Troubleshooting Resolution and Magnification in Photoshop
One thing that can really mess with you is when you're viewing your image, oftentimes the view of your picture will look different than what you expect. Let me show you the real contents of this particular document. I'm gonna zoom up on it and notice that it's simply a grid of red lines. And if you look at the spacing between the lines, it's equal both horizontally and vertically. But if I zoom out on this picture, watch what happens to those grid lines. Just remember that they were evenly spaced. Still looks fine here, but now look at it. Some of the grid lines are looking kind of bolder, more colorful than the others. Or if I zoom out further, it looks fine, zoom out again and now, it just starts to look uneven like the spacing up here near the top, the lines seem to be closer together, down here they're a little further apart and all of that. And what's going on there is there's only one accurate view of your picture. And that is when the percentage that is listed at the top of your...
screen, this right here, is at 100. And so if I zoom up on my picture, I'll do command plus to zoom up, get up to 100%, now I'm truly seeing the contents of my image. Anytime I view it at a number that is lower than 100, there's not enough information on your computer screen to show you everything that's in your file. And so if in my image we had let's just say 2000 red lines in it, but my screen is made up of less than 2000 little pixels that make up the screen, it can't accurately show me all that, there's just not enough information on the screen. And so anytime you're working, if you ever see any unusual artifacts, you look at something and the edge of it doesn't look right, the transition from one object to another, you're like, this just looks weird. If you wanna know if it's truly a problem with your image or if instead it's just a problem with your view, like your magnification of the image, zoom up to 100% view. And I'll show you an example. Here is an image that is a stitched panorama, meaning that it was taken out of more than one photograph. And if you look at it, do you see what looks like little worms crawled across it? Those little artifacts that are in there? Well you might assume that those are truly in your picture, 'cause you can see 'em right there. But if you look at the percentage that is listed right here, you see 8.33, we're zoomed out on this picture so far that it's just not enough information on our screen to be able to show all the detail. If I zoom up to 100% view, and I'll try to zoom up right where one of those cracks are. And you notice when I get close it just disappears. So if you're ever seeing any weird artifacts in your picture one of the first things that I would do is zoom up on your picture till you get closer to 100% view and see if those particular artifacts disappear. And if they do, it means it's not truly a problem with your file, it's a problem with your zoomed out so far that your screen doesn't have enough info to be able to show you all the detail and sometimes it tries to draw what's on your screen quickly, 'cause you want it to react fast and when it does that it can create these little artifacts. Now when it happens to come to a stitched panorama like this one, you can actually combine the layers together into one piece, it's known as flattening the image, even when you're in this view. I'll go to the Layer menu, there's a choice called Flatten Image. And what that's gonna do is if you look at my Layers panel, you see the individual pieces that make up this panorama. There is one layer for each photograph that was combined together. When I choose Flatten Image, watch my Layers panel, and you'll see all of those get combined together. And now look at the view of my image and if you do, before I had flattened it, I'll choose Undo, you see the artifacts? After I flattened it, you don't. And that's because it took the full-sized image, combined the various pieces it was made out of together, and it no longer had to try to create those transitions where they were separate pieces and show them to you. And so it simplified the image and it made it so even at this view it looks good. So anytime you're thinking about you know any kind of issue with especially the edges of objects, zoom up on it and see if it smooths out and if it does, know it's not a true issue with that image. It probably won't create a problem when printing or when seeing it in other programs. Now a similar thing can happen anytime you move an image between documents. So I'm gonna open another picture and let's drag something between two documents. I'm gonna use Photoshop's Move tool. That's one way of moving between documents and if you click on the Move tool which is the topmost tool, I'm gonna click right here where this scooter is, and I'm gonna drag my mouse up to the other tab, if you notice when you have more than one document open, they show up as little tabs across the top of your screen. Well I'm gonna click within this document, I drag my mouse on top of the other tab, and what that will do is cause the other document to become active, to become the front-most one and then, I don't want to let go of my mouse yet. One common thing I would do is just let go of my mouse once I see the other picture expecting that when I let go, whatever I was dragging there would show up. But you actually have to move your mouse off of the tab for that document and make sure its inside the document itself. And now when I let go, let's see what happens. Didn't that scooter look like it got smaller? Let's switch over to the other document. You see how big it was there? See how little it is here. So this is another thing having to do with our view of our image. If the view or magnification of our two images is different, then it's not going to look the same if we copy something between those documents, so let's take a look at the numbers at the top of each document. First, this document we're working in now we're viewing at 39.7%, that means we're zoomed out on it. We're not seeing all the information we could because it's a larger file, we're zoomed out. The other document I was dragging from is at a 100% view. A 100% view means you're zoomed up to the point where each little speck that makes up your image is being displayed using one speck on your screen. You're seeing everything that's there. But when those two percentages don't match, then anytime you drag between two documents it's gonna look as if things changed in size. So let's see how we could view this differently. Do you notice that at the top of this document it was at 39.7%? Well let's switch to the other document by clicking on its tab, and in the lower left of my screen, you'll see a percentage. Right down here. You can click there to type in what magnification you'd like and I'm gonna type in 39.7 so it matches the other document. And now look at what size it looks. So now if I compare the size of the scooter there to the size of the scooter in the other document, they should be the same. So if you ever find those magnifications don't match, what it's the equivalent to is having two photographs on a table in front of you, and one of them you have a magnifying glass that you're viewing it through, and the other one you're not. Well when you slide the photo out from underneath the magnifying glass, it's not gonna be magnified anymore, right? And that's the same thing here when those numbers don't match. So if you ever want to get a preview of how big something will be when you get it to another document, get the percentages to match, it'll give you a much better idea of what to expect when you get it there.