Kneson Advances Photo Enlargement Interpolation Methods

For decades and even today image enlargers for both paper (printed from film) and digital photos make pictures bigger using math. Mathematical formulas calculate areas between pixels to be filled in as a photo is enlarged in a process called interpolation. The crude formulas are discussed in this video. They seemed logical at the time of their development but are rather crude today, and few companies have tried to improve upon them.

Kneson Software has developed advanced interpolation methods to enlarge image content with both smoother and sharper results than even Adobe© Photoshop. Kneson’s Imagener image enlarger incorporates years of interpolation method advancement and enlarges digital photos better than all photo software that uses the three interpolation methods discussed in this video.

Click here to read about the three additional interpolation methods developed by Kneson: Progressive, Progressive++ and Unlimited. All three methods are revolutionary in their advancement of the mathematical formulas used for photo enlargement interpolation. Read more about Imagener at www.imagener.com

Photo Poster Printing

Photo poster printingDo you want to make prints from photos you know others would enjoy but that are now only on your smartphone? The first thing to consider is cropping. Does the image that could make a perfect poster exist in perfect size and proportion? Often even the best digital images need to be cropped before they are able to make good photo posters ready to be displayed.
Today’s smartphone photos are the highest resolution ever. 3000 X 2000 pixels at 72 DPI (dots per inch) and greater images are common. With this much image information it is a simple matter to compress pictures to 300 DPI and then professionally printed. Such large images are perfect for photo poster printing with satisfactory results.

Many photo enlargement products and image manipulation software programs can ingest a large image at low resolution and compress it to a resolution acceptable for photo poster printing. Photoshop® is one such program but there are many. Simply load the image into the photo software and choose to give it a new resolution setting. Don’t worry about the actual dimensions as photo poster printing of the image may be a two stage process: one where you increase the DPI and the second where you set the image size. First change the dots per inch (DPI) setting. Most image manipulation programs including Photoshop® allow you to change the DPI.

The result will be a smaller image with higher resolution. Save the image at least at a DPI of 300 or above. If it is really large in physical size choose an even higher resolution so the preservation of such image will give you maximum options for its use and viewing in the future.

Next you should note the size of the image in inches, and the size you want it displayed on the wall or interior space you’re considering. This step may require specialty photo enlargement software as Photoshop® and other popular image editing programs are mainly used for altering the image contents, not changing their size. For example Photoshop® only provides a photo enlargement algorithm known as bicubic which is old and outdated.

Read “Photo Poster Printing” in it’s entirety here.

Scan at DPI for Maximum Flexibility and Use

When you think about it and especially if you are over 35 years old, digital images are relatively new. For decades since the dawn of photography, photos were developed and viewed on paper and many still are. It’s interesting that a top selling product on Amazon.com is Fujifilm Instax Mini Instant Film for the Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 Instant Film Camera.  This shows that even in 2015 there are many people that find the printed picture has greater value than images hidden inside smartphones.

Millions of images in smartphones never “see the light of day” because they never get shared or printed.  Digital images shared on social media and elsewhere on the internet get “anonymously viewed” meaning that they are seen by people unknown to the originator of the image.  Printed images on the other hand get both “anonymously and spontaneously viewed” meaning they are viewed by those unknown to the originator and viewed when the viewer is in the proximity of the image often whether they choose to consciously look at the image or not.  Printed and especially enlarged images on display alter space and have the ability to change the aura and the psychology of people they’re exposed to depending on their content.  Images that are printed and displayed add value to an environment where people frequent that digital images stored on phones or hard drives can never realize.

Millions of images exist on paper from the pre-millennium era representing a volatile body of important content we should all strive to preserve.  This can only be achieved by scanning.  If you have images that only exist on paper it is urgent that you to get them scanned as soon as possible because paper images are volatile to loss.  This of course is especially true if you live in geographical areas that can have intense weather events.  Often the greatest sense of loss by those in hurricanes and tornados is reported to be paper photos that cannot be recovered.

Click here to read the rest of “Scan at DPI for Maximum Flexibility and Use”

New Versions of Photo Enlargement and Poster Printing Software Released

Photo enlargement newly released programAfter many years, Kneson Software has proudly released Imagener 3.0 and YottaPrint 2.0 to support today’s operating systems and improve functionality for those needing to enlarge images and print posters and wall murals.

Imagener is a software program that enlarges digital images without loss of quality and without pixelation: the effect that Photoshop(r) and other image editing programs produce when making images larger. Imagener also includes a “Resharp” function that allows images to be sharpened after enlargement.

YottaPrint is a printing program that uses the Imagener Unlimited enlargement engine to first make images bigger, then cuts the image up into panels to assemble on a variety of surfaces for huge image display. YottaPrint can allow poster printing or the creation of full wall murals.

Both Imagener 3.0 and YottaPrint 2.0:

  • Have vastly improved interfaces. Imagener in particular allows various components such as the Preview Window to be “torn out” of the interface, moved around and enlarged.
  • Are more compatible with modern versions of Windows.
  • Are more compliant with Windows 7 and Windows 8 interface elements.
  • Are more stable. Both Imagener and YottaPrint run more dependably under all versions of Windows.
  • Have simplified activation. Activating our technology became necessary years ago but has been simplified in these new versions.

Click here to read more about the long-awaited release of these two photo enlargement technologies.

Photo Restoration

Photo Restoration

What’s the best way to restore old or damaged photos? News stories that interview victims of weather or natural events almost always mention lost or damaged photos. Photos showcase important events in our lives and are often thought of among the most valuable items anyone can lose or have damaged. For paper photos, the older they are, the more likely they are to deteriorate, fade, and tear. Be sure to scan paper photos and backup your digital photo albums.

If you have damaged paper or digital photos, photo restoration repairs, corrects, and enhances photographs so they look like new (or better). Advances in technology make keeping your photographic memories alive much easier.

Modern Photo Restoration

Today, digital processing and photo editing software makes restoring old photographs much easier. For paper photo restoration, the photo is scanned and then both digital photos (like those in a smartphone) or paper photo scanned results are altered on the computer using photo editing software such as Photoshop. Photo restoration does not seek to alter the original image. Instead, your photo is digitally altered to create the image anew. Then, you can print it through any photo-printing shop or online service.

Photo restoration usually involves the following processes:

  • Adjusting the photo’s tone and contrast
  • Repairing damaged or torn photographs
  • Correcting fading and other coloring issues
  • Enlarging and enhancing photos

You can either use photo restoration software to attempt to restore the photos yourself, or various businesses offer professional photo restoration services for a fee. Always keep a copy of your photo before sending to a company or service.

Whether you are attempting to restore the photo yourself or bringing it to a business, you should scan paper photographs at a high resolution, usually 300 dots per inch (DPI) or higher depending on the capability of the scanner (click here to learn how to find the resolution of digital photos). Many businesses offer scanning, photo editing and digital alteration in a single package.

Photo restoration software should also be able to enlarge photographs so you can print them as posters, banners or even wall murals. If you enlarge your small photo without photo enlargement software, then the enlarged photo may turn out grainy and difficult to see. Part of the photo-restoration process includes bringing out the detail in the photo, removing irregular colorations, and removing grainy textures. Photo enlargement can assist with these processes. Once the photo has been enhanced, it is much better candidate for display.

Click here to read the rest of the article on Imagener.com

How To Do Poster Creations – YottaPrint.com Website Makover

 

YottaPrint Home PageYottaPrint.com recently has been completely updated to reflect the growing interest in poster search phrases such as “block posters” and “how do to posters.”  This trend is likely the effect of increasing image resolution our smartphones are able to create.  In just the last few years, smart phone images have become large enough and with enough photo resolution that they can be enlarged to create posters with amazing results.

YottaPrint has been widely praised by customers, with some developing poster and mural creation businesses using the software.  Our latest quote, “I love YottaPrint – it’s awesome” came from R. Lobitz in Scottsdale, Arizona, one of many we receive about the experience our customers are having with the YottaPrint method of creating posters and wall murals.

You can get free photo enlargement uses, methods, tips and information as well as the latest techniques for poster printing and wall mural construction by signing up for Kneson News here.  Also, please share this article and website on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo Enlargement using MS Paint and Imagener

A customer gave us the idea of using Imagener, our photo enlargement program to make new uses out of photos using a combination of cropping and enlarging.

In this photo enlargement demonstration you’ll see how we resurrected a portion of an otherwise useless photo – in this example let’s say you wanted to make use of a portion of a photo where a couple had broken up but the photo portion of the woman is a good pose.

Imagener Photo Enlargement Software InterfaceMICROSOFT PAINT

The video quickly takes you through cropping using Microsoft Paint. Every Windows computer old and new has MS Paint on it installed for free. If you can’t find it, click the Start button, then type the word “paint” in the ‘Search Programs and Files’ box.

IMPROVING IMAGE SHARPNESS

The video takes you through a very fast ‘resharpening’ scenario, but this is a feature you will want to do some playing around with as each image will optimize using different settings. Note that Imagener is the only program on the market that has an automatic resharpening function that allows you to “massage” image sharpness until its perfect.

You can watch the video about how to do these photo enlargement techniques here.

Read more about Imagener at www.imagener.com

Digital Photo Enlargement Printing

What good is a photo enlargement if you can’t print it right?  The computer screen makes a poor digital photo frame for large images.  But there are options for printing especially very large digital photo enlargements.  Having sold Imagener and YottaPrint for the past 8 years we’ve become familiar with printing choices.  Following are all the output options we’ve ever heard of to print digital photo enlargements.

Take To Local Copy Shop Like Fedex / Kinkos

Most printing companies, photography shops or physical businesses that offer photo printing services like Fedex Office (formerly Kinkos) require that images be a minimum of 300 DPI or dots-per-inch.  Less than this and printing companies simply won’t accept your digital photo because individual dots will be visible when the photo is enlarged.
Girl with photo of kitten
Click here for instructions on how to find the resolution of a digital image on any Windows PC computer.

To see why printing companies require this minimal dots-per-inch resolution, let’s compare printing a low resolution photo to enlarging a low resolution photo.  Photo enlargement and digital photo printing have similar demands.  For acceptable quality when enlarging pictures, the images need to be at least 200 DPI, but 300+ DPI is also recommended just as it is for digital photo printing.

Before computers and digital cameras the only way to enlarge photos was with a huge machine that looks like a giant microscope called a photo enlarger.  They’re still very much used today and they’re very expensive.  To enlarge a photo with a hardware photo enlarger, you would need a beginning photo that had a sufficient detail or content – which is the same as having at least 200 if not 300 DPI.  If you took a low resolution photo below 200 DPI to a hardware photo enlarger you would not get a satisfactory result even though the equipment is expensive and sophisticated.  It would simply enlarge the images dots and “space between the dots” and the result would be that you could easily see the dots with the naked eye, even if the low resolution image looks great before enlargement.  No hardware device or software can enlarge or print what simply is not there. Make sure your images are at least 300 DPI to have a company enlarge and print them.  If you have a camera that can take even higher dots-per-inch resolution images, you should use the highest DPI settings.  Enlarging and printing photos each demand high resolution – to do both to the same image means 600, 900 or even higher DPI wouldn’t hurt.

Send To An Online Photo Printing Company

There are many online photo printing companies that offer photo enlargement and printing services.  As was the case in the previous printing option, most of these companies will require that the image uploaded be at least 300 DPI and some impose a file size limitation as well.  Incidentally, if you use an online photo printing company, try to find one that has been around a while, or that has a brand name you recognize.  There are a wide variety of digital photo printers and each uses different wide format printer or plotter equipment that all have varying quality.  Companies that endure in this business keep their technology up-to-date and their equipment serviced.

What should you do if your photo is less than 300 DPI and you still want to use an online printing company?  There is a technique using Imagener we wrote about in a newsletter entitled “Forcing Resolution Into Images” where you can take a digital photo with a certain size and lower-than-300-DPI property and force it to be 300 DPI at the same size in a two-stage process.  Click here to read the newsletter.

Project On A Wall To Paint

To some it may sound silly, but using an overhead projector a digital photo can first be printed at its physical size – the size it is on disk – then placed into an overhead projector to both enlarge it and project it on to a surface for an artist to paint.  This isn’t really “digital photo enlargement printing” but it is producing the output of an enlargement from a digital source so we included this option.  This can be expensive depending on the artist and this method has limited applications and interiors it would make sense in but it has the advantage of producing a realistic work that also looks like art.

Print Photo Enlargements Yourself

For most people, digital photo printing at home is restricted to paper sizes and types the printer allows.  Photo enlargement printing is out of the question except for those with expensive large format digital printing equipment. It is possible to painstakingly print photo enlargements at home by “carving up” single page pieces of an enlarged photo and printing “panels” to be assembled into the enlarged version.  This is the way roadside billboards are assembled.

Kitten on BillboardBillboards have as many as 30 panels.  During 1872-1912, United States billboard standards were 24-sheet poster panels but today technology has reduced the number of needed panels to as few as 10.

“Assembling panels together” is more dramatic and seamless than you might imagine.  Once individual panels are assembled together, all the human eye can see is the entire image unless you stand very close to the surface.  How many times have you driven down a highway and were able to see the individual panels of a billboard?  Next time you look, try to see the 10 panels assembled together.  You can’t because images – even huge images assembled together in large panels – are perceived by the human brain in terms of content far before the minute details of a possible seam is perceived.

Our product YottaPrint prints photo enlargements in this way – the way billboards are printed.  YottaPrint works with any printer, large format printer or plotter that has drivers installed on a computer.  Read more about assembling wall murals or printing posters on the YottaPrint help page here.

Printing photo enlargements either using a company or on your own gives you the advantage of being able to display a photo enlargement that is personal to you.  This way, you have a more enjoyable enlargement than having chosen a stock image from a wallpaper or poster store.  No matter which method you use for your digital photo printing, because you are both enlarging and printing on hard media (such as paper or canvas), make sure you start with the highest resolution image you possibly can.

How to Sharpen Cell Phone Photos

If you have digital pictures on your computer do you know that they can all be improved? They can all be clearer and sharper? In fact, did you know that every single photo ever taken ever can be made clearer and sharper using simple techniques photographers have been using for decades?

Digital photos, especially cell phone photos are often what is known as low resolution. For a simple explanation of resolution, see the article, “Photo Resolution – click here.” Cell phones, even if they are expensive like the iPhone have small, almost miniature lenses and often have very poor image processors compared to modern digital photography equipment. Sharpen photos from cell phones, iPhones and from even high quality digital cameras by using a secret resharpening technique photographers have used for decades.

The technique has a strange name, and if you have any popular photo software for editing digital photos you probably already have this ability. Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, Paint Shop Pro and many other photo software titles have this strangely named function built in. The technique’s name is “unsharp mask.”

Sharpen All Photos

All digital photos can be improved using this technique. You read that correct, any and all digital photos should have an unsharp mask procedure applied to them, especially photos from cell phones. But again, this technique should be used for all photos always and once you learn the technique you will probably always apply it to images you will use for some publishing or viewing purpose. In other words, do this for any photo to be published, printed, displayed or used outside the way most digital photos live their lives – unseen forever on a hard drive. Any photo that will be seen by more than the original photographer can be improved – sometimes dramatically – by applying unsharp mask.

Digital Photo Sharpening Demonstration

This demonstration uses photos from an Apple iPhone to more clearly demonstrate how resharpening using an unsharp mask procedure improves the photo’s clarity. Notice the two photos of a bridge in Pennsylvania, United States. The photo on the left is the original photo taken directly from the iPhone. The photo on the right had an unsharp mask procedure applied to it using Imagener photo sharpening. This software is for photo enlargement but prominently adds resharpening as a major function.

Notice the sunlight on the street and how much more crisp it is. Another obvious improvement is the clarity of the back of the sign, and the shrubbery on the left hand side of the picture. The detail in the upper part of the picture of the trees is more defined both in color and sharpness of the branches and all objects in the right hand side version are clearer and more defined.

How to Sharpen Photos

So how do you begin using unsharp mask? The technique has such a strange name, most people think it makes photos less sharpened – in other words more blurry. And who wants that? So, if you’ve seen the words “unsharp mask” on a menu in your photo software you probably skipped over it and didn’t investigate what it really does. If you have photo software of any kind, simply open it and go to the Help menu item. Find a way to search in the Help window and type in “unsharp mask.” You are looking for a function that will allow you to input 3 numbers.

  • Amount
  • Threshhold
  • Radius

When you see a function or directions in your photo that talks about unsharp mask and where to input the values for Amount, Threshhold and Radius you’ve found the resharpening function in that software package.

If your software doesn’t know any of these words (a search for “unsharp mask” returned nothing), or you know you don’t have photo software that has this function, the Professional and Unlimited versions of Imagener from Kneson Software provides resharpening directly in the interface. Unlike Photoshop and most other expensive photo software programs Imagener shows the full image while applying the unsharp mask procedure and has an auto-slider function so you can test various settings just by mouse movements.

How To Use Unsharp Mask

The article “Unsharp Mask Definition – How to Sharpen Any Photo” (article can be found here) is absolutely the simplest definition and clearest explanation of the meaning of the three unsharp mask values. Most writings on the subject of unsharp mask are highly technical because the technique has been used by professional photographers for decades. Before digital cameras photographers had a procedure using film to apply the same effect (and back then, photos really needed sharpening!). Now, since the function is built into many software programs, it can be accessed by us mortals that aren’t so technically inclined in photography, and this article allows you to understand the Amount, Threshold and Radius values of unsharp mask so you can use the technique on your important photos.

Digital Camera Photo Sharpening Example

Want to see an example of how this resharpening procedure can improve a photo taken with a digital camera? See the article, “How To Make Enlargements Sharper,” click here.

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