Vector Photo Enlargements

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Juanbond, Oct 15, 2010.

  1. Juanbond macrumors member


    Aug 17, 2009
    I work as a financial analyst, but I have enjoyed photography as a hobby for many years now. Recently an individual that I work with hung up a stunning 11x14 picture of the Grand Canyon in his cubicle. The colors are amazing and from 6 feet away the picture looks a lot like an HDR. However, upon closer review the photo actually looks like a very detailed vector image. Would it be possible to preserve sharpness by converting a photo to a vector image? I tried to take a close up picture with my iPhone to illustrate what I am trying to explain--what you see is a very small section of the print.

    Attached Files:

  2. Ruahrc macrumors 65816

    Jun 9, 2009
    Well to start I don't think there is a way to effectively convert photographs (particularly detailed ones like this) into vector files. Furthermore, I don't think you are going to preserve sharpness by converting to vector format because the sharpness/resolution of the picture is going to be ultimately determined by the resolution of the source material.

    The photo you posted does not look like a vector file, rather I have seen a similar effect ("blotchiness") particularly when using Adobe RAW converters and making heavy use of the highlight recovery and/or fill light sliders, in conjunction with sharpness. FWIW this seems to have improved in subsequent generations of Adobe's RAW converter. Alternatively, it could be the result of a plug-in filter designed to make it look like a painting, I think Topaz or Nik filters do this too.

  3. Policar macrumors 6502a

    Nov 21, 2004
    Yes, this seems to be some kind of "artistic" plug-in effect. Raster-to-vector software does exist, though I haven't heard of it being used in a very long time... The closest thing to vector upscaling (that I'm aware of) is this, which I've heard is somewhat pointless:

    The thing is: once you hit somewhere around 14MP, you're good for virtually any print size. At 20MP+ you can go wall sized and it's fine from normal viewing distances (so long as you don't use too high an ISO). With film you have graininess so you can't enlarge it very much. With digital that's not really an issue AND you have more resolution, in general.

    I have seen 40''x50'' prints (in this case from large format film) that look extremely sharp and were diffraction limited to less than 14MP of resolution (in theory). I've seen good wall-sized prints from dSLRs, too.

    So don't worry about vectors for upscaling; if you really need resolution invest in a 5DII and some good lenses. If you like the effect, ask your friend what he did to get it. It's probably some sort of plug-in.

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