GIMP Refocus-It Iterative Refocus Fix Motion Blur Windows

If you can’t afford the newest version of Adobe Photoshop CS, then you won’t have access to robust picture manipulating tools such as fixing motion blur among many other possibly useful tools. But there is help. If you don’t mind using the free image app called GIMP, there is a third-party plugin that will allow you to fix motion blur with suitable results. That plugin is called “Refocus-It”. Check this out…

It’s an older plugin, but still works with the latest version of GIMP (I’m using version 2.8.4) for Windows. You can download it here:
or the direct link:
or on my host, since it’s so hard to find:

As a note, this is the ONLY version that seems to work with the latest version of GIMP. If you download the version from the site, that exe will be an older version and will not work. Use the link above. You can tell the difference because the newer, functioning version is about 96KB unzipped, while the older one is about 49KB unzipped.

Once you download the zip file, unzip it and put the resulting exe file into:
C:\Program Files\GIMP 2\lib\gimp\2.0\plug-ins\

Then reboot GIMP and the plugin should be listed in
Filters > Enhance > Iterative refocus

And this is the window:

GIMP refocus-it plugin window

GIMP refocus-it plugin window

The settings are:

-Radius – This tells the plugin how many pixels to go out from each shifted pixel
-Gauss – This tells the plugin how much to blur the radius
-Motion size – This tells the plugin how man pixels the shift should be
-Motion angle/direction widget – This tells the plugin which direction to shift the pixels
-Noise – This tells the plugin how much noise to put into the displaced areas
-Iterations – This tells the plugin how many times to loop to shift the pixels
-Boundary – Mirror or Periodical – Not sure what this does, but I usually leave it on default “mirror”. Of course, nothing is stopping anyone from experimenting.

Area Smoothing:
-Smoothness – I suppose this is tied in with gaussian blurring
-Area size – Is this similar to gaussian radius?
-Adaptive smoothing on or off – Again, not sure what this does, but if you turn it off, it might do less crunching.

-Iterations – If you have a slow computer, you might not want the iterations high; NOTE: I’ve found that it is much easier to select a region of the image and apply the changes directly to it hitting OK than Preview. And then once you’re satisfied with the results, undo the change and apply the same settings to the entire image.

And here are the before and after:

BEFORE – Straight from my Nikon D3200, no retouching, no color correction, full 24 megapixel fine jpeg. To the naked eye, it seems it is already sharp, and that could be a trick because I’m focusing on the pixels of my laptop screen. But if you look at the pixel level, the lcds seems to bleed a bit to the left. LCDs are not square by nature, but we want to believe that they are pixel-like, so that’s why we use the plugin.

GIMP Refocus-It Before

GIMP Refocus-It Before

AFTER – I noticed there being about a 9 pixel shift motion blur to the left, so I reversed the direction 180 degrees. You’ll only notice the change at the pixel level. But once you resample it down, you’ll see how tack sharp the result is.

GIMP Refocus-It After

GIMP Refocus-It After

Note, though, that I exported the refocused 24 megapixel jpeg out of GIMP at double the size of the original because I wanted it to be lossless.

Note: When you are processing the image, it might say that it isn’t responding, but if you bring up Windows Task Manager and watch the memory/RAM usage, and as long as it’s doing something (the ram is getting populated, which means the bitmap’s pixels are getting written to memory), then it will follow through. Just be warned, if you are dealing with HD images, that you should have sufficient CPU and RAM capacity. A 24 megapixel jpeg is about 300 megapixels of RAM, and the plugin will generate a 500+ megapixel memory bitmap, which totals about 800 megabits guaranteed, so 1GB or more of RAM is definitely required.

I think Refocus-it is an amazing tool for anyone who cannot afford Adobe Photoshop CS2 or later (because those versions include some form of built in refocus filter). Using GIMP, although clunky and slow at times with this plugin, you can get some amazing results. And it’s free.

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2 Responses to “GIMP Refocus-It Iterative Refocus Fix Motion Blur Windows”

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