smartdeblur-header

Have you ever taken an out of focus photo that you wanted to fix? Or perhaps you need to identify a number plate or face in a blurry photo. Wish you could press that enhance button that solves so many crimes on TV? With SmartBlur you can. Mostly.

SmartDeblur is a simple little tool that will help restore blurry photos. It will restore photos with motion blur, out of focus blur, and gaussian blur. It can also automatically detect the type of blur and calculate how to restore it.

The restoration is done with a complex mathematical formula called Blind Deconvolution. It all goes over my head so I’m not going to explain. But feel free to read up on the theory and practice of this formula.

Instead of talking about how this stuff works, lets see if it actually works.

Enhance magic to restore your blurry photos

When you open SmartDeblur there is an example image already open. You can play around with this image or you can click the “Open” button and choose your own image to begin restoring your blurry photo.

SmartDeblur-2.0

For this example, I chose an image with out of focus blurring.

test-shot-with-focus-blur

With my photo loaded I changed the Kernel to a slightly higher value. This is recommended in the Help window.

kernel-size

Next, I dragged my cursor over the image and selected the area that needed restoring.

blur-selection

With the defect type set to Auto Detect, I pressed the “Analyze Blur” button.

smartblur-sliders

It took about a minute to process and this is what it came back with.

auto-deblur

It is definitely an improvement but there is a lot of extra noise in the photo. And it seems to have affected the whole photo, not just the area I selected.

Next, I set the defect type to Out of focus and played around with the sliders some more. I’m not sure if I was able to improve on the auto method, but it’s not too bad.

deblurred-photo

Here are the settings I used:

deblurred-photo-settings

Included with the tool is a photo of unreadable, blurry text.

blurry-text

And by playing around with the settings I was able to read it. This could be very useful for identifying number plates or other text.

deblured-text

Conclusion

SmartDeblur is an interesting tool that aims to replicate the infamous and magical enhance button seen on TV cop shows. It doesn’t quite work that well, but this is real life.

It’s probably not going to restore your photos enough that you can be proud of them or hide your poor photography skills. But I don’t think that is its aim.

SmartDeblur is easy to use but is a bit rough around the edges design wise. The program crashed a few times on me too. SmartDeblur is free and is available on Windows and Mac.

Download SmartDeblur.