I am using special software that utilizes AI image processing to evaluate and recreate photography for large scale printing, I can produce enlargements of any image up to a max of between 5X and 6X the original file size.
To demonstrate what the enlargement will look like, the following images were derived from an original 13″ x 19″ image (5850 x 3900 pixels), taken with a 20MP camera.
All of these images are 1200 x 800 (max print size of ~5″ x 4″) in size. To show a comparison of detail, I reduced the original file to 1200 x 800. – which is the first image below. The second image is a 1200 x 800 detail area taken from that file enlarged to 13″ x 19″. The third image enlarged 5X to 21,333 x 30,000, which would print at 100″ x 71″ @300dpi. The third image is 1200 x 800 detail taken from this enlargement.
The fourth image is what the image would look like if conventional resampling were used to enlarge the original file by 5X.
The advantage to AI software, is that it steps beyond just making the image larger. AI seeks to reproduce surfaces and edges, creating a sharper image that is truer to the original file.
Garbage In Garbage Out
This example pushes the original file from the 20MP camera a bit further than is considered good practice. However, it does show that what can be done. Step back from the enlarged image to what one would expect a normally viewing distance, and the AI enlargement will look smooth and sharp, while the conventional enlarged image will look soft.
If the intent is to produce images that are going to be enlarged to over 100″, the first step is to use a camera with significantly more fidelity and pixel generating power to start with. A 20MP camera image of 5,472 x 3,648 is going to the limiting factor for print size. If you step up to a 45MP camera, the pixel image size is now 8192 x 5464, which produces a head start of an image that is 50% larger out of the gate. That means that in stead of a 5X enlargement to get to that 100″, the enlargement is now just 3.7X. This produces a corresponding increase in finished image quality, as the AI software is not working as hard to restore the details. This is why professional photographers who serve the market for massive prints start with 150MP cameras, generating images that are already 19,000 x 27,000 out of the camera.
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