General Question

pplufthesun's avatar

How do I make an image bigger w/o distorting it?

Asked by pplufthesun (607points) January 4th, 2008

Is there a way that I can take an image and make it larger with out distorting it in anyway such as pixelization?

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6 Answers

atr408's avatar

get a better camera with higher magapixels and take the picture with it

jrpowell's avatar

Not really.. All a computer can do is guess what might go between pixels. This process is known as dithering.

If it is line art you could trace it in a program that uses vectors and blow that up. But if it is a picture of something you are kinda stuck with what you have.

Zaku's avatar

You can use a more sophisticated program. Photoshop does an OK job of stretching and interpolating. There is some even better specialized software that does this, such as Genuine Fractals, which tries to figure out the shape of what’s shown, and actually does an interesting job even on small images, but of course it is making up information.

PupnTaco's avatar

Actually, the process is called “interpolation” – where Photoshop (or whatever editing program you’re using) guesses at what the pixel values should be in between the existing ones.

Imagine is you had a small patio composed of 20 bricks. You decide you’d like to make it bigger, so you space those twenty bricks apart by a foot or so. What goes in the empty gaps inbetween? If you’re smart like a person, you’d add matching bricks. If you’re dumb like a computer, you ‘d make your best guess at what goes in between – maybe bricks, maybe pasta.

jonno's avatar

@PupnTaco – I would have thought the computer would just make the bricks bigger, not space them out and put things in between. If you make an image, say, four times bigger on a computer, than each pixel is made four times bigger.

PupnTaco's avatar

Generally, no – you can do something like that with Indexed-color images like GIFs but as a standard, Photoshop will guess at what goes in between. So if one pixel is red and the one next to it is green (as a crude example), Photoshop would guess at a muddy olive as the new in-between pixel – and create some blurring gradient pixels to smooth the transition. That’s why resized images start looking blurry and funky-weird.

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