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Deke's Techniques is a collection of short Photoshop and Illustrator projects and creative effects that can be completed in ten minutes or less. The series is taught by computer graphics guru Deke McClelland, and presented in his signature step-by-step style. The intent is to reveal how various Photoshop and Illustrator features can be combined and leveraged in real-world examples so that they can be applied to creative projects right away.
Hey gang. This is Deke McClelland. Welcome to Deke's Techniques. Well, a couple of weeks ago, I showed you the best way to upsample a layered composition. But then we got a few comments from folks saying, well, that's great for layers. But what if I'm just trying to upsample a flat image file? For example, I've just got this tiny version of this stock image. And by the way, this particular image, at this particular size, would cost about two bucks at fotolia.com. And you want to upsample the heck out of it like so. Well, Photoshop CC has a new upsampling algorithm that produces great results.
But I figured out a way to reverse engineer it in CS 6 and earlier, so you can get great results there, too. Here, let me show you exactly how it works. All right, here's our starting point, a very dinky image just 578 pixels wide, by 750 pixels tall, so it's not even half a mega pixel, it's that small. We're seeing the image at the 100% view size. It comes to us from the Fotolia image library, but I don't want you to think that the original image was actually this dinky.
I just downloaded a very small version of it. So let's see what our upsampling options are. I'm going to start by creating a duplicate of this image. So I'll go to the Image menu and choose the Duplicate command and I'll just go ahead and call this guy Photoshop CS6 method. And we'll come back to this one in a moment. So I'll click Okay, I'll go ahead and zoom in on it. Now let's switch back to the original image here and let's see how we can upsample the image inside of Photoshop CC. I'll go up to the Image menu and choose the Image Size command.
Which is where this specific interpolation option is available to us and then you'll see that by default, Resample is turned on. You want that to be the case regardless of what kind of image you're working with. The width and height values are also linked to each other, so that they will change together. So in other words, we're going to scale the image proportionally. And notice that Resample here in Photoshop CC is set to Automatic by default. It's that way inside CS 6 as well but Automatic has different meanings inside the two programs.
Inside of CC, it refers to this option right here, Preserve Details, which is not available in CS6 but is an excellent option. I'm going to go ahead and choose that option so that we also have available to us this Reduce Noise slider bar. And I'll come back to that in a moment. You know another great thing about the image size dialogue box here in CC is that it's scalable. And it includes a preview, so that you can see what you're going to be doing. So, I went ahead and dragged the corner of this dialogue box to make it bigger.
And I've got both width and height set to percent, as you can see. And I'm going to change these values, just for the sake of demonstration to 1,400%. In other words, we're going to create an image that's 14 times wider, and 14 times taller. Which is to say 14 by 14 which is 196 times larger than the original, altogether. And so as a result of if we go to dimensions here click this down pointing arrow-head and choose inches. And see that we're going to expand what was formerly a two by two and a half inch image to 28 inches wide by more than 36 inches tall.
Approximately the size of a small poster. I'm going to go ahead and try to figure out where I am inside of this image by zooming out. Apparently, I'm looking at the guy's lips right there. I'd rather look at his eye. I think that's a little more indicative. And I'm going to zoom back in by clicking on this little plus sign here. And notice that we have a bunch of color noise that's showing up, and it's, become exaggerated even though the original image isn't that noisy. Any noise that does lurk inside the image will be exaggerated by this function right here.
So I'm going to go ahead and set the Reduced Noise value and this is for a low noise image by the way if you're upsampling like this to fifty percent. And that's going to cut down some of the noise here inside the eye, for example, and things are going to end up looking better. Once you've done this, if you're following along with me inside Photoshop CC, those of you working in CS6, we'll come back to you in just a moment. Go ahead and click the OK button. And you'll notice that it takes Photoshop a fair amount of time in order to scale this image. You can just imagine that if you start with a larger file and you scale it to an even larger size, then it's going to take even longer for Photoshop to do its thing.
All right, now I'm going to press Ctrl+0 or Cmd+0 on a Mac, in order to zoom out. And that way I can just zoom in on a specific portion of the image. Such as the eye, so we can better see what is going on. And you'll notice that we have actually a fair amount of detail. Especially if you zoom out a little bit. And you have to bear in mind when your working with poster size art, please bear this in mind, you're not standing right next to it, inspecting every single pixel. Rather you're going to be backed up away from it.
And as a result, your eyes are going to do a natural interpolation on the image. And so it's going to look that much smoother. Let's compare that to what's going on in CS6 and see how we can mimic what's going on in CC in CS6, so those of you who are working in CS6 don't feel like you're left out. I'm going to switch over to the Photoshop CS6 method, image right here. I'll return to the Image menu and choose the Image Size command. And then now's the view on CS6, you will not have an expandable image size dialogue box like this.
It'll just be the usual small dialogue box, you won't have a preview of course over here and some of the options are going to be rearranged a little bit. But you will have the Resample check box which you want on and you'll also have Automatic. And what Automatic does by the way when you upsample inside Photoshop CS6, is it selects this item, right there, Bicubic Smoother. So let's go ahead and do that here inside CC. So you and I will get the results in case you're a CS6 user.
And I'm going to go with percent again, for both width and height values. And I'm going to change either one of them to 1400%. So again, we're expanding the size of the image, to 196 times, its former size. And now I'll go ahead and click OK, in order to apply that change. And I'm going to zoom out, so that we're seeing the image from a distance, I just press Ctrl+0 or Cmd+0 on the Mac. And, armed with my Rectangular Marquee tool right here, near the top of the tool box, I'm going to right-click inside the image window.
You don't have to do this if you're following along with me. I'm just doing this for the sake of demonstration here. And I'm going to choose Duplicate Layer and I'm going to go ahead and throw this guy here. I'll call him bicubic smooth because we're taking advantage of the bicubic smoother interpolation method and I'll change the document to smilingman.jpg which is my starter image and I'll click OK. And now let's go ahead and switch over to said smiling man right here. And you can see we've got this bicubic smooth layer right there. So let's do a comparison shall we. I'm going to zoom on in a little bit.
This is what things look like inside Photoshop CC thanks to preserve details. And this is how things look inside Photoshop CS6 thanks to bicubic smoother. So obviously bicubic smoother does not keep up because it's blurring the image as you can see here. It's blurring the distinction between the former pixels in order to create this result. And the result inside Photoshop CC is a lot better because it's sharper well by golly then let's sharpen what we've just done here.
You can go ahead and convert this guy to a smart object if you want to and apply un-sharp mask is what I'm going to recommend as smart filter. So let's sharpen it. So the first step is to right-click inside of the image window and choose convert to Smart Object, in order to convert this guy to a smart objector. You might want to skip this step if you have an older model computer because this is going to intensify Photoshop's processing, with the processing that it has to do. That is to say which slows things down of course.
But then what you want to do, because this is the most expedient sharpening solution, you want to go up to the Filter menu, choose Sharpen. And don't choose Smart Sharpen, because that's going to be too darn slow and there's nothing to be gained. You want to choose Unsharp Mask instead. And the settings I came up with for this specific resolution, by the way, were a math value of 150%. That should do you just about all the time. In the case of this image, I went with a radius of 12 pixels. You might want to go higher, for a higher pixel count image.
So, if you were trying to create an image that measures about 60 inches wide, for example by 76 inches tall something whoppingly big, then you would double the radius value to 24 pixels instead. And then set your threshold to 10 levels and now go ahead and click OK in order to apply that modification. And you probably also, by the way, once this gets done applying, you probably want to double-click on the little slider icon to the right of the words Unsharp Mask.
This of course, assumes that you applied Unsharp Mask as a smart filter. Go ahead and double-click on that slider icon. That is going to produce a progress bar that's actually potentially a little bit slower than the one we saw just a moment ago. And for some reason this happens whenever your bringing up the Blending Options dialog box. And now you want to change the mode from normal to luminosity and that way your sharpening just the detail inside the image and you're not sharpening the color. So you should notice some avert colors drop away.
And then, click OK. And now let's do a comparison here after of course we wait for another, progress bar. Notice Blur, that's because, as many of you know, Unsharp Mask actually uses Galcium Blur to pull off its magic. Now I'm going to turn off this layer. So, that we can see, what Photoshop CC does. This is the result from Photoshop CC with preserve details, and this is what we're able to achieve using bicubic smoother, as well as Unsharp Mask, here inside Photoshop CS 6.
So we have a pretty good match. Also, let us zoom out so we can see the nose. Notice, if I turn off this layer again, things are a little smoother in the nasal region as well as throughout the skin. Thanks to Photoshop CC's ability to reduce noise as it expands the size of an image, as it upsamples. But, we were able to limit some of the sharpen noise inside of the image that we just created here, at the top. The one that's the Photoshop CS6 remedy because we applied a threshold value of ten levels.
Notice now, if we start zooming out to something that's a little more indicative of what this image would look like in real life. Because again, you are going to be backed up from it. So are the people who are viewing your posters. They're not going to have their eyes glued two inches away from poster art. Even if it's hanging directly in front of them on a wall, but more likely it's going to be elevated, a little bit. But in any case, you should be able to get decent results whether you're working with Automatic inside of Photoshop CC, which of course supplies preserved details.
Or whether you're taking advantage of Automatic inside Photoshop CS6, which applies bicubic smoother as long as you combine the results along with Unsharp Mask. All right, if you're a member of the lynda.com online training library, I have a followup movie, in which I show you an alternate method for enlarging a photograph by first tracing it inside of illustrator. So here's the illustrated tracing and here's the Photoshop upsampling. Different strengths and weaknesses. You can choose which approach you like best. If you're waiting for next week's free movie, we're going to get to the bottom of exposure in Camera Raw.
And we're going to take this very dark image here and we're going to brighten it up like crazy to create this final result. Deke's Techniques, each and every week. Keep watching.
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