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Changing the Image Interpolation

From: Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Advanced

Video: Changing the Image Interpolation

All right, now for the wacky technical item associated with transforming images inside of Photoshop, you may recall from our discussion of the Image Size command back in the fundamentals part of this series, whenever you enlarge or reduce an image, Photoshop has to go through and redraw all of the pixels and the question becomes how does it do that, what method does it use to average the former pixels inside of the image to create new ones? And this happens not only when you resize an image but also when you rotate it, when you skew it, when you distort it, what have you, and by default, Photoshop uses bicubic interpolation but you can change that if you want and if you are going to change the interpolation method, you need to change it before you apply the transformation in the first place.

Changing the Image Interpolation

All right, now for the wacky technical item associated with transforming images inside of Photoshop, you may recall from our discussion of the Image Size command back in the fundamentals part of this series, whenever you enlarge or reduce an image, Photoshop has to go through and redraw all of the pixels and the question becomes how does it do that, what method does it use to average the former pixels inside of the image to create new ones? And this happens not only when you resize an image but also when you rotate it, when you skew it, when you distort it, what have you, and by default, Photoshop uses bicubic interpolation but you can change that if you want and if you are going to change the interpolation method, you need to change it before you apply the transformation in the first place.

So let me show you what I mean. I have opened this progress document here, Clock face in place.psd. I have slightly modified it in the previous exercise. We went ahead and aligned these two layers with each other. As this Clock parts.tif, which contains of course, the clock face, now I'm going back to retrieve my original clock face, so that I can once again scale it and my clock face remains selected; if your's doesn't, go ahead and reselect it and then press the Ctrl key on the PC or the Command key on the Mac and you are going to need to drag and drop this selection onto the Title tab right there.

Now I want to make something clear about that because I have run into a few users who were a little bit confused about this. You don't just drag and drop. You don't just do that number. That's not going to do you any good. Notice we did not go ahead and drop the clock face into its new background. It's hard to tell that we didn't because we have got this other clock face sitting there, but you will know the difference in just a moment. Anyway, what you have to do is you press the Ctrl key, Command key on the Mac, you drag and you hold on that tab and then you will switch over to the other image and then you move your mouse back in to the image window and then you drop it like so.

All right, so now we have this monstrously large clock face, let's go ahead and call it monster or something like that and the reason I'm doing this is because we are going to come back to it a couple of times. I just want to keep that originally sized face in place here so that we can come back to it when we need it. Then I'll press Ctrl+J, Command+J on a Mac to create a copy of it, let's move it down the stack to this location right there and we will call it Sharper, you will see why in just a moment, and let's turn this guy off, turn off Monster. So we are just looking at sharper in face. Now, what I need to do is I need to repeat the last transformation I have applied which was the scaling operation from a couple of exercises ago. So I need to repeat it but first I need to show you the technical weird thing.

To change the interpolation method that is used by all of the transformations inside of Photoshop, you press Ctrl+K or Command+K on the Mac to bring up the Preferences dialog box and then you change the Image Interpolation method right here, and see that Image Interpolation is set to Bicubic (best for smooth gradients) by default and you may recall the technical aspect of that is that as Photoshop is generating any new pixel inside of a transformed image, that is calculating nine neighboring pixels at a time or a group of nine pixels at a time I should say, eight neighbors.

You can if you want to use nearest neighbor, which is going to use no interpolation whatsoever. It's just going to throw away pixels, which can be good for screen shots and that kind of stuff; anything that you don't want to see get anti-aliased. But that's a pretty rare thing. Bilinear is fairly useless. These guys right here, however, can be useful. For example, let's say that you are doing a lot of web work and you are making your images smaller on a regular basis, much smaller and you want them to be nice and tactile for the web, well Bicubic Sharper can work and in that case, it is best for reduction, in that one unique case. I find that Bicubic is the best setting, for normal circumstances, Bicubic Smoother is best if you have a high noise image, if there is a lot of noise going on, and Bicubic Sharper is best if you have a low noise image and you really want to sharpen up the details.

All right, so let's try Bicubic Sharper, and Click OK and now this is going to be applied to every transformation that we apply from this point on and also if I go to the Image menu and choose the Image Size command, we will see that Bicubic Sharper is in place here as well by default. Now you can change it to something else, but we have now modified this command's default setting, cancel out. So I want to be able to repeat the last transformation I have applied. I want to apply that transformation, that scaling that I have applied to the face layer here, I want to apply it to sharper and so I can do that inside of Photoshop by going to the Edit menu. This is a terrific trick by the way, go to the Edit menu, choose Transform and choose Again or press Ctrl+Shift+T, Command+Shift+T on a Mac.

Now if you are following along with me, please don't do that. The reason is because Transform Again not only repeats the last transformation, it also repeats the last interpolation method. So it's not going do us any good for comparison sake here and instead what I'm going to have you do is choose Free Transform or press Ctrl+T, Command+T on the Mac, in order to enter the Free Transform mode, I'm going to press Ctrl+ 0 or Command+0, to back out, to fit on screen so that I can see my boundary there, my transformation boundary. Now, go to the Edit menu, choose Transform, and choose Again and the brilliant thing about choosing the command when you are in the Free Transform mode is that you can see what you did. Let me show you. So Ctrl+Shift+T, Command+Shift+T on the Mac, is a keyboard shortcut here. So first we do Free Transform, so we are in the mode, then we do Transform Again and now notice we have not applied the transformation, which means we can see our settings.

That's one of the great uses for it. This I do all the time I say, oh, that's what I did, I did 43.2%. Okay, that's good to know because maybe I'm going to be doing some other transformations and I want to come back to that one later, so I'll write that one down. That can be pretty useful sometimes. But also, because you haven't yet applied the transformation, now as soon as you Click that check-mark, or you press the Enter key or the Return key on the Mac or what have you, that's when the interpolation is going to get applied. So I'm going to go ahead and apply my transformation right now by Clicking that check mark just for the sake of variety. All right, let's zoom back in there. Now of course, my clock faces are not aligned with each other, check it out. This is the sharper clock face, if I turn it off and there below is the smoother clock face, I would assume, we will see. Anyway, we need to align the two together using that trick I showed you in the previous exercise. So go ahead and turn this dude on. Let's go ahead and select both Sharper and Face together, Click on a Link icon. Now we have all three of these guys linked together and either face or frame are in the proper position. So Click on one of them.

Then go up to the Layer menu, choose Align. God! This so ponderous and then choose Vertical Centers. I hate this. I hate even showing it to you, I hate acknowledging that this is the way you have to work. Go to the Layer menu again, and choose Align, and choose Horizontal Centers, and now the two guys are aligned in place with each other. All right, let's zoom in, so we can see the difference. Right now we are seeing Sharper and can you see, let's zoom in even further, can you see how there is these slight light edges around the number and around all the tick-marks here? So we have dark followed by light, and then followed by sort of medium. That wouldn't be there, if I turn off Sharper, you are not seeing that effect.

So this is normal, now that I have Sharper off, we are seeing normal Bicubic Interpolation applied to the Face layer there versus the more sharpen version, that's a function of Bicubic Sharper, and then you can go ahead and try out Smoother and all the other two in order to get a sense of what the differences are and whether you want to use them on a regular basis or not. Totally up to you. You have got that Monster layer to work with if you want to. I am going to go ahead and turn Sharper off, because I don't want to work with it. By the way, I should tell you, I only use Sharper for final web work. So when I'm creating my final web version of an image, I'll go with sharper, if I'm doing a dinky little like 500 pixels wide image. But otherwise, I just stick with Bicubic Interpolation for most of my work, and it's very important that you reset that, if that's the way you are going to work, Ctrl+K, Command+K on the Mac, to bring back up the Preferences dialog box, go to Image Interpolation and reset it to Bicubic (best for smooth gradients) which of course is a lie, that has nothing to do with gradients but that's okay; Bicubic, Click OK and we are back in business.

I know that was a technical detail, I know that. But I wanted you to be aware of it. Hopefully, you are the smarter happier person for it. In the next exercise, we are going to merge this clock face with this cardinal's face, face on face coming right up.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Advanced
Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Advanced

218 video lessons · 23946 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
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  1. 22m 32s
    1. Welcome to Photoshop CS4 One-on-One Advanced
      1m 43s
    2. Installing the DekeKeys keyboard shortcuts
      6m 17s
    3. Resetting the function keys on a Mac
      3m 51s
    4. Installing the CS4 color settings
      4m 37s
    5. Setting up the CS4 color settings
      6m 4s
  2. 2h 43m
    1. Highlights, shadows, and midtones
      49s
    2. Low contrast, bad meter
      5m 57s
    3. Auto tone, contrast, and color
      8m 1s
    4. Cache levels and the Histogram palette
      7m 16s
    5. How the auto commands work
      10m 15s
    6. A first look at Levels
      6m 11s
    7. Target colors and clipping
      9m 6s
    8. Modifying input levels
      9m 44s
    9. Adjusting the gamma value
      7m 34s
    10. Previewing clipping
      7m 17s
    11. The futility of output levels
      4m 56s
    12. Channel-by-channel edits
      11m 54s
    13. When levels fail
      4m 34s
    14. A first look at Curves
      8m 46s
    15. Static Curves layer tricks
      7m 45s
    16. Dynamic Curves layer tricks
      7m 25s
    17. Correcting the composite image
      8m 30s
    18. Neutralizing a color cast
      6m 52s
    19. The Target Adjustment tool in Curves
      8m 29s
    20. Correcting an image in Lab
      10m 7s
    21. The Shadows/Highlights filter
      4m 18s
    22. Radius and tonal width
      8m 11s
  3. 1h 48m
    1. Edge-enhancement tricks
      1m 13s
    2. How sharpening works
      3m 48s
    3. The single-shot sharpeners
      4m 29s
    4. The Unsharp Mask filter
      7m 57s
    5. Understanding the Radius value
      6m 25s
    6. Gauging the best settings
      7m 47s
    7. Previewing how sharpening will print
      3m 37s
    8. Measuring and setting screen resolution
      6m 56s
    9. Tweaking the screen resolution
      4m 28s
    10. Sharpening the luminance data
      8m 23s
    11. USM vs. Smart Sharpen
      4m 23s
    12. Smart Sharpen's Remove settings
      5m 50s
    13. High-resolution sharpening
      6m 16s
    14. When to leave More Accurate off
      3m 48s
    15. When to turn More Accurate on
      4m 23s
    16. The advanced options
      7m 57s
    17. Saving Smart Sharpen settings
      4m 23s
    18. Accounting for camera shake
      7m 7s
    19. Sharpening with the High Pass filter
      9m 8s
  4. 2h 16m
    1. Why would you blur?
      1m 8s
    2. Fading after an undo
      3m 27s
    3. The "bell-shaped" Gaussian Blur
      5m 43s
    4. The linear Box Blur
      3m 6s
    5. Add Noise vs. Median
      4m 50s
    6. Despeckle vs. Dust & Scratches
      6m 31s
    7. Smart Blur vs. Surface Blur
      8m 13s
    8. The Motion Blur filter
      4m 33s
    9. Radial Blur's Spin and Zoom variations
      5m 48s
    10. Mixing filtered effects
      3m 56s
    11. The "Captain Kirk in Love" effect
      5m 4s
    12. Diffusing focus with Blur and Overlay
      8m 50s
    13. Simulating Vaseline and film grain
      8m 2s
    14. Filling a layer with a neutral color
      2m 55s
    15. Old-school contrast reduction
      3m 39s
    16. Three steps to diffused focus
      7m 36s
    17. Averaging skin tones
      9m 45s
    18. Addressing the stubborn patches
      5m 26s
    19. Combining Gaussian Blur and Average
      6m 1s
    20. Blurring surface details
      3m 2s
    21. Smoothing blemishes while matching noise
      8m 6s
    22. Reducing digital noise
      8m 47s
    23. Striking a smooth/sharpen compromise
      4m 36s
    24. Smoothing over JPEG artifacts
      7m 38s
  5. 2h 31m
    1. Independent layers of color adjustment
      1m 7s
    2. Undersea color channels
      4m 2s
    3. Inventing a Red channel with Lab
      8m 20s
    4. Mixing color channels
      6m 55s
    5. Making shadows with Levels
      7m 5s
    6. Applying small color adjustments
      6m 0s
    7. Further modifying Levels in Lab
      8m 50s
    8. Creating a dynamic fill layer
      4m 38s
    9. Brushing and blending color
      4m 42s
    10. Working with "found masks"
      7m 31s
    11. Saturation, sharpen, and crop
      8m 9s
    12. Mixing a monochromatic image
      7m 2s
    13. Masking an adjustment layer
      4m 45s
    14. Working with Opacity and blend modes
      3m 39s
    15. Adding a black-and-white adjustment
      5m 53s
    16. The Target Adjustment tool in black and white
      6m 12s
    17. Tinting a monochrome photo
      3m 19s
    18. Introducing Gradient Map
      4m 17s
    19. Adjusting both color and luminance
      5m 44s
    20. Infusing elements with different colors
      6m 22s
    21. Adjustment layers as creative tools
      4m 33s
    22. Inverting and brightening the background
      5m 14s
    23. Blurring live, editable type
      5m 43s
    24. Hue, saturation, and darkness
      6m 51s
    25. Filling type with a color adjustment
      3m 24s
    26. Using one adjustment to modify another
      3m 21s
    27. Breathing color into the title
      3m 38s
    28. The Hue/Saturation humanoid
      3m 44s
  6. 1h 48m
    1. Parametric operations
      1m 23s
    2. The power of blend modes
      6m 16s
    3. Changing the Opacity value
      5m 46s
    4. Opacity vs. Fill Opacity
      4m 37s
    5. Meet the blend modes
      6m 4s
    6. Blend mode shortcuts
      7m 8s
    7. Darken, Multiply, and the Burn modes
      6m 33s
    8. Tempering a Burn effect with Fill
      4m 43s
    9. Saving a blended state
      4m 18s
    10. Lighten, Screen, and the Dodge modes
      8m 22s
    11. Linear Burn = Add minus white
      5m 31s
    12. Overlay and the contrast modes
      6m 52s
    13. Fill Opacity takes priority
      6m 19s
    14. Difference and exclusion
      5m 21s
    15. Using difference for golden highlights
      4m 2s
    16. The composite (HSL) modes
      6m 8s
    17. The brush-only modes: Behind and Clear
      10m 31s
    18. Layer groups and the Pass Through mode
      8m 54s
  7. 1h 53m
    1. It's all about the presentation
      58s
    2. Moving a layer a specific number of pixels
      6m 59s
    3. Adding a pixel mask to a layer
      5m 48s
    4. Editing a layer mask
      7m 19s
    5. Combining layers into a clipping mask
      6m 19s
    6. Introducing the Advanced Blending options
      4m 45s
    7. Using the luminance blending sliders
      7m 26s
    8. Forcing through underlying luminance
      4m 32s
    9. Masking with a path outline
      5m 45s
    10. Refining a mask from the Masks palette
      7m 18s
    11. Creating and modifying a layer group
      3m 29s
    12. Establishing a knockout group
      5m 29s
    13. Fixing last-minute problems
      6m 23s
    14. Introducing layer comps
      6m 40s
    15. Exploring layered states
      6m 43s
    16. Deleting layers and updating comps
      6m 18s
    17. Saving a basic composition
      6m 21s
    18. Assigning and saving appearance attributes
      7m 15s
    19. Layer comps dos and don'ts
      7m 27s
  8. 1h 56m
    1. Type: The great imaging exception
      56s
    2. Establishing default formatting attributes
      4m 5s
    3. Saving formatting attributes as a preset
      8m 5s
    4. Making a point text layer
      6m 18s
    5. Editing size and leading
      6m 44s
    6. Working with vector-based text
      6m 12s
    7. Formatting area text
      4m 16s
    8. Creating a layer of area text
      3m 20s
    9. Resizing the text frame
      4m 34s
    10. Changing the anti-aliasing setting
      3m 58s
    11. Obscure but important formatting options
      6m 31s
    12. Text editing tricks and shortcuts
      8m 44s
    13. Creating a cast shadow
      6m 1s
    14. Blurred shadows and beveled text
      7m 16s
    15. Drawing a path outline
      4m 51s
    16. Creating type on a path
      6m 39s
    17. Flipping text across a circle
      3m 18s
    18. Vertical alignment with baseline shift
      4m 16s
    19. Warping text
      4m 57s
    20. Scaling your text to taste
      3m 33s
    21. Applying a custom warp
      6m 24s
    22. Creating an engraved text effect
      5m 11s
  9. 2h 17m
    1. Bending an image to fit your needs
      53s
    2. Creating a canvas texture
      6m 48s
    3. Masking objects against a white background
      5m 42s
    4. Scaling an image to fit a composition
      8m 9s
    5. Aligning one layer to fit another
      3m 51s
    6. Changing the Image Interpolation
      8m 10s
    7. Merging faces
      5m 32s
    8. Rotating the first clock hand
      7m 17s
    9. Adding hands and pasting styles
      6m 40s
    10. Series duplication in Photoshop
      4m 35s
    11. Masking objects against a black background
      6m 34s
    12. Skews and perspective distortions
      7m 57s
    13. Envelope-style warps
      9m 2s
    14. Old-school distortion filters
      8m 50s
    15. Introducing the Liquify filter
      4m 9s
    16. Reconstructing an image
      6m 55s
    17. Using the Warp tool
      5m 16s
    18. The Pucker and Bloat tools
      5m 53s
    19. Push, Turbulence, and Twirl
      6m 41s
    20. The Freeze and Thaw mask tools
      5m 45s
    21. Saving and loading a mesh file
      3m 59s
    22. Creating and applying a texture layer
      8m 30s
  10. 1h 28m
    1. Effects vs. styles
      1m 11s
    2. Of layer styles and masks
      4m 37s
    3. Everything about drop shadow
      8m 2s
    4. Adding a directional glow
      4m 39s
    5. Colorizing with Color Overlay
      5m 18s
    6. Stroke and fill opacity
      5m 48s
    7. Creating a multicolor Outer Glow
      9m 22s
    8. Introducing Bevel and Emboss
      7m 48s
    9. Contour and Texture
      4m 35s
    10. Simulating liquid reflections
      6m 28s
    11. Saving layer styles
      6m 18s
    12. Applying and appending styles
      4m 36s
    13. Saving and swapping style presets
      3m 16s
    14. The five effect helpers
      3m 47s
    15. Blending the effect before the layer
      5m 1s
    16. Colorizing a signature
      3m 30s
    17. Clipping an effect with a mask
      4m 5s
  11. 1h 50m
    1. Welcome to the digital darkroom
      1m 46s
    2. Opening Camera Raw in the Bridge
      5m 44s
    3. The Camera Raw 5 interface
      4m 39s
    4. Adjusting the white balance
      5m 0s
    5. Finessing and saving changes
      7m 55s
    6. Using the White Balance tool
      2m 43s
    7. Working with the Exposure controls
      7m 34s
    8. Straightening and cropping a raw image
      5m 53s
    9. Applying automatic exposure adjustments
      6m 6s
    10. Exposure warnings
      5m 44s
    11. Clarity, Vibrance, and Saturation
      4m 47s
    12. Using the Graduated Filter tool
      3m 33s
    13. Dodging with the Adjustment brush
      9m 24s
    14. Tone Curve adjustments
      6m 54s
    15. Using the Spot Removal tool
      2m 48s
    16. Removing noise and sharpening detail
      4m 5s
    17. Adjusting HSL values
      4m 18s
    18. Adjusting luminance, color by color
      4m 14s
    19. Black and white and split toning
      5m 16s
    20. Camera Raw tips and tricks
      7m 32s
    21. Correcting JPEG and TIFF images
      4m 42s
  12. 57s
    1. Until next time
      57s

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