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Author Topic: The Big Picture (ACR Super Resolution)  (Read 14915 times)

Chris Kern

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The Big Picture (ACR Super Resolution)
« on: March 10, 2021, 05:02:44 pm »

I've done a little playing around today with the new "Super Resolution" feature of Adobe Camera Raw and I must say I'm favorably impressed.

I've been using Topaz Gigapixel for quite a while when I needed to enlarge images.  The new ACR capability similarly employs machine learning to in effect recreate a larger image with comparable detail to the original—although, unlike the Topaz product, it is (currently, at least) limited to a 2X increase in linear dimensions.

I haven't had time to perform a very rigorous comparison, but Adobe's convolutional neural network model seemed to do as well as Topaz's on the first couple of images I tried.  The Adobe conversion was also much faster on my Apple laptop (2020 MacBook Pro).  I suspect some other forum participants have been testing this feature for Adobe and perhaps they can share their experiences.

As Eric Chan of Adobe notes in the essay at the link above, the new feature is "coming soon" to Lightroom.

Attached: (1) a JPEG made from a tight crop of a Nikon NEF file (D800E), (2) the same crop from a 2X enlargement produced from the raw file by ACR, and (3) the same crop from a 2X enlargement produced from a full-resolution TIFF by Gigapixel (which I used to "bake in" a couple of minor tone adjustments I had made to the image).
« Last Edit: March 17, 2021, 08:11:45 pm by Chris Kern »
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: The Big Picture
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2021, 05:25:17 pm »

Thanks for posting.

digitaldog

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Re: The Big Picture
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2021, 06:11:27 pm »

And if so desired, you can load a TIFF or JPEG (etc) into ACR (not ACR as filter), at least I can on Mac, using the Format Menu set to Camera Raw. Super Resolution can be used then.
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Chris Kern

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Re: The Big Picture
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2021, 09:04:20 pm »

Here's another example, this time with a Fuji X-Trans (X-T3) file.  Same three rendering methods.

With this image, the Topaz version appears sharper, but perhaps also noisier.  (I haven't applied manual sharpening to any of the files; what you see is what I got from the original Lightroom export, and the respective ACR and Gigapixel enlargements.)

From a practical perspective—i.e., assuming the purpose was to prepare the image for printing—I doubt the difference between the 2X enlargements made with Adobe and Topaz products would be noticeable.

And, of course, you could do additional processing in post prior to making the print or otherwise emitting the image.

Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: The Big Picture
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2021, 06:27:34 am »

... (I haven't applied manual sharpening to any of the files; what you see is what I got from the original Lightroom export...

Lightroom files are already sharpened significantly 40/1.0/25/0... are you zeroing this before exporting to ACR?

Chris Kern

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Re: The Big Picture
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2021, 07:49:10 am »

Lightroom files are already sharpened significantly 40/1.0/25/0... are you zeroing this before exporting to ACR?

I'm using ACR's default Detail values: Sharpening 40, Noise Reduction 0, Color Noise Reduction 25.  My understanding is that these represent the capture sharpening the ACR developers consider appropriate to apply when the file is demosaiced, and that while the displayed values are invariant what actually happens is specific to the demosaicing algorithm used for the particular type of raw file, but I confess I can't point to an authoritative source for that at the moment.  Lightroom also by default applies some capture sharpening (the values you cited), but they were not used in the examples I posted.

The workflow I used was: (1) read the files directly into ACR, (2) perform the "Super Sharpening" in ACR, (3) make some minor tone adjustments in ACR, (4) export a TIFF from ACR; (5) import the TIFF into Lightroom, and (6) make the crops in Lightroom.  I did not apply any output sharpening when I exported the crops from Lightroom.

digitaldog

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Re: The Big Picture
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2021, 09:43:04 am »

Lightroom files are already sharpened significantly 40/1.0/25/0... are you zeroing this before exporting to ACR?
Ah no, not raws.
Sharpening is dependent on ACRs details settings.
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mcbroomf

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Re: The Big Picture
« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2021, 11:05:15 am »

It seems that the Enhanced option is only there when the raw file is opened directly into PS/ACR.  By this I mean that if I open a raw file as a Smart Object from LR then open CR Filter, either from the menu or the layer thumbnail the Enhanced option is missing.  Similarly if I open a raw  into PS/ACR and then open it into PS as a Smart Object but without Enhanced processing I don't get the Enhanced option if I then take it back into CR filter.

I haven't figured out a workflow for this Enhanced option yet so I don't know if it matters.  I just thought I'd point it out in case don't see the option depending on when they open CR.  I'm sure there's a reason.  I'm on Windows if it matters.

Mike
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langier

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Re: The Big Picture
« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2021, 05:17:29 pm »

Just played with the new Enhance/Super Resolution. In one word: WOW!

I grabbed an image from the Z 6 and ran it at normal res, then upressed in both PS and OnOne Resize 2020 for comparison. The Super Resolution was substantially better and looked like real pixels than the other two. I don't have Topaz Gigapixel but the few times I've seen it on jpeg and iPhone photos it wasn't too bad.

I tried the SR on some older D800 files. Same impression. Save with my Oly M43 files. To dig deeper, I tried some EM-5 II pix shot with the pixel shift. The first file I tried was an ACR-assembled DNG file from the Pixel Shift, somewhere more than 9,000 by 9,000. That did not seem to work well (got to see the extremes sometimes!). It had weird artifacts from the stitching that looked quite strange. However, when I backed off to a single pixel-shift image (9216x6912), it wasn't quite bad. The finished file came in at 18432x13824) and it's full of detail and still quite sharp, considering it was taken with such a small camera. I wish my printer was large enough to run the full file which now comes in at

When I have more time, I need to print one of these Super Resolution prints. From my Olympus M43, it's now too large to print on my printer, even if I print it at 300 ppi--the image size at that res is just over 61x46. Now if I were to print on canvas, I do believe I could even double this size!

Adobe wowed me with this new feature. I wish I had it last week when I was printing the last project of 30x40s though I think a lot of the new "manufactured" detail would have been lost on the canvas.

Thinking pragmatically, this also may be word-around for lack native-mount longer than 200mm focal lengths for the Nikon Z cameras (though with adapters for the N lenses and the new TC 1.4 and 2.0 on the 70-200, there's reach up to 400mm in Z), without buying a longer lens or simply shoot with the Z 6 "pretend" it's got pixel shifting and more crop potential, provided the image was well crafted from the start!
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: The Big Picture
« Reply #9 on: March 11, 2021, 07:18:14 pm »

I am getting weird artifacts, in the form of bright and colorful pixels or dots, visible in the Super Resolution preview window.

langier

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Re: The Big Picture
« Reply #10 on: March 11, 2021, 08:49:41 pm »

I saw something like that, Slobodan, in an image I was playing with today. I looked a little closer and found a couple more bright, green and red "hot" pixels, maybe three in this one image. I went back to the original raw image and found the same hot pixels there. I think it was probably a combo of a long exposure in a dark church when the sensor did its ring-around. I may have to pay more attention when I use this new tool in real life.
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Martin Kristiansen

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Re: The Big Picture
« Reply #11 on: March 12, 2021, 04:23:47 am »

I had a look at this feature today. I believe it will be rolled out to LR at some point. Thats good because my workflow is greatly slowed down opening an individual file in ACR directly. Then enhancing it creates a new DNG with the original filename and enhanced appended to it. I tried importing it into LR and while it gets aded top the catalogue LR is unable to view or output it.

Anyway it turned my 70MB A9 file into a 270MB file. IMHO its really very good. I have Topaz Gigapixel and don't like the program at all. It has too much personality for my taste and I really dislike the interface and the workflow. I think this Adobe enhancement is really amazing. I will certainly make use of it once it makes its way into LR which Im sure it will
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nicocornet

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Re: The Big Picture
« Reply #12 on: March 12, 2021, 07:58:38 am »

From my first experiments with different kind of photos (cityscape, landscape) :
- natural subjects such as stone, grass, trees get a huge boosts in detail. It's pure magic and giving a complete new life to old images - thanks AI !
- cityscape : some types of architecture gets a boost, some stay the same - overall medium results there. I imagine it's based on pattern recognition and the AI might have difficulty in recognising some building feature. I imagine it can be trained for that
- for better results, the original image has to be sharp in the first place.
IMO this is most significant software addition made in recent times - a complete game changer. In pure resolution terms, would I need to buy a medium format camera if I can get 140MP files from my A7R3 ?
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digitaldog

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Re: The Big Picture
« Reply #13 on: March 12, 2021, 09:15:50 am »

According to Eric Chan, it is coming to LRc.
You can save a DNG enhanced from ACR and the next version of LRc will import them.
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Martin Kristiansen

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Re: The Big Picture
« Reply #14 on: March 12, 2021, 01:50:23 pm »

According to Eric Chan, it is coming to LRc.
You can save a DNG enhanced from ACR and the next version of LRc will import them.

Marvelous. This actually impacts on my equipment purchasing decisions in a marginal way. I’m still a bit taken aback by how well this works.
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mcbroomf

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Re: The Big Picture
« Reply #15 on: March 12, 2021, 03:02:13 pm »

Andrew, do you know where it's best to do capture sharpening with Enhanced?  It seems there are some options to play with;

  • Same setting as normal on original before Enhanced, none(?) after
  • None before Enhanced, capture settings after (different?)
  • Modified before, modified after

Thx
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digitaldog

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Re: The Big Picture
« Reply #16 on: March 12, 2021, 03:25:52 pm »

Andrew, do you know where it's best to do capture sharpening with Enhanced?  It seems there are some options to play with;

  • Same setting as normal on original before Enhanced, none(?) after
  • None before Enhanced, capture settings after (different?)
  • Modified before, modified after

Thx
First, the order doesn't matter in the final processing; Lightroom Classic and ACR will apply the edits in the order for rendering best applied, not user applied.
If you're doing Capture Sharpening by eye, as we have to, then I'd suggest doing this (or modifying it) after Enhance. Since this would affect what you see.
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fdisilvestro

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Re: The Big Picture
« Reply #17 on: March 12, 2021, 04:25:28 pm »

I am getting weird artifacts, in the form of bright and colorful pixels or dots, visible in the Super Resolution preview window.

I get this with iphone dng images, otherwise it works nicely with raw from DSLRs (Nikon in my case)

mcbroomf

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Re: The Big Picture
« Reply #18 on: March 16, 2021, 05:52:12 am »

I just updated LR to 10.2 and was disappointed to see that Super Res is not included.  The older Enhanced Details is still there.

Also the limitation I mentioned above is still in place, ie ACR in PS will not allow Super Res on a Smart Object opened into PS from LR.  You have to open the raw from PS/ACR
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dudu307

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Re: The Big Picture
« Reply #19 on: March 16, 2021, 07:20:41 am »

I am getting weird artifacts, in the form of bright and colorful pixels or dots, visible in the Super Resolution preview window.

+1

Where it works it works great, but at least in my tests with Z6 raw's in man made structures, there are a lot of color artifacts, it's like super resolution creates color aliasing and artifacts from clean sources.
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