Alien Skin Blow Up

A while back I was asked if I wanted to evaluate Alien Skin’s Exposure, I got a copy of the software, installed it and played with it a little bit. It is basically set of PS filters that add effects of different types of film, it is probably useful for a lot of PS users out there, but not me. It runs very slowly on my PowerBook and I can adjust curves, color channels in mixer, add noise, reduce noise, sharpen, etc etc with the tools I already have in PS. I’ve only used it like twice and it’s really not all that useful to me.

When I got into my office this morning there was a DHL package waiting for me from Alien Skins, inside was a copy of Alien Skin Blow Up, it’s like onOne’s Genuine Fractals; it takes an image and upsamples it to much higher resolution (up to 3600% they say) that doesn’t look blurry or pixelated or halo. Now this is very interesting!! There is a comparison chart with other similar solutions in the included materials, looks like Blow Up can handle LAB and Duotone modes and Geniune Fractals cannot. This is not all that useful coz I can always convert to RGB before I want to upsize. What’s more interesting is that it handles 32-bit depth images and layered images, these are definitely huge advantages over Geniune Fractals. I’ll test it out maybe this weekend, if it works as advertised (and the sample images in the included materials look impressive!), then it will definitely be useful when I want to print A0 or poster size prints. I’ve been printing 13×19 at home and even slightly cropped images look fine in that size, but if I go bigger then tools like Blow Up or Geniune Fractals would definitely be useful. Though, a lot of shops that do poster size prints have their own software to help upsampling. I also have a feeling that it is gonna be very slow.

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