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Mike Ryan

[COLLAB] The Image Editing Software Project (IESP)

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The Image Editing Software Project (IESP)

"Through difference lies creation"

About

While we may retain our arguements over which image editing program takes the thrown, or which one is better suited for particular task, we can all agree that no image editing program is perfect nor capable of harnessing the power of today's computer related world. As such, this is a community wide collobaration in which it is upon the users to imagine, create, and design a mockup of The Image Editing Software.

Developement

Too keep things organized and relatively simple, I will be responsible for the timing and execution of different portions of the softwares developement. Now keep in mind, we aren't necessarily attempting to actually program this beast, just discuss it. Here is the list of different cycles we must go through so as to establish each layer of this software:

  • Core Principles and Philosophy
    Execution of Principles and Philosophies
    Mind to the Canvas
    Executing the Design
    Finishing the work
    Publishing

January 2nd, 2008: Core Principles and Philosophies

As a good start, I think it is most important to determine the shape of things to come, that is general philosophy and the core principles of the software. Here are some warm debate topics to start up the engine:

Mind Over Matter: Too which degree should a tool take control of an image?

User Interface over Functionality: How functional, in proportion to UI, should the IESP be?

Extendibility: How far should the IESP be extendible by user generated content?

Cool Factor vs Basic Factor: To what extent should a tool go to the 'cool factor' while retaining its basic functionality?

Of course, that is not what your discussion should be limited too. Feel free to create new subjects of interest, and don't fear over asking questions. After all, the IESP is as much yours as it is mine :)

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I think extendability should be important. If the product is to be perfect, then it needs to be perfect for everyone, down to the final detail. However, this customization needs to be simple, bringing me onto the next bit; user interface over functionality. Things need to be presented well. We don't want this to be a GIMP. Perhaps the program could covertly record the sorts of things the user uses; then, every month or so, the program could suggest a new UI. But what if you experiment with your style? Well, when you click "New Image", there could be a checkbox which allows you to mark the image as an experiment (this can be unchecked later).

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Perhaps the program could covertly record the sorts of things the user uses; then, every month or so, the program could suggest a new UI. But what if you experiment with your style? Well, when you click "New Image", there could be a checkbox which allows you to mark the image as an experiment (this can be unchecked later).

I disagree with this. If the UI is presented well the person using IESP should know where everything is and understand why it is there. That does not mean that they are Devinci if they understand the program, to be a good artist they also need to understand art.

So if you have something that changes the GUI for the user, you would have difficulty using IESP on someone else's computer, you would add bloat to IESP, you would have another setting (too many settings are bad), and... I had another point but I forgot it :?

E: ...and the user would have a little bit of trouble adapting because of the differences in the UI.

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I am going to have to agree with Brad on this one. While the program should evolve to adapt to a users needs, I believe that changes to the entire visual UI is a bit far fetched. However, I do believe that the most frequently used menu items should appear at the top, and and every single 'at that time' setting should be logged and represented. For instance, if I constantly change my brush's pixel width to 37 than eventualy the IESP should change the default brush width to 37. If the user often uses Motion Blur more than Gaussian Blur, then by all means Motion Blur should be higher in the list of blurs. Not that I am saying any of these blurs or options should be a part of the IESP yet, simply because we havn't gotten that far ;)

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i say that it should be mostly customizable, but not so much to where you couldn't tell it was the IESP anymore. Like change skins, placement of tools, which toolbars you view(kinda like a Microsoft word kinda thing), default brush widths and list plug-ins and effects on order of usage or importance, able to place effects into categories that seem more appropriate to you (like sometimes I forget where some plug-ins are), etc.

and maybe you can have a "profile" that saves your layout that you can access from anywhere with a password (like maybe an add on to a forum profile?). that might be really hard to do, so not so necessary.

as to the extendability, i say it should be able to have as much user generated content that doesn't affect the main program.

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Personally, I don't think UI is the most important factor when designing an image editing program. A friendly UI might be suited for new users, but once you are fluent with the program, you take the simple UI for granted and you want better features. I think that although the learning curve might be steeper, the end result would be a better program with more versatility. This is not to say, of course, that the UI is so complex that learning the program in the first place is impossible. The interface should be still on mind, with easy access features implemented where possible, but not so much as to interfere with functionality.

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Perhaps the program could covertly record the sorts of things the user uses; then, every month or so, the program could suggest a new UI. But what if you experiment with your style? Well, when you click "New Image", there could be a checkbox which allows you to mark the image as an experiment (this can be unchecked later).

I disagree with this. If the UI is presented well the person using IESP should know where everything is and understand why it is there. That does not mean that they are Devinci if they understand the program, to be a good artist they also need to understand art.

So if you have something that changes the GUI for the user, you would have difficulty using IESP on someone else's computer, you would add bloat to IESP, you would have another setting (too many settings are bad), and... I had another point but I forgot it :?

E: ...and the user would have a little bit of trouble adapting because of the differences in the UI.

I know, I know, it's a ribbish idea, but I was tired when I wrote that. Although, to avoid the problem of having to use a different UI when you use someone else's version of it, maybe there could be an integrated login system, where you could login,and it would automatically bring up your UI. And for those of us who don't have the internet, then there could be a a locally stored file listing the logins of people who've used it on that computer. Of course, for the worldwide internet version of this system, there would have to be password protection, so that someone on the other side of the world of you couldn't suddeny login as you and change your UI.

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Perhaps the program could covertly record the sorts of things the user uses; then, every month or so, the program could suggest a new UI. But what if you experiment with your style? Well, when you click "New Image", there could be a checkbox which allows you to mark the image as an experiment (this can be unchecked later).

I disagree with this. If the UI is presented well the person using IESP should know where everything is and understand why it is there. That does not mean that they are Devinci if they understand the program, to be a good artist they also need to understand art.

So if you have something that changes the GUI for the user, you would have difficulty using IESP on someone else's computer, you would add bloat to IESP, you would have another setting (too many settings are bad), and... I had another point but I forgot it :?

E: ...and the user would have a little bit of trouble adapting because of the differences in the UI.

I know, I know, it's a ribbish idea, but I was tired when I wrote that. Although, to avoid the problem of having to use a different UI when you use someone else's version of it, maybe there could be an integrated login system, where you could login,and it would automatically bring up your UI. And for those of us who don't have the internet, then there could be a a locally stored file listing the logins of people who've used it on that computer. Of course, for the worldwide internet version of this system, there would have to be password protection, so that someone on the other side of the world of you couldn't suddeny login as you and change your UI.

But what about new users having questions?

Person 1: Where's the gaussian blur at?

Person 2: It should be the effects menu, under the "blur" category.

Person 1: It's not there...

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That's not quite it. It would still be there, except you might have to click effects: distortion (I know, that's not where it should be, but I'm exaggerating) blur: gaussian blur, or you might just have to click Top 10 effects: gaussian blur.

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Or maybe everything could stay in place, but you have a certain toolbar that you can add "shortcuts" to whatever tool or effect you want to use.

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I totally disagree with skins on image editing software. The skin may affect the canvas because of the space around it.

Like before when PDN had a gradient behind the canvas.

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I totally disagree with skins on image editing software. The skin may affect the canvas because of the space around it.

Like before when PDN had a gradient behind the canvas.

when i say skin i dont really mean the canvas space behind the picture. That should stay the same anyway. i mean the toolbars you can change the color, or where the tool bars are. not the canvas bg.

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