A Sharper Scaling is a free program for Microsoft Windows devices that uses an algorithm specifically designed to improve the image scaling quality.
If you have worked with images or photos before, you have probably changed their size every now and then as well.
Maybe to reduce the file size of Megabyte large photos before sending them to family members, or as a webmaster to reduce the file size before publishing images on a blog or site.
While it is usually less of an issue to reduce the size of an image or photo, upscaling is another story. Upscaling refers to enlarging the image using algorithms such as bicubic interpolation or bilinear interpolation.
A Sharper Scaling is a free program that brings along with it its own algorithm to scale images.
Note: The application requires the Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5, and runs on all recent versions of Microsoft Windows. Also, it needs to be installed before it can be run.
The interface of the program is streamlined. You find only a handful of buttons on the first page. You may load an image from clipboard or the local device, or load one of the three sample images instead if you don't have an image at hand and want to test the application's effectiveness.
You may select between three different sizing modes. Basically, what you do there is either select a desired target size or a scaling percentage (e.g. 200%).
The next page displays the image using an algorithm that is used traditionally to scale images, and the A Sharper Scaling version of the image next to each other.
This enables you to compare results quickly. You may switch between four traditional algorithms to check them out, and move around in the image to preview another area of it.
Once you are satisfied with the result, you may save the A Sharper Scaling version of the image to the clipboard or the local file system. You may go back as well to change the sizing mode or load another image instead.
Although A Sharper Scaling does nothing but scaling images, it can also contribute to the quality of other geometric transformations like rotation, perspective correction, or lens distortion correction. Just upscale the image by a factor of x before the transformation and downscale it back by x after that. Whether this has a benefit or not depends on the image editor used and the type of transformation
A Sharper Scaling produced good results during tests when I loaded small resolution images into the app. The upscaling algorithm produced sharper images more often than not during test runs, especially when low resolution images were upscaled.
One downside of the program is that it does not offer any preferences or options. There is no option to bulk process images, no option to process only part of an image, or to tweak the algorithm by flipping switches or using sliders.
While that may appeal to users who prefer a simpler solution, it means that you will have to live with the result that the program produces.
Now You: Which program do you use to scale images?
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