Any tips for using Genuine Fractals?

Discussion in 'Photoshop Tutorials' started by Bill Hilton, Sep 10, 2003.

  1. Bill Hilton

    Bill Hilton Guest

    .... other than Tacit's standard "don't use Genuine Fractals"? (grin)

    I have a 4,000 dpi scan of 35 mm film (5,444 x 3,697 pixels) and need to make a
    20x30" print from it, but the file is only about 185 ppi at this size. Of
    course if I knew in advance I needed a print this large I'd have shot 6x7 cm or
    at least the 645, but my wife was making causual portraits of a family and
    using 35 mm for various reasons ... they really loved one of the group shots
    and unexpectedly want a big print of it now. No way to re-shoot it (different
    state, people off to college, etc).

    I used stair interpolation to rez it up to 240 ppi @ 20x30", ran edge
    sharpening on the L channel in LAB mode, and printed it in quadrants (four
    10x15's) on an Epson 2200 to see if it's even feasible to go this large and it
    actually looked surprisingly adequate since it was shot at f/8 with fine
    grained film (new Astia 100 F). It's acceptable but I have no illusions it's
    as good as 6x7 cm. We'll do all the final edits and have it printed on a
    LightJet at the native LJ rez of 304.8 ppi so I need to rez up even more.

    I have a freebie copy of GF bundled with my scanner and have tested it a couple
    of times without being overwhelmed by it. Actually I just tried creating the
    ..stn file and re-sizing upon opening to 304.8 ppi and the quadrant print didn't
    look much different from the stair interpolation print.

    So my question is to those who have a lot of experience using GF ... any tips
    for maximizing quality with an interpolation this size (from 57 MB to 157 MB)?
    Does it help to sharpen the original file a bit before saving as .stn? Should
    I open it even larger and then downsample to my target rez in hopes the
    downsampling will improve tonality? Any tips would be welcomed. I don't want
    to dink around with this indefinitely.

    Bill Hilton, Sep 10, 2003
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  2. How about using Fred Miranda's Actions suite, just to spite GF? (grin
    back atcha)
    John Stafford, Sep 10, 2003
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  3. Bill Hilton

    Tom Elliott Guest

    I have tried allot of different compression schemes. IMHO GF works. I do not have the pro version which works on CYMK files (which I believe was the reason GF was developed - sending large files between commercial printers). For my RGB finished project it is great to archive. Now I am hopeing that the creators keep it backward compatible as operating systems improve otherwise I will have to keep one box with GF and the OS it was created on just to make sure I can retrieve old jobs.
    Tom Elliott, Sep 10, 2003
  4. But why compress? Storage is cheap.
    John Stafford, Sep 10, 2003
  5. Bill Hilton

    Bill Hilton Guest

    From: John Stafford
    As I said, "I used stair interpolation to rez it up to 240 ppi @ 20x30" ...
    this is what Fred uses (10% steps), though I wrote my own action to do it since
    it's so simple.
    Bill Hilton, Sep 10, 2003
  6. Bill Hilton

    Rick Guest

    Fred does throw an occasional sharpening into his action IIRC.

    Rick, Sep 10, 2003
  7. I have made comparison prints on Epson printers, comparing 240 dpi and
    180 dpi. Quite frankly, it's extremely difficult to see the difference
    (if you see any difference at all). So my suggestion would be not to
    interpolate as long as you print on the Epson 2200. I use an Epson 7600
    Pro and I don't interpolate 35mm scans @ 4000 dpi. They still look
    Johan W. Elzenga, Sep 10, 2003
  8. But I agree with that opinion. IMHO, GF produces posterized results with
    artificially sharp edges. They may look okay from a distance, but especially
    on portraits you'll need something more "organic" looking.
    This would not be too bad as a basis for a less than 2x enlargement.
    Particularly for the native resolution you state, which is by the way not
    comparable to what you'd need to send to an dithering inkjet.

    But if you want the best result for a budget price, use Qimage and tell it
    the final printed size and, in your case, the native resolution of the
    Lightjet. Print to file with Vector interpolation and smart sharpening
    (unless the Lightjet does that). You can even use the free trial period and
    put it to the test.

    You should sharpen at the final print resolution, so GF will not help as an
    intermediate. The result from GF may even be harder to sharpen, because it
    already has "enhanced" edges and posterized facial structures.

    Bart van der Wolf, Sep 10, 2003
  9. Bill Hilton

    Bill Hilton Guest

    As I said, "I used stair interpolation to rez it up to 240 ppi @ 20x30" ...
    I think he offers "low sharpening" and "no sharpening" options. Since
    sharpening is so dependent on the individual qualities of the image I'd much
    prefer to run my own edge sharpening action in LAB mode than using a canned
    one-size-fits all approach.
    Bill Hilton, Sep 10, 2003
  10. Bill Hilton

    Bill Hilton Guest

    From: (Johan W. Elzenga)
    Thanks Johan, that's an option since I can get it printed on an Epson 9600 at
    Calypso or WCI for the same price as a LightJet print, though they do recommend
    300 or 360 ppi IIRC. If I can't get it rezzed up I'll keep this option in

    Bill Hilton, Sep 10, 2003
  11. SNIP
    Printer drivers for inkjets will internally interpolate up to the native
    resolution of the printer, UNLESS offered the native resolution. Try Qimage
    and you'll see the difference, really.
    Inkjet printing requires a different kind of interpolation than a LightJet
    or a Lambda does.

    Bart van der Wolf, Sep 10, 2003
  12. Bill Hilton

    Flycaster Guest

    Try whatever USM action you want, then Fade using Luminosity as the blend.
    Exact same thing as converting to LAB and then running the action on the L
    channel...without *any* profile-profile-profile conversion loss.
    Flycaster, Sep 11, 2003
  13. Bill Hilton

    Bill Hilton Guest

    From: (Johan W. Elzenga)
    Johan, I tried this, printing one quadrant 10 x 15" @ 185 ppi ... I put the
    print in a stack with the other tests I've printed (240 and 300 ppi w/ stair
    interpolation and 2 different rez GF test prints) and asked three people to
    sort them by quality. The 185 ppi print was judged worst by everyone who
    looked at them, so I think I'll stick with the original plan and go for the
    LightJet. It didn't look BAD bad, just slightly but noticeably less sharp than
    the other prints.

    No one answered the original question yet ... I get better results upsizing
    with stair interpolation than with GF ... any power user tips on how to improve
    the GF results or is it a given that SI beats it?

    Bill Hilton, Sep 11, 2003
  14. Bill Hilton

    Tom Elliott Guest

    It all depends on how you manage your work flow..
    Tom Elliott, Sep 11, 2003
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