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I have a lot of images for a project that are not really sharp and crisp. I think these were old images that were resized a lot etc.

This is because I am working on a website for a client and she does not have the high quality pictures anymore, the pictures I have to work with are somewhat pixelated.

Here's an example of one I think could be better:

alt text

Now as you can see the parts around the text 'Azule' is not so sharp. Is there a way to sharpen this.

Now I have another one, and I think there is no hope for this one.

alt text

Is there any hope for the picture above to make it sharp again, I highly doubt it.

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Not really. You can't gain image quality out of nothing. There are probably ways to work around this, though, so I won't give an actual answer. –  Sasha Chedygov Jun 12 '10 at 18:05
    
Do you have the right to use these pictures? If so I'd really try to find the originals (I know you say you can't). –  Andy Jun 12 '10 at 18:13
    
Ok I will let her try and find the originals trough the company. But this is a problem I am facing in a lot of other projects, even my own where I lost the originals. So thats why I asked. –  Saif Bechan Jun 12 '10 at 18:26
    
The second is beyond repair anyway. The first one may be repaired with a little help of the answer of Andy. –  BloodPhilia Jun 12 '10 at 18:37
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2 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

If my eyes don't deceive me, what you're seeing around Azule is a compression artefact - ie it comes from taking an original high quality image, and compressing it heavily. You can try to minimise the effects of this, but you really want the originals wherever possible. Here's a (random!) link about reducing compression artefacts using Photoshop. Google for more. (And always keep a copy of your pictures that doesn't use lossy compression.)

EDIT: Forgot the link - http://graphicssoft.about.com/od/photoshop/ss/cs2reducenoise.htm

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yes that is the problem. The person I am working does not have the original images anymore. These are the only ones I am stuck with. –  Saif Bechan Jun 12 '10 at 18:14
    
I don't think you'll find an amazing It just works method then. You can try noise reduction filters, manual touch up, and lots of patience :) Sorry there's nothing better... –  Andy Jun 12 '10 at 18:29
    
And make sure you keep a copy of all your current JPGs, and copies of all your retouched versions in a lossless format like TIFF. –  Andy Jun 12 '10 at 18:30
    
+1 the typical way to reduce this is with a combination re-touching the images where the artefacts are most prominent and blurring the image to soften the effects of pixellation; in a raster image editor (Photoshop GIMP). The #1 rule of photo editing is, always save the highest quality version because quality lost is quality that can't be re-gained. –  Evan Plaice Jun 15 '10 at 10:11
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The labels seem to be the main issue where the pixelation is noticeable. If you have one of those labels on hand, you could make a high res scan of it and photoshop it onto the bottles. Getting the curving and shading right might be hard for someone new to photoshop, but would be pretty quick and easy for someone with a few years of experience for it, so it might be relatively cheap to pay someone (probably wouldn't be a huge project for them). This should be significantly cheaper than hiring someone to retake photos.

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