Genuine Fractals? Blow up your pictures!

There’s a distinct difference between fractal and raster images. Raster images are the jpeg and gif files you see all over the place. These don’t resize very well. Fractals are made up of mathematical descriptions of the objects in a scene or picture. Using these descriptions it’s possible to resize an image without losing any detail or introducing blocky artifects. (Feel free to comment if I have anything wrong above!)
Apparently Genuine Fractals from Lizardtech, enables you to create resolution-independent images from any size file and lets you print superior quality enlargements without any degradation in image quality. The photos shown in this thread were blown up using that software and they look very impressive! (I don’t think his wife will let him change his camera after seeing those shots! *grin*)
I wondered if anything like that existed in the Unix world, but after a short search, this thread seemed to be the extent of it’s foray into Unix. 🙁

Author: Donncha

Donncha Ó Caoimh is a software developer at Automattic and WordPress plugin developer. He posts photos at In Photos and can also be found on Google+ and Twitter.

5 thoughts on “Genuine Fractals? Blow up your pictures!”

  1. yes, you describe fractals correctly. but i fail to see them as a photo compression tool. if the camera only generated a single green pixel for an individual leaf, i fail to see how any algorithm can turn that into a leaf when you enlarge the picture. particularly when that same green pixel next to it is kermit the frogs head.

    at the end of the day a camera pulls in a raster image (true for analog and digital – though analog is an insanely larger scale).

  2. The above app is used to blow up and enlarge photos, not compress them! I agree with you though, a green dot in a photo is a green dot. It bears no relationship with the light green dot next to it.
    I presume however that “Genuine Fractals” lets you define objects in the photos, either manually or semi/automatically. That’ll work well for photos with large blocks of single/similar colours such as portraits, but detailed photos would probably suffer.
    The application docs talk about outputting file sizes in excess of 64MB. A file of that size should be enough to store a mathematical description of most photos. I may download the demo and take a look at it.

  3. There are issues about the general quality and usefulness of Genuine Fractals vs. other resize methods [lanczos, b-spline, etc.]. There are many sites that discuss, and post examples and comparisons.

    Bottom line, there’s no such thing as “resolution for free.”

    On this subject, check out He has a slew of handy actions and such … but check out his stair interpolation plugin, and comparison to GF:

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