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S-SPline 2 or Genuine Fractals

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  • S-SPline 2 or Genuine Fractals

    I am in need of enlarging some prints and need to find some software that will do the trick. I have used Genuine Fractals and still find allot of pixelation when enlarging the photo. I came across S-Spline 2 and they claim it is better that Genuine fractals. I have tried it and here again the is allot of pixelation when enlarging a photo. Is there a way to enlarge a photo without getting allot of pixelation? I want the photo to look just like it does now, only bigger. Can anyone tell me if that is possible? I hope someone here can help me with this as I am on my last nerve with this. I appreciate any help that anyone can give to me. Thanks.........

  • #2
    Hi fotofreak

    I was recently at a convention that one of the reining photoshop gurus spoke at - I don't remember the exact spelling of his name, but something like Jeff Scheowe. He spoke about the power of the incremental approach to photoshop. One of his examples was in rezing up an image.

    The idea is to repeatedly resize at 110% (Image > Resize, changel pixels to percent and type in 110 with resample checked)

    Not to knock Geniune Fractals, but it sounded like it might even work better ... after rezing up (or before) you might want to run a jpeg artifact removal program or plug-in. I am not really familliar with those, but I seem to remember some mentions on this site.



    • #3
      Thanks for the reply. I have tried using Photoshop and PSP to resize my image and have done what the experts suggest by using bicubic resampling. There is a large amount of pixelation doing it this way. I do not think there is really a way to enlarge a photo through software without pixelation. Well atleast I have not found one, and I have been looking day and night for one. I hope if anyone finds one they will let me know. I guess I am out of luck on this one


      • #4
        Hi Fotofreak, as you have learnt - this is a popular request (defying raster 'physics') with many touted solutions, but none of them make a silk purse out of a sows ear, most are on par with each other in their results.

        Inventing pixels is not an easy task.

        GenuineFractals originally needed a file around 20-30mb in RGB...later came versions tailored for lower res originals, but not really for thumbnail images or heavily JPEG compressed ones etc. Good pixels in, not so good pixels out...

        Despite marketing hype, final results are rarely better than standard Photoshop Bicubic - even the often touted incremental/stair step resample has pros/cons.

        Two apps do offer something different in their result - GenuineFractals and S-Spline! This is often a fake 'rendered' or 'painted' look where smoothing has gone too far (similar to using smart blur or median filtering), or weird textures etc.

        More on this whole subject can be found in these resolution/resampling links:


        Stephen Marsh.
        Last edited by Stephen M; 09-10-2003, 07:39 AM.


        • #5

          I've read somewhere the Lanczos resampling you can use in Irfanview is better for resampling. Irfanview is free and you can get it at



          • #6
            You may also want to have a look at Qimage (

            There Vector resampling is excellent.



            • #7
              This is a bit of a shot in the dark but couldn't one print the photo at the current resolution and then use age old optical techniques to blow up the image?


              • #8
                I found that the best way to enlarge is 200% at a time and use unsharp mask between the steps, and dont use bicubic, this creates artifacts, use bilineair instead. Dont overdo the unsharp mask otherwize it starts to look like bicubic.
                Try different setting for unsharp mask like radius 4 with 25% strength or radius 0,6 with 100% strength, dont use clipping.

                Small steps like 110% makes the picture look like that fractal stuff, no good.

                Took me a week to find this out btw, after trying all the bullshit advise on the internet.

                The proof is in the pudding.

                update :
                After trying everything possible i´ve settled for the following methode for my 6x enlargement:
                1.Scale to 600% using pixel resize.
                2. unsharp mask radius 3 (6/2)
                3. gausian blur radius 3
                4 unsharp mask radius 3

                Last edited by pinobot; 12-12-2003, 09:07 AM.


                • #9
                  More on interpolation

                  I haven't tried Qimage or PhotoZoom (formerly S-splines), but I have tried Genuine Fractals. Don't expect miracles. It does arguably work up to 3 times linear scaling in some cases, or perhaps more regularly up to 2 times. If you push it too far you will get some very strange effects, but possibly no worse than most other interpolation tools.

                  Note: it's only worth using tools like this if you really need to enlarge, or print at very high resolution settings. At low resolutions, or on small prints, most pictures will be almost indistinguishable however interpolated.

                  I am sceptical of the incremental approach, but some have said it works for them. Some suggest that using Laczos interpolation works better, and there are others ...

                  One very promising form of interpolation is called "new edge interpolation" - see for the article by Li and Orchard, and this page for some samples. In my opinion Li and Orchard's new edge interpolation gives the best results. However I don't know of any software which is readily available which does this yet.

                  You might find that Genuine Fractals gives better results on textured images, while new edge interpolation gives really good results where there are lines which can be inferred in the image. From what I've seen that is easily available, Genuine Fractals does give the best results - though I'd like to be able to get my hands on a new edge detection package.


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