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Upsampling vs. real pixels

From: Photoshop CS6 One-on-One: Fundamentals

Video: Upsampling vs. real pixels

In this movie, I'll show you the difference between manufacturing pixels by upsampling in Photoshop versus capturing a high resolution high-quality image in the first place with your scanner or digital camera. I'm still working in that duplicate version of the low res image. I'm going to go up to the Image menu, and choose the Image Size command. I'll make sure that Resample Image is turned on, Constrain Proportion should be turned on as well. The Scale Styles option only matters for layer effects and we don't have any layers inside this image, so it doesn't matter.

Upsampling vs. real pixels

In this movie, I'll show you the difference between manufacturing pixels by upsampling in Photoshop versus capturing a high resolution high-quality image in the first place with your scanner or digital camera. I'm still working in that duplicate version of the low res image. I'm going to go up to the Image menu, and choose the Image Size command. I'll make sure that Resample Image is turned on, Constrain Proportion should be turned on as well. The Scale Styles option only matters for layer effects and we don't have any layers inside this image, so it doesn't matter.

Just make sure those final two check boxes are turned on, and then, let's go ahead and send that Resolution value through the roof. I'm going to crank this up to 1000 pixels per inch, which is way more than I need for printing purposes but great for demonstration, and then I'll go ahead and click OK. Now I'm still viewing the image at the 100% view size. However, I'm looking at some detail in the center of the image. So I'll press and hold the H key, click and hold, then drag up to the eyes of this Tyrannosaurus over here in the right-hand side, and release. You can see that we have some pretty gummy detail, but you might argue it's better than the original.

I'll go ahead and switch back to that original low resolution image. I'll drop down to this little zoom value here, and change it to 1000% so that we're equally zoom in on the image. So I'll go ahead and press and hold the H key, click and hold inside the image, drag over to the dinosaur's eyes, and release. Now because we're zoomed in farther than 600%, we can see the pixel grid, which are the lines between the individual pixels. The easiest way to hide those lines is to press Ctrl+H or Command+H on a Mac. And that way, we'll just be able to focus in on these pixels.

Now obviously, we have some pretty choppy transitions inside this low res image, whereas inside the upsampled version of the image, the transitions are a heck of a lot smoother as you can see. So we don't have that appearance of jagged edges. Of course, we can't see the individual squares as we can in a low res image. Even so, I wouldn't say that we have a particularly detailed graphic, whereas, let's take a look at a high res version of this image created by scanning the image at a high resolution in the first place. Notice I'm viewing the image at the 10% zoom ratio, so I am way zoomed out from this image at the moment.

I'm going to press Ctrl+1 or Command+1 on the Mac to zoom all the way in, and then I'm going to once again press and hold the H key, and drag over to the T-Rex's eyes like so, and notice the gorgeous detail inside this image. You can see the independent crayon lines, you can see all this edge detail associated with the water coloring, you can even see the paper texture. Compare that with the upsampled version of the file and you can see that real pixels captured with a scanner or digital camera just can't be beat, because the fact of the matter is when you upsample an image, Photoshop just has the original pixels to work from, and it can't make up new detail.

I want you to notice one more thing about these images. If I switch back to the zoomed in low res version of the graphic, you can see down here in the lower-left corner of the window that the document size is 1.66 Megs. If you can't see that value by the way, click on the right-pointing arrowhead and choose the Document Sizes option. That's a very small file in memory. Photoshop can easily handle files of this size with no delay whatsoever. Whereas, these other two files, both the upsampled version of the image, and the scanned high res version of the image are right at 166 megabytes in memory.

What that means is that you are going to have occasional delays while editing such files, especially as you add layers to them. As a rule of thumb, it depends on your system of course, but that performance threshold occurs around 100 megabytes, just so you know. But even now these two files are exactly the same size, and require the same performance hit where Photoshop is concerned, this file which has the same Resolution value of 1000 pixels per inch, does not contain nearly as much detail and this is a function of what's known as Spatial Resolution, which is how our eyes resolve the detail.

So this upsampled version of the image is said to have a low spatial resolution, where the high resolution scan is said to have a high spatial resolution, and that's what you want. So when in doubt, scan as many pixels as possible. You always want to go with the highest optical resolution that your scanner offers. And where your digital camera is concerned, you always want to capture at its maximum resolution as well, because what you want in your digital images regardless of where they're ultimately going, print or web, is as much detail as you can get.

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This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CS6 One-on-One: Fundamentals
Photoshop CS6 One-on-One: Fundamentals

100 video lessons · 56170 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
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  1. 19m 15s
    1. Welcome to One-on-One
      2m 27s
    2. Opening from the Windows desktop
      4m 7s
    3. Opening from the Macintosh Finder
      4m 9s
    4. Opening from Photoshop or Bridge
      2m 45s
    5. Opening an image from Mini Bridge
      1m 16s
    6. Opening through Camera Raw
      2m 32s
    7. Closing one image and Closing All
      1m 59s
  2. 38m 14s
    1. Navigating your image
      40s
    2. The dark vs. the light interface
      3m 12s
    3. Navigating tabs and windows
      4m 32s
    4. Panels and workspaces
      4m 27s
    5. Zooming incrementally
      4m 29s
    6. Zooming continuously
      2m 43s
    7. Entering a custom zoom value
      2m 25s
    8. Scrolling and panning images
      2m 31s
    9. Rotating and resetting the view
      2m 11s
    10. Cycling between screen modes
      3m 10s
    11. Using the Navigator panel
      3m 38s
    12. Adjusting a few screen prefs
      4m 16s
  3. 45m 58s
    1. Digital imaging fundamentals
      1m 45s
    2. Image size and resolution
      3m 3s
    3. The Image Size command
      3m 27s
    4. Common resolution standards
      3m 20s
    5. Upsampling vs. real pixels
      4m 36s
    6. Changing the print size
      6m 16s
    7. Downsampling for print
      4m 12s
    8. Downsampling for email
      3m 11s
    9. The interpolation settings
      5m 22s
    10. Downsampling advice
      4m 36s
    11. Upsampling advice
      6m 10s
  4. 53m 17s
    1. The layered composition
      1m 40s
    2. Introducing the Layers panel
      4m 12s
    3. Adding, scaling, and aligning layers
      5m 27s
    4. Dragging and dropping layers
      4m 36s
    5. Stack, reveal, and rename
      2m 58s
    6. Opacity, history, and blend mode
      6m 5s
    7. Duplicating a selected portion of a layer
      5m 32s
    8. Applying a clipping mask
      3m 58s
    9. Blending inside a clipping mask
      4m 10s
    10. Finishing off your artwork
      3m 13s
    11. Creating a new layer and background
      4m 24s
    12. Layering tips and tricks
      7m 2s
  5. 26m 19s
    1. The art of saving
      54s
    2. Four things to know about saving
      6m 0s
    3. Saving layers to PSD
      6m 38s
    4. Saving print images to TIFF
      4m 48s
    5. Saving an interactive image to PNG
      3m 41s
    6. Saving a flat photo to JPEG
      4m 18s
  6. 19m 36s
    1. Honing in on your image
      1m 43s
    2. The new and improved Crop tool
      3m 35s
    3. Editing your last crop
      3m 1s
    4. Straightening a crooked image
      2m 29s
    5. Filling in missing details
      6m 44s
    6. Using the Perspective Crop tool
      2m 4s
  7. 42m 6s
    1. First, there is brightness
      2m 12s
    2. How luminance works
      4m 18s
    3. The three Auto commands
      3m 27s
    4. Automatic brightness and contrast
      3m 19s
    5. The Brightness/Contrast command
      2m 47s
    6. The dynamic adjustment layer
      4m 5s
    7. Editing adjustment layers
      3m 52s
    8. Isolating an adjustment with a layer mask
      3m 31s
    9. Introducing the histogram
      4m 58s
    10. Measuring an adjustment
      3m 34s
    11. Using the Shadows/Highlights command
      6m 3s
  8. 44m 33s
    1. And second, there is color
      1m 31s
    2. Identifying a color cast
      3m 34s
    3. Correcting a color cast automatically
      3m 57s
    4. Changing the color balance
      6m 10s
    5. Compensating with Photo Filter
      3m 11s
    6. Adjusting color intensity with Vibrance
      3m 29s
    7. Correcting color cast in Camera Raw
      5m 46s
    8. The Hue/Saturation command
      5m 26s
    9. Summoning colors where none exist
      4m 8s
    10. Making more color with Vibrance
      4m 27s
    11. Making a quick-and-dirty sepia tone
      2m 54s
  9. 55m 46s
    1. Making selective modifications
      1m 10s
    2. The geometric Marquee tools
      6m 1s
    3. Aligning one image element to another
      4m 59s
    4. The freeform Lasso tools
      3m 59s
    5. Polygonal Lasso tool and Quick Mask
      5m 19s
    6. Cropping one selection inside another
      6m 15s
    7. Creating rays of light
      4m 44s
    8. Quick Selection and Similar
      4m 11s
    9. Making it better with Refine Edge
      4m 56s
    10. Integrating image elements
      2m 39s
    11. Magic Wand and Grow
      5m 17s
    12. Refine, integrate, and complete
      6m 16s
  10. 53m 49s
    1. Your best face forward
      1m 0s
    2. Content-Aware Fill
      6m 11s
    3. Using the Spot Healing Brush
      5m 36s
    4. The more capable "standard" Healing Brush
      5m 55s
    5. Meet the Clone Source panel
      3m 53s
    6. Caps Lock and Fade
      4m 57s
    7. The Dodge and Burn tools
      5m 1s
    8. Adjusting color with the Brush tool
      6m 35s
    9. Smoothing skin textures
      5m 58s
    10. Brightening teeth
      4m 0s
    11. Intensifying eyes
      4m 43s
  11. 51s
    1. Goodbye
      51s

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