One of the tedious task for image experts were, restoring blurred or out of focus images. Most people usually think that its impossible to fix blurred photos and wouldn’t bother fixing them. Infact there are tools and methods you could use to fix out of focus photos / blurry images.
We’ve listed out some of the software’s that’ll help you restore your blurred photos easily. Remember you cant get a true life recovery from a blurred photo, but these tools will definitely help you revive a good amount of detail from the blurred images.
These image de-blurring softwares make use of deconvolution algorithms to fix the defocussed or blurred photos and there are many algorithms to process the images based on the nature of blur it has been affected with.
SmartDeblur is a free software that can deblur photos / images based on various deconvolution algorithms. The image could be blurred either due to incorrect focusing by the camera, camera shake or due to the subject in motion.
SmartDeblur can fix the images based on the type of blur it has been affected with.
The interface is simple and minimal with options to select the defect type which includes ‘Out of Focus Blur’ , ‘Motion blur’ and ‘Gaussian Blur’. After choosing the right blur type of the image, proceed to the sliders and with a little play around with it (Radius, Smooth, Correction Strength and Edge Feather) you’ll get around a satisfactory image. The realtime preview is shown below the settings.
Large sized images take longer to process and it depends on the system speed and performance too.
Moving on, the Settings tab will show you the constraint you could set for the image size manually and will be a value of 3000 by default and to its right will be shown the Deconvolution method to be used. Wiener and Tikhonov are the two methods which are based on different algorithms.
Below is the Test image we’ve captured from our monitor, using an iPhone 4S. The purpose was to deblur the text in the image which was shown on a LED display. While capturing the image we purposefully brought the phone too close to the screen so as to get a blurred and unreadable image.
After some tweaking and moving around with the sliders we’ve been able to deblur the photo to some extend and decrypt the letters. We use the default Wiener deconvolution algorithm to process the image which seemed better than the Tikhonov algorithm. The final image was passable though it got a bit of noise.
When the image gets affected by both Motion Blur and Out of focus blur, its gets tougher to get back the deblurred image.
2) Blurity (49$ Std & 99$ Pro )
Unlike SmartDeblur, blurity is not a free software and is costly. Blurity helps in removing simple motion blur and could unblur some of the out of focus photos too.
The above test image was put into blurity for a test and the results were not satisfactory as the above. But blurity did a better job with the images that had a motion blur which was one of the minuses of SmartBlur.
The Interface is simple and it provides you a basic mode and an advanced mode for debluring photos. After opening an image you need to select a portion of the image by clicking inside the image and then move on to the slider (basic or advanced) and then press Process to see the preview in the right pane next to the original opened image.
As seen above, the free version of blurity watermarks your processed images with an UNREGISTERED text.
Blurity did a better job with the above image and the final results were pretty impressive. The above image was blurred using a synthetic camera motion.
3) Unshake (Free)
Unshake is free and doesn’t require an installation. Being a java based program, its runs on Windows, Linux and Mac OS X and requires the Java Run time environment preinstalled on your pc.
The interface is simple and like the above mentions softwares, it does require some experimentation to achieve better results.
You may adjust the slider to suit the amplification you need for the photo. Too much amplification might ruin the image and more noise would be added. Unshake could also work on lines found on pictures in magazines and also for rasters and dithering.
Below is a blurred photo that has been processed using unshake.
Unlike the above two softwares, unshake takes a lot of time to process a photo with increase in size of the images. So, its better to experiment with cut down sizes of the photo before loading it with a large Megabyte sized file.
It won’t give you unbelievable results on fixing blurred photos especially when the subject is a fast moving one (too much blurred). But its always good to give Unshake a try, in improving a photo that couldn’t be replaced. It might turn useful in some cases where you might need to restore that awesome moment back to life!