Color Management in the Command Line Part 2
Posted by Marco on Feb 24, 2010 in ICC
In response to the “Color Management in the Command Line” article, a reader tells me ImageMagick is also very fast, highly flexible and scriptable command line software. Apart from that, it’s Open Source (e.g. free download) and can also be implemented in a Switch09 flow. So at first glance both Apps appear do be able to perform the same tasks. But there are few important differences between the two: ImageMagick is free, but it is more limited. It can read, write and convert images as well as perform fairly simple tasks like scaling, flipping or adjusting colors.
SoftColor however, can perform fully automatic color corrections which can be tuned (layer based / correction intensity / non-linear color, exposure, contrast adjustments). It supports color management using ICC profiles, thus allowing the application to convert images from RGB to CMYK for example. It can output to layered PSD files (original image / improved image) and perform more complex tasks like sharpening, changing the contrast or colors.
ImageMagic does have one advantage: It can be implemented using Windows, Unix or Mac OSX. SoftColor is Windows only. That’s not entirely bad, as SoftColor is build around a tiny collection of easy to use static binary configuration files. Imagemagick binary version requires multiple dll files. SoftColor also supports RAW files out of the box, ImageMagick requires a plug-in. You do pay a few extra bucks for SoftColor, but not nearly as much as a Photoshop license and you can reach an actual human if you run into any problems or have specific questions. To sum it up: If you’re thinking about automating repetitive tasks and you’re looking for a lightweight tool be sure to check both tools out.