Need to turn that postage stamp-sized snap taken on your mobile into a life-size poster? OnOne Genuine Fractals 5.0 could turn out to be a lifesaver. This Photoshop and Photoshop Elements plug-in lets you enlarge digital images way beyond their original size, while sacrificing little quality.

The ability to beef up the resolution of an image by adding extra pixels to it isn't new. Most scanners and digital cameras offer such an interpolation option under a variety of guises. But getting decent, unfuzzy results is tougher. OnOne Genuine Fractals 5.0 takes a fresh approach. It analyses blocks of pixels looking for repeating patterns and stores these as resolution-independent fractal algorithms - this latest version of OnOne Genuine Fractals 5.0 claims it can resize up to 1,000 percent without loss of detail.

You can use OnOne Genuine Fractals 5.0 in two ways. An ‘express' option lets you enter desired pixel dimensions or a target document size. But OnOne Genuine Fractals 5.0's main editing window now sports extra enhancement features that include the ability to adjust sharpening, texture and film grain, the effect of which can be previewed in a window much larger than that of Fractals 4.0. However, Photoshop CS3 users will still probably prefer to run Unsharp Mask natively as a non-destructive smart filter.

But OnOne Genuine Fractals 5.0 is faster than its predecessor and more functional. It can now scale multilayered files and supports Photoshop actions, so you can batch resize images.

But does it work? If you bear in mind that OnOne Genuine Fractals 5.0 can't put more detail in where it doesn't exist, it produced very good results with our test images, particularly those featuring predictable lines.

OnOne Genuine Fractals 5.0: Specs

  • Windows XP SP2/Vista
  • Photoshop CS2 or Photoshop Elements 4.0 or later
  • 512MB of RAM
  • 8MB of hard disk space
  • Windows XP SP2/Vista
  • Photoshop CS2 or Photoshop Elements 4.0 or later
  • 512MB of RAM
  • 8MB of hard disk space

OUR VERDICT

OnOne Genuine Fractals 5.0 is a big improvement on its predecessor. We'd recommend it for professionals to output high resolution files. Home users, however, might not find it to justify the asking price.

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