step 11 : The 'young man' image has been opened again in Photoshop. It does not look much different.
Step 12 : Follow Steps 1-2 to check the Image Size again. You will that they are the settings that I changed them to. Click ok.

Step 13 : Go to Image>Mode>Lab Color.
Step 14 : In the Layers/Channels/Paths pallette click on the Channels to reveal the Channels pallette.

Step 15 : Click on the channel marked with a small 'a' to select it.
Step 16 : Go to Filter>Sharpen>Unsharp Mask.

Step 17 : Change the Amount to 118 % and Radius to 1.8 pixels. Leave the Threshold untouched. Click ok.
Step 18 : Now click on channel b. Apply the Unsharp Mask to it just as in Steps 16-17.
Step 19 : Now click on Lightness channel and again apply the Unsharp Mask in the same way.
Step 20 : This is how the image looks.
Step 21 : Now click on the Lab channel.
Step 22 : The color returns to the Image. But it is Lab Color and not RGB. We have to change it back to RGB.
Step 23 : Go to Image>Mode>RGB.

Step 24 : Though you will not notice any difference, look at the top, it reads RGB now.
Step 25 : Now click back on Layers to reveal the Layers pallette.
Step 26 : In the Layers pallette there is only one layer -- the Background layer. Press CTRL+J to duplicate the Background. A new Layer 1 forms. See the arrow.
Step 27 : Now click on the Zoom tool to zoom into the image.
Step 28 : Zooming in on the image reveals a lot of imperfections.
Step 29 : Go to Filter>Noise>Reduce Noise.

Step 30 : The Remove Noise dialogue box opens.
Step 31 : A close up of the controls. Now drag the 'Strength', 'Preserve Details', 'Reduce Color Noise' and 'Sharpen Details as shown. Click ok.
Step 32 : If necessary apply the Reduce Noise Filter again. Go to Filter and last applied filter will be found on top. In this case Reduce Noise filter was used and so it is on top.
You may see this dialogue box when you apply the filter. It is normal.
Step 33 : This is how the image looks after applying the Reduce Noise Filter.

Step 34 : Use the Zoom Tool to zoom in on the eyes.
Step 35 : Now click on the Erazer Tool to select it.

Step 36 : The Erazer Tool. Note you can change the size of the tip with the bracket keys [ ].

Step 37 : With the Erazer Tool I have erazed the left eye, then the right and finally the lips. Remember you are working on the duplicate layer. When you eraze you are revealing the layer below. The noise reduction has been applied to the duplicate layer.

Step 38 : This is how the image looks.
Step 39 : Go to Layer>Flatten Image.
Step 40 : Look in the Layers/Channels/Paths pallete, the layers have been flattened into a single layer i.e. the Background.

Step 41 : Go to Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Levels
Step 42 : The New Layer dialogue box opens. Tick the Use Previous Layer to Create Clipping Mask. Click ok.
Step 43 : The Levels dialogue box now opens. Drag the Gray slider in the middle slightly to the left as also the White slider. This will make the highlights of the image brighter. Click ok.
The corrected higher resolution image. Go to Layer>Flatten Image as in Step as in Step 39. You are done.


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