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Old Feb 13, 2004, 4:09 PM   #11
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This is surprising me, so I wanted to ask just to be very sure.

You all seem to be saying that increasing multiple times by a small amount (and doing nothing more) is a great way to enlarge a picture. I'm surprised that some edge sharpening (or maybe regular USM) isn't also necessary inbetween some of the enlargements. I don't know why I wonder that, I just do.

What got me onto this was that I have a nice picture of an osprey on a nest with 2 babies. Unfortunately, I couldn't get close so the picture (when croped to something I consider resonable) isn't very large. It takes about 200% enlargement (from the print with preview window in PS CS) to get it to fill an 8 1/2 x 11 piece of paper. But at that level of enlargement, it didn't look very good. So I did 150% instead, and that was acceptable (with some extra sharpening to help out one part.)

It isnít this exact picture, but itís the same nest:
http://www.marx7.org/~esmith/web_posts/osprey_nest1.jpg

Now it sounds like I should do it again, but with multiple 5% increases. Maybe that will be this weekend's goal.

Eric
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Old Feb 13, 2004, 5:02 PM   #12
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Eric, I've found that some pictures can stand generous enlarging while others can't. In any case, you shouldn't enlarge any further than 10% at a time. I've tried the really small increments--such as 2%--and found them to do more harm than good. Keeping your original and working on a copy, try Slipe's 5% increase. Make another copy and try my 10%, then compare the two and pick whichever one worked best.

Whatever you do, do NOT sharpen in between enlarging steps. Sharpening is always, always, always the very last thing you do to a photo. If you take a good close look at the results of sharpening, you'll see it's a slightly destructive process. You don't want any of that destruction magnified in the enlargement.
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Old Feb 13, 2004, 10:20 PM   #13
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Actually, I do realize that sharpening alters the picture. I guess what surprises me is that enlarging will also enlarge edges and make them less sharp. It just seems (obviously, I'm wrong) that sharpening every so often would reduce the widending of any edge that was just enlarged.

But maybe bicubic does a better job and this type of thing isn't necessary... maybe it feathers edges in such a way that it just works. Only one way to find out!

Eric
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Old Feb 14, 2004, 7:17 AM   #14
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Quote:
maybe it feathers edges
This is nothing more than on-the-spot musing since I know next to nothing about the technical workings behind the issue: since enlarging necessitates the production of pixels that weren't ever there in the first place, then the edges would be just as subject to the multiplication of pixels as other parts of the photo. This would not only widen the area of an edge, but it could also involve the addition of pixels representing both the edge and what borders that edge. It might well end up looking feathered.
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Old Feb 25, 2004, 1:55 PM   #15
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I have been using genuine fractals for a while and it does a way better jon than PS's bicubic. I use it mostly for jpg's but sometimes for tif's. My only complaint is that it doesn't support 16-bit color. Maybe the next version will.
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Old Feb 25, 2004, 3:02 PM   #16
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I agree that sharpening between steps is probably a bad idea. Sharpening adds artifacts that will be compounded with each step.

Of course I thought the whole idea of SI was probably a bad idea too until I tried it myself. So you might add sharpening to an action and see what it does.

10% increases are better than 5% increases if you get the same result. The steps take a while unless you have a fast processor, and even then there is a wait for each step. I did some early tests and just stuck with 5% because it seemed the best at the time.

Something you might be interested in is a great sharpening application. It was written as part of a larger technical program by someone who went by Vtie who often posted on the Nikon SLR board at dpreview. He left about 6 months ago because he was irritated by all of the Canon verses Nikon flame posts. It is a very nice little program and can be downloaded here: http://www.foto-freeware.de/download.php?id=19

Tutorial: http://members.ozemail.com.au/~binar...rpcontrol.html
Some comparisons with other programs: http://www.digitalworkflows.com/shar...l/workflow.php You can use the pictures at the bottom to compare it to other sharpening programs.

I find it does better than anything I can do in Photoshop with high pass, USM, edge sharpening etc. Evidently it is pretty sophisticated.
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Old Mar 8, 2004, 5:41 PM   #17
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I've used a number of upscaling programs:

GF is the best (many people didn't know that the se version was on almost all Nikon coolpix cd's!)

Smartscale makes the picture look overexposed and cartoonish!

Photoshop even with the magic number doesn't do the job in my opinion.

Shooter.
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Old Mar 9, 2004, 3:15 PM   #18
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For users of NIKON CAPTURE. You can enlarge your shots with this editor. It's awesome!
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