Upscaling Explained? 7 FREE Apps to Upscale Art in 2024. Tutorial & Review for Print on Demand

Detour Shirts
10 Feb 202425:35

TLDRIn this informative video, Juna from Detour Shirts explores the concept of upscaling AI-generated images for print-on-demand, highlighting the importance of achieving the right size and quality for T-shirt designs. Juna introduces seven free online apps that can help upscale images, compares their effectiveness, and provides practical tips for optimizing results. The video also touches on the limitations of each method and offers solutions, such as converting file formats and using specific tools for cleaner edges and better scaling. Ultimately, Juna's goal is to equip viewers with the knowledge to select the best upscaling option for their needs, ensuring their AI-generated artworks are ready for print.


  • 🎨 Upscaling is essential for increasing the size of AI-generated images to meet print requirements.
  • πŸ–ΌοΈ AI images typically start at 1024x1024 pixels, which is not sufficient for high-quality print on demand.
  • πŸ“ˆ The process of upscaling adds pixels to make the image smoother and less pixelated.
  • πŸ” Vectorizing is an alternative to upscaling, providing sharp edges and clean designs.
  • 🌐 Several online apps offer free upscaling services, each with its own strengths and limitations.
  • πŸš€ Upscaling apps like '' and 'I Love IMG' can significantly improve image quality with AI algorithms.
  • 🎯 When using upscaling services, it's important to check the accepted file formats, such as PNG and JPEG.
  • ⏳ Some upscaling services, like 'dgb LOL', offer higher quality results but may take longer to process.
  • πŸ’‘ Creative workarounds, such as cropping and resizing, can help navigate limitations of certain upscaling tools.
  • πŸ“± Platforms like 'Mid Journey' and 'Canva' also offer upscaling features within their own ecosystems.
  • πŸ“‹ Upscaling is a valuable skill for designers looking to utilize AI-generated artwork for various print projects.

Q & A

  • What is the primary focus of the video?

    -The primary focus of the video is to discuss upscaling AI-generated images for print-on-demand purposes and to introduce seven different free online apps that can be used for upscaling.

  • Why is upscaling necessary for AI-generated images?

    -Upscaling is necessary because most AI-generated images have a default size of 1024 x 1024, which is often too small for print-on-demand requirements. Upscaling helps to increase the image size without significant loss of quality, ensuring the design is crisp and clear on the final product.

  • What is the target size for Amazon Merch on Demand?

    -The target size for Amazon Merch on Demand is 4500 x 5400 pixels.

  • What is the main advantage of vectorizing over upscaling?

    -The main advantage of vectorizing is that it creates a clean, straight edge and allows for seamless scaling without pixelation. Vectorized images maintain their quality regardless of size adjustments, which is crucial for print clarity.

  • What is the limitation of the service mentioned in the video?

    -The limitation of is that it only accepts PNG and JPEG formats, and the user has to install the application to use it.

  • How does the 'I Love IMG' service work?

    -The 'I Love IMG' service works by allowing users to upload their images, select the desired upscaling factor (2X, 4X), and then download the upscaled image. It is noted for its speed and effectiveness in improving image quality.

  • What is the main difference between upscaling and vectorizing in terms of preserving gradients?

    -Upscaling preserves the gradients in the image, which might not be accurately represented when an image is vectorized. This can result in a more visually appealing final product when upscaling is used.

  • What is the limitation of the Pixel Cut service?

    -The limitation of Pixel Cut is that it can only upscale images up to 4,000 pixels, which may require users to find workarounds like cropping the image to fit the size limit before upscaling.

  • How does the Canva 'Pixel Perfect' app handle upscaling?

    -The Canva 'Pixel Perfect' app upscales images by enhancing the resolution and quality to make them suitable for larger sizes. However, its availability is dependent on the user's Canva subscription tier.

  • What is the main takeaway from the video regarding upscaling AI-generated images?

    -The main takeaway is that there are multiple free online tools available for upscaling AI-generated images, each with its own strengths and limitations. Users should choose the tool that best fits their needs in terms of image quality, speed, and ease of use.



πŸ” Introduction to Upscaling Techniques

Juna from Detour Shirts introduces the topic of upscaling digital images for print-on-demand services. She plans to demonstrate seven free online apps for image upscaling, following a previous discussion on vectorizing as a solution to resizing AI-generated images without loss of quality. Juna uses Affinity Designer to illustrate the limitations of simply stretching a 1024x1024 pixel image to meet the standard print size of 4500x5400 pixels required by platforms like Amazon Merch. The process results in pixelation, highlighting the need for upscaling to add pixels and smooth out images for a cleaner, crisper finish suitable for high-quality prints.


πŸ“ Demonstrating the Basics of Upscaling

Juna showcases the initial steps of upscaling by attempting to use an AI upscaling tool with a ChatGPT-generated image. However, she encounters a file format compatibility issue, as the image is saved in WebP format, which is not supported by the upscaler. As a workaround, she converts the image to PNG using PhotoPea, an image editing tool. Juna emphasizes the common limitation among free upscaling tools, which typically only accept JPEG and PNG formats. She successfully upscales the image to 2X and imports it into Affinity Designer for comparison, highlighting the improvement in pixelation and clarity when the image is scaled more appropriately for larger print dimensions.


🌐 Exploring Different Upscaling Tools

Continuing her exploration, Juna tests various upscaling services to compare their effectiveness. She finds that some services offer up to 4X upscaling for free, significantly improving image clarity for print-on-demand sizes. Juna emphasizes the variability in upscaling quality across different platforms and the potential costs involved, especially when higher upscaling ratios like 4X are needed. She highlights the importance of choosing the right upscaling service based on the specific needs of the project, whether for clarity, speed, or file format compatibility.


πŸš€ Advanced Upscaling with DGB.LOL and Pixel Cut

Juna explores more sophisticated upscaling options with DGB.LOL and Pixel Cut, noting DGB.LOL's capability for 6X upscaling but with a longer processing time due to its revenue model based on ad viewing. She appreciates Pixel Cut for its speed and ease of use, despite its limitations on maximum pixel dimensions and the necessity for a subscription for higher quality upscaling. Juna devises a clever hack with Pixel Cut to circumvent these limitations by resizing images before upscaling. This section illustrates the trade-offs between upscaling quality, processing time, and cost across different platforms.


πŸ–ΌοΈ Exploring Additional Upscaling Tools

Juna evaluates additional upscaling tools, including Leonardo, Mid Journey, and Canva, each with its unique features and limitations. She finds that while Leonardo and Canva offer convenient upscaling options, they might not be the best fit for all users due to their cost and the specific enhancements they offer, which may be more suited to photo editing than graphic design for print-on-demand. Mid Journey, in contrast, allows upscaling within its platform but is limited to its own creations. This exploration underscores the diversity of tools available and the importance of selecting one that aligns with the user's needs and the specific demands of their project.


πŸ‘©β€πŸŽ¨ Concluding Remarks on Upscaling Options

Juna wraps up by summarizing her findings on the various upscaling services available for enhancing AI-generated images for print-on-demand purposes. She emphasizes the strengths and weaknesses of each tool, from the ease of use and speed of Pixel Cut to the higher quality but slower processing of DGB.LOL. Juna also mentions the versatility of Canva and the specialized applications of Leonardo and Mid Journey. Her analysis provides valuable insights into choosing the right upscaling technique based on specific needs such as file format, quality, speed, and cost, ultimately helping viewers make informed decisions for their print-on-demand projects.

πŸ‘‹ Closing Thoughts and Encouragement

In her closing remarks, Juna thanks the viewers for watching and encourages them to keep creating and learning. She underscores the importance of selecting the right AI artwork upscaling methods to meet print-on-demand requirements, ensuring high-quality prints. Juna's parting words aim to inspire continued creativity and exploration in the realm of digital design and print-on-demand solutions.




Upscaling refers to the process of increasing the resolution of an image, making it larger while attempting to maintain or improve its quality. In the context of the video, upscaling is essential for preparing AI-generated images for print-on-demand services, such as for T-shirt designs, where a higher resolution is required than the initial 1024x1024 size typically produced by AI.

πŸ’‘Affinity Designer

Affinity Designer is a graphic design software used in the video to demonstrate the process of upscaling and the effects of different upscaling methods. It provides a visual platform to manipulate and compare the quality of images before and after upscaling.


Vectorizing is the process of converting images into vector graphics, which are composed of straight lines and curves rather than pixels. This technique is used to create clean, scalable images without losing quality, which is crucial for printing purposes. The video mentions vectorizing as an alternative method to upscaling for preparing images for print.

πŸ’‘Chat GPT

Chat GPT is an AI language model developed by OpenAI, known for generating human-like text based on given prompts. In the video, it is mentioned as a source for creating AI-generated images, which are then upscaled to fit the required dimensions for printing.


Print-on-demand is a service that allows for products, such as T-shirts, to be printed with custom designs only when an order is received. This process eliminates the need for holding inventory and allows for a wide variety of designs to be offered. The video focuses on preparing images for this service, emphasizing the need for high-resolution and quality images to ensure professional-looking prints.


Resolution refers to the number of pixels in an image, which determines its size and detail. A higher resolution means more pixels and thus a larger, more detailed image. In the video, the importance of increasing resolution for AI-generated images is discussed to meet the requirements for print-on-demand services.


WebP is a modern image format that provides good compression while maintaining high visual quality. It is used by some AI platforms, like Chat GPT, to save generated images. However, not all upscaling tools accept WebP files, requiring users to convert them to formats like PNG or JPEG before processing.


Pixelation is a visual defect that occurs when an image is enlarged, causing individual pixels to become visible and the image to lose clarity and detail. The video emphasizes the need to avoid pixelation when upscaling images for print-on-demand to ensure professional and clean-looking designs.

πŸ’‘AI Image

An AI image is a visual representation created by an artificial intelligence system, such as Chat GPT, based on input prompts or data. These images are often used for various design purposes but may require upscaling or vectorizing to meet the quality standards for specific applications like print-on-demand.

πŸ’‘Image Quality

Image quality refers to the clarity, sharpness, and overall visual appeal of an image. High-quality images have better resolution, color accuracy, and detail, which are important for ensuring that the final printed products look professional and visually pleasing.

πŸ’‘Design Size

Design size refers to the dimensions of a graphic or image as intended for its final use. In the context of the video, design size is critical for print-on-demand, where the image must fit specific dimensions to be properly printed on products like T-shirts.


The video discusses upscaling AI images for print-on-demand, specifically for T-shirt designs.

Upscaling and vectorizing are two methods to increase the size of AI-generated images for printing.

AI images typically start at 1024 x 1024 pixels, which is too small for print-on-demand services like Amazon Merch.

Simply stretching an image in a design program like Affinity Designer can result in pixelation.

Vectorizing creates a clean edge but may not preserve certain gradients and details of the original image.

Upscaling adds pixels to make the image larger and less pixelated without losing details.

Upscale.doai is a free online tool that uses AI to upscale images, but it requires converting webp files to png or jpeg.

I Love IMG is a recommended free image upscaler that can upscale up to 4x the original size quickly.

Dgb LOL offers a super sharp 6x upscale, but the process takes longer and may require watching ads.

Pixel Cut is a fast upscaler with a limit of upscaling images to 4,000 pixels, requiring a workaround for larger sizes.

Leonardo's Universal Upscaler can be used for free if you have credits, but it's limited to 2x scaling at a time.

Mid Journey's built-in upscaler automatically scales designs created within its platform up to 4x.

Canva's Pixel Perfect app can upscale images, but the availability of the feature depends on the subscription level.

The choice of upscaling tool depends on the user's needs, including speed, quality, and the type of image being processed.

Upscaling is beneficial for preserving gradients and details that might be lost during vectorization.

The video provides a comprehensive comparison of seven different upscaling methods, each with its advantages and limitations.

The presenter suggests that a 4x upscale is often sufficient for most T-shirt design needs.

The video aims to help viewers understand the importance of upscaling and provide options for achieving the desired print size.