One thing you may have noticed is that images which are generated from AI platforms are often relatively small. This is particularly relevant when it comes to printing.
While different AI art platforms offer different size outputs, if you are looking to create an image large enough to turn into a piece of wall art, you may need to look to increase the size of your work outside of the platform, and to do this you may need to look at an upscaling tool.
How big you need to resize your AI art will depend on your original image and what your plans are for printing. You may find that printing onto canvas can be done at a lower resolution than printing a high resolution art print – but check out the printing requirements with your printer first.
About Image Size & DPI
The number of pixels in an image determine how the finished image will print. When printing an image, you will hear mention of DPI which is dots (pixels) per inch. Photos etc are generally printed at 300 dpi, therefore an image which is 300 x 300 pixels in size, will give a print of one inch square.
To make an image bigger for printing we can’t simply make the image bigger by increasing the size (we’re talking about image files downloaded from AI platforms which are typically JPG and PNG files).
If we simply increase the size of an image, we’re not increasing the number of pixels – instead we’re just increasing the size of the pixels and the image will become pixelated, with the pixels clearly showing. Fine if you’re creating pixel art, but probably not the look you are aiming for for other art.
In the image below, we can see what an image looks like when pixelated. These are a close up of a piece of an image. The image on the right has three times the number of pixels. We can see that when both images are zoomed in to the same amount, the pixels are very obvious in the smaller image.
How to Increase The Size of Your AI Art For Printing
Therefore, to increase the size of your AI art for printing, we need to increase the number of pixels.
There are a number of ways to do this, including the fabulous paid-for Gigapixel app by Topaz Labs. This uses AI to optimize and upsize an image with impressive results. Depending on where you are in the world, the price is around $99, however watch out for the frequent sales to grab it on discount 🙂
We have a tutorial showing how to upscale your work for free using REAL Ersgan, however this won’t be suitable for every user/computer, so if that doesn’t work for you, check out the alternatives below.
Gigapixel by Topaz Labs
Perhaps the easiest and most effective image upscaler is Gigapixel. What makes this stand out from the rest is its ease of use, the full range of settings allowing you to upscale the image as you desire and the fact you can batch process the images.
While this is a paid for application, if you are going to upscale a lot of images this is definitely worth a look and can work out very competitively when compared with some of the ‘freemium’ services over time.
Recent versions (CC2018 onwards) of Photoshop have an inbuilt image upscaler which uses AI to resample the image to increase the pixel size. While I haven’t had personal experience of using this, I know several people who have and there’s write up and tutorial explaining how it works here.
There are various options for purchasing a Photoshop subscription, check the Adobe page in your country and keep a look out for regular offers
Online Tools To Upsize Your AI Art
There are some online tools to consider too. Many of these offer a few free upscales with a paid for subscription after these have been used.
This is a free online upscaler which allows you to upscale 3 images for free and then it offers upscale packages thereafter.
Below is a before and after image. You will see the upscaled version on the right is crisper than the original on the left. The free version only allows a 2x upscale which is what we’re looking at below.
BigJPG is another browser based image upscaler with a free and then paid for service. This offers an up to 16x upscale (paid plan only).
AI Image Enlarger
This is another easy to use AI upscaler. It offers free upscales to start, however it does force you to register before doing a trial.
Here is a set of upscaled images of the same original image from Midjourney. I include Midjourney’s own upscale versions too for comparison.
This demonstrates the additional detail that the upscaler at Midjourney introduces, however it also shows how the other image upscalers compare.
It’s not really a great comparison as not all the online image upscalers offer the same upscale ratio. However it’s interesting to view.
In a ‘real life’ situation, if you are looking to upscale images for t-shirts, for example, you would need to increase the image to at least 4500 pixels (depending on the printer). Therefore you will need an upscaler that can upscale an already upscaled image from Midjourney by at least 400%.
How do you upscale your images? Do you have any tips to share?