How to Depixelate an Image in Photoshop and Lightroom

How to Depixelate an Image in Photoshop and Lightroom

Pixilation is a common flaw affecting many photographers. It is often associated with low image resolution, which may be due to lower camera resolution. As a result, this condition damages the quality of even the most precious photos. Such images aren’t worth for use as either personal or professional purposes.

Does this happen to your images? Well, you can revive or rather depixelate your photos into high-resolution pictures by yourself with the utmost ease. Most importantly, you’ll need a competent photo editing tool to make the entire process effective. For instance, you can use Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Lightroom separately or combine.

However, pixelated images typically have low resolutions, which implies that they have fewer image details. Therefore, it is impossible to retrieve all the content for a stunning photo without applying some enhancements. You can get rid of the issues created by pixilation and still obtain a decent looking and smooth image.

If you don’t know where to start, worry no more! This article explains the proper ways on how to depixelate an image in Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom.

Method 1: Depixelate an image using Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop is among the best and most efficient image editing tools used around the globe. It is your ultimate choice if you intend to get quality images with high resolution from pixelated photos. The best part is, it is super easy and straightforward to use. This means that you can do it yourself without a fuss. Are you ready to create clear looking images with increased quality and resolution? If yes, then follow the following steps.

Depixelate an image using Adobe Photoshop

Step 1

The first thing to do is to open the depixelated image in Photoshop. After that, navigate to the image menu located at the top bar of this editing tool. Then select the image size option to check the photo’s resolution and then go to the next step.

Step 2

While still on the photo size window, you will see a pop-up box and click on the constraint proportions. Then, increase your pixilated image’s resolution to about 300 pixels, both the width and height. Also, set the resample option to automatic and click on the OK button. This step aims to increase the picture’s size for better depixelation. If you are through, move onto the next procedure.

Step 3

Once you have increased the image size, go to the camera raw filter first. Click on the detail tab and try to adjust the following factors to suit your photo’s needs.

For noise reduction, change:

  • Luminance to 65
  • Luminance detail to 0
  • Luminous contrast to 0
  • Color to 100
  • Color detail to 0
  • Color smoothness to 100

As for image sharpening parameters, set:

  • Amount to 100
  • Radius to 1.5
  • Detail to 10
  • Masking to 0

What if these settings don’t work aptly with your photo? Try to modify the values as you look at your image to find a suitable and satisfying outcome. By doing so, you’ll be good to go to the next step.

Step 4

After using the color noise reduction filter, the image will lose some amount of saturation. This will force you to fix it by going to the Image menu. Then the adjustments and choose hue or saturation window. Adjust the image’s saturation to about 6 and then click OK.

Step 5

Here, go to the layer palette and right-click on the image layer. A dropdown list will pop-up. Navigate through to find the “convert to smart objects” option and click on it.

Step 6

On your Photoshop’s interface, click on the filter and then on the sharpen option from the pop-up dropdown. Besides, select the un-sharp mask option or try out other options to get the perfect settings for your image.

That said, these steps are straightforward to follow. If you carefully observe and put them into practice, nothing will stop you from changing a pixilated image to one with high resolution.

Method 2: Depixelate an image using Photoshop High Pass Filter

The chances of getting a blurred photo after doing all the sharpening are pretty high. And this means all your efforts of depixelating the image are for nothing. Thankfully, Photoshop High Pass Filter is a blessing image editing tool you need to make things clearer. Are you wondering how to can you use it? Well, we have curated a step by step guide to help you out. Without further ado, let’s start right away!

Step 1

The obvious first thing to do is to open your image in Photoshop. Then, increase the picture’s resolution to 300 pixels, which automatically makes the image larger.

Step 2

After that, duplicate the photo layer and keep the image selected. Next, click on the Filter option located at the Top Option bar and select the High Pass Filter. By doing so, the photo’s layer gets a gray appearance. Do you see that? If yes, you are right to move to the next step.

Step 3

In this step, change the layer’s mode to overlay blending mode, which makes the image clearer. Turn off the eye-icon to make the layer invisible and feel the change.

Step 4

Once you finish the above step, it is time to make some adjustments to the photo. Go to the adjustment layer then pick the level option. Then, adjust the slider to make the picture relatively darker, which removes the glare. As a result, the final image you get is apparent with high resolution.

It’s as simple as that! The resulting photo is flawless and with excellent quality for your personal or commercial use.

Method 3: Depixelate an image using Adobe Lightroom

Do you want to make the details on your pixilated image sharp and crystal clear? If so, the adobe Lightroom is all you need. To make that happen, follow the following simple steps.

Step 1: Choose the pixelated image to edit

Firstly, click on the Develop module on your Lightroom Classic interface. Check for the filmstrip located at the lower part of your window and then choose an image to edit. In case there’s no filmstrip, click on the small triangle at the lower part of your screen. After picking a photo to edit, move to the next step.

Step 2: Click to open the Detail section.

You should see the detail panel on your workspace’s right side. If not, click on the detail option to open it. Then, use the setting options that pop-up in the panel to sharpen and clear the image details. That’s not all!

Step 3: Modify the sharpening settings.

Still, on the detail panel, find the section for sharpening the image. This section will find several other options that will help you make the details in the image sharper. For instance, the amount slider defines the amount of definition your image has. By adjusting it, your photo gets a crisp and sharp look. You can move it until you find the right amount of sharpness that suits your image.

Besides, you may see two other settings for the image’s sharpness.

  • The radius – this tells how large the photo’s details are while you make them sharper. If the image has plenty of small pieces, use a smaller radius for an excellent outcome. On the other side, a large radius will work correctly with photos with more extensive details like those of people.
  • Detail setting – this setting focuses on the number of emphases the image’s edges have. A higher detail value indicates the photo’s texture, whereas a lower cost gets rid of blurriness.

Have you found the image sharpness you desire? Well, you’re good to go to the next step.

Step 4: Review the changes made

Once you finish adjusting the sharpness, it’s time to check out how sharpening has affected your image. On the left side of your workspace, find the 1:1 option in the navigator panel. This setting enlarges the image view to 100%.

Look out for the view options bar below your photograph to see the before and after image view. After that, click and drag within the photo to compare the original picture and the sharpened one.

If you want to return to the regular view option, click on the FIT option in the navigator panel and press the D button on your keyboard. This will take you back to a single photo view. That said, your photo is now ready for printing, sharing online, or use for other purposes.

Method 4: Depixelate an image using both Photoshop and Lightroom

You must be curious if you’re using this technique for the first time. But it’s not a big deal. The best thing is that using both of the most fantastic image editing tools from Adobe is highly beneficial. In other words, it saves you time, troubles, and efforts of using each tool separately.

You can also resize or sharpen your images with ultimate ease and still retain the photo’s quality. The entire process is easy. You have to follow the steps below. Let’s start!

Step 1

Firstly, click to open your pixilated image with low resolution in Photoshop. Click on the top bar’s image option to open a dropdown list and select the image to resize option. Are you there? If yes, let’s move to the next step.

Step 2

Secondly, change the image’s resolution to about 300 pixels. You should notice that your photo’s size has increased. The size should be good enough to work on the image for perfect results. To go to the next step, press the OK button.

Step 3

With the above steps, your Photoshop task is complete, and now it’s time to open the image in Lightroom. Typically, this editing software will help you convert the low-resolution image to high resolution and better quality.

Step 4

After opening the image in Lightroom:

  1. Select the Basic option on the right side of your screen. You will see a pop-up list of settings.
  2. So, adjust each of the settings until you find an excellent fit as per your photo’s needs.
  3. If you have finished making the modifications, move to the next step.

Step 5

Now, click on the Detail option and then adjust the amount slider to sharpen your photo. In this step, the most critical tool to use is the Luminous that helps in Noise reduction. Next, move the Detail slider and contrast to fix the blurriness in your image. Once you finish changing all the settings as per your photo needs, you can now smile at your clear and crisp new image.

That’s all you need to do to depixelate an image using Photoshop and Lightroom image editing tools. So, we hope you are now confident enough to share your edited photo on social media, print, or use for eCommerce and other activities of your choice.


The above are our best four ways of changing photos with low quality to images with high quality and resolution. Besides, they will help you fix any blurriness, pixelated images and give you high-quality photos you can be proud to use for any task. The biggest pro is, you can do it yourself, whether it is at home or the photo studio.

You can choose the appropriate way to use, depending on your desires. In case you find any challenges, feel free to ask for help from a professional or research more. Best of luck in your image quality transformation process!

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