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So I used a normal screenshot (630x1136) from an iPhone and I dropped into the PSD file. I tried so many ways but the image on the phone looks pixelated. Do you know how do I make make look good?

enter image description here

So, I'm working on some Key Visual for a Landing Page which the dimensions are: 450x3000px (so the image that you see extend to the sides). I'm using Photoshop CS6 for Mac. I bought this mockup here. And first I just replaced the screenshot and looked awful and then I converted the image to smart object and after it rasterized after I scaled "by hand" and looked a bit better. (being honest I tried out without knowing what I was doing but look better but not perfect)

Hope that helps to understand my issue.

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What you call "pixelation" is really called "aliasing." I think the problem is that you are scaling it down and skewing it and the number of pixels available in the final render is not enough to give you a good looking diagonal line.

The basic 2x full-scene anti-aliasing routine (2xfsaa) used in gaming for dealing with large transforms of pixel data is literally doubling the size of the image, making your transforms, and then halving the size again for display. This tends to give you more data for the line and then you resample back down.

This method may not always work out if you have areas of high contrast (ie your entire screencap), but it may help.

I may be incorrect on this last point, but I think that if you place your screencap as a smart object and transform it, you do not get the best resampling/scaling.

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    if all you object to is the transition line between the iphone and the screen capture, try placing the screencap below the image and then apply a layer mask to the base image so that the screencap shows through the hole. This will allow you to apply a slight blur to the very edges of the mask and give a smoother transition at this point of highest contrast. – horatio May 21 '14 at 18:54
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There are a couple of things I would suggest trying.

  1. Import your screenshot as a smart object. or if it is a smart object try importing it rasterize. photoshop handles anti aliasing differently for smart objects and rastered objects
  2. Check your anti aliasing algorithm | Under Preferences / General - Image Interpolation (probably want bicubic or bicubic smoother)
  3. Make sure you're not using warp it is a lower quality transformation
  4. lower the resolution of your template if you don't need it that high, 5000x3333px is a large resolution. scaling the template down would decrease the ratio between your screenshot resolution and your image. Your screenshot may be being scaled up at the higher res causing some issues

also make sure you're previewing at 25% 50% 100% 200% etc.

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Chances are your screenshot is 72dpi and the photo you're placing it in is a much larger 300dpi image. If you're scaling up instead of scaling down after you placed your screenshot, that's likely why it's pixelated.

  • While image size would definitely be a factor (scaling up), dpi would not. – DA01 May 21 '14 at 17:38
  • What @DA01 means is: dpi(aka ppi) has absolutely nothing to do with it. Only pixel dimensions matter. What selfagency means is: if the "window" you knocked out of the stock photo has larger pixel dimensions than the screenshot, then you must scale up the screencap to fit the window and this introduces quality issues. (Note that it looks to me like the simulated image is smaller than the stated screencap dimensions) – horatio May 21 '14 at 17:43
  • Sorry for not being clearer. When I said "a much larger 300dpi image" it was inferred that the image size was larger dimensionally, not just in terms of pixel depth. – selfagency May 21 '14 at 17:47
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    I understand, it is just that such back and forth with terms and implications, while easy for you and me as experts, is extremely confusing to people with less experience. We do not always know the expertise level of the OP, so it may be better to be explicit with terms. – horatio May 21 '14 at 17:51
  • @selfagency I think to clarify perhaps just remove the dpi numbers. And say "chances are your screen shot is much smaller than the photo you're placing it into." – DA01 May 21 '14 at 17:53

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