Adobe Super Resolution
Richard Administrators, Vanilla Admin Posts: 19,727 moderator
I read that the latest version of ACR has a new AI based feature for increasing resolution by a factor of four. I gather it's "enhance details" on steroids. I'm just curious if anyone has tried it and if so, what's your impression.
I have. It makes a visible difference. You can see a comparison here. (Scroll about 2/3 of the way through.) But I'll wait until this feature is integrated into Lightroom before I use it much.
Details. I recently had a case where up-scaling would have been useful. I was shooting some surfers at a nearby beach and got a sort-of-nice shot of one a long ways away. Even at max zoom on my telephoto zoom lens, I needed a very hard crop to get a nicely composed picture. I posted that crop, at a mere 1192 x 894, to SmugMug. Most screens will show it at 100%. I usually post my pictures at large x 1320 -- larger than what I was able to post on this one -- so I tried an experiment. First, I used Photoshop to do the old standard up-scaling using the "Preserve Details (enlargement)" option to produce a 1760 x 1320 version. I then posted that to SmugMug. Second, I used the new Super Resolution in Camera Raw to produce a double-sized version of my original raw file (with the other basic Lightroom edits I applied to the first posting). I then cropped that to match the others. That crop was 2384 x 1788. I brought that into Lightroom and used the SmugMug plugin upload process to do the down-scaling to 1760 x 1320, with output sharpening for the screen at the standard level. One quirk here was the Lightroom did not want to read the .dng produced by Camera Raw. I had to bring it into Photoshop and export a .tif version. On both upscaled versions, I did a little extra sharpening and luminescence smoothing: amount = 25, radius = 1, detail=25, masking =0, lum. smoothing = 23. Identical settings for both. The results of all that can be seen about 2/3 of the way through this gallery. The captions explain which is which. All look the same on the collage landscape view, but in the lightbox, you can see the differences. The Super Resolution version is notably sharper, especially if you look at the water splashes. Still, all the backing-and-forthing between Camera Raw, Photoshop, and Lightroom was a bit of a pain. I look forward to better integration. Unfortunately, the Lightroom 10.2 update that came out this morning (16 March 2021) didn't have it.
And by the way, this is cool northern California, not warm southern California. The surfers all wear wet suits. That water is in the low 50's F (11 or 12 C). I was happy to just watch the show from a distance.