How To Increase Resolution in Affinity Photo

Have you ever been working on a photo only to find out that it prints pixelated and distorted due to low resolution? If you zoom in on the image in Affinity Photo, you can clearly see the pixelation happening. But what can you do about it?

No one likes to see a pixelated photo, and editing one can be even more frustrating. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to fix this. Keep reading for a quick guide on how to increase resolution in Affinity Photo.

Improving Resolution in Affinity Photo

In terms of photography and graphic design, the image resolution is described as pixels per inch (PPI) or dot per inch (DPI). This represents the quality and crispness of an image.

Resolution can be increased in Affinity Photo by resizing the document using Resampling methods and applying filters to increase sharpening. Resolution can also be altered upon exporting, so the master file can be kept at its original size.

If you have an image that is incredibly sharp, it is going to have a large number of pixels in each inch of the photo. Simply put, the more pixels per inch, the higher the resolution.

Therefore, if you would like to increase the resolution of an image, you would want to start by increasing the number of pixels in the document.

1. Using Resize Document

Resizing the image is one of the easiest ways to increase the resolution of a photo. This can be accessed from the Document menu at the top of the screen.

Once Resize Document is selected, a new window should appear with several options. To resize the document, set the Units to Pixels and change the Size to a larger number. The little padlock in between the two numbers should remain locked to keep the aspect ratio.

It is important to make sure that the Resample box is checked before you click the Resize button. This is what is going to allow Affinity Photo to create new pixels and increase the solution of your photo. If the box isn’t checked, you’ll notice that the DPI decreases as the image size increases. This is essentially lowering the resolution.

With the Resample box selected, you’ll be able to choose how Affinity creates and removes pixels with the dropdown option:

  • Nearest Neighbor
  • Bilinear
  • Bicubic
  • Lanczos 3 (separable)
  • Lanczos 3 (non-separable)

Each one of these methods has its own strengths and uses. They are ordered by sharpness, therefore, if you are looking to really enhance the sharpness and increase the resolution of a photo, Lanczos 3 (non-separable) is going to give you the best result. However, for the majority of images, Bicubic is a safe bet.

2. Using Resize Pixel Art Document

Resize Pixel Art Document is another option for resizing that can be found in the Document menu. When selected, you will be presented with a window that has two options: size and method.

While the resizing options for this method are quite limited, it is a quick and effective way of increasing the resolution on images that don’t require much tweaking. Just click on the size and method you want, then click Resize.

3. Using the High Pass Filter in Affinity Photo

Pixels aren’t the only thing that impact resolution. An image can appear unsharp or blurry if the contrast is off.

The High Pass filter is a  great way to use color and contrast as a non-destructive method of sharpening. What this does is determines which elements of the photo are considered an “edge.” Then, when the High Pass filter is applied, the contrast of the edges are increased causing the image to appear sharper.

High Pass can be found under New Live Filter Layer in the Layer menu at the top of the screen.

4. Resizing While Exporting

One final option for increasing resolution is to change the size upon exporting. After clicking Export from the File menu, a window should appear. The menu options displayed here are similar to the ones found in the Resize Document window.

Before exporting, you are given the option to change the size of the document and pick the resampling method. Changing the size at the end of editing can be beneficial because edits are applied faster on a smaller document.

Final Thoughts

A pixelated or blurry photo can be extremely frustrating, especially when you have finally captured that perfect, once-in-a-lifetime shot. However, with a bit of tweaking and resizing in Affinity Photo, you can easily increase the resolution and salvage the image.