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Sharpening grainy images

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Sharpening grainy images

Postby andyforman001 » Mon Feb 16, 2015 11:32 am

Hi

Now I've used the tutorials to help already and picked up on the bits there that covered adding various new filters so I could get some new sharpening tools.

I have some great posters that are big enough to size down to backgrounds and posters but that are a little too grainy even after using these. They help but the images could still be much better.

I have seen some really great backgrounds on here that I can see have been worked on to get them to pop out so wanted to know what software tools there might be beyond GIMP that I use that could do this for me?

Ideally any great freeware software but if not any packages where the price is worth the outlay as its not a tool I feel I need that often.

Thanks Andy
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Re: Sharpening grainy images

Postby akovia » Mon Feb 16, 2015 3:10 pm

hey andy,
I moved this from the movie section as this is a graphics question.
As far as better filters go, there are sooo many that are available for gimp that I can't imagine you've tried them all yet.
Have you explored G'MIC yet? That has over 400 filters alone including plenty of smoothing and sharpening filters.
My favorite smoothing filters come from G'MIC, including Smooth [anisotropic], and Smooth [bilateral].
For Sharpening, I like Smart Sharpen Separate, and Smart Sharpen Redux.
The second one was replaced with the first, but I still like it and modified the original so it works on transparent images like cleararts.
I'll attach the modified version if you want to give it a shot. You will need to download the refocus plugin it uses though. The cool thing about this filter is that it puts a sharpening layer above your active layer and you can adjust the opacity to change the level of sharpness.

If you have some images you need help with, just post them here and we can see what we can do with them.
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Re: Sharpening grainy images

Postby andyforman001 » Tue Feb 17, 2015 9:59 am

Hi Akovia

I tried downloading GMIC and Smart Sharpen Separate after running through your tutorials. Had problem getting both to install so hadn't revisited trying them again to be frank.

I did use the Redux version on the artwork in question but it still left them wanting more...I left it at the default set up before using.

I have tried a software package (trial version) too called Neat Image that Peerless recommended ages ago that does quite a good job. Their background always seem to have so much punch and quality to them so that would be my ultimate target :)

I'll revisit GMIC and using your zip file and see if I can get them working well.

Cheers Andy
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Re: Sharpening grainy images

Postby akovia » Tue Feb 17, 2015 1:53 pm

I'd love to see the image you are working with and the results you are getting with Neat Image to see if I can recreate it with gimp.

Also, I might be able to help with your install problems. Make sure that any plugins like refocus and G'MIC are marked as executable and are in your plugin folder. Of course make sure that scripts (*.scm) are in your scripts folder. Assuming you are using Windows, these folders should be under the .gimp-2.8 folder in your APPDATA folder.

The other problem that happens is that they get installed, but people have trouble finding them in the menus since there is no standardized system of where new filters and plugins should go. It's left up to the authors.
I can't remember if I covered this in the tutorials anywhere, but you can search for filters/scripts/plugins under the help menu by selecting the "Plug-In Browser", and typing in part of the name. Then look at the menu path to locate it.

Lastly, if you run gimp from the command line (Windows Key+R) <--IIRC
you should be able to see any errors it has loading any scripts or plugins.

Hope that helps.
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Re: Sharpening grainy images

Postby andyforman001 » Wed Feb 18, 2015 3:06 pm

Not had the chance to look at this yet, but thanks for the tips. Will let you know how it goes :)

re the image...what's the best way to provide it so you can actually have a go with it too?
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Re: Sharpening grainy images

Postby akovia » Wed Feb 18, 2015 4:01 pm

andyforman001 wrote:re the image...what's the best way to provide it so you can actually have a go with it too?


you can attach it to this post. Look below for the upload attachment tab.
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Re: Sharpening grainy images

Postby andyforman001 » Sun Feb 22, 2015 11:00 pm

Oh blast the image I have is not being accepted as too large :)

I'm currently playing around with those GMIC smooth optiosn you suggested and will see what I come up with. UPDATE - first GMIC option was an improvement on Neat Image but still couldn't quite improve the image enough.

i suspect the starting image is just not of the highest quality :)

Also downloaded the redux files including yours though need to work out how to open the addtional refocus addon that comes as a tar.gz file (new to me that file structure). UPDATE again having tried these the GMIC options seem to do a better job for me..at least in this example..but will keep them in mind for future efforts.

Cheers Andy
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Re: Sharpening grainy images

Postby akovia » Mon Feb 23, 2015 12:16 am

Sorry about that .tar.gz. I just looked at it and it was just the source files there anyway.
Luckily someone has already compiled it for windows.
You don't *have* to have refocus for the plugin to work I believe. It's an option checkbox, but it does help on some images and I usually try it with it on first.

As far as smoothing goes, if you want real control you should look into wavelet decompose. There are quite a few tutorials around on the net and youtube, but I prefer Pat David's article on it the best, He has a great blog for gimp tutorials if you are interested. This is a very powerful technique that has too many uses to get into here, but it gives full control over what details you are working with, and you can select just certain areas to work on without destroying others.

I've attached my copy of the script as well as my gmic presets file. Not sure where gmic stores it's faves in windows, but if you figure it out, you can try some of the ones i use frequently and some have been tweaked from the default settings. G'mic installed my faves in the root of my home folder, not in the gimp or gimp/plugins folder. Maybe it's the same for Windows.

BTW, I put the menu item for wavelet decompose under filters > fanart in my copy, though you can always hunt it down in the plugin browser of course.


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Re: Sharpening grainy images

Postby andyforman001 » Mon Feb 23, 2015 2:22 pm

Thanks for this....I really appreciate you spending the time to offer up this help :)

When I next get the opportunity I've see what I can come up with.
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