8 Replies Latest reply on Dec 16, 2017 2:12 PM by Trevor.Dennis

    Please, for the love - How do I reduce an image without distorting and without pixelating?!

    monkeytine

      I have scoured the internet for this same question...I have very specific image sizes for a website that I need, and high resolution photos. Basically, I need to resize from 5184x3456 to odd sizes like 400x400 or 139x177, etc...The RAW photos resize perfectly of course, but some of the photos I need to resize are JPEG. I started by simply creating a new canvas that was the exact size I needed, then opened the photo files separately, then dragged the photos into the smaller canvas.

       

      When they first go in, they are giant and still look pretty darn clear. But, as soon as I transform them to the exact size I want, they suddenly lose quality and become pixelated. Not horribly, but pretty bad. (Again, the RAW files look AMAZING when I do it this way...no problem at all!)

       

      I have tried everything from checking and unchecking "resize image during place" to selecting "Bicubic Sharper Reduction," to no avail. It always just automatically changes into a pixel-y 80's quality image. I do not understand how a high quality image being shrunk can LOSE quality. I have been trying for the last 4 hours and am supposed to have these done by the morning. If anyone can please help me, I will personally order you a pizza to be delivered to your home!

       

      I think it's something very small that I'm missing, and I'll probably feel really stupid when I figure it out. I'm just used to only working with RAWs, so the JPEGS I think are throwing my groove off. Thanks in advance!

        • 1. Re: Please, for the love - How do I reduce an image without distorting and without pixelating?!
          D Fosse Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          What's wrong with good old Image > Image Size?

           

          That said, anything below 500 pixels or so is basically a thumbnail, not a full image. There will be pixels.

           

          Can you show a screenshot?

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          • 2. Re: Please, for the love - How do I reduce an image without distorting and without pixelating?!
            Trevor.Dennis Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)

            If you are using Free Transform to place the larger files, then what do you have the Interpolation set to?  Nearest Neighbour is going lack anti aliasing and lead to pixelation.  I think the FT Interpolation setting is applied to Place Embedded images, but I am not 100% sure, and I am not entirely sure how them being placed as Smart Objects affects the process, but I'd be inclined to FT something, and set the Interpolation to Bilinear or Bicubic Smoother.  If the image is a touch soft, then trust Bicubic Automatic, but I find its resulta are usually too harsh.

            2 people found this helpful
            • 3. Re: Please, for the love - How do I reduce an image without distorting and without pixelating?!
              davescm Adobe Community Professional

              Reducing from over 5000 pixels to less than 200 is going to throw information away no matter how you do it. So it will pixelate if you zoom in. View the result at no more than 100% zoom. If you need to view it at more than that then you need more pixels (i.e. less reduction).

               

              As for the distortion, the aspect ratio of the image (W/H) needs to remain the same to avoid distortion or the image needs to be cropped to the new ratio. Without cropping 5184 x 3456  reduces to 600 x 400  or 208 x 177.

               

              Dave

              3 people found this helpful
              • 4. Re: Please, for the love - How do I reduce an image without distorting and without pixelating?!
                KShinabery212 Adobe Community Professional

                Curious what the dpi was of the original file.  I know it is frustrating sometimes, as if the dpi is too low it simply does not resize correctly.

                 

                As you stated RAW resizes better as there is more data.

                 

                Can you share more info about the image you are trying to resize.

                • 5. Re: Please, for the love - How do I reduce an image without distorting and without pixelating?!
                  Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

                  I do not understand how a high quality image being shrunk can LOSE quality.

                  Why should it not? You are throwing away almost 90% of your pixel information. It seems you are not understanding something very fundamental here. And no, your RAWs are not different. They, too, lose information. They may just behave more gracefully when being inserted as smart objects and the dynamic rasterization and RAW development resulting in a better distribution of color and perceived sharpness. Read me right here: perceived. It remains an illusion and the actual pixel mush is just as bad. Pixel imgaes simply don't have infinite detail, especially at the thumbnail sizes you have to work with.

                   

                  Mylenium

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                  • 6. Re: Please, for the love - How do I reduce an image without distorting and without pixelating?!
                    monkeytine Level 1

                    Thanks everyone!

                     

                    The 400x400 image It doesn't look as bad zoomed out, of course, but it still looks a bit dodgy compared to if I shrink the photo in a preview window down to the same size and compare side by side. I am very aware that resizing an image into something smaller, and then wanting to enlarge it later would lose information, but it was just looking a bit off even in the small size while I was editing it. However, when it was first imported into the canvas, the image looked so smooth--granted, it was obviously zoomed in very far--but as soon as I started shrinking the image down to fit better into the canvas, (without zooming in or out of the canvas), it started becoming pixelated.

                     

                    I also wasn't having trouble with distortion, because I know you have to crop images if you change the aspect ratio. It was just frustrating because all of the answers on the internet were only recommendations for resizing to the same aspect ratio, or cropping just an exact size out of the larger image, rather than cropping AND resizing like I needed. It still doesn't 100% seem to make sense or be working properly, but I can live with it for now because it's probably only noticeable to me. My friend only needs the images to remain 400x400 and they aren't clickable into a full size image, thankfully.

                     

                    I'm not a Photoshop person (clearly) but I am basically just happy to hear that I'm (probably) not doing anything "wrong," so thank you all who responded! I appreciate it!

                    • 7. Re: Please, for the love - How do I reduce an image without distorting and without pixelating?!
                      D Fosse Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                      In Photoshop, you have to stop thinking in terms of size, and start thinking in terms of pixels. Once you manage to do that, it all falls into place.

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                      • 8. Re: Please, for the love - How do I reduce an image without distorting and without pixelating?!
                        Trevor.Dennis Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)

                        https://forums.adobe.com/people/D+Fosse  wrote

                         

                        In Photoshop, you have to stop thinking in terms of size, and start thinking in terms of pixels. Once you manage to do that, it all falls into place.

                        Amen to that.  There a few things that seem to lead to confusion with Photoshop, more than DPI, image size in linear terms, and pixels.

                        I have lost count of the number of people in my Camera Club who have trouble working out images size for competition entries.

                        2 people found this helpful