BlowUp is Alien Skin's response to applications which upsample small images to larger proportions (or large images to gigantic proportions). Of course, this sounds a lot easier than what it actually is. There are many upsampling applications available, and some are even free, but the quality of the processed and converted images can be compromised if care is not taken to properly understand the algorithms of how images change when they are enlarged. Alien Skin has an excellent history of dealing with images and offering several filters for various aspects of digital imaging, and so DigitalDingus was curious how Blow-Up would perform.
|Alien Skin BlowUp|
Features: Enlarge images up to 1600% (4x) their original size without halo and stairstep artifacts.
Requirements: Adobe Photoshop or Elements
Official Website: Alien Skin
MSRP: $199.00 / Alien Skin Owners: $149.00
Current Price: Click for best price
BlowUp is to be used within the Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Elements environment, due to it being an automation plug-in. It's rather simple to use, as the BlowUp processing engine does most of the work. All you have to do is figure out what size you want your images to be after they are upsampled. Alien Skin does mention there is a 30,000 pixel limit on size, which should only deter a very small percentage of the digital imaging consumer from using BlowUp (and even so, I have a way to make images as large as you could possibly want with a few simple techniques which will be discussed later on in the review).
Upsampling images is probably an underused feature as most computer users are reducing their images to fit on their website and photo galleries. However, there are times when enlarging your images is needed, and the current resolution of your image is just not enough. This is where a program like Alien Skin's BlowUp, can help.
Alien Skin BlowUp Features
Some of the major features of Blow Up:
Let's first take a look at the BlowUp graphical interface...
- GUI is a streamlined version of other Alien Skin interfaces
- Resizes Layers (including transparencies)
- Resizes Layer Masks
- Resizes Fill or Adjustment Layers (i.e., Gradient Maps, Color Fills)
- Upsampling speed is dependent on the processor so the bigger and badder your computer system, the better
- Upsample 1600% (4x) of the actual image without artifacts (sometimes up to 3600%/6x)