Bridging the Pixel Gap: AI Image Scaling with Upscayl

  • #ai
  • #midjourney
  • #upscayl

As an AI and especially Midjourney enthusiast, I’ve often faced the challenge of limited resolution in AI-generated images. Text-to-image generators are popular these days, but often suffer from limited resolution due to computational constraints. Resizing these generated images for high-resolution displays can result in a loss of detail and visual quality. And I love visual quality! 😍

To overcome this hurdle, I discovered a fantastic open source AI tool called Upscayl.

From pixels to stunning visuals
From pixels to stunning visuals.

What is Upscayl?

Upscayl is a free and open source AI image upscaler. The cross-platform application requires a Vulkan-compatible GPU for image upscaling, as some CPUs and integrated GPUs may not be compatible. Upscayl can upscale medium, low, and even super low resolution images, providing users with a reliable and easy-to-use image upscaling tool. It runs flawlessly on my Apple M1 Studio Mac.

My Favorite Upscaling Types in Upscayl

In my journey of upscaling AI-generated images, I’ve found three primary upscaling types within the open source Upscayl software that have proven to be particularly effective:

General Photo (REAL ESRGAN)

This type of upscaling is an excellent starting point for photorealistic artwork. Utilizing the power of REAL ESRGAN, this option manages to preserve fine details and produce high-quality upscaled images in most cases. Whenever I work with photorealistic AI art, I tend to use this option as my go-to upscaling method. However it’s important to note that REAL ESRGAN can sometimes sharpen too much detail in the background, which can result in unwanted artifacts.

General Photo (Ultramix Balanced)

This type of upscaling is particularly useful when dealing with depth of field, especially in cartoonish artwork. Ultramix Balanced has the unique ability to preserve depth information in images, resulting in more visually appealing and accurate results. Whenever I work with cartoonish art or need to preserve depth information in general, I choose this upscaling method because REAL ESRGAN tends to sharpen too much detail in the background.

Digital Art

When it comes to flat 2D illustrations or 3D renderings that require an extra sharp look, the Digital Art upscaling type in Upscayl works wonders. It can effectively improve image quality without introducing unwanted artifacts, ensuring that the final result stays true to the original design. Whenever I work with 2D illustrations or 3D renders, this is my preferred upscaling option.