Image Enlargement with AI

Artificial Intelligence can not only rescue noisy or fuzzy images, it can enlarge them at the same time for better presentation.

The is a (small) drone image that has been cleaned up and enlarged using artificial intelligence.

The AI software “knows” what rocks and distant trees look like, so it can refine the smoothness and sharpness of an image. I used Gigapixel AI to do that to this photo. It is very similar to the photo in the previous post on this blog.

Here is a screen capture showing the original data (left side) and the AI-improved data (right side).

The left side is original resolution, which shows the noise in the details. The right side is enlarged to 200%, and the AI features have removed noise and improved detail. Is the detail real? Not exactly, but it’s cleverly done and looks quite good in the final output.

As always, click on any image to see it larger; click a second time to see it at full size.

I did have some say about how the image looked; I used some automatic and some custom settings:

The key choices on my part:

  • I recognized that this is a low resolution image by Gigapixel software’s standards, and I was lucky that the automatic settings were good. (sometimes I have to spend quite a bit of time tweaking them)

  • I chose a 2x enlargement, which I know from experience is a reasonable ambition for an image like this one.

  • I experimented with the auto settings a but, but that did not improve the result. It’s always good to reality-check the AI. :)

The difference between the before and after is not hugely dramatic, but they are very important differences to the eye. The image really is better after the fake improvements! As long as one keeps in mind that the details may be a little off, one gets an image that is new and improved, so to speak. If I wanted this shot on the wall, I would not hesitate to use this technique to get a large enough image—it’s a lot cheaper than spending 4x as much or more for a drone to get bigger and sharper images.

There is always a question of the truth in any photo—film grain, deliberate exposure choices, what to focus on are all areas of adding a twist to the reality to get an image you like. Noise removal is not quite in the same zone—or is it? I leave the final determination to the reader. I am please to have something more beautiful.