Andy Bell Photography

Topaz Gigapixel 5.3 – a new release, a new test

Gigapixel AI 5.3 – what’s new?

The new Gigapixel AI 5.3 release adds a specialist ‘Art’ setting, designed to make high quality enlargements of pictures featuring artistic subjects, such as a painting. This interests me because I sell ‘Art’ versions of some of my photos, created using the Art Filters in Topaz Studio.

Below is a video of the Art module in use. You’ll see the Gigapixel AI interface in action and how easy it is to operate.

Gigapixel 5.3 Art Module – performance

As I say in the video, I thought that enlarging an ‘arty’ photo would be less of a challenge for the software than a regular picture. I was so wrong. I was so surprised at the results, I had to run the test a second time as I thought Affinity Photo (the software I’m using for the ‘regular’ enlargement) would do much better.

Here is the original ‘arty’ image:

Gigapixel AI 5.3 vs Affinity Photo – test 1

For the first test, I doubled the size of the pictures. I let Gigapixel choose its settings automatically, and I selected ‘Bicubic’ as Affinity’s resample filter.

The results don’t need any explanation – the Gigapixel AI 5.3 picture, on the left in the comparisons, is better in every way. It is sharper and has fewer artefacts.

Here are the comparisons:

The second test

In the second test, I enlarge the photos by 400%. Judge for yourselves, which is better? Gigapixel AI (left) or bicubic (right)?

What about ‘regular’ pictures?

Of course, ‘art’ photos are specialist and maybe not of interest to everyone. So, what about comparing Gigapixel AI 5.3 with bicubic resampling with a ‘regular’ picture?

I’ve done this several times before, but it never hurts to run another test. For this test I selected a recent 26mp image and enlarged it to 200% and 400%. What does that equate to? The 400% enlargement can produce a 7 foot wide print at 300DPI! But only if the quality is good enough.

Here’s the source image:

Shameless plug: this image is proving popular in my English Seascapes 2021 Calendar, which you can get from this site

 Below are some zoomed in views of the image – it has plenty of detail and is a suitable candidate for enlarging.

Gigapixel AI 5.3 vs Bicubic – 200% enlargement

Bicubic resampling has done better with this image than it did with the art version. It is, probably, designed for detailed images like these. However, Gigapixel’s result (on the right of the comparisons) is clearer, sharper and has less noise. Again, in every department, Gigipixel AI is superior.

The 400% test

This is a stern test of any enlargement method. I had to adjust Gigapixel’s settings to reduce image noise. Bicubic enlargement has no noise suppression option…

This time, the Gigapixel result is on the left and it is significantly superior to bicubic’s…

Topaz Gigapixel AI 5.3 conclusion

Topaz Labs keep adding both quality and features to Gigapixel AI. The new Art module may not be useful to everyone, but is indispensable to anyone who needs it.

Gigapixel AI is unrivalled at enlarging ‘normal’ photos, as the images above show. Combine it with Topaz Sharpen AI and DeNoise AI and you have the dream team for image finishing.

Black Friday Sale

Topaz Labs promise that their Black Friday Sale, which starts on Friday 27th November 2020, will feature their ‘best deal for photographers ever’. Now is a great time to check out the trial versions of their software and, maybe, grab yourself a bargain on Friday

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