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Thread: Genuine Fractals, Revisited

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    Genuine Fractals, Revisited

    Related to another thread in the Medium Format section, I thought to revisit my old friend Genuine Fractals ... now up to version 6.

    I had stopped using this after the meg count and sensor size of digital cameras had increased, and using PS to enlarge using Bicubic smoother seemed to do a decent job.

    Well, that was then and this is now.

    So I downloaded the trial version of GF v6 and gave it a try.

    I used a portrait shot I did with the H3D-31 which I had as a 8.8" X 11", 360 ppi, 16 bit Tiff file ... and took it up to 60" @ 240 ppi on the long side using PS and then again using GF .... then pushed in on a detail crop .... specifically the pores on the subject's nose.

    Attached are the original and the two very, very severe crops from that exercise. The fuzzy detail crop is what PS delivered.

    I do a fair amount of work that ends up in trade show booths @ 6' or wider, and is viewed up close and personal. GF may be worth the cost ... and may be for some others here.

    BTW, the interface and added features of Genuine Fractals is light years from what it used to be. And there are Presets for LR2, ACR2 and I believe Aperture.

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    Re: Genuine Fractals, Revisited

    Interesting comparison, Marc. I had sort of given up on GF long ago also. It seemed to do a pretty good job, but was hugely processor intensive to get those results. Still is to a large degree, but most of our computers are faster now also ;-)

    I am constantly surprised by how far some files, even from smaller sensors, can be pushed for prints. I really think a lot has to do with those actual output ppi. Folks demanding 360ppi outputs just to take things to 20x30 or 40x60 are also tending toward overkill, to some degree. I watched some of my 8MP files get printed to 30x50 size or so with no appreciable loss of detail by printing them at 180ppi size or less. Doing lots of uprezzing, no matter how careful did not always yield discernibly better results. The GF algorithms do seem much better than the more normal PS approach, for sure, and if one really, really needs big with detail, this seems to work. Nothing is going to surpass more and detailed MP resolution, but I also do not think that 50-60MP is needed as much as some folks seem to believe.

    LJ

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    Re: Genuine Fractals, Revisited

    Have you tried PhotoZoom Pro? Years ago I compared it to Genuine Fractals and it seemed to do a better job. I haven't checked lately.

    http://www.benvista.com/main/content...page=downloads

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    Re: Genuine Fractals, Revisited

    Quote Originally Posted by robsteve View Post
    Have you tried PhotoZoom Pro? Years ago I compared it to Genuine Fractals and it seemed to do a better job. I haven't checked lately.

    http://www.benvista.com/main/content...page=downloads
    I'll give it a look.

    Trust me, this version of GF is nothing like the one I used years ago. Not even close. Take a look if you get a minute.

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    Re: Genuine Fractals, Revisited

    Hi Marc:

    Thanks for posting this -- I just looked and indeed, the UI has improved vastly, as has the price at $150 for the lighter CS only version! (Pro with Aperture and LR plug-in support is $300) Combining the abilities to crop, scale and rez in one step is a pretty compelling workflow streamliner and may be the impetus that makes me jump.

    Historically, I was not a huge fan of GF since my own CS uprezzing routines were as good, at least up through 4x linearly or what they would call 400% (some would call that a 16x or 1600% enlargement using total image area). However, the claim for GF to go to 1000% and maintaining fine detail is impressive if not almost unbelievable, though admittedly their video and what you posted above (roughly 4x linearly or 400% if I do my math right) look very good -- have you tried a 10x linear or 1000% enlargement yet?

    My bigger question to you is how do you see this integrating with high-resolution DSLR capture relative to MFDB capture? IOW, can or will the combo of GF and good DSLR files ultimately eliminate the need for physically larger sensors?

    Cheers,
    Jack
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    Re: Genuine Fractals, Revisited

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Attached are the original and the two very, very severe crops from that exercise. The fuzzy detail crop is what PS delivered.
    Marc

    I have recently upgraded from GF5 to GF6 .
    I have not done a similar testing in the way you did .
    But I do not properly understand your cooments .
    If the fuzzy crop is the result from PS , so the better crop is the result from GF6 .
    Or do I misunderstand something here ? ? ?
    What software was used for your first crop and which one for the second ? ? ?

    Jürgen

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    Re: Genuine Fractals, Revisited

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    Hi Marc:

    Thanks for posting this -- I just looked and indeed, the UI has improved vastly, as has the price at $150 for the lighter CS only version! (Pro with Aperture and LR plug-in support is $300) Combining the abilities to crop, scale and rez in one step is a pretty compelling workflow streamliner and may be the impetus that makes me jump.

    Historically, I was not a huge fan of GF since my own CS uprezzing routines were as good, at least up through 4x linearly or what they would call 400% (some would call that a 16x or 1600% enlargement using total image area). However, the claim for GF to go to 1000% and maintaining fine detail is impressive if not almost unbelievable, though admittedly their video and what you posted above (roughly 4x linearly or 400% if I do my math right) look very good -- have you tried a 10x linear or 1000% enlargement yet?

    My bigger question to you is how do you see this integrating with high-resolution DSLR capture relative to MFDB capture? IOW, can or will the combo of GF and good DSLR files ultimately eliminate the need for physically larger sensors?

    Cheers,
    Well Jack, I'm not a tech type really, so I'd go with just experience here. Seems to me that if you start off with a better file, especially the tonal gradations like you get with MFD, then it'll always be an unequal comparison. GF can't add tonality and detail, just take it up bigger while maintaining more.

    I did try using the feature of adding about 20% grain, and it looks darned good for 400%.


    It'd be interesting to see what a M8 or DMR file looks like taken up huge with GF.

    What interests me here is that I shoot a lot of wedding work with a 12 meg D3/D700 DSLR ... and I like to crop the exact image area for composition that might not be possible given the circumstances of wedding photography. Sometimes that involves a severe crop. Up to now I've just interpolated in ACR to the max size (which you can't do with a MFD file). So, what I need to do is see if a RAW file that's been done that way is as good as using GF to obtain the same image area ... or if GF is visibly better.

    1000% is mind boggling ... probably will take forever.

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    Re: Genuine Fractals, Revisited

    How does a sharpening workflow work with this?
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

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    Re: Genuine Fractals, Revisited

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Rubinstein View Post
    How does a sharpening workflow work with this?
    They recommend sharpening as the last step Ben.

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    Re: Genuine Fractals, Revisited

    Usually the general rule holds:

    Capture sharpening done in the raw processor;

    Detail enhancement, or high-frequency targeted sharpening, done in the image editor in post;

    Output sharpening done as the last step, targeted to the desired output size and medium.
    Jack
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    Re: Genuine Fractals, Revisited

    I've been using PK Sharpener for output. After uprezzing with GF I'd probably have to bring the output sharpening down, It's been fine, but relative to PS resizing, not a more efficient process.

    I've actually just this evening run a comparison between ACR (capture and output) vs PK Sharpener. IMO, and I've only used ACR for the first time tonight (PK for 3 years), ACR creams PK for fine detail and a more natural looking sharpening. Very happy with it for all that using masks involves multiple openings from ACR, one with capture and one without - and you have to send it to PS for resizing then back to ACR for Output sharpening.
    Last edited by Ben Rubinstein; 15th March 2009 at 11:40.
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    Re: Genuine Fractals, Revisited

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Rubinstein View Post
    I've actually just this evening run a comparison between ACR (capture and output) vs PK Sharpener.
    Shhhhh ...
    ACR capture and output IS PK Sharpener.
    Shhhhh ...

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    Re: Genuine Fractals, Revisited

    The capture sharpening in ACR has far more control than PK and the output sharpening looks very different, less harsh and blocky. I know that the ACR sharpening is based on the figures used for PK but since updated.
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

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