Genuine Fractals 4.1 Evaluation Guide

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Genuine Fractals 4.1 Evaluation Guide
Genuine Fractals 4.1
Evaluation Guide
Table of Contents
Contents
Introducing Genuine Fractals 4.1........................................................................... 3
Introduction to Image Resampling........................................................................ 3
Interpolation Methods Available in Photoshop...................................................... 3
Image Scaling with Genuine Fractals 4.1............................................................... 4
Genuine Fractals in Detail...................................................................................... 5
Genuine Fractals and the .STN File Format........................................................... 5
Visual Comparison of Interpolation Methods........................................................ 6
Key Features of Genuine Fractals 4.1.................................................................... 8
Target Audience..................................................................................................... 8
Pricing and Availability........................................................................................... 9
Customer Service.................................................................................................. 9
System Requirements............................................................................................ 9
About onOne Software.......................................................................................... 9
Genuine Fractals 4.1 Evaluation Guide
Introducing Genuine Fractals 4.1
Welcome to Genuine Fractals 4.1. The image scaling solution for Adobe Photoshop.
Driven by a patented fractal-based scaling algorithm, Genuine Fractals 4.1 provides
superior image scaling than the Bicubic Interpolation methods available in Photoshop.
Genuine Fractals has long been the industry-standard image scaling solution for professionals who demand the highest-quality scaling solution for large format printing.
Over the years, Genuine Fractals has owned by several different technology companies but has now found a permanent home with onOne Software. Here is a brief summary of the road Genuine Fractals has taken to onOne Software.
• From 1988 to 1990, Michael Barnsley and Arnaud Jacquin pioneer the PIFS (partitioned iterated function system) method of fractal image compression. Barnsley
patents the algorithm in 1991 and forms Iterated Systems, Inc.
• In 1997, Altamira Group licenses the technology from Iterated Systems and releases the first version of Genuine Fractals. This early version of Genuine Fractals
was very slow as it relied upon the FIF (fractal image format) to store imagery.
While doing a great job of compressing imagery, the FIF method is too slow for
1997-class computers.
• In 1998 Iterated Systems releases the STiNG file format to address the poor speed
performance of the FIF file format. This new format is based upon Haar wavelets
– state of the art in 1998.
• Genuine Fractals is acquired by LizardTech in 2001.
• Celartem Technology purchases LizardTech in June 2003 and had previously purchased Extensis in September 2002.
• In 2005, several former employees of Photoshop plug-in developer Extensis form
onOne Software and acquire the Photoshop plug-ins from Extensis & LizardTech
(both subsidiaries of Celartem). Genuine Fractals is included in that transaction.
Introduction to Image Resampling
When scaling an image to a higher resolution, regardless of the method used to
increase the resolution, new pixels are created. There is no getting around that. If you
are trying to go larger, new pixels must be created. The scaling method you use determines the color value of the new pixels. The better the scaling method used, the better
your image looks after it is scaled up.
Users have several choices for increasing the size of an image in Photoshop, but the
most common method used is the Bicubic method. The Bicubic method samples one
pixel and then looks at the surrounding pixels to determine the color value of the new
pixels created. Bicubic produces smooth tonal gradations when scaling an image.
Interpolation Methods Available in Photoshop
Right out of the box, users of Photoshop have several interpolation methods available
to them. These methods include:
Nearest Neighbor:
A fast but less precise method that replicates the pixels in an image. This method is
for use with illustrations containing edges that are not anti-aliased, to preserve hard
edges and produce a smaller file. However, this method can produce jagged effects,
which become apparent when you distort or scale an image or perform multiple manipulations on a selection.
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Bilinear Scaling
A method that adds pixels by averaging the color values of the surrounding 2x2 block
of pixels for each pixel in the source image. It produces medium-quality results.
Bicubic
A method based on the examination of the values of the surrounding 4x4 block of
pixels for each pixel in the source image. Bicubic produces smoother tonal gradations
than Nearest Neighbor or Bilinear.
Bicubic Smoother
A good method for enlarging images based on Bicubic interpolation but designed to
produce smoother results.
Bicubic Sharper
A good method for reducing the size of an image based on Bicubic interpolation with
enhanced sharpening. This method maintains the detail in a resampled image. Bicubic
Sharper can have a tendency to over-sharpen some areas of an image.
Of the methods offered by Photoshop, the Bicubic method is probably the one most
often used. The Bicubic method takes the target pixel and then looks at the surrounding pixels to determine the color value of the new pixels. By averaging the surrounding
color values, new color values are introduced that were not present in the original image. This produces smoother images that have undesirable tonal gradations throughout the image.
There is also a variation of the Bicubic interpolation method referred to as the
Stairstep method which uses several small steps using Bicubic interpolation to arrive
at your final desired resolution. This method can produce better results than just using
Bicubic interpolation to jump from one size to another. For example, to go from 100%
to 400%, the stairstep method may use multiple steps in increments of 10% (for example) to arrive at the final desired 400% image size. While the stairstep method has
advantages over straight Bicubic, the method of interpolation used is still Bicubic and
as such is still prone to produce smooth tonal gradations in the image because this
method still averages color values together.
Image Scaling with Genuine Fractals 4.1
Genuine Fractals approaches image scaling differently than traditional bicubic methods. The patented scaling algorithm takes a number of small steps to arrive at the final
desired magnification. At each step, the scaled image is fed back into the algorithm to
generate the next step. Each pass through the algorithm increases the image size by a
factor of two (100% > 200% > 400% > 800% etc.).
By feeding the image back into the algorithm at each step, Genuine Fractals will reinforce edges while minimizing artifacts and image noise. The algorithm is such that the
features making up the image reinforce themselves at each interim scaling step, while
artifacts such as newly created pixels with averaged color values – not present in the
original image – are not introduced.
In the final step of the scaling algorithm, Genuine Fractals automatically adjusts the
brightness and contrast of the image and applies a subtle amount of smoothing to
provide a high-quality scaled image that more closely resembles the original than
Bicubic interpolation.
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Genuine Fractals in Detail
When increasing the resolution of an image, new pixels are created and then color
values are assigned. The process by which the color values are assigned makes all
the difference in resulting image.
Bicubic interpolation looks at the pixels immediately surrounding any given pixel and
then takes an average of those color values to create the new pixels (see “The Grid”).
Regardless if you jump directly from the original resolution to your desired resolution in a single step or if you use a “stairstep” method to gradually get to your desired
resolution, the artifacts that result from the color averaging are carried forward to the
next interpolation step. As you continue this process, these artifacts are only exaggerated resulting in a scaled image that does not accurately represent the original image.
To get around this problem, Genuine Fractals approaches image scaling in a different manner. For any given pixel that is being scaled from 100% to any new desired
resolution, Genuine Fractals will sample a total of 16 pixels (4 pixels x 4 pixels) that
surround our “target pixel”.
Let’s assume that we are scaling our original image from 100% to 200%. How does
Genuine Fractals determine what color values the new pixels are to be assigned? It
does this by first taking a 4x4 sample range from the original image and finds the best
match in a down-sampled (50%) version of the original. The relationship between the
4x4 block of pixels in the 50% and 100% images is mirrored in the 100% and 200%
images. This process is repeated over a sequence of (overlapping) 4x4 blocks that
cover the entire original image. To put it another way, Genuine Fractals uses the previous 2x zoom step to see what the image “used” to look like. It figures that if a range of
pixels matches between the previous and current steps, that this same range of pixels
will match between the current and next step. In this way Genuine Fractals is “aware”
of how an image (or more precisely a block of pixels) changes between steps and
uses this to guide the way toward the next scaling step.
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The Grid
Bicubic interpolation only looks out one
pixel in any direction from the target
pixel. For example, if pixel number 1
above is the target pixel to be enlarged,
Bicubic Interpolation will only look at
the pixels labeled 2 for new color values
and will average them together. With
Bicubic Interpolation, the color values
of pixels labeled number 3 are not
considered even though they have an
impact on the overall image.
Genuine Fractals and the .STN File Format
While increasing the size and resolution of an image has obvious benefits, these benefits come at the cost of increased file size. While larger capacity hard drives limits this
problem to some degree, large files can take a significant time to backup or transfer to
others.
To help address this problem, Genuine Fractals 4.1 offers users with the option of
saving files in the .STN (pronounced “Sting”) file format. This format is automatically
added to the Photoshop Save dialog when Genuine Fractals is installed. It allows
users to save files in either a lossless format creating an exact digital replica of the
original or as a compressed file that discards data that cannot be viewed or detected
by the human eye. The table below illustrates an example of the savings that can be
achieved using the .STN file format.
Size (MB)
Original Image
Increase (%)
Savings (%)
1.80 MB
-
-
Bicubic Smoother
171.44 MB
9424%
-
Genuine Fractals
23.34 MB
1197%
-
GF .STN Lossless
8.20 MB
356%
65%
GF .STN Default
1.96 MB
9%
92%
Savings calculated by scaling a 1.80 MB image up by 416%. Percentage saved is
the difference between saving the Genuine Fractals version of the scaled up image as a PSD file compared to a .STN file (Lossless and Default).
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Visual Comparison of Interpolation Methods
The best way to compare the scaling results that you can achieve with Genuine Fractals is when your scaled image is printed. For the purposes of this document however,
we will compare Genuine Fractals to Photoshop’s Bicubic Interpolation by comparing
the results of scaling the same image using the two different methods and then zooming in on specific parts of the image to show the differences.
We encourage you to use Genuine Fractals on your own images and print them out on
the largest printer you have access to for your own comparisons.
Portion of Original Image at 100%
Dimensions: 151 x 96 CMYK, 305 dpi
Bicubic Interpolation
Dimensions: 680 x 432 (scaled 450%)
Note the blurring and loss of detail
around the pupil and the loss of detail
in the skin tones under the eye.
Bicubic Interpolation
Genuine Fractals Interpolation
Dimensions: 680 x 432 (scaled 450%)
The edge between the dark pupil and the
white of the eye is maintained and the white
portion of the eye is also sharper using
Genuine Fractals. Note also the detail of the
skin tones under the eye appear much more
natural using Genuine Fractals than when
using Bicubic Interpolation.
Genuine Fractals 4.1
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Original Image scaled down to 25%
to fit on this page. Image dimensions
are 1726 x 1112 at 72 dpi
Area of detail zoomed in 100%
Bicubic Smoother Interpolation
Image Scaled up 416%
Note the loss of detail in the flowers when compared to the image scaled by Genuine Fractals.
The tulips have been smoothed out as have the
stalks and surrounding blades of grass.
Bicubic Smoother Interpolation
Genuine Fractals Interpolation
Image Scaled up 416%
The shadow and highlight detail in the tulips,
stems and grass are maintained without the
blurring that results from using the Bicubic
Smoother interpolation method.
Genuine Fractals 4.1
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Key Features of Genuine Fractals 4.1
• Batch processing for automated workflows
• Preview scaling results before applying to the original image
• Supports 8-bit and 16-bit images
• Preset Image Sizes for quick selection of 14 popular image sizes
• Improved Unit Information display shows the original image size and the new image size after the image is scaled
• Improved usability for the Zoom and Crop tools
• Supports Adobe Photoshop CS2, Windows XP and Mac OS X
Target Audience
Professional Photographers
Many photographers are making the transition to digital photography using Photoshop
to retouch photos and prepare them for a variety of uses.
Professional photographers continually lust for larger and larger images. While digital
cameras have advanced in recent years allowing for large prints, this has only fueled
the desire for even larger images. Even with some of the more advanced cameras,
there may not be enough data in the image to scale to the photographer’s desired
resolution and achieve the quality print that is required of these users.
For these photographers, the quality of their printed images is of the utmost importance as this is what they use to communicate and define their work.
The scaling method employed by Genuine Fractals produces images whose color values are closer to the original than any other scaling method providing photographers
with high quality scaled images.
Digital photography enthusiasts
These photographers, while extremely enthusiastic in photography and Photoshop
are not necessarily Photoshop experts and may only use Photoshop on a beginner or
intermediate level.
With its extremely simple interface – simply enter the newly desired resolution settings
– Photoshop users of all skill levels can use Genuine Fractals and achieve high-quality
results.
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Pricing and Availability
Genuine Fractals Print Pro 4.1 and Genuine Fractals 4.1 can be ordered through
select dealers and resellers worldwide or directly from onOne Software. For a list of
authorized resellers, please visit http://www.ononesoftware.com/resellers.html
800-968-1468
503-968-1468
http://www.onOnesoftware.com
Product
Pricing
Genuine Fractals Print Pro 4.1
$299.95
Genuine Fractals 4.1
$159.95
Upgrades from Genuine Fractals 3.5 or earlier
$69.95
Upgrades from Genuine Fractals 4.0 to 4.1
Free
Customer Service
onOne Software considers customer support an integral part of our business. Registered users are eligible for free technical support. All onOne Software products are
backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee.
System Requirements
Macintosh
• Adobe Photoshop CS or CS2
• Adobe Photoshop Elements 3.0
• Mac OS X 10.3 or higher
• 128 MB of RAM (more recommended)
Windows
• Adobe Photoshop CS or CS2
• Adobe Photoshop Elements 3.0 and 4.0
• Windows XP
• 128 MB of RAM (more recommended)
About onOne Software
onOne Software provides valuable solutions to professionals and enthusiasts in the
professional photography and graphic design industries. Solutions include a wide
range of plug-in enhancements for Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Photoshop Elements
and QuarkXPress. Founded in 2005 by several former Extensis employees who
worked directly with the Photoshop plug-ins, onOne Software is a privately held company located in Portland, Oregon. For additional information, visit http://www.onOnesoftware.com or call 1-888-968-1468.
Press Contact: Mike Wong, Director of Marketing, [email protected], 503968-1468 x 121 or 503-784-8660
Genuine Fractals Print Pro supports CMYK images in addition to Grayscale and
RGB images
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