I’m Robin Whalley
welcome to Lenscraft today we’re looking at resizing photos to create
enlargements what caught my attention is the recent release of topaz gigapixel
this software claims to use machine learning to improve your results when
enlarging photos the website makes a lot of comparisons with photoshop so I
thought I’ll run some of my own and let’s test these comparisons to see what
we get the image will be using for the test is one that features a sunrise in
Highlands of Scotland that I shot recently I captured it using a Fuji XT3 and a samyang 12mm prime lens when we view this at a
hundred percent you can see that it’s packed with detail and the foreground is
actually very sharp let’s check the current size of the image if we move
this to inches we can see we have a 23 by 13 inch print at 240 pixels which is
quite large now this dialog also allows me to make the enlargements to the image
I’m going to do this by entering percentage increases now because I have
this blink here clicked any enhancement I make to the
width of the image is reflected in the height so if I enter a 200% width
increase the height also increases by 200% and you’ll notice that the
resolution of the image remains at 240 if we look further down we have this
resample option now when that’s not take what happens is that rather than create
new pixels in the image Photoshop Miree readjust this resolution so if I just
really enter here 200% you can see that the resolution drops to 128 from 240 the
pixels of the image have remained the same all that’s happened is we’ve halved
the resolution let’s just reach that and will reset this now to be 240 now if you want to enlarge an image but
keep the resolution the same you need to have the resampled option ticked when
the resampled options selected we have access to different methods that
Photoshop uses for the resampling now some of these methods are very old and
probably well in excess of 20 years old but they can be effective with different
types of image so if you were working with graphics for example the nearest
neighbor method may be very effective but it may not be well suited to
photography let’s select a very basic one which is bilinear now if we scale
our image by 400% we can get an idea of the results in this preview window so
i’m repositioning the preview window to look at a small area of the image here
and you can see it’s making a reasonable job of resizing it keeping the detail in
the grass and the rock but it’s a little soft
if we know go to preserve details – which is a recent method of enlargement
you can see that this is a little bit sharper an alternative new method of
resizing was this preserved details and when we select that the image detail
seems to be a little bit crisper now there’s also an automatic option here
now if I select that what will happen is Photoshop tries to create the best
enlargement based on what you’re doing at the time
in this example there wasn’t any difference between the automatic and the
preserve details enlargement in my preview and that’s because Photoshop
decided that’s the best routine to use making a 400% increase in the size of
this image now something to watch out for is that depending on what you’re
intending to do with the resized image picking the option that gives a sharpest
enlargement may not give you the best finished result so don’t be scared to
try out some of the other options let’s resize this image to 400% now the
computer I’m using is a two year old 27-inch Mac desktop it’s got an i7
processor and at the time it was the best spec you could purchase as you can
see Photoshop completed the resizing pretty quickly in
this example let’s come down a look at our detail you can see it’s quite sharp
viewed as 100% let’s check the image size and we’ll put
this into inches and you can see we’ve got a 93 inch by 53 inch print at 240
pixels per inch looking at what I’m seeing in the 100% magnification on
screen this will give a reasonably good print and it would certainly be a huge
print that you couldn’t get to near to if you wanted to appreciate it
at this point I wanted to show you the gigapixel processing of this image but I
can’t for two reasons firstly gigapixel takes a long time to process
the image and I do mean a long time secondly gigapixel hogs all the
resources on the computer so I can’t seem to do anything while it’s running
now that includes doing a screen recording so as soon as it starts to
process the screen recording just seems to lock up so what I’ve done is I’ve
created a second test image and it’s cropped from this first image which are
then saved as a tiff file here’s the image you can see it’s a section of the
original if I now fit that one to the screen so we’ve taken the section from
here and that’s it saved let’s check the image size and we’ve got
eight and a half inches by five and a half inches at 240 pixels let’s resize
that now to 400% and I’m going to use the automatic option the image looks
reasonable when viewed at a hundred percent magnification looking at the
same area let’s check the image size and we can
see we’ve actually created a 35 by 23 inch image at 240 pixels which is pretty
good if you’re making a print from this it should look okay from what we’re
seeing now let’s compare topaz gigapixel with the image opening topaz gigapixel
what you get is this preview and you can move the preview point around now at the moment I’ve got the scaling
set to four times or 400% and looking at this preview the original looks quite
blurry as you would expect magnify it to 400 percent but the preview doesn’t look
particularly great now I’ve got a suppressed noise medium and also remove
blur at medium now I’m wondering if this is part of the problem and if I set this
to none and this to none do we improve the results it looks a little less sharp
but it’s also looking a little bit blurry it definitely seems to look
better with the medium removed blur I’m suspecting that this suppressing noise
and removed blur is causing some sorts of problem in the preview so I’m going
to run it but with these both off the reason I’ve jumped back to photoshop is
because gigapixel took a minute and 40 seconds to actually process the image
and I didn’t think it made for a very good viewing but what I have got open is
a couple of images that I did process the first one which you can see on
screen now was processing gigapixel without any noise reduction or any blur
reduction let’s have a look at that at 100% at first impressions it looks very
good if I compare it to the test image that I had from Photoshop you can see that actually it looks a
little bit sharper and it certainly appears to have more detail in there so
the claims they’re making are actually pretty accurate
there is though something that I don’t like too much
what gigapixel appears to have done is in some of the areas such as here on the
rock you can see the details just a little bit of soft what we’re seeing are
slight artifacts here where it seems to have overcompensated on the edges and
all four sharpen them it’s then reached the sort of limit of
what it can do to tighten up the blurry pixels so where the pixels are soft it
started to try to overemphasize those but then it’s got to the point where it
thinks I can’t do any more and it stops processing them and just leaves it like
the original if we look back at the image here you can see those areas are
just that little bit softer on the Photoshop enlargement on gigapixel they
look a little bit better but then you’ve got these artifacts around here I did
run the enlargement again but I set the sharpness or the reduce blur too high
and this is what we get now again it’s not managed to fix these soft areas and
it has overemphasized around them where there is good detail though in the
grasses it’s made a superb job of really pulling that out and it’s definitely
better than the Photoshop best which actually no looks a little bit soft and
blurry in comparison now I did try sharpening the Photoshop
image and it doesn’t improve it to the level that we’ve got in gigapixel the
definitely seems to be detailed being pulled out in this the question is would
you see these sharp edges in a print well if I look at this at a hundred
percent I would say yeah it would show up but when you’re printing you don’t
tend to see 100% of the detail because the printer tends to soften edges to
some extent let’s look at it if it was at 50% what we’ve got there is a really
sharp image and I can’t see the artifacts anymore now viewing the image
at about 50% gives you a good impression of what the print would look like so
although I’m concerned about these artifacts the print should look pretty
good now I haven’t tried printing this yet and I will do in the future but
looking at what I’m seeing on screen actually should make a pretty good print
and when you can say that this he’s going to give me a 35 inch print that’s
pretty good for a piece of software so my conclusion yes I think gigapixel can
produce sharper enlargement with more detail than Photoshop can at the moment
but I am a little bit concerned about some of the artifacts I was seeing and
until I’ve printed this image I’ll remain concerned I also think the
processing time for gigapixel is just unacceptable and I think it does need to
be sorted out it needs to be faster and less resource hungry will this work for
you is it better than Photoshop I honestly don’t know I think it will
depend on your images with your camera and what I would say is if you are
interested in something like this I would go and get the evaluation copy and
try it out I have been impressed by what it can do with my camera phone images
and it seems to perform well if you’ve not got any softer areas in your image
as well I hope you found that interesting I’m Robin Whalley you’ve
been watching Lenscraft i’ll see you next time for another video