About HitPaw Photo Enhancer AI

I always use window firewall to block all internet travel in/out of unknown software. HitPaw still working after I block it with firewall. :tada:

Also I use “Microsoft Network Monitor” to check all network travel. I don’t see any unusual travel after I start HitPaw. :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

Not sure where you see those word ?
I haven’t seen those word from my memory. :thinking:

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The GPFGAN is open source. You can view those code in GitHub. :grinning: Also it doesn’t require internet connection. Unlike Remini app or MyHeritage Photo Enhancer, which require to upload image to their server.

Take @plugsnpixels photo from above as an example.

Tencent ARC’s GFPGAN:

Tencent ARC’s GFPGAN:

Tencent ARC’s GFPGAN:


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Excellent comparison. I think your instincts were correct. Tencent ARC’s GFPGAN is what HitPaw has added to their program. They just incorporated it into their interface and from what I can tell HitPaw’s Denoise Model is the same as face model, except in face model is essentially doing everything as denoise model, than does another pass with Tencent ARC’s GFPGAN and glues in the face that is better rendered. Its like bad Photoshop Job of composting since sometimes you can see the square box that was used to stitch the two models together.

Still, its a simple to use interface for us non coders, and it does the same job as I would sometimes have to do manually in Photoshop. And off course the Photoshop option is till available for best results, when multiple AI models are needed for best overall composite.


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If the tech is open source and usable offline, I’m all for it.

Also, being open source would make it possible to integrate into Topaz software, wouldn’t it? Let’s see where this goes…


Great discussion!

So it seems the bottom line is, these apps replace features rather than enhance them. If the original is good, the results are good – maybe there is actual enhancement taking place for those. If not, we’re back to “Mr. Potato Head”, but pretty well done.

I would hope none of these results are ever attempted to be placed into evidence… :wink:

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Thank you for sharing a new software for Photo Enhancment.

I think we better start a new Topic about this interesting software.

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Great. I will reply there. Cheers!

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That’s true. Anything requiring coding with no decent Graphical User Interface is out of the question for vast majority of users.

“On the PC, I still don’t know how good the app is because it refuses to generate a preview (“0%” flickers when I hit the Preview button but nothing happens). I also can’t see the two before-and-after panels you show (I see a single panel) or export the result to view separately when using the trial version. So that’s the end of that.”

Not sure about that. It always worked for me. Maybe you need to wait a bit for preview, but I never had an issue with it. I use it quote often, and I find it to be maybe best value for low light and low resolution smartphone shots of people. It cleans up the noise, enlarges 4x although its easy to down sample it to any resolution one needs, and best of all and most impressive it can reconstruction faces amazingly well even in difficult situations and the person is recognizable. I imagine this is the kind of tech they will start putting in the smartphones soon, because it really changes the smartphone photography.

PS. With the use of few other programs and plug ins in Photoshop its possible to regain some of the lost skin texture or generate new one, and also adding a bit of film grain, makes the faces not look as artificial with extreme cases.

By the way, there is a demo image that comes with the program, it demonstrates how blurry image can be reconstructed with their new Model C for faces.

ESRGAN is now much easier to use. Some newer GUIs (such as Cupscale) come with Python pre-packaged and allow for easy setup. There’s a new GUI in development that’s working on adding it as well. Topaz needs to step up their model game by quite a bit.

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HitPaw, accepts only internet file types.

jpeg, png etc.
On my 17 Teraflop Radeon Pro W6800 it takes 3 seconds (2 seconds for resize) for 1% point.
So 5 minutes for one image to de-noise.
The face model did not change anything on an analog test photo.
You can’t maximize or enlarge the app window, it doesn’t accept drag and drop.

When denoising another image, there were tiles and leftover pixels that it didn’t recognize as noise.

Also all details were erased.

The app does not allow model changes with sliders, you can not set it to your own needs.

jpeg testimage: 2642 x 4177 and 5K.

Denoise Denoises 150 75Mb tiff images in the same time with this GPU.
Where it makes differences between noise and details.

So, how long will it take when the customes did not spend 1000$ to 4000$ on his GPU?

The photo apps of TopazLabs run quite snappy even on relatively small GPUs.

While the latest Gigapixel update is a big improvement over the previous versions and does many things really well, the face reconstruction is still lagging behind. Simple as that. You can complain all you want, but when you need that feature, Topaz simply cannot deliver… for now. Since all these are tools that require someone to get the job done, if the tool does not deliver, and other tool does, than you use the tool that delivers. I leave the fanboy stuff to others.

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So with my pictures all the results were bad.

I would never pay money for this software.

If anything, the software only seems to be useful for tracking people when the source material is really bad.

They also offer watermark removal software on their site.

Not sure why you have a chip on your shoulder, but that is your opinion. Personally I use the software as much as Topaz Gigapixel and it does excellent job with projects that Gigapixel cannot do. Simple as that. If you have the project that requires the right tool you use that tool. Not everyone is using upscale features for photography and only photography. People use it for all kinds of things, from up scaling logos, graphics of various kinds, art, heavily compressed images, small images, screenshots from old movies, YouTube video screenshots etc. And I personally use a lot of that for reference. And in some cases, I want a clean plastic look that I can get because it makes a better reference for other projects. So don’t use yourself as reference for what software can be used. You have your use cases and other people have theirs. The apologist attitude and bashing of competition does not help anyone. Please don’t do it.

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There is no Mac version for HitPaw yet, so I cannot comment on how good it is. Presumably it can be downloaded as a trial.
I gave MyHeritage Photo Enhancer a trial. But, however good the AI, it’s never going to reconstruct a face correctly. I tried it on old photos of me and the result, while maybe convincing to someone who doesn’t know me, looked nothing like me!

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So far I’ve seen quite a few similar Online AI photo enhancers, but HitPaw AI has three models now and one it tries to make itself different by being offline app. I guess the downside is no Mac version, but perhaps they are planing it.

So far I’ve tried every AI enlarger that is commercial, didn’t code one myself, but all the commercial options, HitPaw AI new model for reconstructing faces, is so far the best, and superior to Topaz with examples where there are small or blurry faces. In normal, high res clean images, it delivers similar results to Topaz, some better, some worse, depending on the image, but on average very comparable.

There have been threads about Tiopaz and need to add better face reconstructions of small faces, but so far Topaz have not implemented it. My point was that Topaz is releasing large applications, lots of bugs, and somewhat frustrating User interface that keeps changing and pricing structure that is not super clear and also some of their products like Mask AI is abandoned it seems, and that makes people trust the company less. By comparison HitPaw AI is maybe now 800 MB download with three good AI models to choose from. Intalation is no larger than 1 GB. By comparison with all the models and everything GigaPixel is about 6 GB. That is six times the size for same or lesser results. Not good.

The Topaz products keep getting larger in size and not proportionally improving in their ability to deliver more. There has to be more efficient way to code and deliver smaller installation than right now. I’ve complained about this and many others have for over a year now, with no change or response from Topaz.

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There are many free programs now that compare with or beat Topaz’s paid products. ESRGAN in particular has many custom trained models that are simply superior to Gigapixel and most of Topaz’s Image based products, and are free to use for consumers.

Video Enhance AI is the only product from Topaz that I haven’t seen any good competition for, paid or free. The prices Topaz are charging for inferior software or results is just astounding.

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I figured I’d give this a try as I’m very happy with Gigapixel and use it to salvage either my older digital images and film scans and to upscale smaller AI app-generated art.

First of all, HitPaw’s app doesn’t work under VM (Windows on a Mac) which you find out after you install and try to run it, and as you said there is no Mac version. So I had to fire up a PC and start again.

On the PC, I still don’t know how good the app is because it refuses to generate a preview (“0%” flickers when I hit the Preview button but nothing happens). I also can’t see the two before-and-after panels you show (I see a single panel) or export the result to view separately when using the trial version. So that’s the end of that.

And jpavatargirl, the average consumer is not going to mess with ESRGAN! “esrgan requires python >= 3.8. The requirements.txt file can be used to install the necessary packages.” Check the text file: “This page does not exist yet.” OK…

There is more and more competition and most deliver either similar or inferior results to Topaz AI programs, but some are diversifying and some are better than Topaz, because Topaz management team apparently does not care about any of the legit complaints, criticism and suggestions in this thread.

The best new company I found is called HitPaw and they make some really user friendly and powerful AI photo enhancement products. Their alternative to Gigapixel is particularly interesting and with latest update it blows Gigapixel away in terms of reconstructing faces. If Topaz does not wake up and starts actually listening to users and actually innovate again, I think people will be moving to alternatives as soon as they become available.

Here is what HitPaw AI Image Enhancer can do and its small install with offline AI models, a fraction of the size of those that we have to download with Gigapixel and its in some respects, superior to Gigapixel. Topaz, you guys better wake up.


I tried the HitPaw Windows app for the Denoise model. I used one of the Topaz test images.

Topaz Denoise processed this image on my system (AMD RX570 GPU) in 5 seconds.

By this same time, HitPaw was only 3-4% completed (no GPU processing?). In other words, in this comparison the HitPaw Denoise was so slow as to be unusable. I may try some of the other functions, but I am not encouraged.

image used - Topaz test image.

If HitPaw is base on open-source AI upscale algorithm, then I think it require CUDA (Nvidia GPU) for GPU processing. :thinking: