I have a picture of very low quality, I want to add the detail back by using textures from the internet.

I know in video games a lot of time people will go and "re-texture" in game textures to give them more quality.

A lot of time people do this from scratch. What I want to know is how to do that similar task on this photo. Enhance the skin, and the hair etc. (the background will be cut out)

Low Quality Image

  • Related thought: why o why are photos of people staring at phones so en vogue? (Don't they feel stupid themselves posting those?)
    – ths
    Feb 22, 2017 at 23:21
  • @ths lol I know, I'm fixing it for a friend
    – CTOverton
    Feb 22, 2017 at 23:23
  • Is this actual size or do you have a higher res file? Feb 23, 2017 at 1:27
  • 1
    There's not really enough resolution then to even worry about texture. I would just fix the color balance and exposure and be done with it. Feb 23, 2017 at 1:31
  • 1
    Yes I understand that. At this resolution you wouldn't even notice things like pores on skin texture. Feb 23, 2017 at 1:39

3 Answers 3


You cannot do this without very advanced image processing skills. In games, there are 3D models of objects which get "skinned" with a texture. This texture needs to be wrapped around the model just like you'd wrap paper around a gift package.

You do not have the necessary 3D information here to conform a texture to eg. the facial contours, so this approach is right out.

I guess you could try to put an image of a nice skin next to this one and try to transfer it with a cloning stamp tool, but i doubt the result would look anything like realistic.


Garbage in, garbage out is the rule in signal/image processing. You won't do any miracle with simple tricks. What you want to do here is a job for a skilled digital painter.

Video-game textures are put on a mesh, a 3D wireframe that holds the general shape of the volume, on which the computer will apply the texture by wrapping it all over, generating the pespective deformation and the dropped shadows.

You don't have any 3D information here so you will have either to create a mesh yourself or to deform a texture on the 2D picture in a way that will imitate a natural perspective. It's basically painting.


I must say this is more on the realm of Graphic Design than Photo, but here I go.

It is naive trying to repair this low-quality photo with textures, especially if you have not corrected even the exposure or resolution.

enter image description here

The noise is terrible, but on black and white that could be interpreted as "grain" (This is the red channel)

enter image description here

But the resolution is really bad, so maybe you need to go for an artistic approach. Send this image maybe to a slight "abstract" painter or apply some artistic filters.

You can blow the resolution (600% or more) and the details will be brought by the "artistic medium", taking only into account the shades of the original image.

enter image description here


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.