AI Upscale an Image or Video
February 22, 2023
There are fewer and fewer things that AI cannot do. We start using them for trivial things like advertising and online shopping, and we are already going into data analysis for health-related research. Is it not amazing?!
So much so that it is already possible to recover old or badly focused photos or videos, and turn it into high-resolution masterpieces. And that is exactly what this article is about, finding out how to do it.
Artificial intelligence machine learning can enhance your still and moving images, with either free and/or paid tools that work natively and in the cloud. That is why we are going to show you some options for photos and videos. But first, to do this we need to understand what upscaling is.
What is upscaling?
It simply means increasing the size of an image or video. This is done by increasing the resolution, for example, going from an HD source to 4K upscaling. Rescaling consists of adding missing pixels to an image, and the technique itself is nothing new. Older techniques consisted of simply “stretching” the image by duplicating pixels or using blurring.
Modern techniques now use AI to add a higher level of detail. This technique is “trained” to recognize certain features, such as faces, clouds, grass or trees, so that predictions can be made about what a higher quality version of the image should look like. These techniques have come a long way, but they are still far from perfect, as it can drastically alter the results.
Upscaling an image is not too time-consuming nor does it require a particularly powerful computer and more for native solutions.
Topaz GigaPixel AI
99 dollars seems like a fair price if you are serious about scaling images up to 600%. Plus, you can try it before you buy it to see the results for yourself.
Gigapixel AI includes some enhancements such as Face Recovery AI, designed specifically to work magic on low-resolution faces. It is worth mentioning that the application runs natively on Windows or Mac computers.
It is a free and open-source image upscaler that runs locally on your Windows, Mac, or Linux machine. It features an easy-to-use user interface, multiple upscaling options, and the ability to customize output image type (JPG, PNG, WebP) and location.
The tool works better than some web options, with the ability to choose to upscale standard photographs, digital illustrations and to enhance the sharpness of images. And processing times were fast, with options to “double scale” at much higher resolutions.
Based on the waifu2x project that was originally designed to scale up anime illustrations with minimal loss of quality. And it is an online tool that can be used to scale up your images in just a few clicks.
The website is a simple form that allows you to enter a URL or upload an image and then select the type of image, the amount of noise reduction you want to apply and the desired magnification level ranging up to 200%.
Also, available is Waifu2X.io, which is unrelated to the original project, but offers up to 10x scaling. Both scales run on the same underlying engine, although the latter can be used to upload more than one file at a time.