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Topaz AI Gigapixel update

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Topaz AI Gigapixel update

V3 of A.I. Gigapixel image resizing software


Topaz has updated AI Gigapixel to V3.

It’s a free update if you already have the software.

Keith has written  a longer review covering AI Gigapixel and how it’s relevant to his making of large prints.

See all of Keith’s other Topaz reviews in the Topaz article index.

topaz-AI-gigapixel

30 day demo available at Topaz Labs

Use our 15% discount code ‘Northlight’ for a specially reduced price if you buy.

AI GigaPixel V3

The fundamentals of the software remain as described in my original review – it’s software that can produce superb results in resizing images. It’s important to remember that this is dependent on the quality of the input image. Version 2 improved graphics CPU operation and provided a fallback giving (slower) CPU based operation.

Version three provides a cleaner and easier to use interface, along with some performance and functionality improvements. However, the basic load image -> settings -> process workflow is the same.

In this example, I’ve dropped a JPEG file onto the window, to select for processing.

saving-as-tiff

Normally I’ll want my output fill in 16 bit format, so I’ll save as a TIFF file. If I’m going to be working on the file for a big print I’ll convert 8 bit files to 16 bit and if they are in sRGB, save them in a bigger colour space.

I can set the output icc profile for the image. If I’m working in a largish colour space already (A98 or Prophoto for example) I’ll keep the file in that colour space..

output profile

Having my files in a bigger, deeper bit depth space can make edits smoother. A simple example might be a change to the colour/contrast of some foliage. Adobe 98 can deal with darker greens better than the somewhat limited sRGB.

Of course, you’re limited to starting with what was in the image file to start with, but editing in a larger space makes it less likely you’ll hit gamut limitations.  For a bit more about this see my recent article about displaying and printing bright colours.

A rather old image

I’ll use an image from an Olympus C1400XL here – this is the full size 1.3MP file from the camera taken in 2001 [click to enlarge – as with any image in this article]

original-file

Here’s the difference between simply enlarging the view to 600% in Photoshop and processing in AI GigaPixel.

One bit of AI GigaPixel that always impresses me is when it adds ‘plausible detail’ into something like the fronds of the palm. This stuff can make a noticeable difference to perceived sharpness in large prints, when it works well.

6x-magnification

The resizing has three settings governing how the algorithms handle different parts of your image.

noise-blur

In particular, these deal with image blur and noise.

From my experience, if you’re starting off with high quality original files (say 16 bit TIFFs from RAW files) then the ‘none’ setting is likely the best (it’s still worth testing – your files will be different to mine).  With JPEGs it really does depend on the source image

Here’s two 100% crops of views of the file enlarged 6 time showing how different parts of the image are processed.

noise-settings

If I wanted to be really picky, I might produce two versions of the image, and mask them together to get the best bits of each image.  Then again this is a 2001 JPEG file. I’m not often required to go that far back in the archives.

Where AI GigaPixel really does help is when I’m asked for a large print from an image I took with my 11MP Canon 1Ds between 2004 and 2007.

Too good to be true?

Output results really are dependent on what you put in, but since my original review, I’ve used the software in creating several large prints from older files.

The only way to see if it works for you is actually to try it with the sorts of images you use. Fortunately there is a fully functional 30 day trial available…

30 day demo available at Topaz Labs

Use our 15% discount code ‘Northlight’ for a specially reduced price if you buy.

Technical notes

I’ve used the software on a 2010 MacBook Pro (8GB) and a 2009 Mac Pro (32GB with added 3GB AMD Radeon HD 7950 graphics card)  It’s faster on the Mac Pro, but will use CPU if your graphics card isn’t powerful enough or supported.

There is a Hardware Requirements article on the Topaz site if you want more info (Mac and PC)

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