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My Photo Software -- Need Your Input

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  #1  
Old 10-22-2009, 11:18 AM
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imagicphoto imagicphoto is offline
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My Photo Software -- Need Your Input

Hello, thanks for reading my post! My name is Chris, and I created a photo enhancement software called Imagic Photo (www.imagic-photo.com)

I am in the process of making an updated version that should work faster, adding presets, etc.

My question is, should I make another standalone application, or go towards creating a Photoshop Plugin? In all honesty, popularity hasn't been that good with the current standalone app, and am asking fellow photo retouching and enhancement enthusiasts if I might do better to invest in creating a plugin, in terms of what people would most benefit from.

Thanks for your input!
Chris
Imagic Photo
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  #2  
Old 10-22-2009, 12:49 PM
ISeek ISeek is offline
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Re: My Photo Software -- Need Your Input

You will have to admit that people do not like to switch between editors. Once they get used to it, they stick to it (or may be its just me). For example, it took me a long time to grasp that there are few things I could do faster (if not better) in Corel Painter than in Photoshop for Photo Art. Companies like Nik Software, Alien software, On One Software do not go into editors and instead focus on plug-ins.
That's why my suggestion would be to create plug-ins for PS, PS elements and probably GIMP.
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  #3  
Old 10-22-2009, 08:33 PM
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TommyO TommyO is offline
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Re: My Photo Software -- Need Your Input

Chris,
My first thought was make it a plug-in, simply based upon the popularity, ease of installation, being less intrusive on a PC, etc.

Then I took a look at your web site. Actually, that changed my mind. I'm not sure that your target audience would be Photoshop CSx users. Generally, us Photoshop users (and feel free to say otherwise if anyone would like) are looking for plug-ins that simplify more difficult tasks that we don't do that often. We are not looking for plug-ins that do global correction or enhancements.

Would it be possible to market your application to a different market, i.e youth, retired, mobile app, sidebar to general photo print shop like Walmart/Cosco/Target/etc. Just my thoughts.
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Old 10-23-2009, 01:14 AM
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seattle-light seattle-light is offline
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Re: My Photo Software -- Need Your Input

Dear imagicphoto...

Maybe I'm missing something here, but as I'm looking at your image examples I'm not seeing a decisive improvement. I know these things can be really subjective, but the girl with the apples looks better in the original. And the example comparing your software's result to some other unnamed software, the unnamed software comes out looking better. And in both instances your product seems to make the images too contrasty. From what you've shown, my impression would be that the product lacks finesse.

This is a case where you're choosing the images and settings to showcase your product's capability's, so it's kind of a rigged game. If it doesn't work well in your best-case/promotional examples, why would people expect that it would work well in the real world with their images?

If your market is retouchers and photo enthusiasts, you need to have something that makes a clear and compelling difference (and a real improvement) for people to use a separate standalone product (as that requires them taking the image outside of their regular workflow to use your product). But it also needs to reach almost that same threshhold as a plug-in (because it's introducing yet another element to the workflow, and most people don't want to add anything that doesn't boost their productivity and improve their finished work). It needs to be truly useful to justify its addition.

I don't see anything in your interface that leads me to think that it would be a "must-have" addition or that it would do anything better than either the initial Camera Raw conversion adjustments or adjustment layers in Photoshop (and those adjustment layers have the added advantage of being adjustable/nondestructive so they can be applied over the cleanup and retouching while still being able to work under the adjustments).

I can see that it's only a $39 product, but it looks like something that I wouldn't add to my system for free (whether it's a separate program or a plug-in).

From your examples, it looks like it might be good for simulating a harsh on-camera flash. But that's really not a look I'm often called upon to create (or one that I would need a plug-in to create).

I know it sounds like I'm being really critical here, but I am seriously trying to be helpful. A few basic questions: Does it do something that makes photo enthusiasts' lives and images better? Does it fill a real need? Does it do something that Photoshop can't do? Does it do something better than Photoshop? Faster? Easier?

If you can answer yes to some of those questions (and you have people using your product who like it/swear by it), then you need to find some great examples that "demonstrate" that claimed improvement in a way that nearly everyone can see. Photographers, retouchers and photo enthusiasts are visual people. They need to "see" the evidence. If they're not seeing it, they're not going to buy it.

If you have a product that saves time and makes images better, people will use a standalone program or a plug-in. But you have to make a clear case for it. And right now you're not doing that.

Hope you are doing well. Take care. Alan.
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  #5  
Old 10-23-2009, 11:53 AM
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pavel123 pavel123 is offline
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Re: My Photo Software -- Need Your Input

I tend to agree with earlier postings:
- Plug in is an easier way unless you want to make an easy and less expensive alternative to PS. In the latter case it has to be fairly functional and you would be competing with PSE.
- This is a highly competitive market, so the soft must be at least equal in terms of results with the best of existing packages.
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  #6  
Old 10-23-2009, 12:21 PM
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Steve Conway Steve Conway is offline
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Re: My Photo Software -- Need Your Input

What about Paint Shop Pro????

Does everything have to be based on Photoshop? Ye Gads.

Steve C.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ISeek View Post
You will have to admit that people do not like to switch between editors. Once they get used to it, they stick to it (or may be its just me). For example, it took me a long time to grasp that there are few things I could do faster (if not better) in Corel Painter than in Photoshop for Photo Art. Companies like Nik Software, Alien software, On One Software do not go into editors and instead focus on plug-ins.
That's why my suggestion would be to create plug-ins for PS, PS elements and probably GIMP.
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  #7  
Old 10-24-2009, 01:03 PM
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imagicphoto imagicphoto is offline
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Re: My Photo Software -- Need Your Input

Hi, thanks to everyone for all the useful input!

I like the idea of a standalone app, but as Iseek stated, would be making the consumer choose upon an unfamiliar and separate software, as opposed to a plugin, that PS familiar users could use. Still undecided which way to go in my mind.

Thats where Tommyo brought me to the idea to continue with the standalone app. The software can do many adjustments, and thus would be better to keep as a standalone, since as a plugin, adjustments in the plugin would be unnecessary, since PS can obviously do these things.

Seattlelight, you brought up many useful points. My software can do many effects with the adjustments sliders, and it may be unapparent what the effects can be. Thats why I though of making the 'presets', (labeled "sepia", "vintage", "pop art", etc) That would automatically do these things, then the user could make minor adjustments from there. At the moment, my examples in the website are for basically just "enhance". People need to be shown that it is capable of more than just that.

I thought of making the new version much like Tiffen Dfx, which I like, and my software will be capable of creating most of those effects, and so would be more of an 'effects/enhancement' software. I know people who have bought it are happy with it, (the testimonials are real), but maybe people need to be more aware of what it is capable of, and for it to be easier for the user to, well, use and appreciate!

What would you like to see in a separate software, or plugin for that matter, that would make life and workflow easier? And I'm still undecided between a soft or plugin. I am also thinking about making a Mac version, since I know many photo people are Mac users, and I also use a Mac, as well as Windows. More suggestions are much appreciated. Thanks again!

Last edited by imagicphoto; 10-24-2009 at 01:19 PM.
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  #8  
Old 10-24-2009, 03:49 PM
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0lBaldy 0lBaldy is offline
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Re: My Photo Software -- Need Your Input

Many software providers offer a stand-alone with an addition of the plug-in.. sometimes they work the same but other times it seems that the stand alone has a different interface or functions a bit different than the plug-in... but the opportunity of having both interfaces is provided in the same application
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Old 10-24-2009, 07:32 PM
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seattle-light seattle-light is offline
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Re: My Photo Software -- Need Your Input

Dear Imagic Photo...

You should start off by talking to the people who have already bought your product and who like it to find out what they are using it for in the real world (and how it's making their work smarter/faster/easier). And you should be working with them closely to put together a smart set of presets and great looking examples that show off its functionality and ability to save the day. (e.g. I used to spend days working on wedding images in Photoshop. Now I can process 95% of my images in Imagic Photo. I use three or four different presets on all the images. Then I'll spend a couple hours working on those really important shots in Photoshop. This program has given me back my life. It can't do everything that Photoshop does, but it's really fast and simple. And my customers love the results. Paid for itself on the first job. I don't know how I lived without it.) I think you're right in assessing that it's not really a Photoshop killer or an effective extension to Photoshop, but maybe there are some things that it can do really well and really fast that would make it really useful to people who need that exact functionality.

Probably you could make a set of actions in Photoshop that would do the exact same thing (and you could potentially sell a set of custom actions (but you're going to have to show that it would be a time saver and produce terrific results).

Having a set of prebuilt simple presets (as well as customer customizable presets -- so that I can take your sepia preset and create Alan's Deeper Sepia) might make for a tool that's really good for some people who don't need everything that Photohshop can do (or don't want to pay for Photoshop).

But you really need to show that it can make the images better. It needs to be the kind of a thing that anyone can use with very little instruction and achieve better looking images. Without that it's just an impossible thing to market.

Hope you're doing well. Take care. Alan.
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