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Automatic Photo retouching software

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  #1  
Old 07-27-2006, 05:55 AM
tonypoli tonypoli is offline
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Automatic Photo retouching software

Hi,

I've recently been working on a program that automatically touches up portraits and would love some feedback on it. You can download a free trial at www.myperfectpicture.com. It's still in an early stage and we are constantly refining it, but it would be good to get people's initial opinions.

Cheers,

Tony
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Old 07-27-2006, 07:54 AM
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Swampy Swampy is offline
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Looks interesting. Let us know when you have a Mac version.
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Old 07-27-2006, 02:06 PM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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looks interesting. what restrictions do you have on the demo? (i hate the timed ones).

craig
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Old 07-27-2006, 04:12 PM
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Peter S Peter S is offline
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Looks interesting, but why do you have to connect to the internet to complete the picture??????
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Old 07-27-2006, 04:59 PM
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NancyJ NancyJ is offline
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Well I'm not feeling threatened For 'amihotornot.com' users its probably fine but its never going to stand up to scrutiny from professional retouchers (or even hobbyists for that matter)
From a geeky point of view it may be interesting but the technology to do what you product is trying to do, convincingly, is years away - at least outside of research facilities and universities.
Perhaps with better skin and colour correction techniques it would be more sucessful. At the moment the results are blurred and blotchy. (Though I'd love to see your anne widecomb - your site references the image but doesnt show it)
The options are limited and although the face resculpting is very well done, I'm not sure about whether its an improvement on the original. The other options bar is very limited and doesnt give a lot of control.
It also doesnt work well (or at all in some cases) on images where the subject isnt facing forward, particularly if part of one of their features is not in view.

While the quality is perfectly acceptable for the low end, online dating crowd, the subscription plan seems to indicate the expectation of a more high volume client.

It also doesnt help your case that the image used to advertise the product is faked I tried using the image to come up with your end result and no combination produced the image you came out with - most likely because of the extreme high pass sharpening applied to the 'before' image. Exaggeration in advertising is not unusual but when there is the opportunity for users to try it for themselves, it can be quite revealing.

As to the question of why online, well its either running some serverside scripting language - such as php or they are running the software on their servers to prevent backwards engineering of the code.
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Old 07-27-2006, 05:11 PM
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Peter S Peter S is offline
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Quote:
As to the question of why online, well its either running some serverside scripting language - such as php or they are running the software on their servers to prevent backwards engineering of the code.
AHH!! understand the second bit, but the first bit - foreign language to me????
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Old 07-27-2006, 05:19 PM
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Sanda Sanda is offline
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online demo won't work with netscape.
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Old 07-28-2006, 01:43 AM
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NancyJ NancyJ is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter S
AHH!! understand the second bit, but the first bit - foreign language to me????
Well it kinda is - php is what runs these forums - it just so happens to have an extensive image manipulation library. PHP stands for hypertext preprocessor. Basically its code that gets run on a server before (usually) sending output to a web browser. Its how dynamic web pages work.
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  #9  
Old 07-28-2006, 05:01 AM
tonypoli tonypoli is offline
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Thanks for your comments!

Hi everyone,

Firstly, thank you for all your comments, it is in our interest to make a product that people find genuinely useful, so any comments from you are a great help. Let me address them in the order they came.

We’ve got no plans for a Mac version yet, but we may do a version that is entirely web based.

The only restriction on the demo is that if you save the picture, it has the word ‘Preview’ written across the forehead and our URL along the bottom of the picture. You can use it as many times and as long as you like.

The reason it connects to the internet to complete the picture is twofold: firstly so we can improve the processing part of the software on a daily basis without you needing to install a new version all the time and secondly to stop piracy, which we have large problems with in the past.

NancyJ; You are right, the ‘before’ picture has had the blemishes exaggerated, but the ‘after’ picture really is the output of our software on the input picture (with skin tone correction set to around 4). It’s possible that the differences are due to the fact that the images for the web site were both originally 8 megapixel images, which were scaled down for the web site, and it was done with an older version of the software, but I’ve just tried it out with the latest version and got just as good result. I’d be really interested to see the output you got, and where you thought it differed from our web page.

As for the blurriness, on skin tone reduction level 1 it should just remove imperfections and camera flash while keeping all the detail of the pores. As you move up the scale, the contrast of the pores is reduced, but the detail is still there if you zoom in. Do you find it easy to find a happy medium? It’s probably not obvious at the moment, but you can apply more or less skin tone correction to individual parts of the image by clicking on the ‘more’ or ‘less’ buttons and then drawing on the image. We are still working on the user interface for that part. The blotchiness you talk about is a problem we currently have, but we are working on it too!

How well the face sculpting (and indeed the whole program) works depends on how attractive the original subject is, obviously there are some faces you can’t improve upon! And you are right, it doesn’t work on people that are not face on, so we mention that when you start the program.

The applicability of the software you tried is absolutely targeted at the amihotornot crowd, but we are working on a version with more control for the professional or semi-professional market. Obviously it’s not going to replace experts like people on this forum, but we hope it might speed up some of your tasks, or bring photo retouching to people like wedding photographers who might not have the time to retouch hundreds of images in Photoshop.

Thanks again,

Tony
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  #10  
Old 07-28-2006, 05:57 AM
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NancyJ NancyJ is offline
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This is with skin setting 4... spot the difference

I found the more/less buttons - but that comes under the category of artistry
(which your software says isnt required)

I think your pricing model would be off putting for the casual 'hotornot' user. 300 pictures is a lot in 12 months. Although £15 isnt a lot of money, psychologically speaking, if you're not going to use all 300 (or close) then you're not getting your monies worth.
A common pricing model that appeals to casual users is the 'credits' system, you purchase a number of credits (that dont expire). Users get a certain number of credits for free when then sign up (some even refresh your credits every month) then each image costs x credits, when you run out you either wait to get more or purchase them.
Someone who might want to do a couple of photos for their myspace page or whatever, would be more likely to find it appealing. At 300 for £15, thats 5p an image - fairly reasonable, but if you only want to do 3 images - thats £5 per image... pricy. I dont think there are many casual home users that would need 300 images done a year.
Also, needing to be face on, I see as a major sticking point - if you look at pictures on dating/social networking sites, they rarely pose front on - almost always looking to one side slightly (I tihnk its supposed to be more flattering )

For face on photos your facial recognition is fairly good - if you worked with a pro retoucher on your retouch techniques, you could have an amazing bit of kit that would be very useful - at least to portrait photographers.
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