inside PhotoEQ by the developers

Posted by Marco on Feb 16, 2011 in ICC

I had a small chat with Petri, one of the developers of PhotoEQ. He’d love to talk about their new App on my blog. The App, PhotoEQ is a really lightweight and fast program to get your daily image editing tasks done. PhotoEQ can be used for color correction, image editing and color management. You can process a single image file or use PhotoEQ’s ToDo queue to batch process multiple image files and folders. Petri tells us what inspired his team to build PhotoEQ, how long it took to code the 1.0 version and shows us a short demo.

By Petri Our server side image processing software Toolbox has been on the market a few years. Toolbox contains lightweight command line tools. We have received many emails from our Toolbox users covering the topic “Is it possible to get an easy to use version of Toolbox with a GUI?” It is true that command line based tools are quite challenging for regular users. Many users asked for a fast and simple program that can also handle advanced tasks. the main reason for those requests is that in the Windows world applications like Photoshop Elements and PaintShop Pro have become a gigantic Apps packet with millions features inside (like video editing). In the Mac scene there have been many small and stunning apps which can also handle advanced tasks (for example Pixelmator and Acorn). Of course there is a solid and fast Adobe Lightroom but it is mainly targeted to photographers and it quite heavy tool for just get daily image editing task done. So we felt there was room on the Windows platform for a tool like PhotoEQ.

Last summer we started to plan a lightweight single window application for Windows. We wanted to make a program which helps every PC user to get daily color correction, image editing and color management tasks done. One of my inspiration source for planning PhotoEQ’s architecture was the Lightroom Exposed presentation by Troy Gaul, at the C4 developer conference. Check out his Slides and video!

My personal opinion is that the most important thing is to create a daily image editor which is lightweight and can start up very fast. It was quite big challenge to make a fast program with a beautiful GUI for every Windows machine, running XP, Vista and 7. Our solution was to make a native Windows application and use custom vector based GUI library. Just like our Toolbox program, PhotoEQ is also coded with Delphi. This made it possible to create a lightweight program which uses only 8 megabytes memory and 42 megabytes hard disk space. PhotoEQ uses same “engine” as our Toolbox.

Another problem was to find out, how “get your daily image editing tasks done” philosophy can be solved. Our solution was to develop a Todo Queue feature. This gives to the enduser an easy way to just load or drop new images to todo list. Images can processed one by one or all files can batch processed and saved automatically. Finally in February 2011 after 7 months of coding PhotoEQ 1.0 was ready. If you’d like to see more, check out the short Video tutorial.

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