Nvidia Releases New Free Image Comparison Tool

Why is it important: The bulk of Nvidia’s November 2021 blog post focused on DLSS and its changes to the open source image scaling alternative. However, Nvidia has also released a new tool for comparing image quality at various settings in games.

Nvidia’s Image Comparison and Analysis Tool (ICAT) enables users to quickly and easily compare multiple images and videos without the need for professional editing software. You can use ICAT to compare up to four screenshots or videos at once for direct comparison. Nvidia says it includes tools like alignment, image cropping, and video cropping. You can also pan and zoom to place specific areas under the microscope. Nvidia’s download page says it can download JPEG, PNG, and WEBP images, as well as MP4 and WEBM videos.

Online videos comparing game graphics often show screenshots or footage side by side or enlarged to more clearly indicate differences in image quality at different settings. Nvidia is positioning ICAT as a way to allow more casual users to make similar comparisons.

After trying a bit, ICAT seems like a pretty quick and easy method to directly compare screenshots and videos. Download at Nvidia’s Web site looks like a portable app without an installer. Running the executable immediately brings up a full-screen window where you can place images and videos to create comparisons similar to those Nvidia publishes in their articles. It will take any screenshot or clip in compatible formats, so it’s not necessary just for comparing picture quality in video games.

Comparison images can be positioned side by side or overlaid with a slider that is used to display one or the other. The zoom function is easily accessible from the side and you can annotate the images. At the time of this writing, the software is in version 0.2.9, so ICAT appears to be still in its early stages and may very well get more functionality in the future.

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