I place a photo in illustrator. The person on the original photo is tilted a bit and I want him straight. So I rotate the link in Illustrator after placing it. Once exported, the picture is blocky. So I go back in PS, rotate the picture, save it and relink in AI. Then the photo is clean and clear when exported. How come AI rotation scraps the linked photo?
On the screenshot, the image on the left been rotated in AI. The image on the right is rotated in PS.
I tried the Preview on CPU and it doesn't change the quality of the export (tried with a regular Export as PNG, and a Export for Screen).
The file resolution is around 200dpi.
I tried saving the file in TIF, PNG, PSD (transparency is needed), but that doesn't affect the result: the rotated image is still blocky when it's exported. Note that this problem doesn't affect PDF. The same linked image rotated in AI will be clean and clear when saved as a PDF (whatever the PDF format).
You can try if that "Smooth bitmaps" option in Preferences > File handling affects your image as well. It's actually meant for 1 bit images, but I haven't tested it on other images. Also you could try if a Gaussian blur with a low value improves it. But after all, Illustrator is just not made for pixels.
As you said, AI isn't made fore pixels. So I'd rather fix the file directly in PS instead of trying to blur the image in AI. I never saw that problem before. I don't know if it's a bug out of the new 2023 version or if it always been there.