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Old 02-06-2010, 09:34 AM   #1
michapma
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Method to batch resize photos with options


Hi,

I've been using GNU/Linux for many years, and am finally taking steps to reduce Windows to a gaming platform only. One important category is photography. I've used the GIMP a lot and have been quietly browsing several photo apps for various tasks; they've really progressed in recent years. There is almost too much choice!

On Windows I used XnView as my image viewer and for simple manipulations, but for batch JPG resizing I found Irfanview hard to beat. It has an intuitive interface for options, of which the following have become musts:
  • resize longest side, maintaining aspect ratio
  • specify the exact number of pixels
  • select a useful algorithm (usually cubic)
  • set JPG compression
  • process subdirectories recursively
  • write processed files to a new location, preserving subdirectory structure
  • confirm error-free operation or list errors
A nice-to-have is visual feedback of progress during processing.

Up till now, the main purpose of this has been to downsize the ~3MB JPG images my digital camera makes for fast viewing—viewing images 640 pixels max side length instead of 3504 pixels, I can browse more efficiently, and watch my life in fast-forward, so to speak. So now I am moving everything to be done on Debian, and want to downsize my 80-GB collection to an intermediate resolution for my wife to work with. I'd like her to use a photo management app instead of doing everything by hand. I could of course use Irfanview for the job and then copy everything to a *nix partition, but that's sort of not the point.

I know the heavily promoted Imagemagick can do batch conversion efficiently and is used as a backend for a lot of apps, but I'm not sure whether it can preserve subdirectory structure; this is a must because of over 200 subdirectories. The mogrify command changes the original image, and it seems inefficient to copy 80 GB only to downsize it. I'm sure that read-resize-write can be done preserving directory structure by using a script, and I'd be willing to do that in the future, but for now I lack experience and am not willing to use a script I don't understand. So to anyone suggesting this route I'd ask for help understanding the script.

Otherwise, there seem to be few free apps that do batch resizing with the features above. I looked into Phatch, but it doesn't seem to let me set the exact resolution I want. I don't want to use Picasa until Google makes it free. Gwenview does batch resize, but doesn't seem to give all the options, unless I missed something.

Any other choices on this task?
Thanks
 
Old 02-06-2010, 12:43 PM   #2
highfructose327
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michapma,
you might check out digikam I think it uses KDE libs, but; I use it in Gnome. I have not had much time to really explore its options yet, Digikam has received some good reviews. I also looked at is bibble and lightzone,they both cost money,but; they may have a free trial period. That is my limited knowledge

Last edited by highfructose327; 02-06-2010 at 12:47 PM.
 
Old 02-06-2010, 02:14 PM   #3
michapma
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Hey thanks highfructose, digikam does have image manipulation capability. However, it is a photo management app—to do anything with it at all I had to tell it several settings preferences, like where I want to store images. To me this is overkill for just batch resizing images, and after checking out the menus and help, nothing is mentioned; google says it can be done for imported images with a plug-in. So this is not the idea way to my taste.

For photo management, right now I think it's down to digikam or f-spot. digikam looks feature-rich and has nice documentation. f-spot looks great except that it forces you to import any images it works with; this might work out with the downsized jpgs (downsize, import then delete the import source to prevent having double image sizes). I was excited about blueMarine, but it doesn't look stable enough yet.

bibble and lightzone do look interesting, as does pixel image editor, but I'm planning to stick with free software; free meaning freedom, which also IrfanView is not.

So thanks, but I'm still looking for a batch-resize program...
 
Old 02-07-2010, 10:32 AM   #4
michapma
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In the meantime I tried Phatch, because I found out it does support entering the exact dimensions and pretty much everything on my list. Unfortunately, it aborted upon execution after processing only one file. I filed a bug.

I'm still looking for a solution!
 
Old 02-07-2010, 10:39 AM   #5
pixellany
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You touched on ImageMagick, but there was no further discussion. Have you tried it?
 
Old 02-07-2010, 11:32 AM   #6
highfructose327
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michapma,
here is a interesting plug-in for GIMP that does batch resizing, you have got me curious about this. My wife just switched to Linux full time from Apple and she is a Professional Photographer. She wants to give Open Source a go and I am sure batch resizing will come up at some point. I found the link for the plug-in at this post in the Ubuntu forums they discuss a few other options like a Nautilus plug-in to do batch resizing. The GIMP plug-in looked good because it talked about keeping the aspect ratio correct when scaling the image.
 
Old 02-07-2010, 11:42 AM   #7
pixellany
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GIMP---and I would hope any other photo SW---will always maintain the aspect ratio by default. Also, I assume the plugin is using the GIMP scaling functions and not adding something different
 
Old 02-07-2010, 11:58 AM   #8
highfructose327
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pixellany, yeah I would hope so too. As you said I am sure the plug-in is expanding GIMP's native functions. I was responding to the OP's first item on their list
Quote:
resize longest side, maintaining aspect ratio
I can imagine some very simple software either cropping or stretching and image to fit a predefined template size, I would guess that is the concern
 
Old 02-07-2010, 12:12 PM   #9
pixellany
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I have a hard time imagining any simple and/or automated process that makes the cropping decisions. How can the SW know what part of the picture is to be discarded?
 
Old 02-07-2010, 12:44 PM   #10
highfructose327
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pixellany, it seems crazy but JS PhotoPrep list auto crop as a feature
Quote:
You can auto-crop an entire folder full of images to print-ready dimensions in seconds
how many peoples head would get cut off ?
 
Old 02-08-2010, 10:49 AM   #11
pixellany
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I suppose they might be mis-using the word "crop". Regardless, I will probably always crop by hand---there is no substitute for the subjective decision on the composition of the picture.

Last edited by pixellany; 02-08-2010 at 04:12 PM. Reason: typofix
 
  


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