updated 10:40 pm EDT, Thu August 25, 2011
GPU, RAW support, batch processing, more
Image manipulation software maker Akvis has updated its Magnifier enlargement software, which is available as both a standalone program and as a plug-in for Photoshop, to version 5.0 -- bringing support for GPU acceleration, batch processing, RAW file support and more. The program let users enlarge an image file beyond its original size by extrapolating additional image information from the existing pixels. While not perfect, it avoids the bluriness and pixelated look of normal enlargements.
The program goes beyond simple bicubic interpolation, adding fine-tuning controls to moderate sharpness, edge detection and other factors -- allowing users to enlarge an image up to a possible 30,000 by 30,000 pixels, enough to produce a 100-inch square poster at 300dpi. The program can also resize images as well as change the image resolution (which can also, of course, be downsized rather than upsized).
The new version supports GPU acceleration on supported video cards and will appear as an option if the card is supported. The interface now offers two levels: Express and Advanced for quick resizing or manual fine-tuning, respectively. A new "Remove Artifacts" parameter has been added to the upsizing option, and v5 now has Image View Mode, letting users compare before-and-after states with various options.
Also new is a batch-processing option, allowing users who need to routinely resize images automate the process. Users simply point the program to a folder of images, set parameters and Magnifier will do the rest. Finally, the app now supports RAW files in the most common variants, and improves compatibility with Mac OS X Lion.
Akvis Magnifier runs on OS X 10.4 or higher, both PowerPC and Intel machines, as well as Windows computers running XP or later. A free, 10-day trial version also available, and new licenses for home use (plug-in or standalone) cost $129. Magnifier is also available as part of an Alchemy bundle that includes other Akvis products.