Topaz customers: Don't settle!

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Topaz customers, you may have received an email from them today: Don't settle for the 60% off Black Friday sale!

You can get an additional 15% off with a coupon code (= 75% off).

Attached image shows Gigapixel AI in action, enlarging an old illustration 6X.

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This actually motivated me to get my act together and buy Topaz Gigapixel, which I've wanted for a while but had kept procrastinating about purchasing. Yeah, I saw immediately that there wouldn't be any great savings on it unless I purchased the whole kit and caboodle, the whole suite of apps, many in which I was uninterested, as I know I'd never use several of those apps. I'm happy with Sharpen AI, DeNoise AI and now Gigapixel AI. Tried out Gigapixel earlier this evening -- and, wow!!
 
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Do you make prints so large that they require a product like Gigapixel AI?
You didn't direct this question at me but I'm going to offer my own experience/perspective. What I'm finding some of the new software wizardry to be very useful for is recovering older images that were shot with lower pixel count and/or noisy sensors of a few gens back. Also back then I was often shooting with maximum 300mm and often didn't get many "pixels on target". So I have some older images with excellent content but low pixel count and quality. I find that running some of those older images through denoise, sharpen, and gigapixel can produce some amazing results. That said, the basic question is a good one. How often does one really print large formats? For me personally I've only printed a small fractional percentage of my images larger than 8x10 or 8x12. The challenge is that I rarely know when I'm snapping the shutter whether that particular image may be one of those that may end up on a wall as a large format print. So it's nice to have options.
 

Growltiger

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Maybe I misunderstand the primary benefit of using Gigapixel AI. What's the primary purpose that you licensed it?
Likely reasons other than making large prints, in brief:
- old photos, perhaps taken long ago, not very well
- photos made with inferior cameras/phones e.g. it could be a photo of special importance someone snapped with a phone.
- photos that have had to be heavily cropped, e.g. distant bird/animal/flying saucer
- photos that benefit from having more detail
 
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Here is why I licensed Gigapixel:

I regularly produce high definition documentary videos using public domain images. The resolution of many images is too low for a high definition production and Gigapixel is excellent at up sizing the images.
 
The reasons I asked are that this is a photography forum, that I'm a curious person, that I had no idea why anyone would license the product other than for making larger prints than the full-size image file would typically make, and that I didn't want to remain ignorant about any of that.
I apologize, Mike, for snapping at you like that, which wasn't appropriate and it certainly was not in the customary spirit of the Cafe. I guess I was a little cranky last night....

To answer the question properly, to be honest, I'm not really sure yet -- although, yes, the reasons that Dan and Richard each mention certainly match my vague intentions, especially the idea of being able to enlarge images from a while ago which may have a subject I'd like to have larger, closer, more of a focal point in the scene, etc. I think it could be very useful in some of the shots I do of birds on the lake, especially when they are at a distance that even 840mm isn't going to really bring close.

Also, this could be very useful in playing around with abstracts as well...... Back a few years ago I had some image that I wanted to try Gigapixel on, and at that time purchased the program, only to realize, too late, that the computer I had then was just not up to the job and so I contacted Topaz, explained the situation and they refunded my money. After I purchased the machine I have now, I intended to once again try Gigapixel but somehow never quite got around to it. Yesterday seemed as good a time as any, so I went for it. So far I've only tried it on one image that I arbitrarily plucked out of a file to experiment on, and I am surprised and pleased by the results. I'll be experimenting more with it as time goes on. Now if only I could remember which image it was that three years ago I wanted to use Gigapixel on.....!
 
OK, so I've just done another experiment with Gigapixel, choosing an image I shot earlier in the week. The subject, a Hooded Merganser duck, was all the way across the lake from me, and I was using the A7R IV with the 100-400mm lens with 1.4x teleconverter on it. Once I had the image in the computer, I edited it in DXO PhotoLab 4 and cropped it a bit, but there was still more scenery than there was duck in the photo. Not a particularly exciting image. So today I looked again at that image and thought, "ah, a good one with which to experiment in Gigapixel!"

Image after it had been initially edited and cropped:

Pausing for Reflection.JPG
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So let's see what happens when we take it into Gigapixel:

Pausing for Reflection-gigapixel-scale-6_00x-cropped.JPG
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Not bad, actually...... This still isn't an image that would win any prizes in a wildlife competition, but for my purposes it is satisfactory enough. Anyway, this gives an idea of what Gigapixel does and what it is meant to accomplish.
 

Growltiger

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OK, so I've just done another experiment with Gigapixel, choosing an image I shot earlier in the week. The subject, a Hooded Merganser duck, was all the way across the lake from me, and I was using the A7R IV with the 100-400mm lens with 1.4x teleconverter on it. Once I had the image in the computer, I edited it in DXO PhotoLab 4 and cropped it a bit, but there was still more scenery than there was duck in the photo. Not a particularly exciting image. So today I looked again at that image and thought, "ah, a good one with which to experiment in Gigapixel!"

Image after it had been initially edited and cropped:
So let's see what happens when we take it into Gigapixel:

Not bad, actually...... This still isn't an image that would win any prizes in a wildlife competition, but for my purposes it is satisfactory enough.
Now if you put that result through Topaz Sharpen AI I reckon the result would be superb, the eye would be really sharp and the feathers a bit clearer.
 
OK, so I did a bit of playing around with this poor little duck!!! I tried all the various methods in Topaz Sharpen AI (Sharpen, Stabilize, Focus), including masking the eye to get it into sharper focus, and then realized that part of the problem was that the image had of course grown in size way past the original 1800x1800 pixels I'd started out with. So I reduced the image size, but while I was doing that I also decided that I should also fix the image so that it doesn't look as though the duck is swimming uphill, a flaw I'd not bothered to correct when I initially did the image as I wasn't planning to do anything further with it. Actually, he still looks like he is, but I think that is due to the reflections of the foliage and the duck himself in the water.,,,, LOL!

So here he is again, a more reasonably-sized image, somewhat sharper but that eye is still not quite "there" yet, and swimming in a straighter line than previously!

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In my earlier post I did share the original image as it had been processed in DXO PhotoLab 4 the first time.....before I did anything in Gigapixel. I have it set up in DXO PhotoLab 4 that when I export an edited image that it will export to the original file and in 1800x1800 pixel dimensions. (The longer side is 1800 pixels, and the other just goes to whatever size it's meant to be since I usually don't do square 1:1 images.). When I ran it through Gigapixel I went with enlarging it 6x times (!!) and cropped the image at that point in Gigapixel, which then spat out the finished/newly cropped image in that same larger size, which I didn't realize immediately. This is only the second time I've used Gigapixel, so still learning its ins and outs......

When I ran it through Topaz Sharpen AI it seemed to be taking an unusually long time to process and that was when the penny dropped that the image size was no longer the 1800x1800, but rather significantly larger, which I promptly verified. Aha! So then I tinkered around some more.....after a while it all got rather confusing, to say the least!
 

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