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Downsampling for print

From: Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Fundamentals

Video: Downsampling for print

In this exercise, I am going to show you how to downsample an image for print, which may sound crazy. After all this time spent with me telling you that you want to capture the image at the highest resolution afforded by your digital camera or scanner and keep those pixels in as good shape as possible, why would you downsample the image and throw a bunch of pixels away? Well, there's a few reasons to do it. One is that you're emailing the image to somebody else and you want them to see it on their screen. Well this is too big to email for one thing. Typically, you can't email things that are bigger than 10 megabytes and this is a very huge file, I think it's like 150 or something.

Downsampling for print

In this exercise, I am going to show you how to downsample an image for print, which may sound crazy. After all this time spent with me telling you that you want to capture the image at the highest resolution afforded by your digital camera or scanner and keep those pixels in as good shape as possible, why would you downsample the image and throw a bunch of pixels away? Well, there's a few reasons to do it. One is that you're emailing the image to somebody else and you want them to see it on their screen. Well this is too big to email for one thing. Typically, you can't email things that are bigger than 10 megabytes and this is a very huge file, I think it's like 150 or something.

Also, if you were to somehow successfully get it to them, then they are going to look at that image on their screen probably not in Photoshop, they probably don't own it and even if they did they don't really know how to use it let's say. So they're opening the image in some other program and most programs are terrible. What they'll do is they'll try to shrink the image so that you can see the entire image on screen at once and they are terrible about downsampling on the fly like that, and as a result you get these horrible jagged transitions. I mean they really, really look rotten. And the person who is looking at your image will think it's your fault, so you want to make sure and make that image as there I say idiot proof as possible.

So it's already scaled for their screens. Secondly, you might want to send this image off to your printer and you don't want to waste their time and you don't want them to have to downsample the image either. Basically you're just trying to make sure the image is scaled for the occasion. So here's how it works. First of all, presumably you are working in a layered image and you go ahead and save your changes to a PSD file using the Save or Save As command. Leave that file alone. You are not going to save over that one. Then you go up to layer menu and you choose the Flatten Image command. It's dimmed for me because this is already a flat image.

And I've given you a keyboard shortcut by the way, if you load the dekeKeys of Ctrl+Shift+Alt+F or Command+Shift+Option +F on the Mac, and then you downsample the image for the occasion. So in our case, we want to print the image let's say. I go up to the Image menu and I choose the Image Size command, press Ctrl+Alt+I, Command+Option+I on the Mac. Notice I already have scaled this image to 12 inches wide, a little more than 8 inches tall and Resolution of 993 pixels/inch. That's fine and we did that with Resample Image turned off.

Now this time what we want to do is we want to keep this image 12 inches wide. It should still be a little more than 8 inches tall. That's fine. But we want to knock the Resolution value down and we want to downsample the image in the process. So go ahead and turn Resample Image On this time. Make sure that Constrain Proportions is turned on, and we don't need to Scale Styles because this is a flat image, but it's a good habit to make sure Scale Styles is turned on because when in doubt if you do have layer effects you want to scale them as well. Next, we are going to leave the Interpolation set to Bicubic, because there's no reason to smooth away noise inside this image.

And I was telling you Bicubic Sharper is great if you're going to the web, if you're generating a very small screen image, and this would be great by the way also if you're emailing the image to somebody else. But in our case, we're printing and the sharpness that's produced by Bicubic Sharper is going to disappear on print, we are not going to see it. So anyway, leave it Bicubic and reduce the Resolution value. We're are not concerned about Width and Height, because they are already where they need to be. Reduce the Resolution value to 360 pixels/inch, and that's going to be the maximum number of pixels you need to print this image.

That would be great for Inkjet printing, for high-end Inkjet printing by the way and it's more than enough for a commercial reproduction and so on. So then click OK. Now you are going to downsample the image. Notice that the first value is less than the second value, so it was 273.4 megabytes, now it's going to drop down at 35.9 megabytes, much smaller and so you are going to lose pixels in the process. But they are going to be blended away and actually the pixels that are left are going to be in better shape. That's the great thing about downsampling.

Whereas with up sampling the new pixels are in worse shape than the old pixels with downsampling the new pixels are in better shape than the old pixels. So in other words, the detail has coalesced essentially. I'll click OK in order to accept that modification and we will see the size of the image reduced here on screen. All right. Let's go ahead and switch to our lead sheep here once again by pressing and holding the H key and clicking for the Birds Eye function and then I'm going to release when I get these guys in the right location on screen here about here is good.

Now let's compare that just briefly to what happens if we had up sampled that small image to match. So I'll switch to the small image and this is the one that's called, Shepherd and small flock.tif inside that same 05_image_size folder. And I'm going to go up to the Image menu, choose Image Size and this time around I leave Resample Image turned on. I'll change the Width value to 12 inches, I'll enlarge the Resolution to 360 pixels/inch. I'm not going to worry about interpolation, Bicubic is just fine and notice now that we're definitely up sampling, was 1.9 megabytes, now it will be 35.9 megabytes.

The same size we saw just a moment ago. The pixels take up the exact same amount of room. They are just based on less information, so they are not going to be in as good as shape. So I'll click OK in order to rewrite the pixels, then I'll press and hold the H key and drag the Birds eye around these guys like so, and I'll scroll him over to about this location here and now we should have a good match. This is the downsample version of the image as you can see incredibly crystal clear lines and information and detail inside this image.

Let's Shift+Tab away the right side panels so we can see more of the image on screen at a time. This is the up-sampled version of the image. We've got blurry detail. It's gummy. It's murky, we can't see the lines nearly as well. It's actually a mess. So contrary to what you might think, enlarging an image in Photoshop produces typically bad results whereas reducing the size of an image inside of Photoshop produces typically great results. So upsampling usually bad, downsampling usually good.

Now then would I save over my original image? Absolutely not, I would of course go over to the File menu and choose the Save As command so as to preserve the original pixels in a different file along with layers and everything else I'd want. So you Ctrl+Shift+S or Command+Shift+S on the Mac and then you'd save the image under a different file name. You can still use the TIF file format because this is a flat file. And there you have it, the benefits of downsampling for the occasion inside Photoshop.

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This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Fundamentals
Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Fundamentals

195 video lessons · 74174 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 39m 52s
    1. Welcome to Photoshop CS5 One-on-One
      1m 49s
    2. Making Photoshop your default image editor
      7m 43s
    3. Installing the DekeKeys keyboard shortcuts
      8m 10s
    4. Remapping Mac OS shortcuts
      7m 37s
    5. Installing the Best Workflow color settings
      4m 31s
    6. The color settings explained
      6m 54s
    7. Loading the CS5 color settings in Bridge
      3m 8s
  2. 53m 36s
    1. There is nothing you can't do
      2m 1s
    2. The power of Photoshop
      4m 43s
    3. Duplicating a layer
      4m 49s
    4. Liquifying an image
      4m 43s
    5. Adding a layer mask
      5m 54s
    6. Loading an alpha channel
      7m 42s
    7. Selecting with Color Range
      4m 10s
    8. Making a Hue/Saturation layer
      2m 53s
    9. Luminance blending
      7m 21s
    10. Mask density
      5m 9s
    11. Making a knockout layer
      4m 11s
  3. 51m 23s
    1. The best way to work
      41s
    2. Setting General preferences
      5m 33s
    3. Changing the pasteboard color
      5m 41s
    4. File handling, performance, and units
      7m 25s
    5. Touring the Photoshop interface
      11m 5s
    6. Creating and saving a workspace
      7m 21s
    7. Changing settings and updating the workspace
      6m 4s
    8. Resetting the preferences
      7m 33s
  4. 2h 46m
    1. The amazing Adobe Bridge
      1m 17s
    2. Making a new image
      5m 11s
    3. Opening an image
      7m 7s
    4. Opening and closing multiple images
      5m 24s
    5. Opening a problem image
      4m 23s
    6. Adding file information
      8m 37s
    7. Introducing Adobe Bridge
      7m 37s
    8. A whirlwind tour of Bridge
      7m 21s
    9. Adjusting the interface and thumbnails
      8m 18s
    10. Using the full-screen preview
      8m 5s
    11. Rotating images on their sides
      5m 38s
    12. Assigning star ratings and labels
      8m 40s
    13. Filtering thumbnails in the Contents panel
      9m 13s
    14. Moving, copying, and deleting files
      6m 34s
    15. Creating and assigning keywords
      6m 38s
    16. Searches and collections
      7m 3s
    17. Batch-exporting JPEG files
      8m 57s
    18. Batch-renaming
      7m 15s
    19. String substitution and regular expressions
      8m 50s
    20. Grouping images into stacks
      7m 21s
    21. Comparing images in Review mode
      5m 58s
    22. Playing images in a slideshow
      4m 49s
    23. Customizing and saving the workspace
      7m 17s
    24. Using Mini Bridge in Photoshop CS5
      8m 36s
  5. 1h 1m
    1. Learning to swim inside an image
      37s
    2. The tabbed-window interface
      5m 19s
    3. Arranging image windows
      4m 26s
    4. Common ways to zoom
      5m 31s
    5. New zoom tricks in Photoshop CS5
      4m 24s
    6. Hidden old-school zoom tricks
      4m 34s
    7. Scrolling and panning images
      4m 8s
    8. Viewing the image at print size
      6m 42s
    9. The Navigator and "bird's-eye" scrolling
      2m 56s
    10. Nudging the screen from the keyboard
      2m 39s
    11. Scroll wheel tricks
      3m 41s
    12. The Rotate View tool
      3m 36s
    13. Cycling between screen modes
      6m 17s
    14. Using the numerical zoom value
      6m 14s
  6. 1h 6m
    1. Imaging fundamentals
      58s
    2. What is image size?
      7m 45s
    3. The Image Size command
      6m 0s
    4. Selecting an interpolation option
      4m 56s
    5. Upsampling versus "real" pixels
      5m 22s
    6. The penalty of pixels
      5m 35s
    7. Print size and resolution
      7m 26s
    8. Downsampling for print
      6m 39s
    9. Downsampling for email
      7m 28s
    10. Options for upsampling
      8m 13s
    11. Better ways to make a big image
      6m 1s
  7. 44m 43s
    1. Frame wide, crop tight
      1m 2s
    2. Using the Crop tool
      8m 8s
    3. Fixing out-of-canvas wedges
      5m 31s
    4. Crop tool presets
      6m 53s
    5. Previewing the crop angle
      4m 24s
    6. The Crop command
      4m 47s
    7. Straightening with the Ruler tool
      4m 18s
    8. Cropping without clipping
      5m 1s
    9. Perspective cropping
      4m 39s
  8. 1h 41m
    1. Making drab colors look better
      1m 20s
    2. Brightness and contrast
      4m 10s
    3. Adjusting numerical values
      4m 26s
    4. Introducing adjustment layers
      5m 17s
    5. Editing adjustment layers
      2m 51s
    6. Saving adjustment layers
      4m 35s
    7. Adding a quick layer mask
      4m 23s
    8. Introducing the Histogram
      4m 34s
    9. Working with the Histogram panel
      6m 27s
    10. Using Color Balance
      7m 18s
    11. Introducing the Variations command
      4m 51s
    12. Luminance and saturation controls
      3m 54s
    13. Fading a static adjustment
      3m 21s
    14. How hue and saturation work
      4m 28s
    15. Rotating hues and adjusting saturation
      6m 4s
    16. Creating a quick and dirty sepia tone
      4m 42s
    17. Adjusting hues selectively
      5m 32s
    18. The Target Adjustment tool
      4m 24s
    19. Photoshop CS5 Target Adjustment enhancements
      53s
    20. Adjusting the color of clothing
      8m 44s
    21. Enhancing a low-saturation image
      4m 23s
    22. Refining saturation with Vibrance
      5m 1s
  9. 1h 57m
    1. Photoshop versus the real world
      1m 21s
    2. Meet the selection tools
      10m 26s
    3. Marking the center of an image
      4m 9s
    4. Drawing a geometric selection outline
      4m 45s
    5. Blurring a selection outline with Feather
      6m 8s
    6. Copy and paste versus drag and drop
      5m 31s
    7. Creating a graduated selection
      4m 29s
    8. Aligning one image with another
      4m 45s
    9. Accessing the Move tool on the fly
      3m 34s
    10. Invert and Match Colors
      5m 4s
    11. Matching colors selectively
      3m 52s
    12. Feathering and filling a selection
      5m 14s
    13. Dressing up a composition with effects
      5m 34s
    14. The incredible image rotation trick
      2m 18s
    15. The Magic Wand tool
      4m 12s
    16. Tolerance and other options
      7m 7s
    17. Grow, Similar, and Inverse
      5m 39s
    18. Quick selection and the Magnetic Lasso
      7m 27s
    19. Evaluating a selection in Quick Mask
      8m 52s
    20. Saving and loading selections
      6m 14s
    21. Placing an image with a layer mask
      3m 23s
    22. Eliminating edge fringing
      7m 43s
  10. 1h 58m
    1. Brushing to correct
      56s
    2. How brushing works
      4m 52s
    3. Working with spacing
      7m 32s
    4. Changing size and hardness
      7m 45s
    5. The heads-up Color Picker
      7m 17s
    6. Flipping a mirror image
      3m 33s
    7. Setting the source for the History brush
      3m 42s
    8. Brightening details with the Dodge tool
      7m 49s
    9. Darkening details with the Burn tool
      3m 5s
    10. The Sponge tool
      4m 29s
    11. Backing off edits
      8m 4s
    12. Patching eye bags
      8m 57s
    13. Evening out flesh tones
      7m 23s
    14. Smoothing away whiskers
      7m 41s
    15. Reducing shadow noise
      7m 0s
    16. How healing works
      4m 40s
    17. The enhanced Spot Healing brush
      4m 52s
    18. Using the better Healing brush
      4m 23s
    19. Introducing the Clone Source panel
      3m 49s
    20. Cloning from one layer to another
      5m 30s
    21. Working with multiple sources
      4m 44s
  11. 1h 23m
    1. The layered composition
      1m 0s
    2. Making a new background layer
      6m 58s
    3. Working with "big layers"
      6m 24s
    4. Move, Duplicate, and Scale
      4m 11s
    5. Transforming a copy and repeat
      5m 15s
    6. Stacking order and eyedropping a layer
      5m 15s
    7. Adjusting multiple layers at once
      4m 22s
    8. Switching between layers
      4m 56s
    9. Making a digital star field
      5m 9s
    10. Blend mode and clipping mask
      4m 50s
    11. Dragging and dropping from your desktop
      4m 38s
    12. Black + Lens Flare = glow
      6m 16s
    13. Locking transparency
      5m 42s
    14. Adding gradient layers
      8m 12s
    15. Stacking an adjustment layer
      4m 12s
    16. Adding shadow and stroke
      6m 9s
  12. 1h 17m
    1. Outputting from Photoshop and Bridge
      1m 32s
    2. Printing an RGB composite
      5m 31s
    3. Customizing the subjective print file
      3m 15s
    4. Gauging print size
      5m 35s
    5. Scale, position, and page orientation
      5m 6s
    6. Three important printing curiosities
      4m 41s
    7. Introducing the Output options
      5m 34s
    8. Establishing a bleed
      5m 52s
    9. Using the Color Management options
      7m 21s
    10. Generating a PDF contact sheet
      6m 18s
    11. Creating a contact sheet template
      6m 8s
    12. Saving and opening a PDF contact sheet
      4m 18s
    13. Introducing the Web Gallery
      7m 53s
    14. Exporting and editing an HTML site
      3m 58s
    15. The Airtight Photocard site
      4m 56s
  13. 1h 9m
    1. Rules of the web
      1m 1s
    2. Introducing web graphics
      6m 59s
    3. A first look at Save for Web
      5m 47s
    4. Scaling a layered image versus a flat one
      7m 30s
    5. Incremental downsampling
      3m 1s
    6. Adding text, bar, and stroke
      4m 24s
    7. Assigning copyright and metadata
      6m 21s
    8. Comparing GIF, JPEG, and PNG
      4m 59s
    9. Determining the perfect JPEG settings
      6m 31s
    10. Saving metadata
      3m 52s
    11. Working with an unprofiled RGB image
      4m 35s
    12. Downsampling graphic art
      4m 49s
    13. Saving a GIF graphic
      6m 1s
    14. Antiquated GIF versus the better PNG
      4m 6s
  14. 1m 37s
    1. Until next time
      1m 37s

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