What do you do when you have to work on billboard-sized images, but your little computer can’t handle them? Work at smaller dimensions and then upsample at the end! But images can get too blurry when you increase the resolution, so what should you do?
Genuine Fractals to the rescue!
Better Image Enlargement Quality
Genuine Fractals uses a complicated series of algorithms to increase the image size and keep everything looking sharp. It does a much better job than Photoshop alone can do when making images larger.
Disclaimer: You’re really not supposed to upsample images at all because the image details start to become fuzzy and it plain looks bad, but sometimes you just have to and for that you need Genuine Fractals.
Now, to be honest, it’s not a miracle worker. It cannot magically make details where none exist. But it is very good at taking a medium resolution image and resizing it to a high resolution image, or even better, high resolution image to a large format image (think 8 megapixel image to poster sized). onOne (the manufacturer) claims that you can enlarge images up to 1000% of the original size with the latest version (Version 5 at the time of this writing).
Briefly How to Use It
Using Genuine Fractals is very easy; it’s an intuitive program to use. You need to flatten the image in order to use the plugin, so you might want to save a copy of the original layered file. When you’re ready, go to the new menu that is created and choose Resize Image and a dialog box comes up that simply asks what resolution and what dimensions. You’ll get a preview of the image to the left.
Resizing is only the basics of what Genuine Fractals can do. The onOne website lists many more uses for their program, including increasing the resolution of digital video footage and batching files that need to be enlarged.
The example below shows a 2” x 3” image at 300 resolution (standard print quality in pixels per inch) resized to 21×30 at 300 (1000% of original size) and viewed at 100% zoom.
In this example, I noticed that the Genuine Fractals resize was much sharper in the details and there was much more distinction between objects, but it also tended to get a little posterized in the textures. I’m using Genuine Fractals 4 here.
Just to make sure you can use the latest Genuine Fractals (5 at this time), you must have Windows XP Service Pack 2 or Vista or Mac OSX 10.4.8 or a higher version of any of these operating systems. You must also have Photoshop CS2 or CS3 or Photoshop Elements 4 or later, 512MB of RAM and 25MB of disk space. Got
If you’d like to try it before buying, onOne offers a free 30 day trial, but you will have to register your information with them.
What are your experiences with interpolation software? Do you have one that you like better than Genuine Fractals?