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Get the ultimate foundation in Adobe Photoshop CC, in this update to the flagship series Photoshop One-on-One. Deke takes you on a personalized tour of the basic tools and techniques that lie behind great images and graphic design, while keeping you up to speed with the newest features offered with Creative Cloud. Learn to open images from multiple sources, get around the panels and menus, and work with layers—the feature that allows you to perform masking, combine effects, and perform other edits nondestructively. Then Deke shows how to perform important editing tasks, such as cropping and straightening images, adjusting the luminance of your image, correcting color imbalances and enhancing color creatively, and finally, retouching and healing.
In this movie, we'll take one last look at upsampling. In here my advice is a lot simpler. Use preserve details. It's just the best option there is for this purpose. Now normally I don't recommend upsampling. I'm not a big fan of the process. But what do you do with an image like this, of Buzz Aldrin as captured by Neil Armstrong? It's not the kind of image that you're going to shoot anytime soon, and neither is anybody else. So this is what we got.
And it's a fairly low resolution image and it's a pretty grainy film capture as well. So let's say I want to make it bigger. I'd go up to the Image > Image Size. And currently it's set to print at a size of 14 inches approximately square. But the resolution is a scant 100 pixels per inch. What I want to do is take that guy up to 300 pixels per inch, like so. And we end up seeing this pretty blobby result.
Now, the thing that it may not look that good at first, but try comparing to some other settings that are available to us. If you were to go with nearest neighbor, of course, you get the same thing that you get whenyou click and hold inside the preview, that is, you're just increasing the size of the pixels. If you were to try, by cubic smoother, as was the old automatic setting. You end up just really softening the results, so it's as if you upsampled the image and then blurred it. And while it does get rid of the stair stepping of the big pixels, it doesn't give us anything in the way of decent detail.
Even if you switch from Bicubic Smoother to Bicubic Sharper, it doesn't really change things very much as you can see. There is a slight change going on, but not much. Whereas, if you stick with Bicubic Automatic, you get a much better looking result. Notice how smooth and sharp actually that circular detail is around the helmet. And that's something we've just never had inside Photoshop before. Now this is, as I was saying, a very grainy image.
That means it's pretty noisy. We got some noise detail going on. And if you want to get rid of that, then you need to manually switch to preserve details, which implies the same interpolation. That's why we don't see anything shift on screen. And then, you want to crank up Reduce Noise and in our case, we want to take it all the way from 0 up to 100%, and you'll see a ton of noise drop away from the sleeve. And I want you to see this, look at this region inside of the helmet. This is what it looks like with reduce noise set to zero and this is how it looks with reduce noise set to 100, so we are smoothing out that detail there.
Now, for those of you that know a thing or two about noise, this option gets rid of luminance noise, which is random variations in the brightness of neighboring pixels. It does not get rid of color noise, which is random variation in the colors. Between neighboring pixels. But it still does a heck of a good job. Now it's not going to generate detail. I want you to know that. What it is going to do is preserve things like circles and diagonal lines and other things that I was telling you don't really fit the mold of square pixels. But we've got the reflection of Neil Armstrong right there in the middle of the helmet.
And whehter or not we were to apply Nearest Neighbor or preserve details. He still looks like this kind of nebulous blob. Anyway, what you want to do if you just want to prove to yourself how great this is is click OK and then go ahead and print this image. Now it looks like I ruined it and it turned black but that's because we're zoomed into the upper left hand corner. So I'll press Ctrl+0 or Command+0 on a Mac. I'm now looking at Buzz Aldrin at the 50% zoom ratio. Try printing out this image, and you just won't believe how absolutely great it looks.
So, when push comes to shove and you just have no other option but to upsample an image, preserve details along with a little bit of noise reduction is the way to go.
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