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Photoshop Small Image Enlarging - 10x and Blur Hack

9.3.2007

A TruffleSuppose you have a lovely little image, such as the one shown at right. You'd really like that image just a bit larger in dimension, but you don't have the source vector image. How do you enlarge it while minimizing the artifacts and jagged edges? These steps will walk you through a procedure for enlarging the image using Photoshop.

A TruffleThe simplest way to enlarge an image is to select Image, and then Image Size from Photoshop's menus. Enter new height and width that you'd like, and blammo - you've got an enlarged image. The image at right has been enlarged to 4 times it's original size. But all those jagged edges sure look ugly. So instead, try the slightly more complex method.

A TruffleInstead, first enlarge the image to 10 times what you'd like the resulting size to be. So, in this example, open the height and width to 1280 pixels for both height and width in the Image Size dialog box. (1280 is 4 times 10 times 32 - desired size times 10 times original size.) Then, to smooth things up a bit, add a Gausian Blur the the super huge image. To do so, from the Filter menu, select Blur and then select Gaussian Blur. For this example, set the pixels to 20, and then click OK. (You'll want to try different values to find the best setting for your image.) Then use the Image Size dialog to set the height and width down to the desired result - 128 pixels each in this example. The result of this is shown a right.

The image resulting from the new 10x and Blur method is not prefect - for that you'd need a vector source graphic. But it certainly is less jagged than otherwise. Enlarging an image to 4 times it's original size is a bit excessive. I've gotten pretty good results by enlarging images to as much as twice their size.

Do you like the original image shown here? You can get your own truffle, and many more, at Iconbuffet.

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