BlowUp is moving up to version 2. This plug-in from Alien Skin, which is designed to enlarge images without the usual loss of image quality, was recently being beta tested and I was one of the lucky ones who got to work with the plug-in in advance of today’s release. My initial impressions were that this was a beta that was robust, professional and relatively free of bugs or major imperfections. Once I get a hold of the final product I will be interested to see how it will perform.
Here is the press release.
Alien Skin Software Announces Blow Up 2 Photo Resizing Plug-in for Photoshop
Cutting edge algorithm enlarges photos while keeping them clear and sharp. New user interface simplifies cropping and resizing. Batch processing saves huge amounts of time when working with large numbers of photos.
Raleigh, North Carolina â€“ August 27, 2008 â€“ Alien Skin Software today announces the immediate availability of Blow UpÂ® 2, the new version of its photo resizing plug-in for AdobeÂ® PhotoshopÂ® and Photoshop Elements. Blow Up 2 takes the complexity out of preparing photos for printing with a user interface that intelligently handles resizing, cropping, and sharpening. The sophisticated enlargement algorithm produces photos dramatically sharper and more detailed than any other method.
“Blow Up 2 makes even clearer enlargements now, but the biggest improvements are in ease of use,” said Tom Welsh, designer and lead programmer of Blow Up 2. “We looked for tedious or confusing aspects of every stage of photo cropping and resizing and built intelligence into Blow Up 2 to take those hassles out of the photographerâ€™s hair. With the addition of presets, Smart Cropping, adaptive sharpening, and built-in batch processing, Blow Up 2 takes the pain out of high quality photo resizing.”
The already crisp, clear output of Blow Up is even better now that it provides more control over simulated natural texture and film grain. These effects help to keep enlargements looking natural rather than computer generated. New controls that clean up JPEG compression artifacts and sharpen edges allow enlargement of low quality source images.
Blow Up 2 has intelligence built into every feature, so photographers donâ€™t have to deal with most technical details. As a preset is chosen, Smart Croppingâ„¢ centers the crop area over the most interesting part of the photo, and Auto Rotateâ„¢ adjusts the preset to match the orientation of the photo. Sharpening adapts to match the degree of enlargement and paper type.
Resizing With Less Hassle
The most dramatic improvements to Blow Up 2 are in the new user interface that simplifies and speeds up all aspects of preparing photos for printing. Cropping and resizing at the same time are easily handled by presets for common output sizes. The Blow Up 2 built-in batch processing is an easy single step, which is more straightforward than Photoshopâ€™s usual multi-step procedure.
Blow Up 2 takes advantage of multi-processor and multi-core systems to make rendering as fast as possible. Blow Up 2 can handle the most sophisticated images demanding professionals can throw at it, including CMYK color space, 32-bits/channel HDR images, and output up to 300,000 pixels on a side.
Pricing and Availability
Blow Up 2 sells for $249 USD with an upgrade price of $99 USD for registered users of Blow Up 1. Online or physical delivery is available through the Alien Skin website at www.alienskin.com. A real live human (imagine that!) can take orders or answer questions at 888-921-SKIN (7546). Blow Up 2 is also available worldwide through stores, catalogs, and resellers. Free upgrades are available to purchasers of Blow Up 1 who purchased after July 26, 2008.
Blow Up 2 is a plug-in and will require one of the following: Adobe Photoshop CS2 9.0.2 or later, Adobe Photoshop Elements 4.0.1 or later (Macintosh), or Adobe Photoshop Elements 5 or later (Windows).
Microsoft Windows users must have at least a Pentium 4 processor or compatible and Windows XP or later. Apple Macintosh users must have a PowerPC G5 or Intel processor and Mac OS X 10.4.11 or later. A monitor with 1024×768 resolution or greater is required.
About Alien Skin Software
Alien Skin Software makes Photoshop plug-ins for photographers and graphic designers. We distill advanced math and cutting edge research into simple tools that render beautiful pictures. Our reputation for bug-free software and fast, friendly tech support has grown worldwide since 1993. For more information, visit our website at www.alienskin.com.
Blow Up, Alien Skin Software, and the Alien Skin Software logo are registered trademarks of Alien Skin Software, LLC. Adobe and Photoshop are registered trademarks of Adobe Systems Incorporated. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.