Thursday, March 20, 2008

Interpolate vs Smart Object Resize

An interesting question came in about resizing images for court display.

Often times, we get small images that need to be displayed on large poster boards in courtrooms. What to do? I have used a rather involved process in the past that employs Photoshop, Acrobat, a flatbed scanner, a Fiery RIP, and a large format printer. It's rather complicated and time consuming but yields good results - if you have all of those pieces. But what if you don't?

Try this:
  1. Create a New Document in Photoshop at the final output size and resolution (e.g. 18"x24" @ 240 dpi). This will just be a blank page at first.
  2. Make sure that Bridge/Photoshop chooses ACR to handle your jpeg/tiff files and that they open as Smart Objects.
  3. Choose File>Place and select your image.
  4. Follow the prompts through until your image is placed in the new Photoshop document. It will be in a box with an X through it. You'll notice that the new layer has the Smart Object icon.
  5. Hold the Shift key down and drag the corner of the box to fill the new document area with your image. The Shift key locks in the aspect as you resize.
  6. Your image resizes without any additional blurring.
Because the Smart Object references the original file, the original remains intact and safely locked away. The Smart Object is just a representation of the original and thus gets resized - up, down, and up again - without any damage to the original - unlike standard interpolation techniques.

Try this one for yourself and see what fun you can have with your images.

1 comment:

David Underhill said...

Thanks Jim -- I was trying to figure out how to compose several images and needed to be able to do just this. Thanks for sharing!

~ David Underhill