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Smoothing Enlarged Pictures

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  #1  
Old 05-15-2006, 11:48 AM
Sobe203 Sobe203 is offline
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Smoothing Enlarged Pictures

Hi,
I just received a digital picture with someone in the background I want to see better. When I zoom in to make the background (and people in it) bigger, the pixels get blurred, quality gets lost, and I don't get to see crisp facial details - just a decent idea.

Can I somehow smooth it up, refine the picture, and make the background crisp? I have Adobe Photoshop CS.

It sounds like a challenge, but on TV shows, I see security tape feeds being freeze-framed, zoomed in on, and smoothed out so a crisp image is formed.

This picture is important to me because it's of my older sister who passed away, and any tips (even the smallest) would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Jen

Last edited by Sobe203; 05-15-2006 at 12:02 PM.
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Old 05-15-2006, 12:31 PM
dkcoats dkcoats is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sobe203
...on TV shows, I see security tape feeds being freeze-framed, zoomed in on, and smoothed out so a crisp image is formed.
Jen
Don't believe everything you see on TV. And when it comes to computers, don't believe anything you see on TV.

In the real world, there's a limit to how much you can expect to enlarge, or upsample, a digital image without sacrificing quality. If you upsample 10% at a time, "they" say, you can do pretty well, up to a point. Sharpening slightly along the way can help. But you can't expect Photoshop to create detail where none existed before.

Others more knowledgeable than I am may disagree.

And while we're on the subject - why do computers on TV make those annoying beeping noises every time the nerdy computer hacker wizard guy does anything with it? "No problem, lieutenant, I'll just blow it up 8000 percent - bleedleedleep - so you can read the license plate." If my computer made a noise every time I pressed a key I'd be looking for a way to make it stop ASAP.

dc
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Old 05-15-2006, 12:42 PM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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sobe203,

welcome to RP.

your computer can display x number of pixels by x number of pixels on the screen. a digital image is the same way. it's a composite of just so many pixels by so many pixels. the more per inch, the higher the resolution. and scanners also function this way. but not all scanners are the same. some only scan at small resolutions, generally 300 dots per inch (dpi) or less. others scan at larger. and when it comes to scanners, the higher, the better...generally speaking.

so, the first thing you can try is to scan with a better, i.e. higher, resolution scanner. this will give you more pixels per inch which will result in a better picture quality. being that you were given this image you may not be able to do that. but you could request it of the sender.

the other thing you can do is resize. this will adds pixels to the image. how that is done is based on the resizing software. some are good, some not so good. some will work well in one instance, but not in others. but all of them are going to have to guess what shades and colors to add to make the image look right and that guessing is normally based on the surrounding data.

the best thing you could do here is to post an image that we can look at and then we could guide you better as to what might work.

craig
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Old 05-15-2006, 04:51 PM
Sobe203 Sobe203 is offline
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Thanks for the information, Craig

I downloaded a free plug-in for Photoshop called Resize Magic and it worked charms. I'm so happy with the end results - a crisper, less blurry image (though it's not 100% flawless and smooth, it's not a big pixel blur) and see a huge difference from the initial photo to the end result.

I'll definitely come to this forum for more advice & help in the future!

Last edited by Sobe203; 05-15-2006 at 04:52 PM. Reason: Spelling error
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Old 05-15-2006, 05:04 PM
Craig Walters's Avatar
Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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sobe243,

excellent. glad we could help.

you might post a link to that resizer. i'm sure others would appreciate it and i'm certainly always looking for good freebies

craig
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Old 05-15-2006, 05:20 PM
Sobe203 Sobe203 is offline
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Sure thing The direct link is: Resize Magic

The examples on the page look like barely-detectable, moderate changes, but I took a 288 x 216 dpi photo and enlarged it to being 800 x 600 and found even the forefront looks crisper, although I'm most impressed by the background. The comparison of my zoomed 288x216 dpi to the Photoshopped image is remarkable.

It's pretty straight-forward to install and use; once you download the file, you just move the ResizeMagic.8bf file to C > Program Files > Adobe > Photoshop > Plug-Ins > Filters.

And you're good to go. Just run Photoshop after transferring the *.8bf file to the Filters program, open the image you want to fix up, click the Filter heading on the toolbar, scroll down to the very bottom where a heading should say FSoft, and you can run Resize Magic. Resize the image through Image > Image Size, enter a new value, and Resize Magic will do the work for you.

The program works seamlessly with Photoshop; I'm not sure how it works with other photo-editing software. Specific instructions come with the download and the site.

Good luck!!
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Old 05-15-2006, 10:33 PM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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thanks sobe243,

but apparently, according to their web page, this isnt a freebie but rather a trial version:
Quote:
The trial version writes small gray rectangles on the output image.
and you need to purchase the product and get an activation key to get rid of those.

craig
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Old 05-16-2006, 09:35 AM
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nebgranny nebgranny is offline
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Oh Gosh craig. I went and downloaded it.
What do you mean you have to get an activation key to get rid of those?? What have I done?? Neb
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Old 05-16-2006, 12:38 PM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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neb,

according to the web site:
Quote:
The trial version writes small gray rectangles on the output image. You can purchase an activation key to remove this limitation.
that's for the free trial version. what that type of system does is, you can install and use the trial/demo version for free, but apparently it's going to put some junk on your final output window that you wont want. this is done on purpose. it allows you to test the software but not really use the finished product of the software.

to get rid of those 'small gray rectangles', or rather to keep them from occurring, you have to buy the software. you send in your payment and you are sent back an 'activation key' that you input somewhere in the software and this then disables the putting of those 'small gray rectangles' on your output version and now you would have a full, working version. the 'key' they send you would just be some numbers or letters or combination of those that you type in somewhere within the software and that tells the software to disable putting those small gray rectangles on your output. so, it's sort of like a CD key you get when you buy some software. the difference is, this way lets you try before you buy, but requires the key to make it an uncluttered version.

so, you've done nothing wrong. it's just that you have the trial version. to make that trial version into a full working version, you need the key and that's all you need to actually turn the trial version into a full version. you get the key by sending in a payment.

craig
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  #10  
Old 05-16-2006, 03:56 PM
Sobe203 Sobe203 is offline
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Lucky for me, the trial version didn't put any gray dots over the area I wanted enlarged. It did put some gray dots, but you might luck out and not have it cover the area you want to see.
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