Musings on Photography

SizeFixer XL

Posted in digital printing by Paul Butzi on August 13, 2007

Way back at the very end of June, I was contacted by Chris Bradley-Kidd of Fixerlabs.com, asking if I’d tried their product SizeFixer for upsizing. Apparently his attention had been attracted by my article on the myths of upsizing. He offered to send me a free copy of SizeFixer if I was interested in reviewing their product. After nailing down a few details, I agreed to do a review of SizeFixer.

Now, this all was happening just as I was switching from Windows to the Mac. I ordered a copy of SizeFixer XL for the Mac, and it arrived in the middle of July, just as I was in the thick of several things all at once. SizeFixer was on the stack of things to do, but other stuff kept burying it.

This past weekend, during a brief slow period, I installed the software and started playing with it. I only had a few hours, and this was a problem because the software is slow. Now, I’m not talking ‘resizing an image takes a couple of minutes’ slow, I’m talking ‘resizing a full frame image from the EOS-5d with the quality cranked all the way to the max takes 5.5 hours’ slow.

I had some problems, and I’ve fired off a set of questions to FixerLabs. Hopefully I’ll get answers quickly and I and proceed with more testing. The results I got this past weekend were simultaneously encouraging and disappointing. They’re encouraging in that if I could get the speed problems ironed out, and figure out exactly what all the controls do so that I could eliminate some unpleasant artifacts, the results would be pretty impressive. Discouraging in that the documentation seems to be on the sketchy side, the artifacts are pretty ugly, and the software is so slow that it’s not exactly easy to figure things out just by experimenting.

More news as things develop, as it were.

6 Responses

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  1. Guy Tal said, on August 13, 2007 at 11:57 am

    Paul, if you can take the time, can you post some examples?

    Thanks,
    Guy

  2. Paul Butzi said, on August 13, 2007 at 12:34 pm

    Guy, I’d rather wait until I have some answers from the Fixerlabs folks before I go posting examples. With any imaging processing software it’s perfectly possible to get bad results if you don’t know what you’re doing; such examples don’t provide any meaningful data and only muddy the water.

    As soon as I understand what’s going on, I promise I’ll post examples.

  3. Ed Richards said, on August 13, 2007 at 6:07 pm

    Have you tried Qimage for this? I use it for smart sharpening and down-rezzing, but it is designed for uprezzing. Fast and pretty smart.

  4. Colin Jago said, on August 14, 2007 at 2:17 am

    Updates for SizeFixer for Mac are a real pain. You have to get a CD shipped to you. Online downloads have been marked as ‘coming soon’ for well over a year. Windows users get that luxury.

    I don’t understand why putting a file online for downloading is difficult, but what do I know. It is the sort of attention to detail that mars an interesting product.

    I still use SizeFixer SLR from time to time. It is slow, but not hours slow. Maybe 15 minutes for a fully cranked upsize. XL obviously stands for Extra Long processing.

  5. Dave Kosiur said, on August 14, 2007 at 2:03 pm

    I’m don’t know what your target size is, but have you ever tried OnOne’s Genuine Fractals for upsizing? I’ve found it to be pretty fast on both G5 and Intel Macs, at least for the sizes I’ve worked up to.

  6. Eddy said, on August 30, 2007 at 8:55 am

    I’ve also tested a couple of programs at home, sometimes you think it is promosing but as always crap-in crap-out, I would like to try that SizeFixer.

    What I was reading on their website is interesting, a kind of feedback algorithm, enlarge it, do something with it, scale it back and compare it until etc. But still the amount of information cannot be increased.

    You might be interested in this video

    Although it has to do with matching a face on a kind of prototype in 3d I think this method could theoretically also be used for enlargements but then artificial intelligence is needed to recognize objects.


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