Why are we doing anything manually any more? There is AI to do all the menial repetitive menial stuff for images, and median repetitive image processing is the unambiguous great triumph of modern AI.
There is a brief efflorescence of quirky small ML companies producing these apps before they get bought up by Adobe.
Background removal is something I need in practice often. Clipping Magic is fun and removes backgrounds using AI plus also a nicely-designed user interface.
Competitor removebg does something similar, and slightly cheaper, although there is less user configurability.
croppola does content-aware cropping.
Famously viral in recent times, Let’s Enhance uses AI super-resolution and colour enhancement to make images bigger and shinier. Might also salvage something usable from facebook’s savage compression and downsampling.
Kritik Soman’s GIMP-ML plugins bring some cute ML tricks to open source image editor GIMP.
Supporting modern formats
Command line image editing
Two command line tools to remember are
two similar, stand-offish rivals.
Imagemagick is the “original”, whatever that might means in the tangled phylogeny of software intellectual property.
Graphicsmagick has, AFAICT,
a better API.
They are usually interchangeable from a user perspective.
From a developer perspective, IM pretends GM does not exist, whereas GM knows IM exists and thinks it is awful:
Here are some reasons to prefer GraphicsMagick over ImageMagick or other popular software:
- GM is more efficient than ImageMagick so it gets the job done faster using fewer resources.
- GM is much smaller and lighter than ImageMagick (3-5X smaller installation footprint).
- GM is used to process billions of files at the world’s largest photo sites (e.g. Flickr and Etsy).
- GM does not conflict with other installed software.
- GM suffers from fewer security issues and exploits than ImageMagick.
G'MIC includes a world of image conversion including
scriptable image processing pipelines. See, e.g., a hand-rolled
fingerpainting filter via diffusion tenor fields.
Also has GIMP and Krita plug-in versions.
G'MICis a full-featured open-source framework for digital image processing… It provides several user interfaces to convert / manipulate / filter / visualize generic image datasets, ranging from 1D scalar signals to 3D+t sequences of multi-spectral volumetric images, hence including 2D color images.
Doing animated GIFs? they are fiddly. Specialised tool gifsicle handles them.
convert favicon.png -bordercolor white -border 0 \ \( -clone 0 -resize 16x16 \) \ \( -clone 0 -resize 32x32 \) \ \( -clone 0 -resize 48x48 \) \ \( -clone 0 -resize 64x64 \) \ -delete 0 -alpha off -colors 256 favicon.ico
convert favicon.png -define icon:auto-resize=64,48,32,16 favicon.ico
GUIs? You want, e.g. the Adobe suite? I will never touch that because of the economics of comparative advantage… But sometimes you need a few pixels nipped and tucked without any fuss.
Gimp is a flagship open source image editor. It has powerful plugins. Its user experience is a clusterfuck; there are such startling and unnecessary pain points as the fact that plugin registry (which is IMO the only reason you would want to dive into this dorknado) is broken in an undocumented way that probably has to do with it being am undermaintained security nightmare.
Krita is a ground-up reimagining of fun open-source non-nerview image editing. It has cute features like quasi-physical-modelling brush design and automatic tiling mode. Fairly pleasant to use. You can write your own plugins in python, making this an art python app.
Repper generates tesselating/tiling patterns. AUD8/month.
Making images smaller for the internet
Squoosh is a browser-based image compacted which works on raster and vector graphics from the browser.
Anonymising images for the internet
Image scrubber is a browser-based option motivated by recent protests.