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Upscaling within Photoshop

Community Beginner ,
Feb 29, 2024 Feb 29, 2024

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Having the ability to perform upscaling within Photoshop would be a fantastic application. I am an editor of illustrated books and we often encounter the problem of wanting to enlarge a drawing, but the printed resolution limits us. I am familiar with the Super Zoom tool in Neural Filters, but it's not the same because that function involves cropping, which is not ideal. It would be a tremendous asset to incorporate this feature into Photoshop.

 

Greetings and thank you.

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Community Expert ,
Mar 02, 2024 Mar 02, 2024

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Upsampling is possible with the Image Size-dialog so please elaborate. 

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Community Expert ,
Mar 02, 2024 Mar 02, 2024

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Super Zoom doesn't need to crop, that's just a secondary function. At basic operation it scales the full original to 2x linear dimensions. One pixel becomes four.

 

You probably already know the following, so this is just general information for others reading this:

 

There is nothing magical about the 300 ppi number. It's a theoretical upper limit, beyond which no improvement is possible - but it's not a lower limit. You can print eminently sharp at lower ppi numbers, down to 200 ppi or so, on matte paper even lower - if the file is prepared and sharpened optimally.

 

The 300 number relates to a standard book/magazine halftone screen of 150 lines per inch (lpi). The theory is that at twice that number, it is no longer possible to distinguish individual pixels. They are totally masked by the halftone screen. So in other words - it's not even a sharpness limit, it's a smoothness limit.

 

And of course, for bigger sizes the ppi (and lpi) requirement drops rapidly because it's seen from farther away.

 

What I'm getting at is that upscaling isn't needed nearly as often as most people think. There is no reason to upsample just because ppi drops below 300. Upsampling never improves anything, regardless of the algorithm used, ai or not. On the contrary, it will often just introduce artifacts.

 

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Explorer ,
Mar 26, 2024 Mar 26, 2024

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I use AI (Topaz) for upscale / sharp / denoise. It's a whole different ball game.

 

 

AI.jpg

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Community Expert ,
Mar 26, 2024 Mar 26, 2024

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Photoshop offers many kinds of upscaling, but all of them are unnecessarily hidden in multiple places in Photoshop.

 

Super Zoom can do the job, but how to do that is also unnecessarily obscure. To have Super Zoom upscale without cropping, the Output menu must be set to New Document. Like I said…not obvious to anyone.

 

Neural-Filters-Output-menu.jpg

 

Currently, you’ll find different upscaling options in these corners of Photoshop…

 

Traditional upscaling:

Image Size dialog box, Resample menu choices (several, including Bicubic Smoother, Preserve Details, and Preserve Details 2.0).

 

AI upscaling (newer and often better):

Neural Filters, Super Zoom; set Output to New Document to upscale entire image, or set Output to New Layer to upscale the layer but limit its pixel dimensions to that of the containing document.

Camera Raw only when opening an entire document (won’t work as Filter > Camera Raw Filter), Enhance command (hidden in More Settings menu or by right-clicking image), Super Resolution.

 

People would be more aware of these upscaling options if they were more discoverable at the top level of Photoshop.

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Mentor ,
Mar 27, 2024 Mar 27, 2024

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If anyone would have told me 10 years ago that we could upscale a 150px image such as this one:

 

rayekelfin_1-1711524645017.png

 

to a 2400px image like this:

 

rayekelfin_0-1711524579568.png

 

...I would have laughed straight in your face.

 

That we are pulling this off with free and commercial tools... Unimaginable.

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Community Expert ,
Mar 27, 2024 Mar 27, 2024

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It is impressive. 

No argument there. 

 

But … the result is not exactly a photograph. 

With any non-documentary photography (like artistic, certain advertising, …) this does not matter but in other contexts it could lead to problems yet. 

Just be wary of the »deblur license plate in security camera footage«-kind of issues. 

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Community Expert ,
Mar 27, 2024 Mar 27, 2024

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My first reaction to that owl picture is that it looks fake.

 

 

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Mentor ,
Mar 27, 2024 Mar 27, 2024

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Yes, I agree - it doesn't look quite right. Still, impressive. I mean: from a 150px thumbnail? Good enough for many purposes.

 

(Did you notice the tiny frog creature that the genAI added? 😉 )

 

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Community Expert ,
Mar 27, 2024 Mar 27, 2024

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Hi!

 

I have been able to upsize jpg files quite well using Camera Raw -- but as Conrad said below it is a little tricky to find. If you open a jpg using Filter>Camera Raw, the Enhance option is not even visible in the menu, but here is a trick that I learned.

 

In your Open dialog box, select the image you want to enhance. Once you click on the file name, such as xxx.jpg, down at the bottom of the panel you will see that in the Format drop down menu, it says jpg. Change that to Camera Raw, and click ok. Once the jpg opens in Camera Raw, right click on the image, and the Enhance Feature will be available. Then you can use it on that specific jpg.

 

I find that it has worked well for images I needed to enlarge.

 

The key is to remember to change the Format dropdown menu and not the Enable drop down.

Michelle

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Community Expert ,
Mar 28, 2024 Mar 28, 2024

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In short - it only works in the full ACR processor, not in the ACR filter from within Photoshop. That's just a filter on individual layers, after all.

 

Another way is to save as TIFF, which can be opened directly in the ACR processor.

 

But the simplest of all is to use Lightroom Classic.

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Explorer ,
Mar 28, 2024 Mar 28, 2024

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Lol this is a very creative upscale! Owl went to the feather salon 🙂

 

compare.jpg

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LEGEND ,
Mar 28, 2024 Mar 28, 2024

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Save as TIFF, open with camera RAW, use Super Resolution. I just did that yesterday for one of our VP's who had low-res phone pictures he needed to use. Came out great.

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Explorer ,
Apr 03, 2024 Apr 03, 2024

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Rather than post my own suggestion, I will post here.  This is what I need as well.  The image resize just creates a larger blurry document.  I am making shower curtains and blankets.  I am using ai to create seamless patterns from my art, then I take them into procreate, fresco and photoshop on ipad to edit, improve and fix all the weird stuff.  Or I just make the artwork from scratch on ipad.  If I were to create it large enough for a shower curtain from scratch it would be so slow and my tablet would crash repeatedly.  In those cases upscaling after it's finished would be better.  I tried upscaling in psd ipad using image resize and the quality is abysmal.  Instead I use a free service dgb.lol - it's really buggy.  It takes a really long time , tends to crash multiple times, often the pages won't load right, and it has annoying ads (that are probably why the page crashes), plus you have 24 hours to download or it deletes (which has happened when too many people use it at the same time.)  It has a starting file size limit of 10 mb so sometimes my starting file size is too big for this service.  Despite the bugs and limitations, the results are wonderful.  You can select whether you want the lines smoothed (cartoon/illustration) or detailed/noisy (among other options) and the results are lightyears ahead of what image resize can do.  It utilizes ai to interpret what information should be there and adds it in.  You could either add this feature to photoshop, or make it a part of adobe capture, or its own simple upscaling app.  

 

PS.  I am using photoshop ipad, and selected that in the menu when found this post.  It appears people are talking about the desktop version.  I have not tried the new ai feature in desktop...didn't know it existed. I actually was without a computer for nearly a year, so now that I have one, I will figure out how to do it.

 

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Explorer ,
Apr 03, 2024 Apr 03, 2024

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rayek.elfin, how did you do that???

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Mentor ,
Apr 03, 2024 Apr 03, 2024

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Ha! That's funny. I just took a random Google thumbnail of an owl, and never compared with the highres original.

 

genAI definitely permits itself a level of 'interpretive creative freedom'. Still, it does come quite close. Almost as a digital painting version of the original. A 'cleaner' looking one. The number of toes is woefully wrong (again).

Thanks for posting the original photo.

 

@Jen ShipleyIt's done with open source software, but I was respectfully asked not to mention it on these forums anymore. and I will hold myself to that. 🙂

Besides, it wouldn't help you, because it requires a reasonably beefy GPU (video card) or Mac M2/M3 with a good amount of RAM to work.

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Community Expert ,
Apr 04, 2024 Apr 04, 2024

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quote

I tried upscaling in psd ipad using image resize and the quality is abysmal.  Instead I use a free service

By @Jen Shipley 

 

One reason for that is the Image Size scaling and bounding box scaling in both iPad and desktop Photoshop use older algorithms that do not use AI and are optimized for photographic images. They probably will not produce good results upscaling patterns.

 

The online service you use instead works better for you because it’s AI-based. If you wanted to achieve results closer to that using Photoshop, you would want to try one of the AI-based Adobe methods I listed in my earlier reply. But they are generally not yet available in the iPad version of Photoshop, only in the Mac or Windows version.

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Enthusiast ,
Apr 14, 2024 Apr 14, 2024

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Photoshop has a built-in upscaling function, though it might not be as prominent as the Neural Filters. Or you can consider exploring third-party plugins like Topaz Gigapixel AI, which uses AI technology for more advanced upscaling with minimal quality loss. "It successfully enhanced image detail and texture in low-resolution shots, such as converting an 800 x 600 pixel image into a 4800 x 3600 pixel image with minimal loss of quality."  https://bijutoha.com/blog/best-photo-enlarger-list-without-losing-quality/

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Community Expert ,
Apr 14, 2024 Apr 14, 2024

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@tmyusuf74  That's not upscaling. That's an AI-generated new image.

 

If upscaling is inevitable, Photoshop has an AI-based algorithm too: Super Resolution in LrC and ACR. Although it gives best results with raw files, it also works with RGB files.

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