Frequently Asked Questions
What does VIESUS™ Image Enhancement do?
Basically, VIESUS™ is a piece of software that takes everyday digital camera images and makes them look more beautiful. What is special about VIESUS™ is that it does this very quickly, and in a completely automatic way. This is why VIESUS™ is used in many photo labs around the world, wherever images need to be processed. Tens of millions of images are enhanced by VIESUS™ every day.
Do I need any automatic image enhancement at all?
This is up to you, but if you look at all labs working with images today, the answer is “Yes”. Unless the number of images you have to process every day is very limited, you probably simply do not have the time and resources to improve the images “manually” or even in a “semi-automatic” way.
Not improving the images at all is no option, either: In the early days of digital photography, customers may have accepted products with un-corrected images, but today, they will complain if the images do not look nice.
There are so many tools to work with images. What is special about VIESUS™?
It is true that numerous tools are around that enhance images and aim to make them more beautiful in various aspects. Even if you only take into account enhancement programs that work in a fully automatic way, there are still quite a few of them. We believe VIESUS™is special because it is very robust, easy to use, certainly quite fast, and the quality of the output images is rather impressive.
If you think now that we are a bit biased towards VIESUS™, you are absolutely right. It’s good to know, therefore, that many large photo labs around the world tested VIESUS™ on very large image sets and decided to use it in their production.
I’m really not a specialist for photographic images. Can I really work with VIESUS™?
Oddly enough, that’s exactly the point of VIESUS™. You do not need to be an image specialist, since the enhancement is done in a completely automatic way. Today, even specialists often do not have the time to improve their images manually, which is why they need to rely on a robust, automatic tool.
I found this great ACME image enhancement tool that works better than VIESUS™ on my images. Why should I use VIESUS™ instead?
We cannot force anyone to work with VIESUS™. We also need to tell you that there are some images which VIESUS™ does not enhance in a satisfactory way. This is very disturbing, but we have to accept it. At least it is comforting to know that all automatic image enhancement programs have the same basic problem.
Let’s give an example: Take an underexposed image, open it with Photoshop and do the “Autolevel” operation (try Ctrl+Shift+L). It is likely that the result will be very pleasing. Now apply “Autolevel” to other images. We would guess that after 10 or 20 images, you will suddenly get an utterly useless result – because “Autolevel” makes a fairly good “automatic enhancement” in a lot of cases, and fails in others.
This is what we suspect will happen to your ACME enhancement at some point, even if it is smarter than the “Autolevel” operation. To assess the robustness of your tool, just enhance 100 different images. If you are still unconditionally impressed by the ACME enhancement, please let us know. If not, we suggest you try out VIESUS™. While we are sure that you will occasionally come across images that are not properly enhanced, we believe the percentage of images you like better with than without VIESUS™ will be comfortably close to 100%.
How exactly does VIESUS™ work?
Some of our specialists would now be tempted to shower you with vaguely scientific-sounding stuff about image classification, optimized algorithms, color and frequency spaces, databases of expert hand-corrections, image metadata and speed-optimized filters.
What they really would like to say is that VIESUS™ first analyses the image data and then uses the results to improve the image in several steps. The analysis may find a face (classifying the image as a portrait) or detect unusually bright image areas (indicating back-lit scenes). After the analysis, processing steps are applied to correct brightness and color, to restore sharpness, to remove noise, etc. Each of these steps also takes into account feedback of numerous real examples from our customers. To make the system robust, the analysis relies on a generally cautious approach: If in doubt, we prefer to do less to the image than to risk degrading it.
What do you mean by “beautiful” or “nice” images?
Broadly speaking, VIESUS™ generates “nice images” in the sense that (on average) most people would prefer a particular version of the image compared to other versions.
Obviously, it is impossible to define quantitatively how nice or beautiful an image looks. Image enhancement therefore consists of two parts: The first, “technical” part performs the correction of physical issues such as underexposure and noise. The second part has a purely esthetical aim, although it cannot be completely separated from the first part. Since the esthetic aspects are a matter of personal taste, many user parameters are available in VIESUS™. Their default settings just generate images that are as close as possible to what – according to feedback we got from many labs and regions – most people would prefer. We encourage people to use these default settings as a starting point for further fine-tuning, to adapt the output to their particular taste.
Who can use VIESUS™?
Everybody can use this image enhancement software, although it is clearly aimed at applications where many images need to be processed in a short time. If you only enhance 10 images a day, you may not really profit from the fact that VIESUS™ takes only 1 second to enhance an image that takes other automatic tools twice as long. However, you will probably appreciate the visual quality of the enhanced image as well as the ease of use compared to the very time-consuming manual processing of the images. Therefore, it may be worth relying on VIESUS™ even you do not process very large numbers of images every day.
Is it true that VIESUS™ only works for images printed on real photographic paper?
No. VIESUS™ works in a way that is completely independent of the technology that may later be used to print the images. The way the images are analyzed and enhanced is what is technically called “device-independent”. Put more simply: An image enhanced by VIESUS™ will look equally nice, no matter if you print it with an inkjet printer, on photographic paper, on some electrostatic printing device or on whatever printer type you want to use.
I have seen that VIESUS™ offers about two dozen adjustable sliders. How on earth am I supposed to handle these?
You are absolutely right: The number of available user parameters is a bit scary, even to us. But there’s no reason to panic: If you don’t feel like it, you don’t need to change anything to the proposed settings. In fact, most of our customers work with these defaults – you may be surprised how close the result is to what you need.
If at some point, you want to play with the sliders and see how this modifies the behavior of the enhancement, just go ahead: We have tried to give the parameters some intuitive names (o.k., at least vaguely intuitive, but go and have a look at other software), so this should help you to find out what a given parameter slider does.
I’m not sure I really need the VIESUS™ image enhancement. What’s most likely to disappoint me here?
This question may not really be a frequently asked one, but still interesting. There will be cases where you are bound to be disappointed by VIESUS™. Do not forget that this is a fully automatic enhancement software. There is no way that we will handle every single one of your images exactly the way you would like us to. You need to accept that a system processing easily thousands of images an hour without any user interaction will not perform to perfection on every image. Rarely, images get even worse than the original, although we try to avoid this.
So your most likely disappointment will be that now and then, an image is not enhanced the way it should be. Since we know from experience that this fraction of images is very small, we are confident that you can handle this.
Other things may disappoint you in VIESUS™ that we cannot yet think about. In this case, simply let us know. We are constantly improving VIESUS™ – maybe we can include the feature you are missing in a future version.
I would like my enhanced images to look different. What do I need to do?
This really depends. Usually, if you start with the default settings, the results should be reasonably satisfying. If you want to do some fine-tuning, we have a viewer tool to help you test the exact behavior of the enhancement on your monitor. For experts, the user manual describes the available parameters in detail, so you may have a look there. For fine-tuning, you should make sure that you are either using a properly calibrated monitor or printing the images. If you are still not satisfied or if you suspect something is going wrong, do not hesitate to contact us.
I’m an enthusiastic photographer. This VIESUS™ enhancement is nothing for me, right?
You’re probably right that VIESUS™ will not satisfy all your needs in this case. If you’re really a very enthusiastic photographer, you’d probably want to get the most out of every single image, even if this means that you have to spend quite some time on this.
In many cases, VIESUS™may not be very useful for you – there are loads of special effects or very local modifications no fully automatic enhancement will ever be able to do reliably and in a safe way. In some other cases, however, you may find it useful to enhance an image with one click within a second – especially if it saves you time that you would otherwise spend on the more “mechanical” or “boring” steps required to improve images.