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Increasing the resolution of an image

If you don’t want to read the article, you can skip to the tutorial near the bottom of the page.

I recently completed an article on the problems of increasing the resolution of a low resolution image. The basics of it is that there is a rule in computer graphics that states that if you want a high resolution image you must start with a high resolution image. In nearly all cases this is true, but like I mentioned in the other article Adobe, the makers of Photoshop is working towards automating the process using a kind of AI to increase the amount of pixels in an inch (ppi) and still retain the same look of the original image.

For this article I want to go over the process of making a low resolution image print-ready, 72 ppi to 300 dpi, in Photoshop. Before we start though, I want to make sure that I acknowledge that you have always been able to do this manually. What I mean is that if you have the time and patience to sit and use multiple filters, tools, and effects in PS you could probably get close to a good final product. The truth though is that few of us have the patience to actually do this. It also takes a good artistic eye to know that you aren’t destroying the overall ‘look’ of the image. The last thing you want is to have a high resolution image of a plastic looking model (unless the model was plastic to start with). So this article is using automated processes to have PS do the grunt work.

I want to do a shout-out to the inspiration for this tutorial to the Youtube channel, piximperfect. If you are the type of person that prefers a video over a written tutorial, then head over to youtube to watch his/their video.

Software needed

You will need to use a Creative Cloud (CC) version of PS to be able to use the tools I do in this tutorial. If you don’t have a CC version you can still use a more manual way of accomplishing the tutorial, but I won’t be going over it here.

The easiest way to increase the resolution

PPI refers to pixels per inch and is the unit of measurement on a computer screen. DPI means dots per inch and is specific to printing. They are typically used interchangeably.
Now what I’m going to describe here is kind of a cheat. What I mean by this is that you really don’t have any work to do assuming that the dimensions of your image is very large. Let’s take a 72ppi, 1000 x 1000 pixel image (converted to inches is 14″ x 14″) and increase the resolution.

In PS go to Image/Image Size and in the dialog window, simply increase the resolution to 300 ppi. What you should see is that the dimensions of the image are now smaller. The once 14″ x 14″ image is now changed to 3.333 x 3.333 inches. Note, if you didn’t get that result, make sure that “Resample” is not checked.


Congratulations, if the dimensions of the image fits the size that you needed, then you’re done and nothing else is needed.

So what happened? This can kind of be a little confusing but it makes complete sense if you look at it through math. The 14″ x 14″ image has been reduced the same ratio as the resolution has been increased. So we started with 72 ppi and increased it to 300 ppi, we divide 300 by 72 and we come up with 4.17, yeah? Now we divide the 14″ dimension by 4.17 and we should get 3.35″ taking rounding into consideration. What used to take 72 pixels per inch to show now takes 300, so 14″  becomes 3.35.”

If you remember when changing the resolution, that size of the image is inversely proportional to the resolution of the image you should not have any problems. This works for decreasing the resolution as well.

Examples of the result of changing dimensions of an image

Original dimensions in pixels per inchOriginal ResolutionChanged resolutionResult dimensions in pixels per inchComments
1200 x 1200300 ppi150 ppi2400 x 2400We decreased the resolution by half, so we doubled the dimensions.
350 x 70072 ppi300 ppi84 x 168We increased the resolution which decreased the dimensions.
425 x 300150 ppi72 ppi885 x 624150 to 72 increases the dimensions by a factor of 2.08

What resolution should you use?

I wanted to touch on this before we moved over to PS. It is directly relatable to what size your image must be for certain purposes. For example, what resolution do you need for an image that will be displayed on a web page? What about the resolution for something that you are going to print? I’ve included another table to help you decide what your resolution should be for the intended use.

Intended use of the imageMinimum ppi/dpiOptimal sizeAdditional sizes used in ppi/dpi
Optimized Web Documents (pdf)72150300
Print Low Resolution150150
Print High Resolution300300
Apps IOS160326Too many to list

Finally, we can now move over to PS to let Adobe’s new, almost AI technology  help us with the process.

If PS isn’t opened yet, open it up and add your chosen image that you want to increase the ppi with.  Remember, dimensions matter.

Go to Photoshop/Preferences/Technology Previews

When the dialog box opens tick the box labeled “Enable Preserve Details 2.0 Upscale.”


changing prefs

Now go to Image/Image Size in the menubar

After the dialog box opens, you will need to click on the dropdown menu (probably says, Automatic) and select Preserve Details 2.0

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Now change the resolution of your image

You’re almost done, the last thing that you need to do is adjust the “Reduce Noise” slider to fit your preferences. You might find it easier to judge the results of your changes by zooming in on an area of the image that has a lot of detail in the preview window.

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Alright, so that’s basically it. Assuming that you’ve got the correct size and ppi for your intended use, and maybe more importantly, you’ve got an image that isn’t pixelated or blurry, you are good to go.

One thing to remember.

This technology is new”er” and I still get mixed results using it. You should not expect that every image that you want to increase the resolution will turn out perfect using this method or any other. Until the software is able to understand what the image is, and is able to determine “rough” areas that need work, it is ultimately up to you to make final decisions. The best result you will get though is starting with a high resolution image.


VR Headset by Leap Motion

I wanted to share a video that I found on about Leap Motions’s new AR Headset. From the description on the youtube video, “Leap Motion has been working on Project North Star, an open source augmented reality hardware and UX design project centered on interaction. The headset has incredible hand tracking without the need of special gloves and will cost around $100. “

What makes this so unique, at least to the point that I was willing to write about it is that you can interact with 3d objects completely. There are many VR headsets that allow some manipulation of virtual items, but it appears that Leap has taken it to the next level. The video contains examples of tab-like structures connected to a persons hand that can be pulled out, maybe scrolled, somewhat similar to using a web site. I’m not really sure how this would be utilized in a program, but the fact that the tabs appear to be fixed to the person’s hand is remarkable. No gloves required.

Take a moment to watch the video, it’s only 48 seconds, and let me know how you see this technology being used.

low resolution image

Why you can’t increase the resolution of an image

low resolution imageOne of the core understandings in computer graphics is that if you want a high resolution image, you must start with a high resolution image. Forget all the tv shows that you’ve seen where the person is standing behind a computer technician asking them, “Can you sharpen the image a little more?” The computer technician  maybe clicks a few buttons and the suddenly the license plate that was too blurry to read becomes crystal clear. It’s a miracle, the computer can do anything! Sorry, that isn’t real life, at least with current technology. A computer can do a lot of things, but when it comes to enhancing low resolution imagery the computer at best must ‘guess’ what the image is.

To understand this concept it helps if you understand the way an image is formed on the computer. If you were to zoom in as far as you could on any image, you would see a collection of different colored squares, these squares are called pixels. To a computer, that image isn’t a photo of anything, it is just as I said, a series of pixels placed in a particular way that when viewed by humans looks like you, your dog, Continue reading


This immersive tech turns your memories into beautiful abstract art.

I guess that I expected it to happen one day or another, but to actually see brain waves of memories is something that I don’t think I really thought would happen for some time. The idea of turning your memories into a visual medium is very interesting though. Think about it, if you’re thinking about an episode of your life, maybe a break up, or a fight, or maybe something enjoyable like when you got married, or when your toes first touched the sand on the beach in Thailand, and you see the result as a graphic on the screen in front of you. Maybe it’s colorful for your happy memories, and maybe dark for your sad ones.

According to an article on, “A London-based creative technology studio, Random Quark, has found a way to visually and directly represent emotions by scanning people’s brains to create awe-inspiring paintings.”

In all honesty they really don’t show a lot of the end result, but the premise of idea is intriguing to say the least. I mean, could you create a work of art based only on your memories? Could you explain your perspective of an event based on memories? Imagine someone looking at your past and seeing how bad you felt or how happy your were based on this technology. Is it a huge step to think that this could be used as a medical tool. I don’t know, but it would seem that some medical professionals would benefit from knowing what an event meant to you.





The Mark Zuckerberg Deepfakes Are Forcing Facebook to Fact Check Art

Alright, we’ve all been hearing about deepfakes lately. For those of you who haven’t heard, deep fakes, by my understanding, are computer generated fake imagery, usually in the form of videos, of people doing or saying things that they wouldn’t normally do or say. This video is the perfect example.

When it comes to deepfakes the more important element is that it’s believable. Does the person sound right, look right, and what they’re saying come within the realm of possibility? That’s what makes this video so great. When I watched it, it felt like I was watching the real, “Mark” who wasn’t trying to hide anything. Like he was telling the truth. It was just perfect.

I guess that the result of this video was a change in the way Facebook vets the posts that it allows on the site. I’m not a big Facebook fan, so this is so funny to me. Here’s the video and serious props to the artists that created it.

When the “fake” Mark Zuckerberg says, “Spector showed me…” I swear I laughed out loud.

Link The Video