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Gigapixel AI vs. infognition Super Resolution or What to use to upscale SD to HD or 4K

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Hello everyone!
Upscaling SD content to HD or even 4K is something that crops up from time to time. I myself have at least some experience with up-scalers, with my preferred method involving using infognitions Super Resolution plugin for VirtualDub for live action stuff and SuperResXBR for animation. However, I recently became aware of a new up-scaler called Gigapixel AI. https://topazlabs.com/gigapixel-ai/
Needless to say, I grew quite curious about this program. Now, nowadays you can get the Super Resolution plugin free of charge, but to get Gigapixel AI, you need to pay at least $84.99 so one wonders if it’s worth it. That’s why I decided to have a discussion about it here.

As for how to use Gigapixel AI for video, there’s an excellent tutorial here: https://captrobau.blogspot.com/2019/05/tutorial-upscaling-video-with-topaz-ai.html
The same guy who wrote that tutorial has experimented with the program to upscale Star Trek: Deep Space Nine to HD and even 4K:
https://captrobau.blogspot.com/2019/03/remastering-star-trek-deep-space-nine.html

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I’m seriously curious to see how this could improve cartoons.

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Jesta’ said:

I’m seriously curious to see how this could improve cartoons.

Well, the guy I mentioned in the first post has used Gigapixel AI to make an HD mod of Final Fantasy VII. Click on the image for a trailer. Remako Trailer

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Now, this is interesting:
https://www.blu-ray.com/news/?id=25179

newly remastered HD footage from the television series

That suggests that Deep Space Nine either is or was remastered in HD, but for whatever reason (probably the poor sales of TNG Blu-rays), it’s never been officially released before now.

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Sorry for the inactivity, but I think now is a good time to start a fundraiser so that I can buy Gigapixel AI and compare it against infognitions Super Resolution. Just donating $1 will help. PM me for details.

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I’ve been trying out gigapixel ai on my projects, and it works tremendously well. I previously used Red Giant’s Instant 4K and Waifu2xPhoto. There’s also ESRGAN, but I don’t currently have a machine that can run it.

You can download it for a free trial and it has no limitations.

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I’ve been recommended by a smart dude something that may be even better: ESRGAN/BasicSR. It’s an AI-upscaling algorithm just like Gigapixel, but you can train it with your own datasets, so if you have a representative dataset of what you’re trying to upscale (you need high res and low res reference for training), you can get really incredible results.

I’m currently playing around with it, and while training is very slow (we’re talking many days), it’s impressive what it can do imo.

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TomArrow said:

I’ve been recommended by a smart dude something that may be even better: ESRGAN/BasicSR. It’s an AI-upscaling algorithm just like Gigapixel, but you can train it with your own datasets, so if you have a representative dataset of what you’re trying to upscale (you need high res and low res reference for training), you can get really incredible results.

I’m currently playing around with it, and while training is very slow (we’re talking many days), it’s impressive what it can do imo.

I’ve tried some pre-trained ESRGAN upscalers, and I’d say it is a more natural looking upscale than ai gigapixel, but I’d still say ai gigapixel wins in the detail, even if it looks a bit too sharp. And I’d still say in terms of noise reduction ai gigapixel and waifu2x are better at removing compression artifacts. Of course waifu2x doesn’t try and add or recover detail, but simply a high resolution upscale that retains all the original detail.

All three are really good tbh, and all have their purposes. I’d say a mix of them is ideal.

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emanswfan said:

TomArrow said:

I’ve been recommended by a smart dude something that may be even better: ESRGAN/BasicSR. It’s an AI-upscaling algorithm just like Gigapixel, but you can train it with your own datasets, so if you have a representative dataset of what you’re trying to upscale (you need high res and low res reference for training), you can get really incredible results.

I’m currently playing around with it, and while training is very slow (we’re talking many days), it’s impressive what it can do imo.

I’ve tried some pre-trained ESRGAN upscalers, and I’d say it is a more natural looking upscale than ai gigapixel, but I’d still say ai gigapixel wins in the detail, even if it looks a bit too sharp. And I’d still say in terms of noise reduction ai gigapixel and waifu2x are better at removing compression artifacts. Of course waifu2x doesn’t try and add or recover detail, but simply a high resolution upscale that retains all the original detail.

All three are really good tbh, and all have their purposes. I’d say a mix of them is ideal.

See, that’s where your own training data comes into play. Gigapixel is trained on a generic dataset you know nothing about. Of course they have probably put lots of effort into a good curated dataset for a good product, more work arguably than people working for free have done for ESRGAN. Gigapixel may be good at noise reduction, but it’s not perfect, because it may not apply perfectly to whatever dataset you yourself have. To give an example, I’m currently training ESRGAN to upscale old roq game videos (Quake 3 engine). For that I took a video I have in high quality (Prores) and made roq encodes at similar bitrates to the game videos. Then I put that into the training. I’m not far into the training yet (only 2 days or so), but it seems promising. I tried a screenshot from one of those videos in Gigapixel and while it was sharp, it misinterpreted a lot of the artifacts as detail, and I think that with enough training, ESRGAN will be much smarter about upscaling this particular kind of source.

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I recently discovered that the developers of Gigapixel AI have begun testing a video upscaling app. For the moment, it’s only for Windows 10, but during the beta test, you can try it out for a non-commercial purpose free of charge. For the curious, here’s a link: https://videoai.topazlabs.com/

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After some testing of the video app, I can safely conclude that I’m sticking with infognitions Super Resolution plugin whenever I want to upscale live-action footage for now on. Why is that, I hear you ask? Well, I decided to upscale the deleted scenes from Star Wars: Episode I and what I’ve got, in the end, was this: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1QxRpCOvvqQ3WGi0klL-yhfV_-d-oqpwe
See, I noticed that while Gigapixel does an outstanding job on close-ups, it falls flat on its face when it comes to faraway objects. As you can see, the faraway objects, at least in my opinion, look like cartoon blobs.

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It seems to have amplified video artifacts (edge unsharp) and not real detail… Limitations of the source material I think.