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Photoshop is the world’s most powerful image editor, and it’s arguably the most complex, as well. Fortunately, nobody knows the program like award-winning book and video author Deke McClelland. Join Deke as he explores such indispensable Photoshop features as resolution, cropping, color correction, retouching, and layers. Gain expertise with real-world projects that make sense. Exercise files accompany the course.
Download Deke's free dekeKeys and color settings from the Exercise Files tab.
All right gang, we've chosen the image Size command, we've turned on Resample image, we've set the Interpolation of Bicubic and we've set the Resolution value to 600 pixels per inch, thereby ensuring that we will increase the size of the image to 36 times its former size. So now what I'm going to do is click the OK button in order to scale that image and now we are seeing the new pixels at the 100% zoom ratio, but I'm not sure where we are inside the image, so I'm going to press and hold the H key in order to take advantage of that bird's eye function.
So with H pressed clicking and holding and then dragging up here to the skeleton of the shepherd. And you know what, I'm going to go ahead and zoom in by pressing Ctrl+Plus or Command+Plus on the Mac, so that we can view this guy in more detail and I'm also going to press Shift+Tab to hide my right-side panels, and this is the new detail inside the image, now just to give you a sense of how far we've come, this is what the image look like if we just zoomed it to 1200%, and you can see the zoom level up here in the Application Bar.
As opposed of course to the new detail, that was generated by Upsampling the image using the Image Size command, and we're seeing the image now at 200%. So I think fairly obviously, the resampled image is in somewhat better shape than the zoomed only image, and we won't see the Pixel Grid, right, if we had zoomed it using nearest neighbor or something that didn't really take advantage of Interpolation, then we would see the image more like this. So I just press Ctrl+H or Command+H to hide the Pixel Grid for a moment.
So this is a better depiction of the image, and this of course is the Upsampled version. Now the Upsampled version does give us a little better line definition I suppose, I mean we can tell a little better that the stripes are teeth inside the skeleton's head as opposed to this view where it's a little ambiguous what we're looking at quite frankly. Also bear in mind that this image is about 2 megabytes inside of Photoshop and you are just going to zip through it with your edits, whereas this image is like 64 megabytes, 65, something along those lines, so much, much bigger.
And it's going to take Photoshop a little more effort to work its way through, and it's going to take longer to print, and in return you're not really getting that much better detail. So my point is this, Photoshop though it tries very hard to generate new detail when you are Upsampling an image, is not very good at it, because it doesn't know what that original detail was. It's giving you sort of gummier, murkier transitions than you have with straight pixels, however, that's not really the same as actual real detail.
What's the solution? If this isn't the solution, what is? The solution, my friends, is this image right here and it goes by the name Shepherd and big flock.tif, and what this is is an image that I scanned at a higher resolution in the first place. So I'm going to do ahead and press Ctrl+ 1 or Command+1 on the Mac, in order to zoom into this image at 100%. I'm going to press and hold the H key once again, and click and hold, and drag my View up to the skeleton, just like so.
Scroll them over a little bit, and now, you can see what the skeleton really look like, these are the actual lines. In fact, you might argue, we have a little bit too much information, because we have all this glorious, wonderful paper texture, which I think looks absolutely fantastic. And some of the lines are amazingly smooth, like these lines around the shoulder blade, this line through the skeleton's mouth, some of the lines in the hat and so on. So compare that my friends to the Upsampled version here, and it's no comparison whatsoever.
The real thing, the real pixels, are what you want. You want to capture as many pixels as possible. So what does that mean? If you're scanning -- if you're shooting with a Digital Camera always shoot at your top resolution, do not buy-in to the notion that you should shoot at a lower resolution because you can pack more images onto your card. That is a bunch of malarkey from a Photoshop perspective. Because we don't care how many images you can pack on your card you can always get more cards, if you need to, what we care about is the quality of the image inside of Photoshop, and if you capture as many pixels as possible, you have more room to crop.
You have more room to re-size. You have more room to edit the image, more pixels are always going to lead to more clarity. Now what about scanning, what resolution should you scan at? Well, you should look at your Scanner's documentation and you should find out what the top Optical Resolution is. You don't care about the very top resolution. You care about the top Optical Resolution and you should scan at that resolution on a regular basis. Now I'll admit something here, my top Optical Resolution with this Scanner was 1200 pixels per inch, and I went ahead and scanned this image at 600 pixels per inch, which worked out just fine for Pencil Art like this.
But if later, I think I should, wish I had scanned it at a higher resolution, I'm out of luck, unless I want to go back and scan it at a higher resolution. So when in doubt, regardless of the device, capture as many pixels as you can.
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