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Web-Based Photo Editor Roundup

CowboyNeal posted more than 7 years ago | from the shared-croppers dept.

Graphics 106

mikemuch writes "ExtremeTech has a roundup of 5 web-based image editing programs. The mostly Flash and AJAX-based webware ranges from simple touch-up services like Snipshot to the Photoshop wannabe Fauxto. They vary greatly in interface and extra goodies; some offer bookmarklets for getting images from a web page you're browsing, some offer artistic or goofy effects for you pix, but all fear the specter of Adobe's online version of Photoshop on the horizon."

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For the love of God! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18540803)

Will you Web 2.0 weenies just give it up already. No one, and I'll repeat that NO ONE is interested in using a web browser like some super whizz-bang do-it-all application framework. It's a crappy idea, it can only ever be poorly implemented, and it'll suck and suck and suck from here until eternity. Stop trying to make the web browser something it can never be and do some real work, or just admit you'll never be real developers and go mow lawns or something else that's actually productive.

Oh and "Fauxto"? "Fucks Too"? Yeah, pure marketing genius there guys.

Re:For the love of God! (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18540853)

in using a web browser like some super whizz-bang do-it-all application framework.

AJAX & Flash suck, but there's nothing wrong with the thin client idea. It's being held back by MS & bandwidth issues at the moment.

If Netscape had won back in the day, maybe we would have a better web based thin client framework now, but to suggest that the idea is unworkable is ludicrous.

Re:For the love of God! (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18540951)

there's nothing wrong with the thin client idea

There's nothing wrong with thin clients for certain applications. There is a lot wrong with the silly idea of using a damn web browser as the platform for a thin client. Javascript and XHTML are not an application framework. They're for drawing pretty web pages. Compare any Web 2.0 "framework" with a real GUI toolkit: even a retarded chimp can see just how terrible an idea all of this Web 2.0 stuff is. Really, what is the fascination with it? Even Java would be a better idea for this sort of stuff!

Re:For the love of God! (1)

BlueTrin (683373) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541027)

I guess it could work if you could upload very high quality pictures in an instant without any quotas

But as you implicitely said, we are nowhere close to that level ...

Re:For the love of God! (2, Informative)

l-ascorbic (200822) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541071)

It makes more sense when there's an actual reason for it to be on the web. For example, CleVR stitches photos into panoramas [clevr.com] , then uses a flash thing to display them and embed them in other pages, youtube style. It's like Apple's old Quicktime VR, but without the $500 authoring environments and plugin and embedding nightmares.

Online with my CPU? (3, Insightful)

MosesJones (55544) | more than 7 years ago | (#18540861)

Okay so while its nice to have some basic stuff on a website I'm really not sure how this makes sense given the rise and rise of multi-core CPUs (which are fantastic at image processing). Models like Picassa and others which have a download to the machine make more sense as they don't require you to buy a massive amount of server hardware to support your business model.

Sorry I've just realised... its Web 2.0 bubble isn't it, it has to be in the browser because otherwise its not cool.

Re:Online with my CPU? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18540911)

Okay so while its nice to have some basic stuff on a website

Mosesjones, I'd like you to meet the vast-majority-of-the-world (tm) who only ever use the basic stuff. They're not going to buy photoshop, they're not going to download the picassa. Hell, they're not even going to ever launch the photo editing software that came with their camera.

Re:Online with my CPU? (3, Insightful)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 7 years ago | (#18540935)

Your statement doesn't apply to a single person that would use this website, then. So how does it have anything to do with this at all? If they aren't going to use the software that comes with their camera, they surely aren't going to sign up for a web-based service that does the same but is a lot more hassle.

Think again, bub (1)

BlackTriangle (581416) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541051)

I'm a died-in-the-wool Slashdot geek, and the package for the CD for my digital camera has never been broken open. I use Microsoft Office Image Management. It's great for punching up those midtones, fixing the brightness of images taken in poor lighting, and giving pics that nice over-saturated "Kodak" look. Oh, and rotating pictures taken at a 90 degree angle too.

Just because you're a computer geek doesn't mean you waste your time learning every stupid little "productivity" application possible.

Re:Think again, bub (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541147)

Maybe you should have read the post above mine before responding to mine. He was saying that the web-based photo editor would be used by people who won't purchase photoshop, download picasa, or even use the free one that came with their camera. This is a person that obviously has absolutely no interest in using a photo application to do -anything- to pictures. You obviously are not in this category and his statement was not aimed at you at all, and so neither was mine.

Re:Think again, bub (2, Interesting)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#18542187)

If they don't want to do anything to photos, why are they using the online photo program at all?

Re:Online with my CPU? (1)

Infinityis (807294) | more than 7 years ago | (#18544309)

Unless you can't use the software that is available with your camera. If all you have to work with is a PDA or even an OLPC laptop, you'll be glad to offload the processing to a server.

Re:Online with my CPU? (1)

TheFlyingGoat (161967) | more than 7 years ago | (#18545047)

We have a WYSIWYG editor built into one of our website products. The main issue we've had with customers is that they can't figure out how to resize/crop their graphics before uploading them. After seeing Snipshot, I'll be building it into our editor so they simply need to right-click on the image to be able to edit it through the Snipshot interface. Their API seems to make this really easy to do. Problem solved.

In addition to this being useful for developers like myself, it's useful for people like my wife. I extract all of our photos from our digital camera onto our network and she needs a simple way to resize and edit them for the different websites she posts to. I'll be showing her how to use Snipshot since it's so much easier than teaching her Photoshop, Gimp, Irfanview, or even Picassa.

Here's how - the hassle test (1)

cascadingstylesheet (140919) | more than 7 years ago | (#18546441)

If they aren't going to use the software that comes with their camera, they surely aren't going to sign up for a web-based service that does the same but is a lot more hassle.

Hassle test - person wants to shrink photo to put on a website:

Scenario 1:
Realize you never installed camera software. Hunt for it. Find it. Install it. Figure out how to use interface. Shrink picture.

Scenario 2:
Google "shrink picture". Click #1 result, "http://www.shrinkpictures.com/". Use the tiny, super easy web form to upload your picture and shrink it.

Re:Online with my CPU? (3, Insightful)

beakerMeep (716990) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541037)

Just because you dont see a market for these types of products doesn't mean there isn't one. as an AC pointed out, though a bit harshly, there are people who want just a few features and would love a quick web editor to fix up some of their pics. In the article it mentioned how a lot of the programs offered easy integration with sites like flickr or some type of browser integration. Certainly there are people who would like this kind of feature -- although for me I prefer photoshop.

Users have a funny way of deciding for themselves how they like to use technology, and that doesnt always mean the best utilization of multi-core processors. Sometimes it just means a few less clicks to get out the red eye from photos of your dog Floofly.

/have to say too the incessant AJAX and Flash bashing is tiresome on /. sometimes. And no I dont have a dog named Floofly.

Re:Online with my CPU? (1)

sharp-bang (311928) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541249)

Agreed. There are a lot of these people. Two of them (spouse, teen) live in my house.

Also, I would think this development would be welcomed by camera manufacturers, who could offload the production of retouching software and give them another marketing tie-in opportunity.

Re:Online with my CPU? (1)

tonigonenstein (912347) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541219)

You have to make a distinction between an application that runs on a server and whose interface is presented on the PC (html,ajax), and an application (flash,java) that is *distributed* over the web but which runs on the PC.
Snipshot is of the first kind. And I agree with you that this kind of application cannot offer more than the basics nor scale, unless you are ready to throw ridiculous amount of money at it for the server infrastructure.
Fauxto, for instance, is of the second kind. In this case all the image processing is done on your CPU. The only difference with a standard application is that you don't have to install it and that it has a beautiful browser chrome around. I would say this kind of applications makes sense, but of course a solution à la webstart that get rid of the unnecessary browser would be even better.

Re:Online with my CPU? (1, Insightful)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541285)

I'm really not sure how this makes sense given the rise and rise of multi-core CPUs (which are fantastic at image processing).

Those online apps actually *do* use your CPU. You don't think every brush stroke is sent to a server and back in realtime I suppose.

Models like Picassa and others which have a download to the machine make more sense as they don't require you to buy a massive amount of server hardware to support your business model.

Sorry I've just realised... its Web 2.0 bubble isn't it, it has to be in the browser because otherwise its not cool.


The huge benefit of an online app, is you can run it immediately without installation on any computer, anywhere. There are plenty of reasons why you may not want to install an app.

It may be a one-shot: you need it once to tweak a photo on the go, and don't need it anymore. Or you don't want to pollute the computer of a friend with garbage apps he won't use. Or you may not be *allowed* to install anything.

Flash 9 runs on OSX, Windows and Linux, all of those are Flash based editors. They do not try to *replace* desktop apps, but are targeting a niche that grows everyday: casual consumers, pro-sumers and mobile users.

Regarding innovations, there are two kinds of people: those throwing themselves at every fad and trying everything that's "new". And those that just sit bitter aside and comment on how stupid the rest are.

The latter usually end up doing nothing. I'm not sure how this is better than throwing yourself in the bubble.

Re:Online with my CPU? (1)

creationer (985324) | more than 7 years ago | (#18542985)

The real niche for online photo adjustment is when ordering prints. I have photoshop, picasa, blah blah blah, but when I just want to order some prints from a company like kodakgallery or snapfish its much easier and quicker to upload the photo as-is then make a couple quick adjustments with their basic tools like darken/brighten and crop. This, as opposed to editing it myself locally, which I might do on occasion but my wife definitely wouldn't/couldn't. The online tools are good for her...easy.

Re:Online with my CPU? (1)

mrcdeckard (810717) | more than 7 years ago | (#18543501)

i think the point you're making is that you would rather do image processing on YOUR cpu rather than on a server's cpu. If these apps use flash and the like, they are actually client side, using your cpu cycles.

mr c

Re:Online with my CPU? (1)

smellsofbikes (890263) | more than 7 years ago | (#18544045)

There are an awful lot of people who, y'know, travel.
It's hell to take a laptop anywhere.
When I was in Christchurch, New Zealand last year it would've been really nice to be able to crop pictures I'd taken with my digital camera so I could send them to friends. Oddly enough, the computer I was using in the nice internet cafe wouldn't let me download Picassa or install Adobe. Nor would the one in Wellington. I'll bet the internet cafes in Reykjavik, where I'll be next month, won't either.

Data intensive (3, Insightful)

Chris Pimlott (16212) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541013)

This seems like a silly place to use a web application, since your photos normally reside on your computer. Uploading a two-to-three megabyte file just to run some simple corrections that are handled by dozens of already available tools (including many free or preloaded ones like iPhoto and Picasa), then downloading it again...

Re:Data intensive (1)

antiaktiv (848995) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541097)

Don't forget downloading it every time you want to see changes.

I would expect a bunch of geeks to get this. (2, Informative)

Fross (83754) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541209)

Between this and the other threads talking about Photoshop moving "online", there is a hell of a lot of misconception that surprises me from this crowd.

No, these clients don't do the image processing on the remote server. Yes, it would take masses of bandwidth. They use simple, easy to implement algorithms that run on the client machine. Most of these are written in Flash, hell, Photoshop Online will be written in Flex. Why bother making a heavyweight client app, then send the images to the server for processing each time?

They're not.

It runs on the client-side.

This isn't difficult to understand.

Re: I would expect a bunch of geeks to get this. (2, Informative)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541303)

HLL image processing is a joke. Plain and simple. It'd actually be better - and probably a lot faster - to hand the images to a machine that is running serious, efficient code, and get the job done that way. Flex... Aside from the name, which is actually a 6800/6809 CPU operating system from the 1970's, the Flex engine is just more crawl-ware to complement Java and the rest of the web 2.0 silliness. And Flash? Are you kidding? Just benchmark that sucker against a few cores (or even one!) running close-to-the-metal image processing and see how silly you feel. What's the line... oh yes: That's just how you feel when you bring boxing gloves to a gunfight. That breeze you're feeling is blowing through your chest cavity. :-)

Re: I would expect a bunch of geeks to get this. (1)

Fross (83754) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541369)

I agree with you entirely, but it doesn't take much muscle power to do 95% of the functionality 95% of this software's users will require. crop, resize, brightness/contrast, red-eye removal, etc. i don't think people are talking about trying to fully process 100-layer 600dpi posters with stacks of filters through this. i'd pity anyone who tries :)

fwiw, I'm a flex/as3 and java developer, and find the two comparable in performance when written well. make of that what you will ;)

Re: I would expect a bunch of geeks to get this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18541747)

if you want to know the extent to which parent is divorced from real world then have a quick look at his website http://www.blackbeltsystems.com/ [blackbeltsystems.com]

never mind your weak product lineup, someone who is trying to get a start in your particular field should steer clear of using Word Art for the banner. Seriously dude, even if you were selling fishtanks that site would look a bit ropey.

have a look at someone who is serious in your business (adobe.com) and.... whats the line? oh yes, maybe you are trying to fight a global nuclear war with a handgun. That sound you can hear is an incoming ICBM. How silly do you feel?

as to tfa, fauxto is the one that stands here. as a beta its beyond impressive. when linked up with other technologies it becomes clear that this is the way to go.

even just as a demonstration of what flex/flash can do its incredible.

Mod Parent Up (1)

mad.frog (525085) | more than 7 years ago | (#18546571)

Too bad you posted as AC. You are on the money.

Re: I would expect a bunch of geeks to get this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18542371)

I'm sorry, but when the website your sig points to is so goddamn awful, I really don't have any desire to try to understand your point. I mean, come one, it can't even be validated against HTML 2.0, let alone XHTML. Both the graphics and the code look circa 1997.

Oh, and throwing in references to tech from the 70's doesn't really help your point either -- remember the secret to being cool (which I'm guessing was your intent) is not trying so hard.

Re: I would expect a bunch of geeks to get this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18551959)

Informative? this is mostly flaimbait with a hint of troll, the idea that flash is going to be comparable speedwise to Java is just silly, i thought that kind of misconception had died out thesedays, if you can write a half-decent x86 emulator for use as a Java applet then some basic image manipulation certainly isn't out of the question.

Java isn't part of the "Web 2.0 sillyness", infact it's very rare to see Java used in web 2.0 applications, it's a mature and powerful language which when used correctly can perform very well indeed.

Surely you feel a bit silly bringing WinImages to the arena of Modern computing and watching it get smeared around the canvas...

Re:Data intensive (2, Interesting)

Chris_Keene (87914) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541539)

Places where I might want to edit a photo: my flat, my place of work (my office), my place of work (someone else's desk), parents house, friends house, internet cafe, conference.

Places where I will just install software because I need it: my flat.

All those other places, if I want (or someone else asks me) to edit a photo, an online tool would be great.

For gods sake why aren't photo editting in java (4, Insightful)

BlackTriangle (581416) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541015)

Java would be the ideal solution if Sun would get off their asses and A)Make cut/paste work (even if it necessitates putting up a huge "warning this is a security risk" window before letting you do it the first time) , B)Make the allowable heap size MUCH larger for applets , and C)streamline the process of letting users save and load files to their computer (again with the whopping huge security warning windows)

All of this WITHOUT forcing users to accept certificates to give applets carte blanche, which I never trust on websites.

Re:For gods sake why aren't photo editting in java (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541211)

Those would happen if Sun finally figures end user desktop concept is completely different from those $10k workstations and start a Desktop department which will even post stuff to Youtube.

They don't even give free signing to some great opensource developers out there who is stuck with Thawte freemail signature.

Re:For gods sake why aren't photo editting in java (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18545407)

If Sun really wanted Java to succeed on the desktop, they would have worked with Microsoft 10 years ago to make the necessary changes, instead suing MS to get Java off 90% of the world's desktops.

Sun is a server company that doesn't have a clue about the desktop. They failed with NeWS, OpenLook, and now Java. It's pretty unlikely that they would wake up now and create anything remotely successful on the desktop.

dom

The next Google App? (1)

shadroth (935602) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541091)

The idea seems to fit with Google Apps. How long before they buyout one of the companies or try something similar from scratch. If not raster images, I still think they'll get a vector editor going or at least a Dia clone.

Next: The Pedal-Driven Formula 1 Racer Roundup (4, Funny)

Qbertino (265505) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541093)

itentionally left blank - see comment title

Re:Next: The Pedal-Driven Formula 1 Racer Roundup (1)

BlueTrin (683373) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541135)

I do not see your point Pedal-Driven Formula 1 Racer are not ajax or web related !

Yours faithfully,
Bluetrin

A line from Fauxto index.html (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541165)

"
Ads by Google

Photo Tools
Fix Image
Image Repair
Fix Photos
Adult Photo
"

Adult Photo as an Ad accepted? Have fun with families who wants to edit their photos online.

Be afraid of Photoshop if Adobe doesn't act stupid (0)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541191)

I am testing the "Photoshop Elements 3" trial, yes the older version on my OS X. I am definately impressed by the coding quality and the ease of tools.

If Adobe "ships" Photoshop Elements 3 kind of stuff to Web and asks for $$$ , count me in.

Notice Photoshop Elements 4 for Mac didn't ship yet so I won't tell about 48bit TIFF editing offered with it etc.

What can Adobe do to kill project from beginning? One small font sentence at bottom: "IE Required".

Re:Be afraid of Photoshop if Adobe doesn't act stu (1)

stephend (1735) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541677)

I think you have an "off by one" error there. Elements 4 is the current version on the Mac, with 5 on Windows. To be honest, if the delta between 4 and 5 is as little as that between 3 and 4 then you're probably not missing much.

Adobe have been pretty smart about choosing which features to include in Elements -- enough to keep me happy most of the time but with a little nag at the back of my mind thinking, "What if I upgraded..?" I trust they'll do something similar for the web version.

As... (5, Insightful)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541267)

...the head of an image processing and fx software company, I can tell you one thing with certainty: Online apps that transfer photos back and forth and process them online are the very last thing on our list of technologies to be concerned about.

Why? Because nothing on the net will ever compare to an in-system, RAM-based, N-layer handling, real-time nondestructive effects engine written close to the metal with live geometric warp layers, masking and animation. That's on the application end.

One the user end, these web based apps are meant for your grandmother. And at that, only on days when someone else in her apartment building or upstream on her cable connection isn't downloading "300" on bit-torrent, and there aren't 200 other people on the same server trying to process an image. The entire idea of "thin clients" for image manipulation is one that presumes bandwidth and server power that are not available at this point in time - it's silly, is what it is.

You can buy a great image manipulation system for about $30 if you simply look hard enough. You'll be able to level photos, retouch them, or process the living heck out of very high resolution images if that's your intent, set people on fire, morph them, all manner of sophisticated things. Or you can use a web app and move a slider and wait... and move... and wait... and save... and wait... and finally get back your pic. Which you had better hope is what you wanted. When I say you'll get it back, I mean after that "300" download finishes, of course. :-)

So here's what you should be asking yourselves: What is your time worth?

Re:As... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18541289)

You can buy a great image manipulation system for about $30 if you simply look hard enough.

Or you can get GIMP for $0 without looking very hard at all, which is also perfectly capable of doing everything you mention and more.

Re:As... (-1, Troll)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541313)

The Gimp, eh? Boy, do you have a lot to learn about image processing. But that's the fun of being a newbie. Enjoy!

Re:As... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18541517)

So you're implying, from your very own post, that the GIMP can not "You'll be able to level photos, retouch them, or process the living heck out of very high resolution images if that's your intent, set people on fire, morph them, all manner of sophisticated things." and that a $30 consumer photo-retouching application can do it better? What planet are you from?

Re:As... (-1, Troll)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541689)

I'm not implying it, I'm outright saying it [slashdot.org] . By all means, show me where I've gone wrong. :-)

Re:As... (1)

jeevesbond (1066726) | more than 7 years ago | (#18542097)

By all means, show me where I've gone wrong.

At this point you're not wrong, however the GIMP developers have just re-written the entire engine behind GIMP. It's called GEGL [gegl.org] and is a compositor (allowing those non-destructive layer effects you were talking about), it can also do CMYK. The reason the GIMP is so behind is because they've been waiting for this, version 2.6 will see a re-write of GIMP internals to use GEGL (we're currently on version 2.2).

Alternatively, you can try Krita [koffice.org] , which is also not professional-ready yet but is possibly closer than GIMP. Either way I believe thick client FLOSS apps have far more to offer than online thin-clients.

Re:As... (1)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 7 years ago | (#18542341)

Either way I believe thick client FLOSS apps have far more to offer than online thin-clients.

I completely agree. No matter if they download apps to the thin client, or if they try to run on images remotely, there's just no way for them to meet the same kind of performance metrics until they work themselves up into a true thick client, and then what was the point anyway?

Re the Gimp's new engine, bravo. That should be a fabulous upgrade, and I look forward to it.

Re:As... (1)

jsebrech (525647) | more than 7 years ago | (#18549647)

No matter if they download apps to the thin client, or if they try to run on images remotely, there's just no way for them to meet the same kind of performance metrics until they work themselves up into a true thick client, and then what was the point anyway?

To be fair, you can get pretty far if you're basing yourself off of the flash 9 engine. It has native (fast) support for various blending modes and filters (including a convolution filter). Even if you have to fallback to pixel processing in actionscript, it shouldn't do too bad, since the ActionScript 3 engine is comparable to Java performance-wise. Not native code, but not bad. I can pretty much guarantee that adobe's web-based photoshop lite will be based on flash 9.

I think flash-based clients will do quite nicely in the space where picasa and consorts live. So, to dismiss them outright seems sort of silly. Why should users have to install anything if the image editor that fits their needs will run just as well in a browser?

Re:As... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18542521)

At this point he's still wrong, presumably we aren't comparing GIMP to photoshop here and decrying its lack of support for colourspaces other than RGBA and its 8bpc colourdepth limitation, he's comparing GIMP to his own, paid for, product, remember the #1 biggest complaint about GIMP is that it's not Photoshop, his solution doesn't help here ;), and the original subject was comparing it to web based photo editors.

Suggesting that Krita is closer to professional readiness than GIMP may be a little wide of the mark too...

Re:As... (1)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 7 years ago | (#18544237)

the original subject was comparing it to web based photo editors.

Nope. I posted a 0-level post comparing my software, a thick client, to thin clients. I mentioned a bunch of capabilities of my stuff. Someone responded (100% incorrectly) that the Gimp would do what I had said my $30 software would. I responded, disagreed, etc, etc. At this point, and ever since then, the thread has been about Gimp vs my $30 software.

I never seem to have as much trouble following threads as some of you folks are experiencing this morning. Is there a coffee shortage or something?

Re:As... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18541605)

1986 called... Commodore wants their geoPaint interface design back.

Re:As... (1)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541729)

Just tell them no. We did. Several times. :-)

Re:As... (-1, Offtopic)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541673)

Flamebait, eh? I suppose I deserved that. A lot of people think the Gimp is comparable to big gun programs because they're just not familiar with the kinds of things they can do with more powerful systems. So here's a more direct response that makes the point with workflow.

Here's what I want to do, a workflow that takes about three to five minutes in my software. By all means, tell me how to do it using the Gimp, which I of course have a copy of:

I want to take this image I have of a face, and I want to move three separate water-impact effects across it arbitrarily, watching how the waves interact with each other live, so I can catch the exact point where the effect is perfect. I don't want this effect on the image though, the image must remain untouched - so it can only show on the final composite image. I accomplish this easily by creating each water effect in its own geometric distortion layer above the face layer and subsequently prodding the layers around position-wise. Now I want to morph the shape of the image's eyes to match those of another face. There's a tool for that; I just do it, takes about 30 seconds. A little masking, and the new eyes overlay the originals. Next, I want a live particle system attached to a pin on the chest. I'll take an additive fireworks display and lava flow, and I also want a ray-traced diamond (brilliant-cut) on the pin, spinning in 3d, reflecting and refracting the particle system through the gem. Again, I want to see this live so I can pick the still I prefer from the stream, and the original image must remain untouched. Next, I want a trail of ants around the edge of the image; I'll apply these with a brush, and as I drag the brush around, the ants rotate to follow the brush as if they were following a trail of bread-crumbs, they lay down shadows, randomly reposition, resize and flip so as to create a "community" of ants all more-or-less following a trail. They look very, very real, though they are made from a single brush. Now I want to color key out the background on the main image, because I want to underlay a different backdrop. We can't disturb any of the effects, though, or change the image's actual transparency; the color key itself must also be a non-destructive layer effect. Now that the new backdrop has been underlaid, I'll move this to CMYK space (still without affecting the original in any way), mix UCR and GCR techniques to match my printer's best press results, and generate fully prepress ready plates. The image is now a stack of layered effects on top of the original face, with the exception of the backdrop, which is lower in the stack than the face. The face was never touched during the entire process, and so every effect and change can be keyed on or off by simply turning layer controls on or off, or using layer effect levels to mute or enhance the effects. The individual layers are all viewable at the same time, separate from one another, each in their own window, and at the same time as the composite master image which contains the final result. All layers and effects are still live, editable, undoable, and so on.

On seeing the results, my client wants the eyes returned to normal, and he wants an emerald in the pin, muttering something mostly incomprehensible about "blood diamonds" and "hollywood." So I click off (disable) the morph layer, change the materials refraction of the stone to that of emerald and the cut as well, re-generate the 3d object into a new layer (I'm keeping the diamond hidden in its own disabled layer in case they change their minds again, unpredictable finks that they are), republish the plates, and I'm done. Total additional time, about 30 seconds.

For a point of reference, I can do this entire process considerably faster than I was able to type a description of it, everything is built-in and ready to go, what is required of me is simply area selection, slider adjustments and so on; so that's the kind of performance I'm looking for from the Gimp. So. Taking the claim that the Gimp is just as capable at face value, how do I get this workflow working in the Gimp into under, say, five minutes? Over to you.

Re:As... (1)

CmdrGravy (645153) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541725)

A lengthy explantion indeed.

However the original poster was saying that the Gimp can do the sort of photo manipulation offered by these on-line services, which it can.

Either point out which of those on-line services you think can do everything you've just described or concede that you have totally missed the point.

Re:As... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18542059)

of course he's missed the point - have a look at his flipping website http://www.blackbeltsystems.com/ [blackbeltsystems.com] [blackbeltsystems.com]

the poor fellow is trying to make it the world of graphics and uses wordart for his banner!!!! what a comedian

i think that point here is he's seriously pissed that more people will have used fauxto in the last 30 minutes than will use his products, ever.

you can hardly blame him, not much fun knowing you may well be another roadkill on the information superhighway.

Re:As... (0, Troll)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 7 years ago | (#18542099)

The original poster said, and I quote verbatim, first, "So you're implying, from your very own post, that the GIMP can not [various things]" -- so it is clear that the poster is talking about the Gimp on the one hand, and not an online program, and then they go on to say "and that a $30 consumer photo-retouching application can do it better?" -- so it is clear that they again are not talking about an online program, but about the program I was referring to as compared to the Gimp. Hence my Gimp-centric and $30-app centric reply.

So tune up those reading skills and you too can enjoy getting the same meaning out of posts that people put into them! It's fun! It's exciting! It's like skimming, only you actually read for content!

[note: Full comprehension reading takes longer, and may make your head hurt. Side effects may include sudden realizations you've been wrong, abrupt changes in your perception of reality, and an inability to formulate insulting responses that previously came easily to you. Do not attempt if you have high blood pressure, artificial preconceptions, or are taking mood-altering drugs. The FDA has not approved the full comprehension approach for use within a non-rational environment. Your results may vary. Always ask your doctor before attempting to make an abrupt change in lifestyle. If pregnant or breast-feeding, avoid these posts. Post may contain sarcasm, irony, blunt humor and 100% natural abuse. Produced in a facility that stores nuts.]

The answer - as embodied in the above workflow - neither misses nor changes the point. Yes, I was saying, or implying, we can do it better. Also that we can do it faster. We can do it cleaner. We can do it more flexibly. And we can do more - a lot more. The post you refer to gives a reference workflow. I expect that poster to show me how the Gimp can replicate that workflow in time, features and convenience. Especially after that (cough) insightful "what planet are you from" crack. :-) It is one thing to be a fan of the Gimp (and for the record, I am - it's a great free tool for light work) but it is entirely another thing to credit it with a competitive level of functionality it doesn't actually offer.

Re:As... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18542279)

For the love of criminy. I am the original poster. Please allow me to spell it out for you in very small words. Your original paragraph:

"You can buy a great image manipulation system for about $30 if you simply look hard enough. You'll be able to level photos, retouch them, or process the living heck out of very high resolution images if that's your intent, set people on fire, morph them, all manner of sophisticated things. Or you can use a web app and move a slider and wait... and move... and wait... and save... and wait... and finally get back your pic. Which you had better hope is what you wanted. When I say you'll get it back, I mean after that "300" download finishes, of course. :-)"

Here you are making a direct comparison between these online photo editing applications and a $30 software package that can do the same thing. I then made a direct comparison between those $30 photo editing applications and the GIMP. Hence, I am making an indirect comparison between the online photo editing applications, and the GIMP.

I will not make a direct comparison between your software, your example workflow and the GIMP because these things are irrelevant. You have brought these things up simply as an excuse to talk up your own (rather ugly) image editing software that is clearly aimed at a totally different type of image processing and end user to the software under discussion here, which is consumer photo editing. I never claimed the GIMP was comparable to any product other than these online photo editing tools and other traditional cheap ($30) photo editing tools.

I will point out for your benefit that almost every other poster in this entire thread was able to grasp the concept without any prompting. It may help if you reflect on that.

Re:As... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18542533)

You have brought these things up simply as an excuse to talk up your own (rather ugly) image editing software that is clearly aimed at a totally different type of image processing and end user to the software under discussion here, which is consumer photo editing.
I fully agree. This guy will jump at every opportunity to get _F_R_E_E_ advertising for his crappy software. Anyone in the right mind would be able to see that all his efforts (once again) has gone the opposite.

Re:As... (1)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 7 years ago | (#18542889)

For the love of criminy. I am the original poster

[grin] For the love of criminy, if you post AC and don't sign your posts, how is anyone supposed to know one AC post from another? Did you ever think of that? Are you aware that there are more than two or even three AC posters on slashdot at any one time? It's an amazing idea, I know, but someday, you'll see another AC post and then it'll suddenly hit you: How will people know I'm me, if I look like I'm them? Think it over. It's a toughie, all right!

I then made a direct comparison between those $30 photo editing applications and the GIMP.

Which is exactly what I was responding to. Not any indirect, implied comparison not obvious and not mentioned in your text. Which is a perfectly rational and reasonable response to your statement. However, let me re-phrase so we're clear: WI can outperform any online app for photo processing. WI can also outperform the Gimp for photo processing given only reasonably equivalent hardware to run on. WI can also outperform both for features and in many other venues. The Gimp, as we know, is free. I also happen to like it, and am very comfortable with it and how it works, and use it productively from time to time on my Redhat and Mac systems. Wi is not free and as far as I know, has not, as yet, been made to run under Linux / crossover / wine. It is, however, not expensive, and for the money, you can't do better under Windows and that statement absolutely does include the Gimp, which, while useful, free and so forth, is not currently at anywhere near the same level of functionality.

You have brought these things up simply as an excuse to talk up your own (rather ugly) image editing software that is clearly aimed at a totally different type of image processing and end user to the software under discussion here, which is consumer photo editing.

(a) I have no qualms whatsoever talking about my software. I am quite pleased with it, thank you. Your attempt to turn that into a "bad thing" is utterly silly and I can't imagine why you would think you're doing something reasonable when you try to impugn my motives. Why would I not be a fan of my own software unless I felt it wasn't up to par, eh? Am I supposed to feel guilty for asking for $30 for it or something? If you're of the mind that "commercial" = "bad", then we're simply on different wavelengths, but please, don't think that I agree - on the contrary, I think such an attitude is self-destructive, not to mention naive in the extreme. You do like to eat, right? Me too, strangely enough. Can you imagine that? How... greedy... of me!

(b) You are 100% mistaken in regard to your idea that we don't do consumer photo editing. We do. Extremely well. You can even customize the interface so that when it comes up, all you face are photo editing tools, everything right there at your fingertips, and every operation is faster in WI, UI-wise, than it is in the Gimp because we provide a more sophisticated selection model that takes fewer mouse operations. That makes the photo editing workflow faster and easier and in the end, more precise. The layering engine is far more sophisticated and so compositing is easier and more powerful, but again, that's not an apology, and that's not irrelevant to consumer photo editing, either. Nor is the ability to apply sophisticated special effects. You might like to think so, but I'm afraid that's simply not the case.

I never claimed the GIMP was comparable to any product other than these online photo editing tools and other traditional cheap ($30) photo editing tools.

I'll be as gentle as I can with this, since you missed it somehow and I'm quite certain you're not just trolling me, but... that $30 tool I brought up? The one you explicitly stated you were making a direct comparison with? That's our software. The very application I've been talking about all along. The very application you just said you would not make a direct comparison with and just said you were making a direct comparison with. Funny, eh? Everything I've mentioned here, the workflow above, the photo editing... that's all part of the same exact $30 package I brought up in the first place. Traditional? Well, it's been around in various forms and revisions since 1985. I suppose that's about as traditional as you can get, in a sense. "One of the very first" would be more accurate, but I'm not sensitive about it after 22 years of writing code for it. Cheap? Well, you said it, I didn't. $30, anyway. I'd rather say inexpensive, but that's probably just a vestigial marketing bug twitching around. Photo editing? Yes, in spades, and no doubt about it. It's just that we can do all this other stuff as well. But again, I just don't feel any need to apologize for it. I'm funny like that. Go figure, eh?

I will point out for your benefit that almost every other poster in this entire thread was able to grasp the concept without any prompting. It may help if you reflect on that.

I did notice that a lot of people (not all) missed the point; but it doesn't dismay me at all. The issue at hand here is one of facts, not opinion. I've got some facts, and despite any misconceptions about our products such as the ones you displayed here, not to mention the noise from the "Interface Looks Uber Alles" person that bubbled up from the depths of the /. swamp, I'm perfectly well prepared to counter any misconceptions that might pop up. I do think it is kind of amusing that you find it so horrible that I would actually talk about my own software as if, I dunno, I liked it and thought it was actually useful or something equally heinous, but that's kind of just a side benefit to the whole circus. I do appreciate the early-morning fun.

Re:As... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18543197)

if you post AC and don't sign your posts, how is anyone supposed to know one AC post from another? Did you ever think of that?

My God, no! Why, until you pointed it out in a flash of brilliance it had never occurred to me. Oh, the humanity!

You are 100% mistaken in regard to your idea that we don't do consumer photo editing. We do. Extremely well.

I would never, in a billion years and if every other image editing tool in existence were suddenly deleted, ever, use a product like WI for simple consumer photo editing. If you honestly believe WI is suitable or even competitive in that area, perhaps you should just give up now and close up shop. WI may be capable of doing these things but it would be a little like using a sledgehammer to drive in a pin tack.

...the workflow above...

Ah yes, the workflow. It proves my point nicely: a consumer photo editing workflow would be more like:
  1. Download the JPEGs of the kids birthday party from the digital camera
  2. Display thumbnails of them all and delete the blurry ones.
  3. Rotate the picture of Jimmy blowing the candles out and crop it so that Sammies finger isn't visible.
  4. Remove the red-eye from the picture of grandma in the birthday hat.

Which as you're a smart fella, might notice is nothing at all like your imagined and rather contrived workflow. No doubt this can be done with WI; it's not complicated. But it can be done with GIMP for $30 less, and it can be done a lot easier with GIMP because the interface is nowhere near as complex as WI. It can probably be done even easier with the free software that came with the digital camera in the first place, which will have a big "Remove red-eye" button for you to click.

The GIMP is still clearly a better choice than WI for the consumer style photo editing we're discussing. You're welcome to talk up WI when it's relevant, but let's not pretend it is for this type of editing. Ten years ago, sure, WI would have been a natural choice (No doubt it can do all the lens flare effects I could ever want) but these days it doesn't even register at the bottom end.

Re:As... (1)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 7 years ago | (#18544985)

WI may be capable of doing these things but it would be a little like using a sledgehammer to drive in a pin tack.

Would it really, now? Let's look at your (baseless) assertion. WI is faster to process, consumes less RAM for the executable, starts and restarts quicker, and can be *easily* configured for any set of simple (or not) operations you prefer, such as clipping, redeye, rotation, brightness, whatever you like, really. They're called "operation caddies" and they make any particular workflow a breeze. Redeye? One click for the op, one area selection for the eye. Done. Clipping? One click for the op, one area selection for the clip. Thumbnails and viewer? Built-in, of course. Rotation? Sure. 90 degree increments, free, perspective, arbitrarily swirl, whatever strikes your fancy. Or you can rotate the thumbnail and leave the image as is. Or rotate them both.

Now, you argue (oddly) that using WI would be like "using a sledgehammer to drive in a pin tack." The implication is (I suppose) that because WI has all this other stuff available to you (it's not in your face unless you need it or ask for it, of course) that it somehow will either bewilder the user (why? do people actually fail to use the Gimp because it has script-fu?) or that it will over-do the job (a sledgehamme would certainly over-drive a pin tack) which is a blatantly incorrect assertion - there is no such correspondence. So perhaps you will take a moment to explain your heartfelt statement. What makes you, as a software user, unable to use Wi, do you think? It can't be the "overdrive", because that is just nonsense. Are you confused because WI is powerful? Are you normally frightened of software that is highly capable? Does that mean to you that you will simply be unable to function when faced with it? Seriously, what is on your mind when you say these things?

it can be done a lot easier with GIMP because the interface is nowhere near as complex as WI.

I'm really trying not to laugh at you. Honestly. Look. You think WI has some complex interface for doing these things? It's an area selection tool, just like the Gimp's - pick a rectangle or an ellipse or the entire image or whatever you like - and pick an operation. If the operation has parameters - such as brightness - you set those where you want them, and then select, and you're done. What exactly about this process intimidates you? Or are you under the impression that you have to do more than these simple and common user interactions? If so, what, and why? Maybe this leads to your "sledgehammer" analogy somehow?

You're welcome to talk up WI when it's relevant, but let's not pretend it is for this type of editing.

I hardly know where to start. Hmmm. Well, first of all, it would be relevant because I started the thread at the root talking about it. Someone seemed to find that interesting; it's modded +5 and has been for hours. I dunno, slashdot moderation is pretty busted, I'm the first to agree, but still, +5? It must have had some merit. Secondly, there's no "pretending" it is good at this type of editing, it is, in point of fact, outstanding at it. Furthermore, it is better at it than then Gimp by virtue of speed, efficiency, range of available tools, flexibility of the live, non-destructive effects engine (which by the way, you don't see or "use", users just benefit in that they can do things like move effects around after they are applied to an image.) Finally, I'm welcome to say anything I like, just as you are. Trust me, no one went and appointed you my personal censor while you were sleeping. Funny thing about that.

Ten years ago, sure, WI would have been a natural choice (No doubt it can do all the lens flare effects I could ever want) but these days it doesn't even register at the bottom end.

More nonsense. You make a pretty concrete assertion here; you're saying WI is below the bottom end. Let's put an end to this silly dance you're doing. Exactly why would you feel that this would be an accurate description of the software's capability with regard to photos. Go on, hit me with all you have. Tell me why it is that you think it is such a bad, bad piece of software. I'm all ears. Really. Smack me down. Here I am, blithely processing my photos, and all along, the software really can't do that, according to The Authority, ie, you. Some kind of supernatural connection to Photoshop is responsible, no doubt. And here I thought I had written the program to do these very things. Man, someone must be spiking my coffee. :-)

Seriously: You talk a huge line of smack. Back it up if you can. I'm right here. I (obviously) know the software inside and out. But you seem to have an even more precise understanding of it ("doesn't even register at the bottom end"), so by all means, educate me. Why is it that software that is faster, lighter, more efficient, easy to use, has more features, including many right down the line of the task at hand, is, in your mind, bottom layer material? Please post further, O Oracle!

Re:As... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18546353)

Look, you blithering idiot: WinImage is unsuitable because the user interface is poorly designed for simple photo editing tasks. WI doesn't register at the bottom end because it is a mid to high-end application. Good grief, why is this so difficult for you to grasp?

If WI has a simple interface, get some new screenshots, because at the moment it looks both ugly and confusing, and yes it looks far worse than the GIMP, and it is in a totally different class altogether when it is compared to low end photo editing tools. No one but a geek or a person deeply in love with WinImage would use it for low-end consumer photo editing.

P.S: All your long, rambling posts mearly make you look like a bit of a cook. My original reply was never meant to be a troll, but your over the top, argumentative and downright annoying style used in your replies has turned it into one big and very easy troll. If you're the public face of WinImage, please consider posting as an AC more often: you have harmed your reputation by making yourself look like an argumentative fool who can't follow a very simple thread..

Re:As... (1)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 7 years ago | (#18548615)

WI doesn't register at the bottom end because it is a mid to high-end application.

How (cough) clever. Well, you're half right, and as that's the best you've done in the entire thread, entirely aside from your juvenile hyperbole and name-calling, I'll leave it at that. You have a lovely day, Mr. AC.

Re:As... (1)

CmdrGravy (645153) | more than 7 years ago | (#18543253)

Since you still don't seem to have grasped what to everyone else here is blindingly obvious.

You said a $30 tool could perform simple photo editing tasks more quickly and easily than doing it on-line.

The other poster said you didn't even need to spend $30 since the GIMP could perform these tasks for nothing.

At this point you launched into some misguided rant that the GIMP could not do various types of processing that some software you are apparently selling can. This was and is irrelevant to the discussion.

You have since agreed that the Gimp can do the same photo editing tasks as the on-line software in question and you have agreed that it is free. Therefore you agree with the other posters point and seem instead to be trying to drum up some interest in your own products rather than participating in the discussion sensibly. Please don't do this, it's annoying !

Re:As... (1)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 7 years ago | (#18544109)

You said a $30 tool could perform simple photo editing tasks more quickly and easily than doing it on-line.

Close enough.

The other poster said you didn't even need to spend $30 since the GIMP could perform these tasks for nothing.

The first poster said, and again this is a direct quote: "Or you can get GIMP for $0 without looking very hard at all, which is also perfectly capable of doing everything you mention and more." Here are some of the things I mentioned: "RAM-based, N-layer handling, real-time nondestructive effects engine written close to the metal with live geometric warp layers, masking and animation." then I added this " level photos, retouch them, or process the living heck out of very high resolution images if that's your intent, set people on fire, morph them, all manner of sophisticated things"

Not to put too fine a point on it, but Gimp does not have a non-destructive effects engine, nor geometric warp layers, and that makes the poster's statement "is also perfectly capable of doing everything you mention" untrue. It is also highly relevant; generally, the first thing people do with our product is whack some effects on pictures. Finding out that they (the effects) can move, undo, redo, reconfigure and mix non-destructively makes most users delighted. The Gimp can't do this. At all. This is the basis for my entire response - the poster responding to me was flat out wrong.

At this point you launched into some misguided rant that the GIMP could not do various types of processing that some software you are apparently selling can. This was and is irrelevant to the discussion.

My software - the very $30 software I was talking about all along - is what can do all this. That's what I was talking about from line one. You know, it does this: "RAM-based, N-layer handling, real-time nondestructive effects engine written close to the metal with live geometric warp layers, masking and animation, level photos, retouch them, or process the living heck out of very high resolution images if that's your intent, set people on fire, morph them, all manner of sophisticated things" Plus it does all the stuff in my "misguided" rant. Much of the processing it can do, and the Gimp cannot, is related to processing photos. Particularly in the area of more efficient UI and live,layer-based effects. Are you clear now? It was relevant because that was what I was talking about, that was what the poster responded to, and that was what was at issue. No more, no less.

You have since agreed that the Gimp can do the same photo editing tasks as the on-line software in question and you have agreed that it is free

I have not at any time compared the Gimp to online software. I have compared it to my own software, primarily because I am familiar with both and I am not, feature-wise, familiar with said online software. Go on. Check my posts. Not a word about online software vs the Gimp, though I did indulge in a general beating up on online software's ability to perform because of network and HLL issues in the very first post.

Therefore...

Therefore nothing - you got it all wrong, and naturally, your conclusions are all wrong, too.

...seem instead to be trying to drum up some interest in your own products rather than participating in the discussion sensibly

Look. I started the thread. It's an 0-level post. The discussion I started was about my experience and my opinions about thick and thin clients. Some AC posted about the Gimp, making a comparison to what I was talking about - my software - and the Gimp's ability to do photo work. I responded, not very well, by blowing him off - because I knew the Gimp wasn't comparable to our software both in the area of photo editing, and more generally across the board. Functionally. I'm not arguing that it's cheaper; certainly it is. So. That post, probably spot on, got modded flamebait. I was thinking about that, feeling a little guilty for being so harsh, and then this shows up next:

So you're implying, from your very own post, that the GIMP can not "You'll be able to level photos, retouch them, or process the living heck out of very high resolution images if that's your intent, set people on fire, morph them, all manner of sophisticated things." and that a $30 consumer photo-retouching application can do it better? What planet are you from?

So I wrote the "workflow" post, pointed that poster directly to it (via a link), and attached it (the workflow post) to the post that caught the original flamebait mod. My post. Not anyone else's. That post responds to this question: "a $30 consumer photo-retouching application can do it better? What planet are you from?"

The workflow post was my attempt to show the things that "a consumer $30 photo-retouching application" can do better, to wit, my own, the very one I brought up in the first place. Remember? In the first post? What is this $30 software? Why, it is none other than my software. As I have said numerous times by now. Anyway. If you actually read that post, you'll see all kinds of things that are interesting and applicable to photo workflows, compositing workflows, etc. And of course you can do standard photo things, that's simply a given. The point was, you can do a lot more for that $30. And the fact is, you can.

Now - with regard to mentioning my software in any light I care to, I do not feel the least bit guilty about this. I'd be amused to hear why you think I should, I suppose, but I rather doubt if it would make any difference at all. If you feel that commercial products are taboo, or one's own products are taboo, then I would suggest that you've got some kind of personal problem. If you don't want to participate in this thread I started, by all means, don't. If you don't want to talk to me, by all means, stop responding to my posts. If you don't like the way the thread went, I'm sorry, but that isn't my problem, it is yours. However, if you continue to misconstrue my posts and my statements, I'll continue correcting you. Every time you say something wrong or stupid about my software, you give me another opportunity to explain what you have wrong and what you missed. So as near as I can tell, you're causing your own misery here. Perhaps you should explain why you think I should not be talking about my own software. Perhaps that would be cathartic for you. I'll pay attention, though I can't promise to take your viewpoint.

Re:As... (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 7 years ago | (#18544439)

[note: Full comprehension reading takes longer, and may make your head hurt. Side effects may include sudden realizations you've been wrong, abrupt changes in your perception of reality, and an inability to formulate insulting responses that previously came easily to you. Do not attempt if you have high blood pressure, artificial preconceptions, or are taking mood-altering drugs. The FDA has not approved the full comprehension approach for use within a non-rational environment. Your results may vary. Always ask your doctor before attempting to make an abrupt change in lifestyle. If pregnant or breast-feeding, avoid these posts. Post may contain sarcasm, irony, blunt humor and 100% natural abuse. Produced in a facility that stores nuts.]

You forgot do not taunt happy fun ball.

Re:As... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18541921)

No, you were talking about photo processing, not pro-level image composition work. You insist that a $30 piece of software can do consumer level photo editing better than the GIMP can. Please get back to the subject, and stop talking about high-resolution professional image composition tools. No one is claiming the GIMP is comparable to whatever application it is you develop.

Re:As... (0, Offtopic)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 7 years ago | (#18542289)

You insist that a $30 piece of software can do consumer level photo editing better than the GIMP can.

Yes, I do claim precisely that. Can the Gimp non-destructively rotate a torn image fragment back into frame such that it can be readjusted later as required? Hmmm? Can it mix said rotation with other geometrics, such as putting a "clown nose" on a picture, yet not putting it on the picture? And still un-rotate the image underneath the nose effect? Live, of course? Can the Gimp do CMYK separations for a pro print of your photo? Can the Gimp manage over 70 different layer modes including non-destructive geometric (and other) effects? Can the Gimp switch between pre-select and post-select for speed? Can the Gimp consistently remove zits and pimples and furrows with exactly one mouse operation (drag, release) per blemish? All of this on consumer photos, of course. And all of it really fast and clean. Does the Gimp offer a custom toolbox/caddy of whatever you like for your current operating habits, such as photo editing, heightfield work, compositing, texture generation? Does the Gimp let me apply splined animation of area selections in real-time so I can track a lightning bolt across dad's bald head coming from mom's outstretched finger? What, you expect me to apologize because we can also do pro-level compositing and fx? Help me out here. You're a funny person. I like you. Even if you do post AC. Don't worry, I always read at -1. :-)

Re:As... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18544315)

A word of advice, seeing as how 90% of your posts in this thread are on their way to getting troll-rated: get a web-designer. Maybe get a GUI designer as well. I'm not going to take the time to see if your software does everything you claim it does. Because, well, I've seen your website and your screenshots. If you have the cash to do it, some creative help would go along way, considering you are selling creative arts software. And keep all the words like "nasty" and "hate" off your testimonials section. Geez.

Just some semi-friendly advice. I don't like to see people struggle without getting where they're going wrong, even if they are trashing one of my most-used F/OSS apps.

- (not any of the ACs you've read so far)

Re:As... (1)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 7 years ago | (#18545611)

90% of your posts in this thread are on their way to getting troll-rated

Oh, that's to be expected. This is slashdot; I had the temerity to bring up commercial software and to speak honestly about the Gimp's shortcomings with regard to it. There's no possible response on /. but a frenzy of "yur web site sukz, dude" and "no, gimp is it, yo" and so on. Doesn't faze me in the least.

get a web-designer. Maybe get a GUI designer as well.

The web designer, perhaps someday. It isn't relevant to the software at all, and any impression you've gotten from the posts here or your own visit that the site doesn't perform well for us is entirely wrong. Changing it isn't called for, frankly. Sure, it'd be nice if it was all web 2.0 and all, but frankly, I don't care a great deal. That's not what we do; we're not artists, we're programmers. I kind of like the idea that it filters out the superficial visitors anyway. Those who are looking for functionality find their way to us eventually. They know the difference between a web page and a software feature. If you really won't look at something because of a website, all I can say is you're a very different person than I am, and that's just fine.

The GUI revamp - no. Why? Because the software has looked, and worked, like that for literally decades, since about 1985 when the first functions began to work. We've got a customer base that is very familiar with the interface, even down to the particular icons, and changing it would be a disservice to them. As far as I am concerned, they gave us money; I owe them consistency, at the very least. And they aren't asking for interface changes. You, on the other hand, are not a customer, and you want an interface change. You can imagine to whom I give more priority here, can't you? Those who have given me money. Do you think that's unreasonable?

And keep all the words like "nasty" and "hate" off your testimonials section. Geez.

There are no such words on our testimonials pages - I checked both the users testimonials and the reviewers. Then I used google to search the entire site, and I came up with one use each, both on the WinImages product page, one in context of our own software, one in context of "hate letters" and again, I think what we have here is a great deal of over-sensitivity on your part. If these things actually bother you, I'm just stunned. They don't bother me at all, truly. On the other hand, they aren't particularly significant, so just for you, I'll yank 'em right now. :-)

Re:As... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18543933)

Please get back to the subject, and stop talking about high-resolution professional image composition tools.

So far he hasn't. The "professional image composition tools" I'm familiar with cost a heck of a lot more than $30. And they run on Linux. And they don't look like something cobbled together from the best ideas invented by other people.

Re:As... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18542273)

Oh dear god! you aren't seriously talking about the heap of junk which is WinImages, are you?

http://www.blackbeltsystems.com/kowMEfDEpics/wi_sc ap.jpg/ [blackbeltsystems.com]

The screenshot just about says it all, if your own website can't show examples that don't look like utter crap then what hope does anyone else have? I see higher quality output from MSPaint users, let alone GIMP and PhotoShoppers.

Are your clients all interested in producing ultra low quality animated web graphics they're going to travel back in time to the mid-nineties to sell to web content producers?

Re:As... (1)

Inda (580031) | more than 7 years ago | (#18543341)

Did you use your software to output those lovely GIF files on your website? 256 colours with a touch a dithering looks fantastic!

You have a lot to learn too.

Digikam (1)

CmdrGravy (645153) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541681)

I've been using digikam recently and I have to say I'm very impressed with it.

First off its free and offers all the photo manipulation stuff you're likely to find online and secondly its organisational abilities are extremely useful - including location based organisation. It also uploads stuff to Flickr and other places really simply.

Re:As... (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541887)

Is it great though?

What I really mean is that $30 is so utterly cheap for software that can even display an image, so the only way I would choose $0 software over $30 is if they are very very equivalent, or if the $0 is actually better than the $30 software. Most retail software is so cheap that it doesn't matter that open source/Free software beats it on price, it has to beat it on features. A quick look at the success stories backs that up; the most popular stuff is generally the best product on the market in a given segment.

Re:As... (1)

Frenchy_2001 (659163) | more than 7 years ago | (#18547571)

Or you can get GIMP for $0

But most users would balk at the complex interface of Gimp.
I can use Photoshop routinely for most of what I need and I even tried Gimp and did what I needed successfully, but my wife is just swamped by the options.
On the other hand, I introduced her to Picasa and now she can organize her pictures in album, do basic editing and put galleries online on a mouse click and she couldn't be happier. Maybe in time she'll see the limitations of the app and upgrade to something more powerful, but I doubt it. We have to realize that 80% of the people do not want to invest themselves in those tasks. They just want the basics and dont even intend to grow in it. They want to be able to change contrast, balance, change the red eyes and eventually crop, but this will cover 95%+ of their actions.

Any tool that can do that in a user friendly manner will get people to look at it. Picasa did it for her, especially with the easy online gallery option (nothing ranks higher than being able to share your pictures easily).

Re:As... (1)

BlueTrin (683373) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541651)

As your grandmother, I wanted to ask you when you would have time to install me this bittorrent client you are speaking so much of so I can download some music.

Your grandma who loves you so much. Grandma.

Re:As... (2, Funny)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541711)

Grandma, after that lesbian porn incident with grandpa and the visit from the department of elder services, I'm not so sure about this. How about a nice cup of tea instead?

Re:As... (1)

fritzk3 (883083) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541975)

So... which program is it that only costs $30, yet does all of the things you say it can do? (It's not your own WinImages, is it? Looks like that runs about $100...)

Re:As... (1)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 7 years ago | (#18543347)

Yes, it is WinImages. You just have to grab it from the right page [blackbeltsystems.com] to get that price, which we offer via paypal only. That page — entirely coincidentally, I swear — is the photo/image editing page. The product you get is the full version, but download only - no CD, no copy protection. We do permanently back up your purchase and program keys for you so if it's lost, you can grab it again at no cost. Just takes a whack at our contact form.

$30. Funny story. Funny to me, anyway. There's a very odd thing that happens with marketing. At $99, the program sells quite well. We're well down the ROI curve (after 22 years, you can probably hardly imagine how far) and we wanted to make it less expensive. So we dropped the price to $49.95. It stopped selling. Not slowed down - I mean stopped. We put it back up to $99, and it immediately began selling again.

Huh, quoth we. So we put up a set of offers that said if you have this or that product, we'd sell it to you for $49.95. We don't ask for proof, we actually don't give a northbound rat's southern end, we just wanted to sell it for $49.95. Sure enough, it sold just fine. $99 value, a bargain at $49.95. I think. I guess.

Anyway, again, some years pass, and we're further yet into ridiculous ROI (I should have mentioned that when it was new, the software retailed for about $1000/copy, was marketed through dealers and distributors, used in Hollywood and TV and so on, and we sold many, many copies.) We were almost a year into making something entirely different for the Mac, and Wi is just sitting there, just had a decent upgrade, doing just fine, but I'm still thinking it can be dropped further. I'd really like to see more "regular" people using it. It's certainly easy enough for any basic work, my kids all used it, it's just god-awful powerful if you stretch its legs. Which isn't a bad thing, at least, IMHO.

So we tried. Several times, several prices. Fact: There is no low price point that works. Then, whilst perusing some online coupons for something unrelated that I really had to work hard to dig up to get a discount on something for a friend, it suddenly occurred to me that if we had something "hidden", it might turn into a little bit of a bargain for the end user, plus add a little bit of that "found a deal" excitement.

Sure enough, as long as we didn't actually mention that page, a slow but steady trickle of people found it and got WI for that price, pleasing the heck out of me.

So that's the story of the $30 price. All I can say is I write code. I'm no artist, as several posters here have taken me to task for, and I am no marketing guy. I don't pretend to understand why pricing works the way it does, and I find it more than a little annoying, I'd much rather sell 100+ copies a day for $10 than 20 copies at $50, but that simply doesn't work.

Re:As... (2)

darjen (879890) | more than 7 years ago | (#18543015)

I think you're missing the point. Why should I have to download or buy software to get basic features like resizing and cropping? This web based stuff clearly isn't meant for heavy processing or filtering. Half the time all people want to do is resize a crappy pic taken with their phone. This works just fine for that. And no I'm not gonna use windows paint because it sucks ass even for that.

Re:As... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18544073)

That's where the standard value added approach of linux distributions comes in, most distros provide the user, by default, with several tools capable of manipulating digital photos to some degree, as well as the GIMP for more advanced stuff. If the tools are already there why would you need to upload your photos and mess around with flash movies?

Re:As... (1)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 7 years ago | (#18545059)

Not to wander too far off topic, but do you see the humor in posting this...
Why should I have to download or buy software to get basic features like resizing and cropping?
...directly over your signature, to wit...
TANSTAAFL - There ain't no such thing as a free lunch.
Gave me a good laugh. Thanks.

Re:As... (1)

darjen (879890) | more than 7 years ago | (#18545295)

Not to wander too far off topic, but do you see the humor in posting this... Why should I have to download or buy software to get basic features like resizing and cropping? ...directly over your signature, to wit... TANSTAAFL - There ain't no such thing as a free lunch. Gave me a good laugh. Thanks.
It may be free for me, but it's still not a free lunch because someone else is willing to bear the development costs.

Proofs of Concept (1)

0137 (45586) | more than 7 years ago | (#18543575)

Although I don't doubt that these projects are sincere, their actual value is in testing the limits (and hopefully expanding the limits) of online GUIs.

I mean, why bother posting about this things being slow as all get out? Anyone who has ever used any heavy flash or poorly designed AJAX app knows these things crawl.

The thing is, the basic feature set for an app like photoshop is more-or-less stabilized. The issue with putting it online is one of overhead. Sure, it will always be slower then something kissing the ICs, but that's not going to be relevant if the application requirements stay approximately constant while hardware progresses. Give it 5 years. Online software will explode.

They won't stay on the server side (1)

weston (16146) | more than 7 years ago | (#18543989)

...the head of an image processing and fx software company, I can tell you one thing with certainty: Online apps that transfer photos back and forth and process them online are the very last thing on our list of technologies to be concerned about.

It's not going to stay that way. Much (if not most) of the processing will be done on the client side. Using Javascript/Canvas, using flash, maybe even Java Applets. I know this because I'm working on an app that does a limited amount of image editing via the first means -- it's a huge pain because of cross-browser differences and because the Canvas is still essentially bleeding edge, but that'll change, and the other two technologies are more mature, and what people try to do with them is only going to increase. You might see the final image apply transformations in a batch manner on the server side, but that's one round trip, something people are probably going to be fine with.

This isn't to say that desktop software will go away -- I agree that for professionals, desktop software will likely always have features unavailable in online products. But for an awful lot of everyday simple stuff, I suspect that web apps will indeed become compelling.

Re:They won't stay on the server side (1)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 7 years ago | (#18545117)

Interesting, but I respectfully disagree. Time will tell, of course. Thanks for your post.

Re:As... (1)

smallpaul (65919) | more than 7 years ago | (#18545745)

So here's what you should be asking yourselves: What is your time worth?

That approach is very short-sighted. You should instead be asking what new applications of photo editing this sort of thing will open up. You might want to do an investigation into how new product development happens: it isn't typically by trying to exactly duplicate the use-cases of established players. I would tell you all about it but I'm too busy integrating snipshot into the web app I'm building. And yes: it's an app for grandma (and your teen-aged nephew and...other people who don't even know what Photoshop is). What's wrong with that?

Re:As... (1)

shon (20200) | more than 7 years ago | (#18551717)

I can tell you one thing with certainty: Online apps that transfer photos back and forth and process them online are the very last thing on our list of technologies to be concerned about.
That reminds me of the Usenet posting claiming we'd never have or need computers with more than 1 GB (?) of RAM. There are likely a few image manipulation "tricks" that someone like a Google with a vast repository of image libraries and algorithms can do which the common PC cannot do. Things we haven't even imagined because we think in terms of one monolithic program (ie., photoshop) instead of making the Internet the computer.

Image Magick Studio (1)

Peterhd (461770) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541315)

Hi there, Just wondering if anybody else remembers the venerable Image Magick Studio [net4tv.com] ? Hours of fun to be had there and definately prior art to anything Web 2.0 :)

Re:Image Magick Studio (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | more than 7 years ago | (#18542151)

I Iremember it, but I'm a former WebTV user.

Javascript image manipulation? (1)

Rob Kaper (5960) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541801)

I haven't tried out any of the products, but it's safe to assume they do most of the work client-side and therefore they must have some Javascript image manipulation functions. I wonder if any of those exist as a free/open resource. For a long time I've been looking for a Javascript JPEG library which would allow me to scale an image client-side before uploading it to a CMS. Sure, server side checks and manipulations are available, but there's really no point in uploading a three Megabyte digital camera picture to a community site which won't show the images larger than 800x600 anyway.

Has anyone ever accomplished something like this?

Re:Javascript image manipulation? (1)

slashkitty (21637) | more than 7 years ago | (#18542969)

Yes and No. Javascript can be used in a lot of ways to preview image changes, but it's not going to rescaling the image before you upload it. That takes some processing power.

Here's some examples of what it can do in the way of previewing and rendering:

Scaling: Javascript image scaling [lunapic.com]
Color Saturation: Javascript color saturation preview [lunapic.com]
Drawing: Javascript drawing primatives [walterzorn.com]

Re:Javascript image manipulation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18545695)

Note that Javascript has no way to actually modify images. Here's how it emulates the parent's effects:

Scaling: it changes the width and height attributes on the IMG tag, causing the browser to scale the image.

Color Saturations: it has a fully saturated image and a fully desaturated image in the same location, and varies the opacity of each to preview the effects of changing the image's saturation.

Drawing: it creates DIV elements for each rectangle of pixels that are drawn. This method does not even use IMG tags.

dom

Others (1)

slashkitty (21637) | more than 7 years ago | (#18542681)

That list is hardly complete. There are others, the biggest probably being lunapic.com [lunapic.com] . Some things are just easier to do, lunapic for example has a lot of animations and fonts that you wouldn't normally have. Obviously, for high quality photo editing, you'd want to stay local for now. But, with bandwidth ever increasing, the online editors slowly get better and better.

Who would want this, you ask? (1)

BemoanAndMoan (1008829) | more than 7 years ago | (#18543327)

Just for the folks in the "I wouldn't use it, and I'm an average guy, so nobody is going to want this..." crowd (never mind the obtuse "we're in the high-end image editing business and need our apps close to the metal" gathering), there are in fact a ton of uses for a strictly online photo editing app...especially something lightweight that could be imbedded into a form.
  • embed into a CMS, or any other app. that has images as a content item
  • embed in a personals/community site, so uploaders can crop/resize their uploaded photos themselves, or content admins. can do it on the fly (just FYI, I built one of these for a company and productivity increased about 600% vs. download/Photoshop/upload)
  • any photo submission site, so you can access / edit them from any computer anywhere (like holiday photos from the hotel in Mexico on the 8-year old PC in their lobby)
  • any online form that requires a photo upload
For the ones that are trying to replicate/steal market share from Photoshop, that probably's a long way off, but for now there a lot of uses for an online image utility.

A little imagination is all that is required...this list took about 30 seconds and I'm sure there are many $$$$ ideas that could grow out of this little segment.

--------------
I don't mind if you piss into the wind, just let me know before you do it...

To the folks saying "who would use this?" ... (1)

cascadingstylesheet (140919) | more than 7 years ago | (#18543801)

My wife wants to resize a picture to put on her Yahoo group site. So she Googles "shrink picture", and one of the top sites that she finds doesn't just *tell* her how to do it with some software, it *offers* to resize the picture for her, for free.

We probably have five or more programs on our machine that could have done the job. But the above was *way* faster than it would have taken her to find one of them and figure out its interface.

And I have to confess, it may have been faster than it would have taken *me* to do it with a local program. I'm sure it took less clicks/keystrokes.

Re:To the folks saying "who would use this?" ... (1)

damncrackmonkey (1075919) | more than 7 years ago | (#18548979)

with the assumption that you use windows, the act of typing 'shrink picture' itself requires more keystrokes than needed to shrink an image. right click the image and select edit. hit ctrl+w (or go to image->resize if you like menus) and enter the new size. finish by saving.

Is this the last nail... (1)

The Queen (56621) | more than 7 years ago | (#18543889)

...in the coffin of a slowly dying Photoshop Phriday [somethingawful.com] ?

As Photoshop and other tools have gotten into the hands of folks who don't design for a living, the quality of this once-hilarious feature has gone down. The recent giant pets theme was just...well, something awful.
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