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How Do You Sharpen An Enlarged Photo?


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Sometimes I download album art from the internet, but the images are so small. Often times, they are the only such images available, but they are so low in resolution.

When I resize them in PDN, naturally they come out all blurry. Is there a way to sharpen said image after it has been enlarged?

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Unfortunately, it's just not something that's possible.

Take a look at this:

sizeinc.png

The image is of Jewel Staite as Kaylee Frye, from "Firefly"

This is how the computer stores an image: tiny boxes, called "pixels." That's all the computer sees.

Let's look at a detail.

sizeinc-detail.png

This is a four-pixel dot. On your computer screen, this takes up less space than a period. But it's thousands of these that make your image work. When they're enlarged (as you see on the right), all the computer can do is guess at what to do with the pixels because there just isn't any more information. So it just makes the image bigger by assuming what the other pixels should look like.

Now, there are more advanced ways of doing this, and the computer will rarely just do it this way. But that's the gist of it.

There are some things you can do with the Sharpen filter, or with the Unsharp Mask. But that is just covering up the fact that there isn't any more information.

It's asked often, but without some very experimental methods, the graphics industry just has no way of doing this. I'm sorry.

 

The Doctor: There was a goblin, or a trickster, or a warrior... A nameless, terrible thing, soaked in the blood of a billion galaxies. The most feared being in all the cosmos. And nothing could stop it, or hold it, or reason with it. One day it would just drop out of the sky and tear down your world.
Amy: But how did it end up in there?
The Doctor: You know fairy tales. A good wizard tricked it.
River Song: I hate good wizards in fairy tales; they always turn out to be him.

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Sometimes I download album art from the internet, but the images are so small. Often times, they are the only such images available, but they are so low in resolution.

When I resize them in PDN, naturally they come out all blurry. Is there a way to sharpen said image after it has been enlarged?

I have read this on a website that basically the programs that sharpen photos also degrade them, it generates ringing effect that looks quite ugly. However there's a new enlargement technique that uses a novel technology that allows to enlarge pictures without making them blurry. Your can try it at this website (just follow the Try it Now link on the left), it's free ;)

http://www.imagiris.com

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