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Shrinking Images Makes them Jagged/Fuzzy


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Hi there

 

I just got Affinity Photo after a bad experience with Adobe. I don't use it for Professional photo editing stuff, just the basics, (which is to say I have no idea how to use 90% of the features in this program) and so far I'm having an issue with resizing images. I know you can't resize something to be bigger without distortion, usually. But shrinking? I had to resize an image earlier and the end result was jagged and fuzzy, the quality suffered.

 

I looked in the help files to see which resampling mode to use and was using bilinear. 

 

I even tried to crop to a specific constrained size and the end result was still really bad. 

 

Is there a trick to this? When I took the same source images into another app and shrank them, they turned out fine. I can upload the images (before / after) if desired. 

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I requested a refund from Serif. Honestly, I'm really torn in requesting that, I love their other software and have quite a bit of it installed on my computer. But, this is just bad. I can provide example images cropped, resized (shrank) and exported as jpg from affinity and photoshop (or even other apps like paintshop pro x9, pixlr, paint.net, etc) and affinity exports look awful, distorted, fuzzy, grainy. It seems sampling is irrelevant, one method might look better than another, but they still turn out bad. Not sharp photos. 

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Just a thought. After virtually any operation, Affinity redraws the image with the View set to fit it to the available window space. If you have resized the photo much smaller, and Affinity displays it as a "fit" to window, you may be looking at the resized image at greater than 100%, which might be the source of jaggies and such.

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Soirry for the delay. I didn't have a lot of time to be creative with the way this is laid out, and I wasn't sure I could upload so many comparison images to these forums. Here's a link to a shared OneDrive folder the originals, the ones from affinity, paintshop pro, pixlr, and photoshop elements. 

 

Hopefully this link works. 

 

There are 4 images, nothing inappropriate, totally safe for work. 

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I downloaded only the 'after' jpg images from AP & PSE & compared them. The first thing I noticed is that the AP version is a 82 KB jpeg while the PSE one is 145 KB, which indicates to me the PSE version had quite a bit less lossy compression applied to it, so of course it would look better.

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Ok, I definitely see it there. Real noticeable on the mgm sign. So, this opens another question. When you do a resize and shrink, you have to resample. Lanczos for example, if you use that. Then - when you need to export the image from Affinity Photo as a jpg, you have to resample again it seems. In Photoshop, you can do save for web and it'll ask you for the quality 0-100. Since the compression in Affinity is different than Photoshop, what would be a comparable option in Affinity to a setting of 72 in Photoshop? 

 

 

post-48690-0-81730900-1484684285_thumb.jpg

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I just checked the car and the table and chairs pictures. PSE are at 96 dpi and Aff Photo are at 72 dpi. That makes a difference.

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If it was me doing this, I would not resample (resize & shrink) the .afphoto file at all & only do that when exporting. I would also use the estimated file size in the Export dialog as a rough guide to quality, & more to the point to set a target file size for web page use. If you want maximum quality, set it to 100 & see if the file size is acceptable for your web page. If too large, start reducing the quality until a more acceptable estimated size is achieved.

 

Since file size determines page load times, this will vary depending on how many images the page will contain, if you are targeting users who might be limited to slow Internet connections, & so on.

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I just checked the car and the table and chairs pictures. PSE are at 96 dpi and Aff Photo are at 72 dpi. That makes a difference.

It won't make any difference at all for web page use. DPI is only a factor for printing, & only if the printing software uses the dpi setting embedded in the file.

All 3 1.10.8, & all 3 V2.5.2 Mac apps; 2020 iMac 27"; 3.8GHz i7, Radeon Pro 5700, 32GB RAM; macOS 10.15.7
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1.10.8; Affinity Designer 1.108; & all 3 V2 apps for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 15.7

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Ok, I definitely see it there. Real noticeable on the mgm sign. So, this opens another question. When you do a resize and shrink, you have to resample. Lanczos for example, if you use that. Then - when you need to export the image from Affinity Photo as a jpg, you have to resample again it seems. In Photoshop, you can do save for web and it'll ask you for the quality 0-100. Since the compression in Affinity is different than Photoshop, what would be a comparable option in Affinity to a setting of 72 in Photoshop? 

 

Hi tbonecopper,

Don't resize the document (pixel layers) while you are working on it (using the box control handles). Resize it only when you are exporting, entering the dimensions you want in the Export dialog to prevent resampling the image twice. To reduce the JPG file size further you can also click on the More button in the Export dialog and uncheck Embed metadata.

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Ok, I definitely see it there. Real noticeable on the mgm sign. So, this opens another question. When you do a resize and shrink, you have to resample. Lanczos for example, if you use that. Then - when you need to export the image from Affinity Photo as a jpg, you have to resample again it seems. In Photoshop, you can do save for web and it'll ask you for the quality 0-100. Since the compression in Affinity is different than Photoshop, what would be a comparable option in Affinity to a setting of 72 in Photoshop? 

 

If you're not changing the pixel dimension on export there shouldn't be a second resampling. At least I really hope not! (haven't actually tested that...)

But in the case of a jpg export (a lossy format), with every save there is a loss of quality due to compression. Even at quality 100. 

So if you open a jpeg, do nothing to it, and resave, it'll degrade some. (PNG on the other hand is lossless).

 

PSE jpg quality setting is a scale of 0-12 right? So 72 in Affinity would be a 9.

 

(as RCR mentioned dpi is irrelevant to what we're doing here. Only pixel dimensions matter.)

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Thanks everyone for the help. It seems like there's a lot of ways to do this, and it's not real clear in Affinity Photo how resizing works compared to Photoshop, which is vastly different. If it were, there wouldn't be a good number of posts on the forum about this.

 

To give you an idea of why this has presented itself as a issue, maybe you can see if my workflow (from photoshop) makes any sense at all. A small portion of my job is to edit images for customers.. by edit, I mean crop out irrelevant bits, sometimes fix levels, and almost always reduce the size. They have to be optimized for web publishing as a jpg. PNG is only allowed if we need transparency on a graphic. 

 

In photoshop, my employer has us:

 

  • open an image
  • fix levels if needed
  • and depending on the need of customer, use the marquis tool to select the portion of the image we need and copy/paste it to a new file.
  • Or, crop, preferably using the constrained crop tool with a specific dimension so we don't have to resize the image from Image > Resize Image menu
  • If we cannot crop to a size, then we obviously do as necessary with the tool, and resize the image manually in the image > resize menu, using bicubic resampling. 
  • Then, we have to do file > save as a jpg > optimize to a setting of 10. 
  • Then file save for web (now a legacy feature) quality 72. Save as same file name as the save you just did with a optimized setting of 10. 

Personally, I think the first file save is totally un necessary, but for me to use Affinity Photo, they are mandating a similar workflow. I just got stuck as the guinea pig who's barely able to operate the manual settings on my digital camera, let alone work these types of apps. 

 

That said, just to test it myself, I cropped the original image of the car (from the onedrive link above), and exported it as jpg in affinity and photoshop elements using the max options for optimization, bicubic resampling, and the results are here.. personally, I think the PSE file still looks better. 

 

 

post-48690-0-61940800-1484690346_thumb.jpg

post-48690-0-35396600-1484690348_thumb.jpg

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Hi JimmyJack,

There's a few more options in the Export dialog (the More button). I was referring to resizing the image in the document using the bounding box handles not the command which i placed in parenthesis by mistake. There's no point in resizing the image using the menu command and doing it again on export...

I believe we are using Bilinear resampling internally. I will check this out.

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MEB: thanks. Okay, so just so it's straight in my head.... if one resizes using menu and then exports and doesn't change dimensions there will not be another resample. Right?

AH, bilinear, thought so. Any thought/requests made to make that user defined in prefs?

 

tbone: I would agree that the first save is un necessary (destructive in fact).

In the last two examples, I'm hard pressed to say I see any appreciable difference at all! Would make a good survey.... blind comparison.

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