Artificial Intelligence is here!

November holiday came and went…and honestly…no deals really thrilled me this year.  Nothing spectacular caught my eye.  Then again, do I really need anything?  I don’t know.  We all just want…but how many things do we really NEED.  I find the deals sometimes encourage something I would have eventually bought but hadn’t gotten around to yet.  I did come across a good deal…but didn’t realize it until today.  So too late.  The sale is over.  Topaz Labs had 25% their plugins, and even better savings on the entire package.  I have to be honest I was never a huge fan of a lot of their stuff…it was good, but I never found much need for it.  I had a couple of their plugins and they were great…but I was fine not using them too.

Regardless…I want to share two of their plugins today.  I don’t feel ready to give a review or full recommendation…but I am demoing two of their softwares and am finding them very interesting.

AI Clear and AI gigapixel.

AI Gigapixel is basically a really advanced resizing tool.  If you have ever been in the printing side of photography from way back you might remember Genuine Fractals (was it called that?).  There is also Alien Skin’s Blow 3 up which I have used for years.  Basically it is software that allows you to resize images while preserving detail to a much greater degree than photoshop can do.  And it works well.  I have made prints from 12mp cameras at 48″ and beyond that looked good.  We never NEEDED 100mp cameras in the past.  Even when medium format was groundbreaking at 22mp.  We still needed ways to enlarge to wall sizes, sometimes upres is necessary.  Well AI Gigapixel resizes with some kind of crazy artificial intelligence thing.  It is GPU intensive too.  However… I can say that preliminarily…results look good.  When careful with settings, and mindful of the subject matter, my results are actually coming out better than Blowup.  I may actually purchase AI Gigapixel.  I just need to run a lot more testing and printing on it.  I’m kinda cheap to print an 80″ test print.  I can only print to 24″ at home and 30″ doesn’t need a resize from 4/3 if you haven’t cropped.  So… it is rare that I need to upres.  Maybe i’ll do a heavy crop and upres up to 24″ ?  We’ll see.  Either way, I encourage you to try it out.  I might post more depending how my results go.  I have to say…it is might interesting though.

Their second software, AI Clear is the same sorta deal…but with noise reduction.  I will say it works better than their other software.  Noise is removed pleasingly and details strangely appear when they weren’t there fully.  However, I also feel I am occasionally getting odd detail that may or may not be right.  Can’t tell.  I need to play with settings and how the layer is applied.  So far it is very compelling.  One of the best noise reducers yet.  Again, I can’t make any recommendation yet…but I do encourage you to try it and see your own results.

I will be playing with both of these a lot more and will report back if I make any notable conclusions or I think you absolutely need the software too!

Any big deals that I missed otherwise this weekend?


2 responses on "Artificial Intelligence is here!"

  1. I did some some testing with the demo of Gigapixel, which led me to the the Black Friday offer too! Impressive technology indeed, but I am however not sure how much of a difference it makes compared to some of the other options (I also got some really weird banding like artifacts in one photo, but they where easily removed). Will it offer noticeably better large prints? Will it look “artificial”? Well, I was too curious not not buy it at a discount, so I guess I’ll find out eventually. :)

    Looking forward to your conclusions too…

  2. I did test then buy AI Clear during the promo. I had just returned from shooting Day of the Dead in Mexico and there I was at 4:00am doing environmental and informal portraits by candlelight alone! The processing was amazing – not always perfect (but then maybe it’s my learning curve) but wow. Not sure I’ll use it in everyday workflow (doubt it) but a very valuable tool for this shoot. Overall, photography is becoming more computational. This is just one example.

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