Every so often an image comes up that needs to be enlarged. Recently I came across a small JPG format photo of my parents on their wedding day. It was just 800 pixels high and 524 pixels wide. Not very big in today’s world of high resolution monitors and phones.
I made a small crop, 200 x 150 pixels, of just their faces. This is what I had:
Of course, the resolution is poor and there are some JPG artifacts that distract.
Resizing to a higher pixel count in normal photo editors – if they allow the operation at all – does nothing for the image. a blurry small image just becomes a blurry large image.
But technology has changed. There are a number of smart tools that use AI, artificial intelligence, to analyze an image and add “appropriate” detail in the enlargement. I have used Topaz Labs Gigapixel AI for some time. Just recently (May 2022) ON1 released their upscaling utility ON1 Resize AI. It is now incorporated into ON1 Photo RAW 2022.5 which I used for the demo here.
Sadly, using the default settings, my result was not very impressive. Here it is:
There was detail added, look at the eyes, but it did not get rid of the JPG artifacts, and it introduced new ones. No doubt it works better for less demanding and difficult images. Sorry ON1, no attaboy today.
The Topaz Labs tool goes overboard with added “appropriate” detail. Take a look:
Here is how it looked in the app:
Not only did Gigapixel AI add fresh, new eyes, it did so in color. The noisy artifacts are gone. The veil and tiara look real.
Clearly not an authentic rendition, but certainly a pleasing memento of parents who have left this world a long time ago.
.:. © 2022 Ludwig Keck