Review: onOne Software Genuine Fractals
By Cheryl Pearson
Photographers today are always looking for products that will provide them with a quicker, more efficient way of streamlining certain tasks. I recently tried out onOne Software’s Genuine Fractals 6 plug-in, which is designed to resize and enlarge images up to 1,000 percent without losing sharpness or detail.
A lot of photographers use Adobe Photoshop’s Bicubic Interpolation method in the Image Size dialogue box to resize images, but there can be a noticeable loss of fine detail or sharpness. Some use an incremental upsizing process that is reported to produce a better result than enlarging with a single step. You can create an action that will enlarge the image in 5-percent increments until the desired size is achieved. Although this approach may work, I’d prefer a tool that does it for me, to any size I need, and produces a great result. Genuine Fractals does that by enlarging and optimizing images for high resolution output, and has a few additional tools that make it worth looking into.
I re-scaled a 5x7 image to 25x35 using Image Size dialogue in Photoshop, set to Bicubic Smoother. I engarged the same 5x7 image using Genuine Fractals. I viewed both at 100 percent and focused in on one aspect of the image. While the difference is more difficult to see in this screenshot, the image on the right was re-scaled in Photoshop and the image on the left was upsized in Genuine Fractals. Photoshop’s Bicubic Interpolation method produced acceptable results, but I felt the image resized in Genuine Fractals was slightly sharper with more crisp detail and less noise. (Click image for large view.)
Genuine Fractals can be accessed in Photoshop in two ways: from Photoshop via File > Automate or from the onOne drop-down, next to Help, in Photoshop’s menu bar. With Photoshop CS5 you can have the onOne plug-ins in a floating menu palette that can be docked in with the other Photoshop palettes.