The Image Size Window and Intelligent Upsampling

The Photoshop Image Size window has received a major update! The new upsampling and downsampling algorithms allow for better results in enlarging and reducing the size of your images. Downsampling has always been a more manageable option, since you are simply omitting pixels. The only problem area has been that images tend to lose detail. Photoshop CC offers us the option of Bicubic Sharper, which helps retain detail when downsampling.

Intelligent Upsampling means you can take a low resolution image and make it print-ready!


Upsampling has always been the thorn in our side. Enlarging images in Photoshop means you are asking it to “invent” pixels that were not there previously. We often ended up with blurry images with a lot of artifacting. The new Preserve Detail algorithm does a MUCH better job of preserving edges. You can manually choose Preserve Details or Bicubic Smoother to get better results.

Upsampling Options

  • Automatic: Photoshop evaluates the image and resamples based on what type of image, and whether you are scaling up or down.
  • Preserve Details (enlargement): Photoshop uses a Noise reduction slider to decrease noise when enlarging images. This would be helpful if you have an image with a lot of detail, like a map, or photos of jewelry.
  • Bicubic Smoother (enlargement): This is based on Bicubic interpolation and produces smoother results. Best for images like landscapes or close-up face shots.
  • Bicubic Sharper (reduction): When you are reducing the size and need details to retain detail.
  • Bicubic (smoother gradients): This method gives you the best gradients.
  • Nearest Neighbor (hard edges): Preserves hard edges and creates a smaller file. Can result in jagged effects. Not a great option.
  • Bilinear: Adds pixels, not a great option.