OnOne Perfect Resize vs. Photoshop Unsharp Mask Review
This video is available Free for Everyone.
Running Time: 14 minutes
This is a video review comparing onOne Perfect Resize and Adobe Photoshop built in Unsharp Mask. This is stand alone software, or also available as part of the Perfect Photo Suite package. Im going to have one image on the left side, which will be blown up with Adobe Photoshop. The one on the right will be blown up with OnOne Perfect Size. I will also be comparing the strengths of each, and determine if Perfect Resize is really worth the cost.
You have heard in forums and blogs that Genuine Fractals has its latest version out called onOne Perfect Resize and you are just itching to buy it. Of course, its not cheap, but you are a professional, you say; you have to stay on top of your game. But then again, if you spend all that money and only end up using it once or twice a year, is it really worth the investment? Is it right for you? You cant seem to figure it out on your own. You need help!
You have been using the Adobe Photoshop handy-dandy Unsharp Mask feature with the expected results for years, but youre wondering if onOne Perfect Resize will do better? Well, that depends.
I know; I know; thats not the kind of answer you’re looking for; but hear me out now. Take a look at the following scenarios where we enlarge the same picture in Adobe Photoshop and in onOne Perfect Resize:
Scenario 1: You have a well lit, 8+ MegaPixel image with a certain level of noise, and you enlarge it to three times its original size. OnOne Perfect Resize overemphasizes the noise. Whereas you can obtain similar results in Adobe Photoshop, so there is little to gain. In fact, certain objects like eyes can actually look worse.
Scenario 2: You have a somewhat grainy picture and you enlarge it to three times its original size. OnOne Perfect Resize emphasizes the contrast between the dark and the light in a way that the Unsharp Mask feature in Photoshop doesnt. If the image can use the sharpening of contrasting objects, then this is perfect.
Scenario 3: You have a low resolution image with heavily pixilated edges and enlarge it to three times its original size. OnOne Perfect Resize 7 works with the lights and the darks to fix the problem of the pre-existing jagged edges. Photoshop has a really hard time matching those results without distorting the image. Funny how the worse the starting image, the better OnOne Perfect Resize 7 can pull it off. A perfect example would be to blow up web graphics.
You see; thats why I said that how onOne Perfect Resize 7 performs in comparison with the Adobe Photoshop Unsharp Mask feature depends. It depends on the quality of the picture. You just read it: three different scenarios; three different results. Bottom line? The worse the initial picture is, the more OnOne Perfect Resize 7 will excel.
Which are those situations where onOne Perfect Resize 7 is the tool of choice?
- When you have taken pictures with a low mega pixel camera and you want to enlarge them for print.
- When you have taken pictures with a phone and you want to enlarge them for a desktop publishing project.
- When you are in a professional environment that handles less than great images that require regular scaling.
If you are a professional or a highly skilled aficionado that deals with one or all three of the situations above on a regular basis, then onOne Perfect Resize is definitely for you. After installing it, you can find it through Adobe Photoshop in File > Automate > Perfect Resize and start working away. You will find different control and setting options that will work on the picture in real time while you are polishing the image. On the other hand, you dont actually need Adobe Photoshop to use onOne Perfect Resize and, as standalone software, you will have extra features for your resizing projects.
Video Transcript :
For OnOne Perfect Resize, were going to go down to File – Automate – Perfect Resize. When the software comes up you get a full view of what youre working on. You can also use the magnifying glass to zoom in any particular area. You can see in real time what its going to be doing as youre working on the image.
Im going to change the width to 36 inches. Im going to scroll down a bit. Now I have different control options of: General Purpose, Low Res., .JPG, Portrait, Landscape, High Detail, and Custom. Basically these are different presets to move around the slider. If I change this to Portrait it just quickly makes the necessarily changes.
For this particular image Im going to make it 5, Im going to make it 50, just for an example. You can see how it really overemphasizes the noise that was originally in the image. Im going to bring that back down to a landscape, which I find just gives the best overall results.
I go down to Sharpening. Your sharpening method is Unsharp Mask, High Pass, and Progressive. I played around with the different options. I find them to be fairly irrelevant. It really didnt matter. I could get the same results whichever way that I did it. I found that the Highlights and Shadows option also didnt do anything particularly useful, however the amount of High Pass that I put on the image definitely, once again, gives you more detail going on within the image, which in this case is bringing out more of the noise.
Im going to bring it down to 110, because for this tutorial Im trying to show you what the software is in fact capable of doing. Im going to come over here to the other side, here, which is something that were going to be looking at.
The options down here, Film Grain, adds noise to the image. If I raise that up, see? Im not using Film Grain in my experimentations. Im not using any tiling, or Gallery Wrap, because were not doing special effects. Were simply trying to sharpen an image. These other effects I would do separately within Photoshop itself, but as most of these programs with the Perfect Photo Suite are standalones, you dont actually need Adobe Photoshop to use OnOne Perfect Resize. It does have some extra features that you wont use as a plug-in.
Im going to make settings here. Im going to make that five, then Im going to process this out. Then well take a look at the differences. It does take about two minutes to resize an image of this size, which is about 3 wide.
To make this a fair fight Im going to use Filter – Sharpen – Unsharp Mask for the left side image. The definition from the left to the right is significant. You can see that when theres a light and a dark next to each other it creates a sharper edge than what is available within Photoshop. Ive tried to duplicate the action to see it do the same thing, but I cant. I was just doing more damage to the image.
Something that youll notice is when I manually do it in Photoshop the end result is an image that is darker than what is seen within the OnOne Perfect Resize.
One of the benefits of OnOne Perfect Resize is I can go in here and I have more control than I originally did in Adobe Photoshop. Im going to overemphasize these edges so that you can really see what the program can do. After changing some settings you can now see some significant differences where its creating these harder edges between the lights and the darks. Its not overemphasizing the noise thats currently in the image. The reason is that the noise, the color tone within the noise is subtle, which it allows for, as you can see. But its emphasizing the sharp contrast between the dark and the light.
If I go back over here you can see how its created this really sharp edge between the contrasts of the dark and the light. Keep in mind this is blowing up an already grainy image to be 3 wide, which is certainly impressive.
Heres an example where Im going to make the image size starting with 3.5 inches, were going to take this one up to 11 inches, for an 8.5 inches x 11 inches, which would otherwise be good for a single page in a magazine.
Im going to put these settings of 11 inches wide. Im going to actually make this one landscape, which I found gave me the best results. Then Im going to do a High Pass. This one was going to be small. I was only going to do a very subtle sharpen on this one. Then Apply. This one takes about 30 seconds to process.
Once again, because of the sharp contrast of the light and the dark its clearly obvious what its done to this image, where its created these very sharp edges as the image became blown up. Again you can see with the tower in the background that what it did was it created a sharp definition within that object.
Now what this is a good example of is the way that you can take a low mega pixel camera, two mega pixel, or something from a phone perhaps, who knows, and blow it up to something thats of a size that you can hang up on a wall of a 8.5 inches x 11 inches.
This last example is also a 3.5 inches, and Im going to make it another 8.5 inches x 11 inches. The reason that I chose this image was because of the harsh lines. You can see major pixelation, sharp edges, very pixilated edges that are going on this image. I want to show you what happens when OnOne Perfect Resize gets involved and does something with not only the lights and the darks, but also with these pre-existing problems of these jagged edges.
Once again, Im just going to go through the motions of the different settings and Im going to come up with something and show you how that looks.
Im going to go back to the Photoshop image, and Im going to give it a sharpened Unsharp mask. It should be pretty obvious to you what its doing. Its having a very hard time trying to create these lines without adding the distortion within the image. Isnt that interesting? In this case I dont think I can actually get a good sharpening out of this.
As you can see onOne Perfect Resize did an amazing job on this image. You can see down the side of his face. You can see the sharp lines within here. Its done a very, very good job in the sharpening. This is why I chose this image to show you what this program really was capable of doing. I worked on this image for quite some time and I could not duplicate the detail in Adobe Photoshop that this program was able to do by itself.
In conclusion I definitely have to say that OnOne Perfect Resize was a much, much better program to do certain types of sharpening than the built in Adobe Photoshop Unsharp Mask was. While it wasnt 100% perfect in all cases, primarily the better the image already was the less useful OnOne Perfect Resize was. However the worse the image was, OnOne Perfect Resize did an amazing job at retain the details and blowing up these images to sizes that it otherwise should not be blow up to. If you are in a professional environment that handles less than great images, and you need to do regular scaling, then this program is definately for you.
If you like this video review, please go to The Art of Retouching where we have reviews of other products and video tutorials on how to use Adobe Photoshop, as well as other tips and tricks.