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What should be done before reducing image size, and what after? - Adobe Photoshop Elements

Which changes should be made to an image before, and which after, reducing its size? My recent habit has been to make most changes before reducing, and leave using unsharp mask for afterwards. Is that the best way? My images have been coming either from my daughter's digital camera or from Kodak Photo CDs, containing the film photographs scanned at the time of processing. Thanks. Paul B....

  1. #1

    Default What should be done before reducing image size, and what after?

    Which changes should be made to an image before, and which after, reducing its size? My recent habit has been to make most changes before reducing, and leave using unsharp mask for afterwards. Is that the best way?

    My images have been coming either from my daughter's digital camera or from Kodak Photo CDs, containing the film photographs scanned at the time of processing.

    Thanks.

    Paul B.
    Paul_Bullen@adobeforums.com Guest

  2. #2

    Default Re: What should be done before reducing image size, and what after?

    Paul - generally that is what I do - the only other thing I find that may need alteration after resizing is the scaling/bevel size on any layer styles that I have applied to the images as they sometimes need tweaking.

    Susan S.
    Susan_S.@adobeforums.com Guest

  3. #3

    Default Re: What should be done before reducing image size, and what after?

    Well, Susan,
    I guess yours is the only advice I will be receiving. I was hoping to find out I was doing something wroing, but I guess not. Thanks for your help.
    Paul B.
    Paul_Bullen@adobeforums.com Guest

  4. #4

    Default Re: What should be done before reducing image size, and what after?

    My process mimics yours Paul.

    --
    Have A Nice Day,
    jwh :-)
    My Pictures
    http://www.pbase.com/myeyesview


    jhjl1@adobeforums.com Guest

  5. #5

    Default Re: What should be done before reducing image size, and what after?



    I was hoping to find out I was doing something wrong, but I guess not




    Does that mean you don't like what you are getting, Paul? My guess would be that your problems are resolution-related, in that case.
    Barbara_Brundage@adobeforums.com Guest

  6. #6

    Default Re: What should be done before reducing image size, and what after?

    Photoshop is not the best software for image resizing. I usually make changes and apply filters on the original image using photoshop and then move it to macromedia to resize it.
    Matt_Ozdemir@adobeforums.com Guest

  7. #7

    Default Re: What should be done before reducing image size, and what after?

    Barbara,
    No, there is nothing that is making me think I am doing something wrong. But it is satisfying to find out that by making some simple change, pictures will look better. Since I don't yet have the reasons for why something should be done before or after downsizing, I lack the confidence that the practice that I had developed was optimal. I was hoping to be steered clear of another myth, like I was with the number 72. I tentatively inferred from the fact that no one else had said anything after Susan, that others agreed with her. But I wasn't sure.

    I suppose there is only one uncertainty left. I have adopted the attitude that one should prefer to start with the largest digital image available, and reduce from that. The alternative, presumably, would be to pick that image size that would require the least amount of reduction. For most purposes I have no choice, but for some of my photos, there is a range of scans from quite small to quite large. The fact that there is more 'information' in the largest size, has made me want to start there--although I have some doubts about whether that makes sense. I do tend to crop a lot, but still the reduction is usually pretty great. Perhaps a better way is to look at the maximum photo first, and if it seems that after cropping there will be a significant reduction necessary, open up the smallest image possible and use that. I have no idea how 'intelligent' the reducing process is using Photoshop Elements. I gather Matt is saying that Macromedia products (e.g., Fireworks, which I have) do a better job. It sounds also as though if your goal is to put images on the Web or make small prints--and you do your own scanning--one is best off scanning to the size that will require minimal reduction.

    But this would raise another question: you don't have to do any reduction of an image in order to print it at a smaller size. You just tell the computer and printer what size you want the picture and it will take care of the matter (constrained by the number of pixels per inch you want to use for printing). Do pictures look better if you do reduce the image (if you can) before printing? Or is the process of making the output smaller effectively the same in either case?
    --Paul
    Paul_Bullen@adobeforums.com Guest

  8. #8

    Default Re: What should be done before reducing image size, and what after?

    Paul, you're definitely thinking about this one, aren't you?!

    It's hard for me to come up with a reason not to start with the most pixels
    possible, regardless of how many of those pixels might ultimately discarded.
    I have a friend who insists on taking pictures at 640x480 pixels and brags
    about how many images he gets on a memory card. He was doing it primarily
    for web use, but....he had an image that he wanted to print and was
    disappointed with the results. I shoot everything at my camera's max image
    size and minimum compression; if I have an image that's only going to be
    used for the web I can convert it using Save for Web and ditch the original
    (although I never do).

    The 'intelligence' of downsampling hasn't had much play on the forum; we're
    usually fixated on the concerns of upsampling. I've assumed that
    downsampling is done pretty much the same by Photoshop and other apps -
    maybe not. Would be something worth knowing, although the only time I
    downsize is for web use, and that's hard for me to get excited about.

    With respect to printing, I never toss away pixels for printing - I just
    change the linear dimensions in Image<Resize<Image Size with resample
    unchecked and let the resolution float upward. I read something a few
    months ago that implied that high resolution did NOT cause higher ink
    consumption. Don't know what to believe in that regard, but I'm sticking
    with the approach of delivering max resolution to the printer - until
    otherwise convinced!

    Chuck


    Chuck_Snyder@adobeforums.com Guest

  9. #9

    Default Re: What should be done before reducing image size, and what after?

    Paul,

    Scan for your intended output (which seems to be for Web and small prints).

    Why not do your cropping in the scanner software, you say you crop a lot. After the preview scan, there should be a dotted line box which you can drag diagonally to encompass the part of the image you wish to keep. Draw your box on the scan preview and have it do another preview scan. Now only the desired area of the image is showing in the scanner software, ready for the final scan.

    Here's a "for instance"...
    If I scan a 4x6 at 240ppi (my Epson printer likes to print to 240ppi) I will create an image of 960 pixels by 1440 pixels (4x240=960 and 6x240=1440). This will print out at 4x6 using 240res. If I want that image to nearly fill a screen on a web page, top to bottom in this case, I would go to Image Resize, and with Resample/Constrain check marked, type in 600 for the height and width will fill itself in at 400. If I wanted two images to fit on a web page, stacked up, I would Resize by filling in 300 for the height and the width would fill in with 200. Go to Save for Web, choose the quality of the jpg you are converting to. You don't need to change the dimensions of the image, it's been done.

    If I want to use only part of the image, use the crop tool in the scanning software. If I drew a box which included about half my image, say 2x3 in this case, but I would like to be able to print this portion out as a 4x6 at 240 res, I need to scan at 480ppi. Double the scanning res. because I will be making a 4x6 print out of my selected 2x3 area. To print...Image Resize = UNCHECK resample, change the res. from 480 to 240 and don't change anything else. Now it will show as a 4x6 and print at that size. This 2x3 scanned at 480 also is 960 pixels by 1440 pixels. To modify it for a web page, follow steps from above...in Image Resize, CHECK MARK resample/constrain and type in 600 or 300 for height (per our example). Go to Save for Web etc.

    In proceeding this way, you have allowed for printing the image at a modest size, however, if I thought I might like to print out at 3 times the actual size, I would scan at 720, or at 960 for 4 times. Decide what part of the image to scan, how large you might ever want to print it and use those figures. You said small print, so that's how I set this up. In doing so, you do not have unneccessarily large file sizes produced from your scan.

    Hopefully this has answered some of your questions.

    Nancy

    edit---whoops, I was typing as you were replying Chuck
    Nancy_S@adobeforums.com Guest

  10. #10

    Default Re: What should be done before reducing image size, and what after?

    According to what I have read you want as much of the original
    image as possible to do your edits with. For example, to edit the
    white balance you would want to edit an uncropped image rather
    than one that may have had much of it's highlights cropped even
    though it may be cropped later. The same would hold true for
    color or contrast I would think. I have always cropped after
    making adjustments so I can not tell you how the edited image
    would be affected otherwise.

    --
    Have A Nice Day,
    jwh :-)
    My Pictures
    http://www.pbase.com/myeyesview


    jhjl1@adobeforums.com Guest

  11. #11

    Default Re: What should be done before reducing image size, and what after?

    Nancy, excellent rundown! Only one minor quibble: a 2x3 image isn't 1/2
    the size of a 4x6, it's 1/4...

    :-)

    Chuck


    Chuck_Snyder@adobeforums.com Guest

  12. #12

    Default Re: What should be done before reducing image size, and what after?

    Now you just leave Nancy and I alone, Chuck! We have our own way of calculating this stuff, and to us it's half as big! :) However I do know what you mean.
    Beth_Haney@adobeforums.com Guest

  13. #13

    Default Re: What should be done before reducing image size, and what after?

    Beth, you're right. If it's half the length and half the width, it's only
    logical that it's half as big. What was I thinking?! Sorry, Nancy....

    :-)


    Chuck_Snyder@adobeforums.com Guest

  14. #14

    Default Re: What should be done before reducing image size, and what after?

    Chuck,

    Not 1/2 in volume, the linear dimensions are halved :)
    Nancy_S@adobeforums.com Guest

  15. #15

    Default Re: What should be done before reducing image size, and what after?

    Nancy, got it!
    :-)


    Chuck_Snyder@adobeforums.com Guest

  16. #16

    Default Re: What should be done before reducing image size, and what after?

    Paul,

    To clarify one point...my Epson printer has a stated resolution of 720/1440. I SEND it an image with a res. of 240 (720/240=3=an even number) and tell the printer to print it at 720dpi. Sometimes I use 1440, but really I hardly see a difference...which may be because I don't have a top of the line photo printer and I almost always print on matte paper.

    Nancy

    end of this story
    Nancy_S@adobeforums.com Guest

  17. #17

    Default Re: What should be done before reducing image size, and what after?

    Oh, I have to throw in!

    "Not 1/2 in volume, the linear dimensions are halved"

    I've seen some loud photos, but I didn't know a photo could actually have volume!
    Eric_Matthes@adobeforums.com Guest

  18. #18

    Default Re: What should be done before reducing image size, and what after?

    Eric,

    :)---glad I provided a laugh for you today...

    It just seems an easy way to explain to someone why you would double the scanning resolution when wanting to again produce a print that is 4x6 after you have cropped it down to 2x3. I am getting defensive it seems...I retract "half the size".

    Nancy
    Nancy_S@adobeforums.com Guest

  19. #19

    Default Re: What should be done before reducing image size, and what after?

    May I show my ignorance and ask what the Unsharp Mask is, Paul?

    Thanks,

    Lorace
    Lorace_Graham@adobeforums.com Guest

  20. #20

    Default Re: What should be done before reducing image size, and what after?

    Lorace, you definitely have some homework to do on this one! Unsharp Mask
    is the premier sharpening tool in Elements and as such one of the most used
    tools to take the 'softness' out of digital camera images. Lots of good
    tutorials out there on its use...

    Chuck


    Chuck_Snyder@adobeforums.com Guest

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