How to Resize an Image While Preserving Quality

If you are a photographer or designer, you know that image size and resolution are crucial for producing quality visuals. When you need to resize an image for different uses like web, print, or social media, it’s essential to do it properly, so details are not lost or distorted. In this article, you’ll learn key concepts about pixels, resolution, DPI, and PPI. You’ll discover how to find the right settings in Photoshop and use resampling to intelligently scale images to any dimensions while preserving sharpness and clarity. With these techniques, you’ll resize images like a pro while maintaining their visual integrity across projects and mediums.

Understanding Image Resolution: Pixels, DPI, and PPI

When resizing an image, it’s important to understand the concepts of pixels, resolution, dots per inch (DPI), and pixels per inch (PPI). This will help you resize your image without losing quality.

  • Pixels are the tiny colored dots that make up a digital image. The more pixels in an image, the higher the resolution and level of detail.
  • Resolution refers to the number of pixels in an image. Images with more pixels can be printed or displayed at larger sizes without becoming blurry or pixelated.
  • DPI (dots per inch) measures printer resolution. It refers to how many ink dots a printer can print per inch. Standard photo prints are usually around 300 DPI.
  • PPI (pixels per inch) measures image resolution. It refers to how many pixels are present per inch in the image. Print images should have a PPI close to the printer’s DPI for best quality.

To find the PPI or DPI of an image, you can check the image properties in a program like Photoshop. When resizing images, aim to maintain the original PPI to preserve quality and details. If the PPI is lowered too much, the image will look blurry or pixelated if printed or displayed larger.

While you can resize an image to any dimensions, going too small can lose details and going too big can make the image blurry or pixelated. Try to avoid excessive upsizing and make gradual size changes instead. Using Photoshop’s resampling method can help optimize images when resizing.

With an understanding of resolution, you can thoughtfully resize images and preserve quality. Maintaining adequate pixels per inch will help retain details and sharpness when printing or displaying the image in its new size.

Advanced Image Resizing Techniques in Photoshop

When resizing an image in Photoshop, you have several advanced options to help preserve image quality:

  • Use bicubic sampling for enlargement and bicubic smoother for reduction. These algorithms resample pixels in a way that retains smooth gradients and edges.
  • Adjust the image resolution (dpi/ppi) appropriately for the new size. For print, aim for 300 dpi. For web, 72 dpi is fine.
  • Use the Preserve Details option. This applies advanced sharpening and noise reduction tailored for upsizing.
  • Try the new Preserve Details 2.0 for even better enlargement quality via AI-powered upsampling.
  • Convert to a smart object first. This lets you resize non-destructively.
  • Add high-pass sharpening after resizing to restore lost edge definition.
  • Use the Camera Raw filter to sharpen details and reduce noise.
  • Mask out noise/artifacts and touch up important areas by hand.

With careful resizing techniques, you can resize images to any dimensions while retaining excellent image quality. The key is preserving resolution and using advanced resample methods like Bicubic Sharper.

Bicubic Sampling and Bicubic Smoother

Bicubic sampling and bicubic smoother are interpolation methods used in Adobe Photoshop for resizing images. Let me explain each method in detail:

Bicubic Sampling for Enlargement:
When you want to increase the size of an image in Photoshop, bicubic sampling is a commonly used interpolation method to preserve as much detail and sharpness as possible. Here’s how it works:

  1. Original Image: Start with your original image that you want to enlarge.
  2. Bicubic Sampling: In Photoshop, when you use bicubic sampling for enlargement, the software analyzes the surrounding pixels and calculates new pixel values for the enlarged image. It uses a weighted average of the neighboring pixels to determine the new pixel values.
  3. Preserving Detail: Bicubic sampling aims to maintain the sharpness and detail of the original image while increasing its size. It tries to prevent the image from appearing too blurry or pixelated by using the calculated pixel values based on the surrounding information.
  4. Smooth Transition: Bicubic sampling also helps in creating smooth transitions between colors and tones in the enlarged image. It reduces the likelihood of visible artifacts or jagged edges that can occur when resizing an image.

In summary, bicubic sampling for enlargement in Photoshop uses a weighted average of neighboring pixels to calculate new pixel values, aiming to preserve detail, sharpness, and smooth transitions in the enlarged image.

Bicubic Smoother for Reduction:
When you want to reduce the size of an image in Photoshop, bicubic smoother is an interpolation method that helps maintain image quality by reducing noise and artifacts. Here’s how it works:

  1. Original Image: Start with your original image that you want to reduce.
  2. Bicubic Smoother: When you use bicubic smoother for reduction in Photoshop, it analyzes the surrounding pixels and calculates new pixel values for the reduced image. It takes into account the color and tonal information of neighboring pixels.
  3. Noise Reduction: Bicubic smoother aims to reduce noise and artifacts that may appear when reducing the size of an image. It applies a smoothing effect to minimize any irregularities or pixelation that can occur during the resizing process.
  4. Preserving Image Quality: Bicubic smoother helps maintain the overall quality of the image by minimizing the loss of detail and preserving the integrity of colors and tones. It creates a more visually pleasing result when reducing the image size.

In summary, bicubic smoother for reduction in Photoshop uses neighboring pixel information to calculate new pixel values, reducing noise and artifacts while preserving image quality during the resizing process.

By understanding these interpolation methods, you can make informed decisions when resizing images in Photoshop and choose the most suitable option based on your specific needs.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to resize an image in Photoshop without losing quality:

How to Resize Images Without Losing Quality
  1. Open the Image: Launch Adobe Photoshop and open the image you want to resize by going to “File” > “Open” and browsing for the image file on your computer.
  2. Duplicate the Image: To preserve the original image, it’s always a good practice to work on a duplicate. To do this, right-click on the Background layer in the Layers panel and select “Duplicate Layer.” Click “OK” in the dialog box that appears.
  3. Select the Image Size Menu: Go to the top menu and click on “Image” > “Image Size.” This will open the Image Size dialog box.
  4. Set the Resolution: Uncheck the “Resample” option to maintain the original pixel dimensions and avoid any loss of quality. Then, enter the desired resolution in the “Resolution” field. Make sure to keep the “Pixel/Inch” option selected.
  5. Adjust the Dimensions: If you need to resize the image while maintaining its aspect ratio (proportions), ensure that the “Constrain Proportions” option is checked. Then, enter the desired width or height value in the appropriate field. Photoshop will automatically adjust the other dimension to maintain the aspect ratio.
  6. Choose the Interpolation Method: In the same Image Size dialog box, you’ll find the “Resample” option. Select the most suitable interpolation method from the dropdown menu. “Bicubic (best for smooth gradients)” is generally a good choice for resizing images without losing too much quality.
  7. Preview and Fine-Tune: Take a look at the preview image in the dialog box to see how the resized image will appear. If necessary, you can make additional adjustments to the dimensions or resolution until you achieve the desired result.
  8. Apply the Changes: Once you are satisfied with the settings, click the “OK” button to apply the changes and resize the image.
  9. Save the Resized Image: To save the resized image, go to “File” > “Save As.” Choose the desired file format (such as JPEG or PNG) and provide a new name for the resized image. Click “Save” to complete the process.

By following these steps, you can resize an image in Photoshop while maintaining its quality as much as possible. Remember to keep a backup of the original image, just in case you need it later.

Scroll to Top