News and Information about Photo Enlargement, Currency Conversion, Time Management and Computer Crash Recovery
by Kneson Software

Vol. I, Issue 12

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Imagener's Resharp Function Sharpness Control
Last Chance for Imagener Unlimited Discount
Fast, Easy Ways To Develop & Send Your Photos
Digital Camera Giveaway
Imagener Unlimited Final Beta!
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Techniques to Get The Most Out of Your Enlargements

All digital images can benefit from being sharpened at some stage in their lives. This is especially true for enlarged images, but enlarged or not, all captured images - digital or analog - suffer from blurring or softening of detail in some way. This is precisely the motivation behind Kneson Software’s addition of the Resharp function in Imagener Professional and Imagener Unlimited. However, our customers have been asking for more information about this function as use of it does require a certain level of skill and knowledge to master.

Blurring occurs when the representation of an object is at a lower contrast or retains less detail than is present in the original. Sharpening compensates for this loss by improving the visibility of the information in the image. It works by applying a matrix of numbers over an array of the pixels in the image with the matrix centered over one pixel at a time. Sharpening can add image data that improve the appearance or impression of sharpness.

This function is formally known as "Unsharp Mask." We named it "Resharp" to avoid any confusion, but the technique is actually a darkroom technique for improving the sharpness of paper prints that was used before the age of digital pictures.

There are three variables to the function, Amount, Radius, and Threshold. Each variable interacts with the other so it is possible to obtain nearly identical effects with very different settings. Keep the following characteristics in mind:
  • A measure of the strength of sharpening, roughly as a percentage of the increase in edge contrast.

  • Works best within the 50-200% range (enter 50 up to 200 in the amount box in Imagener).
  • A measures of the number of pixels over which the function operates.

  • Needs to be set with care as radius has the greatest effect.

  • A radius of three may in fact cover seven or more pixels.

  • In general, low figures give crisp edges; larger figures produce broader edges, and increase overall contrast.
  • Measures the minimum difference between two boundaries that the function will operate on.

  • Is based on 255 levels and therefore will only accept a numerical value of 0 to 255.

  • Zero threshold tells the function to operate over the entire image.

  • A value of 127 (about half of the 255 levels) will cause sharpening to occur only where pixels are next to other pixels that are 50% lighter or darker
For example, the images below were enlarged using Imagener Unlimited. The image used was of somewhat low resolution, hence the slight blur that appears in the image to the left. Using the Resharp settings shown at the right, the image below right is made to look much more visually appealing. Edges contrast better, and the overall appearance is improved.  
Image Resized
Image Resized and Resharpened

These photo examples are unusually small ... most image enlargement uses start with images much larger with higher resolution. These images are for this discussion as examples only.

General Guidelines
Start your resharp operations with the following settings as a guide.
Image consists mostly of fine details
Image has large areas of even tone
Set a strong amount of sharpening, with very small radius and a low threshold, such as Amount: 200, Radius: 1-2, Threshold 1-2. This improves all boundaries in the image over a small distance. While these settings will also increase grain or noise, they will be hidden by the detail.   Set a modest amount of sharpening, and a large radius with a relatively high threshold, such as Amount: 50, Radius: 20, Threshold: 10. The high threshold ignores noise while the high radius compensates for the moderate amount.

You may discover that the wrong settings can create bright, bare patches. Make sure you remember your enlargement settings as you will need to click the Reset button if this occurs. Keep experimenting. With practice, you will increase the visual clarity and appeal of your enlarged images.

For those that have not pre-ordered Imagener Unlimited -- there little time left to take advantage of the 15% discount for both new orders and upgrades. If you have purchased Imagener Enhanced or Professional, you can upgrade easily by simply clicking the appropriate Upgrade Now! button below. Once Imagener Unlimited is released, (and we are very close) the discount is gone!
Please allow up to 40 business hours to verify your current version.
Enhanced to Unlimited version. PRE-RELEASE Unlimited price and immediate Professional version Download .....................................


Professional to Unlimited version PRE-RELEASE pricing ...................


...or, you can upgrade your copy of Imagener Enhanced to Professional here...
Enhanced to Professional version Download ..................................



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You can enter your name for the chance to win a Kodak EasyShare CX6330 3.1 Megapixel Digital Camera - rated number one by a major consumer products magazine. Write to us about digital photo enlargement, your photo enlargement needs or about Imagener. CLICK HERE TO ENTER

The Imagener Unlimited enlargement engine is in final beta - but we need customer feedback! Our internal testing has concluded and we now need customers to put this latest version through its paces.
The latest beta version is dated December 18, 2004 and includes an additional program that communicates any errors back to Kneson Software.
This program is similar to Microsoft's "Please tell Microsoft about this problem" message that most of us have seen. We call this program "Dr. Newton." It has already assisted us in identifying memory boundaries for some rare but massive images that some of our customers that need wall or mural size enlargements sent us. We welcome your feedback as well!

Imagener Unlimited is the most exciting picture enlargement technology on the market anywhere in the world. It is so revolutionary that no other photo enlargement technology can touch it. Imagener Unlimited took four years to program. It is a radically new technology that adds pixel resolution in a 2-stage process with astounding visual results.

If you haven't done so already, upgrade your copy of Imagener Enhanced or Professional or order Imagener Unlimited today and receive a 15% discount before it's too late! All of the enlargement methods will be available to you as before (Kneson, Kneson Progressive, and Kneson Progressive++) -- the addition of the Kneson Unlimited enlargement method is the only method in beta.

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VOTE FOR NEW FEATURES! Currently all Imagener upgrades are free to current customers. So -- let us know what new features you would like to see in the next version. Click here to vote.

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