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OnOne Genuine Fractals 5 Review

OnOne Genuine Fractals 5 Review - In his never-ending quest for fractals, Gary Wolstenholme believes he may have found the genuine article.

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Category : Other Software
Product : OnOne Genuine Fractals 5
Price : £100
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OnOne Genuine Fractals 5.0: System requirements

Windows

  • OnOne Genuine Fractals 5Windows XP SP2 or Vista
  • Microsoft .Net 2.0 Framework or higher
  • Photoshop CS2(v9.0.2), CS3
  • Photoshop Elements 4 or later
  • 512Mb of RAM
  • 25Mb of disk space
  • Adobe Flash Player 9
  • Internet Connection for update checking & tutorial movies

Mac

  • Mac OS X 10.4.8 or later
  • Universal Binary - Supports PowerPC or Intel processors
  • Photoshop CS2(v9.0.2), CS3
  • Photoshop Elements 4 or later
  • 512Mb of RAM
  • 25Mb of disk space
  • Adobe Flash Player 9
  • Internet Connection for update checking & tutorial movies

 

Genuine Fractals has long been the choice of many photographers who wish to print their images larger than would normally be possible without interpolation. OnOne software claim that Genuine Fractals will produce sharper, more detailed prints than those interpolated using the resizing tools built into Photoshop.

The last time I used Genuine Fractals, it was a standalone program. To interpolate a file, I would have to first convert it to the Genuine Fractals .stn file format, which I could then open in Photoshop via the plugin at the new interpolated size. The main issue I found with this solution was that my hard drive would end up littered with .stn files that I couldn't browse properly in Adobe Bridge, so they would sit there hogging space on my drive.

OnOne Genuine Fractals 5 Thankfully, since then the workflow has been streamlined somewhat, the plugin now allows you to work on any image that is already open in Photoshop, completely cutting out the .stn file format stage (you can still do this though, if you wish).

OnOne Genuine Fractals 5.0: In Use
To interpolate an image that is open in Photoshop, simply click the OnOne menu and select either the Genuine Fractals 5.0 or Genuine Fractals Express 5.0 option. The express option gives you a very basic tool for upsizing your image using the OnOne Genuine Fractals 5 Genuine Fractals algorithm. You type in the size you want your image, and it obliges... dead simple.

For those who would like a little more control over the up-sizing process, the non-express option provides Texture Control, Sharpening and Film Grain options. Each of these can be adjusted on an image-by-image basis for the best results. Texture control is a new addition in version 5.0 which affects the way fine textures, such as fabric or grass) are rendered when interpolated. Once you are happy with your settings, click apply and the image will be up-scaled to the size you requested and can then be saved in any format.

OnOne Genuine Fractals 5.0: Results
To test the software I interpolated an image to four times its original size, making a ten million pixel image from a Nikon D200 that can be printed roughly 33x22cm at 300dpi into a 160.5 million pixel image that prints 131x88cm at 300dpi. I also did the same using Photoshop's Bicubic Smoother resizer, which is the best for enlargements, apparently.

OnOne Genuine Fractals 5
Enlarged sections are taken from the area marked by the red rectangle.
OnOne Genuine Fractals 5
Genuine Fractals 5.0.
OnOne Genuine Fractals 5
Photoshop Bicubic Smoother.
The difference between the two methods of interpolation is only very slight, but it is fairly easy to see in the full-size images that Genuine Fractals has done a better job of keeping edges sharp, this is especially clear on the text on the gate.

OnOne Genuine Fractals 5.0: Verdict
The final image produced by Genuine Fractals is sharper than that produced by Photoshop's Bicubic Smoother, I just wish the difference was greater. If you regularly produce large prints that require interpolation, then Genuine Fractals remains the best choice. If however, you only produce the odd interpolated print every once in a while, it may be worth sticking with conventional methods of interpolation as £100 (for the full version) seems like a lot to shell out for a small gain every once in a while

OnOne Genuine Fractals 5.0: Plus points:
Results are sharper than Photoshop Bicubic Smoother.
The express option makes interpolation easy for those who are not technically minded.
New Texture Control on he standard mode

OnOne Genuine Fractals 5.0: Minus points:
Although the results are sharper than Bicubic Smoother, the difference is not that great
Price makes the plugin poor value for those who would not use it all that regularly


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OnOne Genuine Fractals 5.0 costs £99.99 for the full version and £39.99 for an upgrade from Warehouse Express.



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