Resizing to "retouch" images
Computer images can often be improved by resizing slightly due to the use of approximations.
Page "resizingretouch" last modified: 9Jul99

One side effect of using a computer screen to show pictures is that you can make slight modifications to an image just by resizing it. The process of representing a picture by using dots of color (pixels) and compressing them into as little computer memory as possible results in what you see on the screen being made up of just an approximation of the details in original scene. Changing the size of an image can change the approximations. Sometimes the approximations look different enough to change the picture esthetically.

I find this effect most useful for facial expressions and eyes. Just by adjusting the size slightly, I have been able to change a smile or change the amount of reflection in the eyes. As an example, here are four versions of the same picture, each at a slightly different size:

Image of a face at various sizes

Here are close-ups of screenshots of the four:

Close-up showing how the pixels change when you resize

Note how the teeth change, as well as the reflection in the eyes.

I have used this effect multiple times to "save" a picture. I prefer it to retouching in a picture editing program for two reasons: (1) I can do it quickly in the same tool I use for authoring the page without changing modes by drag-sizing, and (2) it somehow seems more "natural" since the change is a side effect of a normal computer process as opposed to "changing reality".