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Image Enhancement

Posted on 2004-11-19
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Hey guys..
 You often see on 'Investigation' programs/films, such as CSI; someone use a computer to enhance an image of a slight distant blur to an enhanced, rather up-close image of it..

I understand that there are actually companies that actually specialise in image enhancement.. basically, I'm interested in the software behind this (ie; any image enhancement software that you can recommend), and information/tutorials/articles/etc on Image Enhancement..

Any info is much appreciated. :-)

Thanks in advance,
[r.D]
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Question by:DrWarezz
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by:AntonioP
AntonioP earned 500 total points
ID: 12629695
I'm sure some other experts may have more positive comments, but I just wanted to say that 90% of what you see in movies and on TV is completely unrealistic.  

Image enhancement is exactly that; enhancing what's already present in the image in such a way that it becomes visible.  If the original image is of really great quality (resolution, color-depth), sometimes details can be pulled out of it that are not initially clear by shifting color or contrast levels. And there are many methods for reducing the noise in an image.  One example is on this company's website
http://www.mriresearch.org/ResearchServices/ForensicImageAnalyEnhance/VideoAnalysisImageEnhance.asp

Now let's see what other info this fun question can elicit!  
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by:DrWarezz
ID: 12629750
:-) Thanks Antonio.. I gathered that half of what you see in films are unrealistic.. but like I say, I know that companies specialise in it.. your link looks pretty cool - Thanks :-)

hopefully some other gurus can/will make comment here.. as I think image enhancement is very interesting :D

thanks again,
[r.D]
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by:michaelbuddy
michaelbuddy earned 500 total points
ID: 12630384
Yes often you'll hear enhancement, but they mean experiementing with contrast filters and other filters to let certain sharpness or details emerge.  It's stll opinion at that point, but through elimitating some noise, they can enhance or improve views of certain objects in the picture.

One thing you can do is enlarge an image to a huge size using fractals.  here is unfortunately an expensive app that does just that.  blow a postage stamp to the size of a billboard and maintain quality somehow.  awesome stuff.

http://www.imaging-resource.com/SOFT/GF/GF.HTM

don't know if they use this in law enforcement stuff.
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by:DrWarezz
ID: 12630552
Hey Mike,
Thanks for the input.. you mention resizing "using fractals"... What are fractals?

Thanks for the input :-)
[r.D]
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by:DrWarezz
ID: 12630870
>"What are fractals?"
I decided to stop being so lazy, and find out for myself.. which I've done.. thus, there's no need for you to tell me what fractals are :-)

[r.D]
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Lobo042399 earned 500 total points
ID: 12632059
Hi Dr. Warez,

Image enhancement is possible to a certain degree but you won't see StarTrek-like results. You could give Genuine Fractals a try. It's a Photoshop plug-in that lets you resize up tp 600% with very little noticeable degradation.

Genuine Fractals is not free and is not cheap either, but its as great tool. You can download a trial version from:
http://www.altamira-group.com/

Good Vibes!

Lobo
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by:DrWarezz
ID: 12632669
Hey Lobo.
Thanks :-)  ... how does this "Genuine Fractals" work? Is it just one superdooper-algorithm? Or, can you tell me much on how it works?

Thanks :-)
[r.D]
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by:Lobo042399
ID: 12635274
Hi Doc,

The guys at LizardTech don't say exactly how it does it, but it seems it uses two different variation of the same algorithm. Check out the info in the page, it can tell you more than I do.

Good Vibes!

Lobo
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by:coma12
coma12 earned 500 total points
ID: 12635763
A great plugin I have been using with Photoshop is Extensis Smartscale, it has edge enhancement that really helps to get the most detail out of the smallest image. Here is their site.

http://www.extensis.com/en/products/product_family.jsp?id=prod120009

You will need Photoshop to run this or a program that supports Photoshop plugins like painter.

Hope that helps.

Coma12
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by:DrWarezz
ID: 12635784
Thanks coma12 :-)

I took on the first recommendation, of downloading the trail of "Genuine Fractals".. It's file extension is: HQX

I've got PhotoShop 7.0, where and how do I install this plug-in?

=-) Thanks.
[r.D]
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by:coma12
ID: 12636204
If you are using windows, go to C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop\Plug-Ins\
Though I am sure it is a self launching program, try putting the file in there and see if it works

Fire up your photoshop and if I remember you save the file as a genuine fractal and when you open it a genuine fractal screen walks you through how much you want to blow up the image.

good luck

coma12
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by:Lobo042399
ID: 12668388
Hi Doc,

I'm afraid you downloaded the Mac version of it. You need to download the Zip file which contains the Trial EXE file. All you do is run the EXE to install the plug-in.

After installation, to resize your image you need to open it in Photoshop and Save As Genuine Fractals. Then you re-open the Genuine Fractals file in Photoshop at which time you'll get a window popping up asking you for the size and other data you want the resized image to be. When you're done hit OK and the resized image will be opened in Photoshop.

Good Vibes!

Lobo
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by:DrWarezz
ID: 12668424
Hey Lobo,
Yeah, I went to the download page, and realized that the default download file is for the Mac -- lol, so, I got the windows version and installed it (like you instructed above), and it's all installed fine, and working good :D

Thanks alot ;-)
[r.D]
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by:Lobo042399
ID: 12668704
Excellent!!

Thanks for the points. Good Vibes!

Lobo
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by:coma12
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[r.D],

Thanks for the points!

Ciao -
coma12
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