By Curtis Walker
Back in December, 2010, onOne Software released a new version of Genuine Fractals, now renamed Perfect Resize 7. The new name makes it much simpler for consumers to understand the purpose, focusing on the what more than the how.
Perfect Resize 7 is a long-lived super-sizing application that uses a complex re-sampling algorithm, enabling digital image enlargement without the undesirable effects of pixelization. Miraculous things are possible, like pixel-free gallery art prints from a 10-megapixel Nikon D80. The fractal-based interpolating algorithm does not invent detail that never existed, and it performs upscaling far more elegantly than crude bicubic resampling.
For anyone who’s already familiar with the product, a few important new features make it a worthy upgrade: Apple Aperture- and Adobe Lightroom-native plug-in support, and gallery wrap features top the list. The native plug-in support is great because you don’t have to launch into Photoshop first, killing RAM. As part of a workflow, it’s great. Once the master edits are complete, the user simply sends the final image through Perfect Resize to generate a digital master for final proofing or delivery. If you edit primarily in Photoshop, there's a new onOne panel available to give you fast access to any of the applications in the Perfect Photo Suite. To bring up the panel, just go to Window > Extensions and select onOne. Then you can nest the panel wherever you'd like for your workflow. Watch this video from onOne for Lightroom, Aperture, and other application workflow information.
The gallery wrap function is a nice bit of efficiency built into the new workflow as well. It gives you a fast, easy way to create side panels for a gallery wrap. You can choose a reflection of your image—a mirror of the portion of your image closest to the sides—or a stretch, which samples a section of pixels along the border and stretches them out to fill the side panels.
My studio partner, Marcos Rivera, used the software on final images shot with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II. His final images were 4x5-feet and on canvas. Absolutely no pixelization. When desired, extreme cropping is now possible because of the ability to scale the image to a salvageable size. Perhaps most fun is the value it brings to iPhone photography. People are using camera phones more and more to document their lives. For me, it’s the camera I rely on the most for this task. And now that apps like Hipstamatic are commonplace (hipstamaticapp.com, $1.99), it’s really nice to be able to pull a decent 12x12-inch print from a camera phone once in a while.
There’s an updated batch processing engine and a new tiling option makes printing out posters using small format printers possible.
Batch processing is a matter of selecting a series of images, sending them to edit with Perfect Resize, choosing a preset or creating a new one and waiting for the rendering. Rendering a 10-megapixel image to 54 -megapixel took about 20 seconds on a 2011 Macbook Pro. The resulting 8-bit PSD was 8,973x6,000 and 154 -megapixels.
In short, if images are going to be printed and digitally archived, this is the best way to get it done.
onOne Software Perfect Resize 7: $299.95, $99.95 for an upgrade. A lower cost, feature-limited version is also available which precludes support for: CMYK Output, Gallery Wrap and Aperture/Lightroom support for $159.95. A free trial version is also available.
To examine the quality of the resize, we took this iPhone 4 original photo, and enlarged it to 4,800x3,585 pixels (20x14.9 inches at 240ppi).
Below is the Perfect Resize 7 enlargement as seen at a 100% view. (Click for large view.)
Below is the original image, enlarged to 200% view.
The Texture Control panel lets you choose the type of photograph you’re enlarging so that the texture of the image will be treated ideally for that type of image.
Our test image is a portion of an untouched portrait, taken with an Olympus E-P1.
We enlarged it to 16x20 inches at 240 ppi.
Below on the left is the original viewed at 200%. On the right is the enlargement, viewed at 50%.
Joan Sherwood, Senior Editor, contributed to this review.