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Saving/Blurry

Jul 19, 2011, 18:28 (This post was last modified: Jul 19, 2011 18:43 by McCormack.)
Post: #1
Saving/Blurry
I can get my images to look real nice and sharp in GIMP (2.6.11), and I then save the images (either as JPGs or TIFs), but when I then open up the images to look at with my picture viewer the images are blurry. I don't have that problem with my Irfanview program, and in fact I can import the blurred GIMP images to my Irfanview, sharpen them up and save them, and they then look nice and sharp with my pic viewer.

So my question is, why do my GIMP images get blurry when I save them?
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Jul 19, 2011, 19:38
Post: #2
RE: Saving/Blurry
There is nothing special in gimp to blur the images when saving. The cause is likely completely outside of Gimp. Can you post here an image or an extract that shows the problem? as well as any screen capture (not resized) of that image in your pic viewer?

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Jul 19, 2011, 21:14 (This post was last modified: Jul 19, 2011 21:18 by McCormack.)
Post: #3
RE: Saving/Blurry
[Image: onecp.th.jpg]
[Image: twotu.th.jpg]

Screen shot one is the image processed in GIMP and ready for exporting, and screenshot two is the image on my viewer after it's been exported.

Although the difference in image sharpness isn't nearly as apparent via these screen shots as it is when viewed on my computer screen, I think you can still see the difference.
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Jul 19, 2011, 21:43
Post: #4
RE: Saving/Blurry
As you're using the Windows picture viewer to look at an image that's too big to fit on the screen, you need to know about the unhelpful behaviour of the windows image viewer.

Try looking at the image using the windows viewer, then press the "Actual size" button, then press the "Best fit" button. You should find that you are seeing a much sharper image, without changing the image at all ! It's just a nasty quirk of the windows viewer that it doesn't initially sharpen an image that it has to re-size to fit.
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Jul 19, 2011, 21:54
Post: #5
RE: Saving/Blurry
1) You are using a 800x600 display? Is it a CRT or is it a LCD? If the latter, are you using it at its nominal resolution? I'm asking because the last true 800x600 display I saw was 8 years ago... Are you using it with digital video cable (DVI) or with analog video (VGA)? If you aren't using the display at its nominal resolution you will always have blurry images in some cases, and screen shots, when seen on someone else's LCD display at its true resolution, won't look blurry at all, since they are a snapshot of the pixels generated, and not of the pixels displayed after a rescale in the display.

2) the image scaling isn't the same... the Gimp image is at 25%, which should be really the case, while the one in the Windows viewer is slightly smaller (more like 22%). This alone can generate artifacts that may make the image blurry. I see more detail in the Gimp image than in the Windows viewer.

3) rescaling always make the image slightly less sharp, and you can regain some sharpness using the various sharpening filters (Filters/Enhance/Unsharp mask)

4) make sure you are using the Sinc/Lanczos interpolation method for scaling (Edit/Preferences -> Tools options)

5) I have never considered the Windows Image viewer a good image viewer for serious work (it may even modify the picture without telling you...).

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Jul 19, 2011, 22:32
Post: #6
RE: Saving/Blurry
Thanks for the Windows viewer "actual size tip", Paynekj, that does sharpen things up a bit.

I view all different sized images from three different processing programs (GIMP, Irfanview, and Rawtherapee) using the Windows viewer on my CRT monitor, Ofnuts, and the only images that appear blurred are the one's saved from GIMP, so something isn't jiving between GIMP and my viewer. I did switch from Cubic to Sinc/Lanczos interpolation, but that made little difference, so perhaps I'm forgetting to tick something in GIMP's option menu when I save GIMP images, but I can't think of what it would be.
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Jul 19, 2011, 22:38
Post: #7
RE: Saving/Blurry
(Jul 19, 2011 22:32)McCormack Wrote:  the only images that appear blurred are the one's saved from GIMP, so something isn't jiving between GIMP and my viewer.
Save a file as a JPEG, and in the "Save as JPEG" dialog, unfold the "Advanced options" and take a snapshot of the dialog, and post/attach here.

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Jul 20, 2011, 00:19
Post: #8
RE: Saving/Blurry
[Image: threelk.th.jpg]
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Jul 20, 2011, 06:42
Post: #9
RE: Saving/Blurry
Change the subsampling setting to "1x1, 1x1, 1x1 (best quality)"

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Jul 20, 2011, 15:10
Post: #10
RE: Saving/Blurry
I didn't even know that there was an advanced save menu. I changed the subsampling to best quality and now my images are much sharper. Yessssssss....

The more I'm learning how to properly use GIMP the more I'm liking it - the quality of my images after processing seems to be better in GIMP than with Irfanview or Rawtherapee.

Thanks once again for your help Ofnuts.
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Jul 20, 2011, 18:04
Post: #11
RE: Saving/Blurry
IrfanView and RAWTherapee will also have exotic settings to save JPEGs Smile

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