You must have been in a couple of situations where you wished that the image you were working with was a tad bit larger. Well, enlarging an image is not an impossible task but the compromise that we need to make renders the effort not so worth it. We lose a massive amount of details and image clarity in the final enlarged image.
Ideal enlargement of images was thus just not possible until Topaz Labs came out with their Topaz Gigapixel AI software. Topaz has designed this software to make impressive use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to accurately and realistically enlarge any image up to six times the original size. And that too while maintaining the details and sharpness.
Topaz Gigapixel AI overview
Topaz Gigapixel AI is a one-stop solution when it comes to enlarging full-sized images either for larger prints or for restoring your older low-resolution images. Most of the traditional upscaling methods work by interpolating the existing information and by increasing edge contrast to make the image appear sharp. But, Topaz claims that Gigapixel works differently. It increases the actual sharpness of the upscaled photo by recovering real detail in the image. This has been possible through training and exposure to millions of test images.
As you’ll see further in my review, the results that we get out of the software are stunningly detailed and in some cases even better than the original photo. That’s due to the software recreating the details with the help of its AI feature.
Like with any other software from Topaz Labs, the interface is clean, intuitive, quite easy to understand and use. And if you have a whole lot of images that you want to enlarge at one, that’s easy too – thanks to the batch processing feature that’s built into this software.
Working with Topaz Gigapixel AI
Gigapixel AI is standalone software. You cannot launch it from within any of your favorite photo editing software as a plug-in. But that’s not something that bothers me too much.
Once you launch the software, you will notice that the software provides three different resize modes that you can use to resize any image. The Scale option is quite simple. You simply click on the factor by which you want to increase or decrease the size of the image. By default, the software allows you to multiply the resolution of the image anywhere from 0.5x up to 6x the size of the image. You can either use one of the pre-defined factors or even type in your own.
If you precisely width or height of the final image, then I suggest using the resizing by width or height method. When using these methods, you can simply enter the exact width or height that you need the final image to have and the software will scale the image accordingly while maintaining the aspect ratio.
When enlarging an image, a common issue that we come across is how the noise in the original image gets exaggerated while the details get blurred out. Topaz Gigapixel AI does a great job of handling both these issues and allows further refinement with the Suppress Noise and Remove Blur controls.
In my experience, I found that working with the Auto-detect Settings enabled provided a good starting point to fine-tune the image. I would then tweak the noise and blur sliders gradually to find the perfect balance.
Another feature in Topaz Gigapixel that I was really excited about was the Face Refinement feature. Topaz Labs software can recognize faces in the image as small as 16×16 px and upscale with details well preserved. The software did an excellent job of enlarging my 4000 x 6000 px portrait with a 4x scale even with the face refinement option turned off. Maybe it’s just me, but I didn’t notice any significant benefit of enabling this option. The image came out great whatsoever.
Notice the difference when I enlarged a portrait which already had a resolution of 4000 x 6000px by a scale of 4. The resulting image came out to be way better than expected. However, since the original image itself was 24MP, it took the computer quite a bit of time to complete the processing. But in cases with original files having a low resolution, processing time was never an issue.
Final verdict on Topaz Gigapixel AI
Topaz has never failed to impress me with its fantastic array of software. They deliver what they promise and the results are totally out of this world. It’s as if they use some kind of magic. And Topaz Gigapixel is no exception to that. I don’t know how they do it, but Gigapixel does an outstanding job of recreating details when enlarging an image.
Whether you have a collection of old low-resolution photos that you want to “re-master” or if you want to make larger prints of your photos, you will love what Topaz Gigapixel AI can do for you. If you are interested in using the software, you can either download a free and fully functional 30-day trial at Topaz Labs website or purchase it at US$ 99.99.
New Zealand travel photographer based in London, UK. He was taking photos from a very young age in the backcountry of New Zealand before moving abroad. Since doing so he has taken workshops and tried to help get as many people into this art as possible. Featured in NZ Herald, Stuff.co.nz and many photography publications it’s safe to say he loves his photography!