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Reduce JPEG to PSD - Pixelation

New Here ,
Oct 19, 2021 Oct 19, 2021

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Hello,

I am having an issue with images becoming pixelated even though I am working with 300dpi images.
I am starting with a JPEG and saving it as a Smart Object and then Transforming it to reduce the size (I retain Bicubic Sharper when reducing), resaving as a PSD.  When I reduce the PSD it becomes pixelated. No amound of fiddling with the filers remedies this. (I would add the file, but PSDs are not uploadable here.)
 
Does anyone have an idea why this is happening? I am reducing the PSD, not enlarging it.
 
Thank you!
 
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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 19, 2021 Oct 19, 2021

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"300 ppi" means absolutely nothing by itself. The important thing is how many pixels.

 

You can have a file of 2 x 2 pixels at 300 ppi. That doesn't mean it's high resolution, it just means it will print microscopically small. Pixels per inch. It means exactly what it says.

 

When you reduce pixels, it becomes pixelated, by definition.

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New Here ,
Oct 19, 2021 Oct 19, 2021

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@D Fosse That makes sense. When I resize it the pixes reduce from 3600 x 2700 to 900 x 675. I don't know how to retain the pixels.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 19, 2021 Oct 19, 2021

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Are you zooming in beyond 100%? If you do, you will see pixels.

 

900 x 675 is around traditional website size. It should display at 100% at a fairly comfortable size on most screens. But don't zoom in.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 19, 2021 Oct 19, 2021

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@Torydesign wrote:

When I resize it the pixes reduce from 3600 x 2700 to 900 x 675.


 

Two questions can help us figure this out:

  • What are the dimensions (width and height), in pixels, of the Photoshop document containing the Smart Object? You can find out by choosing Image > Image Size and looking at Dimensions near the top. 
  • If the JPEG Smart Object was scaled down within the containing Photoshop document, what are its current pixel dimensions? You can find out by selecting the Smart Object layer, choosing Edit > Free Transform, and looking at the options bar W x H or Info panel, set to Pixels. 

 

This is important because no matter how many pixels are in the Smart Object, the number of pixels that can be displayed from it may be limited by the pixel dimensions of the containing Photoshop document, and whether it uses just a portion of the pixels (scaled down) in the containing document.

 

For example, if you have a 1000 x 1000 pixel JPEG file, and you add it as a Smart Object to a 500 x 500 pixel Photoshop document and make it fit within the edges, the 1000 x 1000 pixel JPEG must appear as a 500 x 500 pixel layer. And then, if you reduced the Smart Object to be 200 x 200 pixels, then the 1000 x 1000 pixel JPEG appears as a 200 x 200 pixel layer.

 

If your goal is to see all of the pixels of the JPEG Smart Object when zooming in, regardless of how far down it’s scaled, you will need to either increase the pixel dimensions of the Photoshop document, or switch to a vector-based application such as Adobe InDesign or Adobe Illustrator. But also understanding that whether the final published image shows all that detail depends on the resolution of the final display (96 ppi screen, 2400 ppi print, etc.) and how large the image is shown on it.

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Advisor ,
Oct 19, 2021 Oct 19, 2021

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@Conrad C This is just the classic misunderstanding of resolution. The OP is wondering why they lose resolution when creating a low-res image. For some reason, people believe that you can transform an image without losing detail.

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Advisor ,
Oct 19, 2021 Oct 19, 2021

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you don't retain those pixels. You're scaling from 9,720,000 pixels to 607,500 pixels and all those pixels are thrown away when you scale.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 19, 2021 Oct 19, 2021

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See: https://community.adobe.com/t5/photoshop-ecosystem-discussions/my-photos-are-clear-in-camera-raw-but...

Sounds like the same issue; too few pixels and the idea that 300dpi has a meaning in terms of image quality; it doesn't. 

Author “Color Management for Photographers" & "Photoshop CC Color Management"

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New Here ,
Oct 19, 2021 Oct 19, 2021

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Thank you all for your input. I appreciate it. 

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