Artscript v2.0, aiming for quality.

Standard

atk-v2_all_1So you finished your latest work, and you want to quickly adapt your work for sharing. Open up GImp (Inkscape, Krita), resize, add watermark, save. Repeat for the number of formats and sizes you need. Shell scriptitng is an option, as long as you know what you are doing. Gui frontends are available like Converseen and Phatch, the first a bit simplistyc and the later far more complex.

Then, there is Artscript, tailored to get high quality results for digital painters, supporting transforms from XCF, ORA, KRA and SVG using the applications you already have. GIMP, Inkscape and Krita. The advantage is that all operations are optimized for preserving your hard work intact over the downscale operation. An example of this, artscript will not degrade color quality if a low jpeg quality is selected.

net_2013-10-22_v2.0

What is Artscript?

Artscript is a GUI bridge for Gimp, Inkscape and Krita command line options to Imagemagick actions, to convert, resize, watermark and make image strips. It aims for clarity in use and options versatility while obtaining high quality results.

  • Reading format support: PSD, XCF, KRA, ORA, WEBP, PNG, GIF, JPG, SVG, AI, TIFF.
  • Writting formats support: PNG, JPEG, GIF, WEBP, WEBP lossy.
  • Transform Format: ORA. It allows you to quickly mutate XCF, PSD and KRA formats to the OpenRaster format. (Note that openraster does not support all options from the former formats)

Do I need Artscript?

Of course you do! Here are a couple or reasons why you should use it:

  1. Resize operation is tested for quality, not speed
  2. Watermark your logo or website is a one step operation. And allows for blending control and position
  3. Simply put, different size deployments only takes a few clicks to setup, and one click to run.
  4. Unsharp mask is tailored for maximum detail preservation with no artifacts, or over applied sharpness. (this is extremely important for paintings detail preservation)
  5. Small array of output formats as I test and ensure all options are easy to configure and give quality results.

How it works

Artscript works as an standalone script, but it works best paired with a file manager or image manager application. I have personally tested it in:

Download

Get the script from the github repository page. https://github.com/vanyossi/artscriptk
Direct download https://github.com/vanyossi/artscriptk/archive/v2.0.0.zip

What’s new

When I developed Version 1, I had no knowledge about tk/tcl and it was my first GUI. And as such I had a lot of spontaneous ideas that I wanted to try and that eventually were developed into a feature. But this made the script ugly and hard to use.

Artscript v2 has a much improved GUI, I migrated all Tk widget to the much easier to style TTK ones. this has the advantage that controlling the look and feel of the script is much more easier. Before doing anything of course I made a lot of UI sketching and GUI test. I even made some QTBuilder mockups

The major difference is the horizontal set up, as it better accommodates to modern monitors.

GUI improvements include:

  • Gui shows as fast as possible.
  • File pane shows all the files you loaded to convert, it allows to add files and erase files
  • Files show its name and it’s size and also the output name and size you are going to get.
  • The thumbnail pane, loads a thumbnail for all image formats supported. (XFC is off for the moment)
  • Watermark options include support for image and text.
  • Color options for watermark as no longer blended with other color options
  • Different operations are divided by tabs
  • Resize operation was designed for multiple sizes from the beginning
  • Better error handling and improved string validation
  • Preffix and Suffix are now two independent values.
  • Ctrl + click, or right click to edit dropdown values.
Listbox behaviour: Ctrl + click to edit (or right click)

Listbox behaviour: Ctrl + click to edit (or right click)

Convert improvements

  • Resize is done in RGB linear space, as recommended by Imagemagick wiki, as the inner workings work best in this way
  • Watermarks are first processed as images to allow finer position control, effects and blending mode.
  • Text Watermark uses a backdrop color by default. It is black if the color is luminous and white if the colour selected is dark.
  • Output options change depending on format.
Quality compare V1 vs Artscript 2

Quality compare V1 vs Artscript 2

Other features

  • Output to WEBM and ORA
  • Multiple resize.
  • Allow overwrite option for output images
  • Preview button
  • Code start to adhere to tcl style guides

Some things missing in V2

Making the new GUI required a lot of time and still requires a lot of user feedback. For this reason I developed only the most used features of version 1. The things missing will be added on version 2.1. For this reason the download repository still includes the version 1 script.

What’s to come

The first thing is to finish the migration of the v1 feature lists. Collage and Rename feature sets. After that is done here are couple of ideas to develop:

  • Resize operators (crop, zoom, fit, only grow, only shrink)
  • Watermark position and orientation
  • Fix XCF and PSD thumbnail
  • Animation pane
  • Finer control for output options
  • SVG convert enhancements

There is still a lot to do, specially in the output quality control to enable the user to set their preferred defaults.

Please let me know if you have any suggestions for improvements in the comments area below.

5 thoughts on “Artscript v2.0, aiming for quality.

  1. Very nice! I have just tested the script with xcf and ora file format and the conversion worked perfectly. Easy to install in kde and directly available.. I have tried to apply a text watermark and got an error. It seems that the script tries to use the “root” font config file (/etc/fonts/conf.d/50-user.conf). When i use the script as root there is no error message. Might also be a problem with my sys configuration.. i am not sure – any idea?

    • Hi there Vasco.

      By default Text watermark does not define any font, as they change depending on system. Can you check if imagemagick is seeing your fonts?
      identify -list font | grep Font

      If it is the problem might be with extra warnings in the terminal. I use -quiet on convert to avoid any text return, as they are interpreted as errors. Probably you have a warning on your system and with some probability it is related with the .font/font.config deprecation. It’s a wild guess but I’m pretty certain it is (I cannot be sure that is what’s causing the problem as I never tested it before doing the config upgrade). I followed this steps to keep fontconfig warnings an errors away.
      http://crunchbang.org/forums/viewtopic.php?pid=326558

      What I can do in my end, for master and 2.1 version is to wrap the convert command in an exception catcher. So any warning and message will be ignored. I do this with calligra convert as it trows everything in the terminal causing tcl to complain.

      EDIT: Pushed new version to master, I protected converts warning failure. https://github.com/vanyossi/artscriptk/commit/58dcfb57927b787bf6c7040075de5b8dba71a0bd

      • It was exactly the problem you guessed and i could fix it with the instructions you linked. Thank you very much for your help!

        Also i like to give you some additional feedback:
        The gui is very good now – i can’t find anything to improve (and i could be really pedantic in this things…). The Features of the Script cover about 90% of all tasks i do with image converters. Some days ago i searched again for a better solution for my work cause the converters i used (phatch & xnConvert) are nice but too much clicks and setup procedures away for me – i found no satisfying (gui-based) alternative.
        Yesterday i had to export an xcf and had problems with the colors that were slightly different in the resulting image. Then i exported the file with the artscript and the colors matched perfectly. So all requriements i have in quality, usability and features of a converter tool are now superior in the Artscript compared to what i used before. You did a great job!

        Also i want to mention that the presentation and documentation of your work couldn’t be better!

      • Good thing it worked :]

        And thanks a lot for the detailed feedback, it really helps to see what can be tweaked, what works and what doesn’t work. Knowing that the GUI is easy to use it’s a great thing as I’m about to powerup resize and add the missing collage mode.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s