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How to Increase Image DPI  -OR-  Convert JPEG/BMP to Vector

Posted on 2003-03-07
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Last Modified: 2013-11-19
I have a graphic in both JPEG and BMP format that I need to improve the quality of.  I was told that I need to increase the DPI to 400 - 600 DPI, or convert the image to Vector format.  I've been reading through the previously answered questions and, if I understand correctly, to convert to Vector format, I can use Adobe Illustrator or Adobe Streamline.  I downloaded trial versions of each.  The trial version of Streamline does not recognize BMP or JPEG format.  I haven't tried Illustrator yet.  Just want to make sure that I'm on the right track and I would sincerely appreciate some specific instructions of the best way to accomplish the easiest/best of my options.  I'm a programmer and I have a brain, but what I know about graphics would hardly fill a thimble.  Thanks!   (P.S. This site RULES!!!)
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Question by:KarinCorbett
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14 Comments
 
LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:nasdaqphil
ID: 8088077
In my personal experience you can usually only increase clarity in exchange for DPI.  The image can only be as good as the original in most cases.  Do you know the DPI in which the image was scanned or captured?  How did you acquire the image?

I have done this in the past when I created something for the web at 72 DPI and then the customer wanted to make a sign or something out of it and the print shop needed at least 300 DPI.  Usually, I will open the image in PhotoShop and change the resolution in 1 simple step while keeping the print size the same and then save it as a .tif for better print quality.  Most print shops require a .tif for them to manipulate the image properly.  What is the nature of your application?  What type of application will the final image be used?
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LVL 19

Expert Comment

by:webwoman
ID: 8088624
Streamline doesn't work without Illustrator. Neither Streamline or Illustrator will OPEN JPG/BMP, they PLACE and TRACE them.

Upping the resolution of a raster/bitmap will result in poor quality. If it's a logo/line drawing, your best bet is to place it in Illustrator (or Freehand, either works) and trace/recreate it.

Vector art WILL scale, as much as you want, with NO loss of quality. You can also place it in Photoshop and export as raster/bitmap, or export directly from Illustrator/Freehand.

If it's a photo, you won't have a choice -- you'll need to increase the resolution in Photoshop/PaintShopPro/whatever you use (PLEASE don't use Paint!!!). Doing this will degrade the image to some extent. Depending on what type of image it is, it might still be acceptable.

You wouldn't need to go to 600 dpi -- 300 dpi is usually adequate for most things. You might even be able to get by with 200 dpi, but you should check with whoever is going to do the printing.
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Accepted Solution

by:
weed earned 100 total points
ID: 8089405
Streamline does work without Illustrator. It's a standalone app. You COULD convert your JPG or BMP to TIFF and then drop it in Streamline. That's where youll get your best results. Using autotrace in Illustrator will yeild sub-par results. This is of course besides the fact that youll lose MASSIVE ammounts of quality by converting it to vector. It's like posterizing the image. If you have a photo, youre best off leaving it as a raster image. If you increase the DPI of the image your printed dimensions should decrease proportionally. Otherwise you're interpolating pixels and youll lose quality.
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LVL 19

Expert Comment

by:webwoman
ID: 8091577
What I meant is that you won't be able to use what you get from Streamline without Illustrator -- so just having Streamline isn't going to do much but give you a file you can't do anything with. ;-)
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LVL 4

Assisted Solution

by:dearsina
dearsina earned 100 total points
ID: 8093649
Karin, all the above posts are correct, but for different circumstances.
What it comes down to is, what exactly does your file contain? Is it a logo of some sort, is it a picture, or is it a graphic (chart, clip-art etc)? And most importantly, did you scan it yourself or did you get it off someone?

If you supply the answer to those questions, the expert advice you'll get will be much more precise. :-)

sina
london

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Expert Comment

by:BHaines
ID: 8114919
Karin,

I would recommend rescanning at the higher DPI and saving the file in PNG format if it's available to you. Most Adobe programs will recognize PNG files, and they resize very clearly whereas JPGs and the like do not. From there you should be able to turn it into a vector graphic importing it into Illustrator. If rescanning is not an option. you may be able to use an Image Size option which may give an option to change the DPI. Photoshop does this, but it simply makes the image bigger. This works fine for an unrasterized text layer, but rasterized layers badly distort.

B.
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LVL 30

Expert Comment

by:weed
ID: 8115088
PNG files dont resize any clearer than any other format. Its still made of pixels, and still has to be resampled upon resizing.
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Author Comment

by:KarinCorbett
ID: 8117586
Thanks for suggesting I let you know what type of image I'm dealing with.  I should have done that in the first place.....

What I have is a pretty simple graphic in black only.  (White background).  It's just a couple of hearts with some text above and below the hearts.  (Wedding graphic for some stadium cups.)  A friend of mine created it for me as a .jpg, but doesn't know how to turn it into a Vector file.  

I've made it into a .bmp thinking that it would be "bigger"....  But, I really need to get it into a Vector file format.....

With this additional info, does anybody think that there's a "best" way to do this?  I understand the previous suggestions and just wonder what will be the easiest way to convert it and what will acheive the best results....

Thanks everyone for your help!!!
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LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:dearsina
ID: 8118470
STREAMLINE

Convert your file to either a PSD or TIF in Photoshop or the likes, open in Streamline, play around with the settings and it will convert your picture to a vector.
Output: So so, it can give your picture a nice effect, but it rarely gives you a cleencut vector.

ILLUSTRATOR

According to 'weed' there is an auto trace fuction.
Output: sub-par results.

You could also trace your image using the Pen tool.
Output: By far the best way of converting to vector, but it can take forever depending on the size of your image.

PHOTOSHOP

Open your image, make sure it's in RGB mode, Set your DPI to 300 or whatever desireable size. Blur the image about 3-5px. Use Image-Adjust-Index and move the white and the black markers towards the center.
Output: Now, this doesn't actually make your image vector, but it can give you a very smooth large version of your image.



sina
london

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LVL 30

Expert Comment

by:weed
ID: 8120620
There's even a nice new replacement for Streamline out now. It's called Silhouette and can be gotten in either a standalone form, or an Illustrator plugin form. I've been using the Illustrator Plugin demo for a few days now and have been pleased with the results. Easier to use than Streamline as well.
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LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:johnmcmillion
ID: 8125708
Hi Karin,

1.) Vector Format
The easiest way from Photoshop 6 or higher to output into a vector format for printing is to:

File, Save As, Photoshop PDF.  Open Acrobat Reader and print file to test print quality.

2.) DPI
300 dpi is fine.  If your file is currently lower than 300 dpi, than you can only increase the dpi and not lose quality if: the print size is greater than what the final size of the printed image will be.  To see this in Photoshop, go to Image/Image Size.  

If the Print Size listed is not greater than the final output's printed size, then you need to rescan or have the graphic artist recreate at a higher res.  

If the Print Size is greater than the final output, to increase the DPI without losing quality, simply remember what the current pixel width and height values are in (Image/Image Size), increase the DPI value, hit OK, then go back to Image/Image Size and enter in your original pixel width and height values.  This will in turn decrease the Print Size values (in inches), with the corresponding DPI you entered.  

If the new Print Size is equal or greater than the final output of the printed image, then you are set.  If it is too small, you will have to try again with a lower DPI, until you get close to the size the image will be printed at.  If you can't get there with the desired DPI, then you will need new original artwork.

3.) Vector art is nice but not always required.  If you have artwork that is 300 dpi or higher a Tiff or even a JPG is fine.  I've sent JPG's in for T-shirts which printed out superb.  I've used Tiffs for many projects as well.  But I  prefer .PDF.

Hope that all made sense.  Have a nice day!

John McMillion
john@johnmcmillion.com
www.johnmcmillion.com
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LVL 30

Expert Comment

by:weed
ID: 8128904
Saving a raster image as a PDF does NOT translate it to a vector image.
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Expert Comment

by:shamstar
ID: 11560023
No comment has been added to this question in more than 21 days, so it is now classified as abandoned.  I will leave the following recommendation for this question in the Cleanup topic area:

- Split between dearsina & weed

Any objections should be posted here in the next 4 days. After that time, the question will be closed.

shamstar
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