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  1. #1
    Gold Lounger
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    Looking for Image Enhancing Software

    Hi all,

    I work a lot with images and photies!!! I frequently need to cut out / crop areas out of my pic's and enlarge them. Obviously with the enlarging of small areas the pixels blow up and the pic becomes more unclear.

    I am searching for any freeware/shareware software that will be able to enhance the enlarged photo to make it clearer. It is not just a matter of smooting or sharpening the image, but to actually enhance it to make it clearer.

    I did a search on the web and came up with hundreds....but frankly I am not familiar with any of the packages, and would like to know if any loungers have comments or programs they can recommend. If you do this sort of thing and you are happy with the results you get with a 3rd party software program...please fill me in and tell me where I can download it!

    PS:
    In my searching I came across this site! It offers 5 <img src=/S/free.gif border=0 alt=free width=30 height=15> programs that focus on graphic and desktop! Here is the link if you are interested!
    Free Serif Software
    Regards,
    Rudi

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Looking for Image Enhancing Software

    IrfanView is a nice free image viewer and editing program, with several options built-in, plus optional plug-ins.

  3. #3
    Gold Lounger
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    Re: Looking for Image Enhancing Software

    Thanx Hans...I'm downloading it now! I'll try it out tonight!

    A quick Q?
    How does software sharpen/enhance images? Does it split the pixels and calculate a closest shading colour for each pixel split? (Or am I talking science fiction!!) <img src=/S/shrug.gif border=0 alt=shrug width=39 height=15>
    Regards,
    Rudi

  4. #4
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Looking for Image Enhancing Software

    A Google Search: image enhancement algorithms returns 439,000 hits - take your pick! <img src=/S/laugh.gif border=0 alt=laugh width=15 height=15>

  5. #5
    Gold Lounger
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    Re: Looking for Image Enhancing Software

    Yeah...thats a bit more than the hundereds that I mentioned earlier...

    Now lets see....hmmmm...lets choose Link No 135,852...
    Regards,
    Rudi

  6. #6
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Looking for Image Enhancing Software

    Since the question is enlarging rather than enhancing, change the search accordingly and you get a lot less hits. I tried two or three a couple of years ago and none was successful at doing what I wanted to do, so I gave up the hunt.

  7. #7
    Gold Lounger
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    Re: Looking for Image Enhancing Software

    Thx BigAl...I'll give it a try too!
    Regards,
    Rudi

  8. #8
    Platinum Lounger
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    Re: Looking for Image Enhancing Software

    I don't do much with photo enhancement, and most of my needs are met by something like IrfanView. But I have heard good things about PhotoFiltre, which is a step up from the more basic programs:

    "PhotoFiltre is a complete image retouching program. It allows you to do simple or advanced adjustments to an image and apply a vast range of filters on it. It is simple and intuitive to use, and has an easy learning curve. The toolbar, giving you access to the standard filters with just a few clicks, gives PhotoFiltre a robust look.

    PhotoFiltre is <img src=/S/free.gif border=0 alt=free width=30 height=15> for a private, non commercial or educational use (including non-profit organizations). In this case, registration is not necessary. But commercial or professional use requires a registration.
    "

    Alan

  9. #9
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Looking for Image Enhancing Software

    Hi Rudi,

    Check out Neat Image. I just Googled it up, so I can't speak from personal experience, but it's <img src=/S/free.gif border=0 alt=free width=30 height=15> and it works as a standalone or Photoshop plug-in so that's a plus. And it seems to do what you want, clean up the image. I don't think you will find software as powerful as you see on the TV shows where they take an image that looks like mud and sharpen and clean it to crystal clarity. It either doesn't exist or is so expensive to produce that it makes it impractical for commercial application. HTH <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15>
    <IMG SRC=http://www.wopr.com/w3tuserpics/DocWatson_sig.gif>

  10. #10
    Gold Lounger
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    Re: Looking for Image Enhancing Software

    Thanx Alan and DocWatson! I'll have a look at these to see if they will meet my requirements!
    Thx for the links!!!
    Regards,
    Rudi

  11. #11
    5 Star Lounger
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    Re: Looking for Image Enhancing Software

    Hi Rudi

    Irfanview and PhotoFiltre, mentioned previously in this thread, are both keepers IMHO. You could also try these freebies:
    FXFoto
    GIMP

    Keep in mind that, once the picture is taken, you can't add pixels to make an enlargement sharper. Some programs try to average or blend adjacent pixels to introduce additional pixels but the result is uaually not very good. Your best bet is to shoot with the highest resoultion possible for your camera if you anticipate wanting to enlarge a portion of the image.
    Also, play with "Resample" and "Resize" for different results. Typically, do this before cropping.
    As well, save your work often, using a different file name each time, in tiff format, not jpeg, for better end results. Your last save can be in jpeg for transportability.

    Have a Great day!!!
    Ken
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  12. #12
    Super Moderator
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    Re: Looking for Image Enhancing Software

    Never do any resizing, cropping or other enhancements to the original, AWAYS use a copy.

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

  13. #13
    5 Star Lounger
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    Re: Looking for Image Enhancing Software

    Hello Rudi,
    <hr>In my searching I came across this site! It offers 5 programs that focus on graphic and desktop! Here is the link if you are interested!
    Free Serif Software<hr>
    I've used PhotoPlus 5 a long while ago and was very happy with the results. Never used PhotoShop, but I think it PP tries to get close to it still it's <img src=/S/free.gif border=0 alt=free width=30 height=15>. I don't have it installed right now as it is way heavier than many simpler apps. For everyday use I'll get hands to excellent IrfanView, already mentioned here, and occasionally will install PP for exceptional requirements.

    One particularly useful feature of PP is the Export Wizard or whatever it was called (under the File menu). It gives you an idea of the final resolution and final size of the image in different formats and compression levels.

    HTH
    <img src=/w3timages/blue3line.gif width=33% height=2>
    <img src=/S/flags/Argentina.gif border=0 alt=Argentina width=30 height=18> <big><font color=4682b4><font face="Comic Sans MS">Diegol</font face=comic></font color=4682b4> </big>

  14. #14
    5 Star Lounger
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    Re: Looking for Image Enhancing Software

    <hr>As well, save your work often, using a different file name each time, in tiff format, not jpeg, for better end results. Your last save can be in jpeg for transportability.<hr>
    I commonly don't save as TIFF, but I would add PNG has given very good results in both definition and file size. It's curious that sometimes a PNG file can be far lighter (talking about file size) than the same image in the 100% (zero compression) JPG format. On other (most, I believe) occasions the opposite will be true. But besides having a higher quality PNGs retain transparencies (JPGs won't). GIFs will also retain transparency, but in most cases the output colors will be tarnished and file sizes will probably skyrocket.

    HTH
    <img src=/w3timages/blue3line.gif width=33% height=2>
    <img src=/S/flags/Argentina.gif border=0 alt=Argentina width=30 height=18> <big><font color=4682b4><font face="Comic Sans MS">Diegol</font face=comic></font color=4682b4> </big>

  15. #15
    5 Star Lounger
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    Re: Looking for Image Enhancing Software

    One last thing: check your imaging software's default JPG compression setting when saving. For example, Photo Editor's "quality factor" is set at 50% AND the setting is hidden; you have to click "More" for it to be displayed. I don't remember if this is also true for IrfanView, but I think IView's quality factor (whatever it's called) is defaulted to 100%. If you're unaware you can spoil a hi-res image when doing a simple edit like trimming borders and saving.
    <img src=/w3timages/blue3line.gif width=33% height=2>
    <img src=/S/flags/Argentina.gif border=0 alt=Argentina width=30 height=18> <big><font color=4682b4><font face="Comic Sans MS">Diegol</font face=comic></font color=4682b4> </big>

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