AutoMatting

Unique digital mats... extraordinaire AutoMatting automatically creates a unique mat for each image which is designed to make the photographer’s work more atractive and appealing to the customer in a slide show or viewing mode.
  • 16:10 Aspect Ratio Before
  • After

About AutoMatting

AutoMatting automatically creates a unique mat for each image which is designed to make the photographer's work more attractive and appealing to the customer in a slideshow or viewing mode.

The Problem: Final images delivered to the clients by photographers tend to be large and difficult to display quickly by the customer. Often thousands of images are captured. The client needs to rapidly view images to be used in a photo book or for distribution to others. In addition to the long time to render and display large images on a typical computer display, the aspect ratio of the monitor is not the same as the typical 3x2 aspect ratio of the images. When a set of vertical (Portrait) images is mixed in with the horizontal (Landscape) images, the computer display program cannot display both images the same size. The result is a vertical image that is smaller than the horizontal ones and has two large black bars on either side; while the horizontal images have smaller black bars on the top and bottom in a letterbox style display. When images are viewed quickly, as they need to be to see the total set from a large photo shoot, the effect is one of flashing irregular images with different sizes in front of the viewer with the aesthetic look and feel.

The Solution: AutoMatting automatically creates a unique mat for each image which is designed to make the photographer's work more attractive and appealing to the customer in a slideshow or viewing mode. AutoMatting customizes the output to a user specified display or TV screen format. Each mat is unique and is generated with color and image content from the image that it surrounds. Colors and texture from the source image are extended into the mat for a pleasing effect, including a border and colored core extracted from the image by finding a strong color to match. The effect is one of consistently sized images with colorful mats that accentuate the elements of the image while displaying rapidly on the wide screen TV or computer monitor. Colors in the images are complimented by the colors supporting them in the mat. The matted images will appear sharper than the original images.

AutoMatting operates in a batch mode and provides a folder of images with unique mats. Each mat contains the colors from the image and uses a lighting technique to create a unique beveled edge for your mat.

The benefits are:
  • Consistently sized horizontal and vertical images with no black bars on the monitor
  • Faster display on the TV or computer screen
  • Beautiful mats that extend the image onto the mat and enhances the image
  • Each mat is unique with colors and patterns extracted from the image
  • A color coordinated core (or bevel cut) with color extracted from the image
....Unique digital mats... extraordinaire
HDTV (16x9) example: Standard Monitor (4x3) example:

Technology Overview

As technology continues to evolve, many more display devices are available for the photographer to use to present their work. AutoMatting was developed to permit photographers to properly format their images for presentation with a unique matting technology.

Final images delivered to the clients by photographers tend to be large and difficult to display quickly. Often thousands of images are captured. The client needs to rapidly view image to be used in a photo book or for distribution to others. In addition to the long time to render and display large images on a typical computer display, the aspect ratio of the monitor is not the same as the typical 3x2 aspect ratio of many digital cameras. When a set of vertical (Portrait) images is mixed in with the horizontal (Landscape) images, the computer display program does not display both images the same size. The result is a vertical image that is smaller than the horizontal ones and has two large black bars on either side; while the horizontal images have smaller black bars on the top and bottom in a letterbox style display. When images are viewed quickly, as they need to be to see the total set from a large photo shoot, the effect is one of flashing irregular images with different sizes in front of the viewer with the aesthetic look and feel.

A survey of several noted photographers requested a display application that properly formats the images to a specific display device using colorful mats that accentuate the colors within the image to be displayed.

Given these requirements, AutoMatting was developed. It presents both horizontal and vertical images at approximately the same size. It produces a colorful mat pattern based on color content of the image and a complex algorithm that is very appealing to the human vision system. It also produces a bevel for the mat based on a prominent color in the image. This bezel includes a unique lighting effect to add the perception of depth to the mat.

The unique mat also gives the viewer the perception of a much sharper image than is actually displayed.

 

AutoMatting - User Interface:

The Graphical User Interface (GUI) is very simple. Select the source for your images and where you would like the matted images to be written. You should never write over your original images. Here is the AutoMatting user interface:

 
Source Window

Simply choose a set of images or folders of images to begin. You may select one or more images for processing. The file names you have selected will appear in the central window. You can 'Include subfolders' in the 'Source' window. This will allow you to include all subfolders of images. Note that you can add image files by using the 'Drag and Drop' method to place them in the white window in the 'Images to Process' group. You can add additional images or remove images by using the controls: 'Add', 'Add Folder', 'Remove', and 'Clear Inputs'.

Now that all of the images are selected, select where you want to store the matted images in the 'Destination' window.

Destination Window

This window allows you to specify where the matted images will be stored. The default is to make a new subfolder named 'AutoMatting_(monitor resolution)' under the original folder of source images. If you select multiple folders of source images, then multiple 'AutoMatting_(monitor resolution)' folders will be created. One under each of your source folders. Note that you can change the subfolder name to anything that you choose.

You can optionally designate a specific folder for all of your images to be written into by checking the 'Designate Folder' option. This destination folder is chosen by selecting a specific folder name. You simply select 'Choose Folder' and browse to the folder where you would like all of your matted images to reside. Please be careful and do not write over your original source images! Once the processing has completed, the 'View Outputs' button is enabled and you can now view your newly matted images.

You must select the output format and size using the 'Screen Resolution' drop down box. The default uses your current display resolution as the output format. It is highly recommended that you create an output format that matches the monitor or display device format that your customer will use to view the images. The more common aspect ratios include: 16:9, 4:3, 3:2, 16:10, and 5:4. If you know the customer will display the slideshow on a home television, then either 3:2 (for common NTSC TV) or a 16:9 (High Definition TV) resolution should be selected. The most common computer monitor is the 4:3 aspect ratio. New wide screen computer monitors are 16:10. For additional information on display aspect ratios and resolutions, please refer to: Display Resolutions.

Central Window

The central window displays the file names of the images to be matted. Once you begin processing, the central window will display the first image you selected without a mat to validate processing the correct group of images. After the first image is matted it will be displayed in the central window, followed by the other images in sequence.

After all images are processed a message will appear letting you know that processing has completed. The 'View Outputs' button will open the folder you designated to show the results.

Controls

To begin processing your images, simply press and the application begins. You will also see a progress bar above the controls.

Processing time will vary with your computer speed, memory, and image size.

The help file is opened by selecting the button in the lower left corner of the application.

The button changes to 'Pause Process' once the processing has begun. This can be used if you want to suspend image processing temporarily to allow your computer to perform other tasks. To resume processing, select the 'Resume Processing' button.
The progress bar provides a visual indicator to indicate the AutoMatting progress.

Display Resolutions

We provide a selection of output display types identified by:

Aspect Ratio - Width:Height, Pixel Dimensions (WidthxHeight), and "Display Type"

Current Monitor (this means the monitor resolution currently in use)

3:2 (480x320) "HVGA"

3:2 (1280x854) "PB-G4"

4:3 (640x480) "VGA"

4:3 (768x576) "PAL"

4:3 (800x600) “SVGA"

4:3 (1024x768) "XGA"

4:3 (1600x1200) “UXGA"

5:4 (1280x1024) "SXGA"

5:4 (2560x2048) “QSXGA"

16:9 (1366x768) “WXGA"

16:9 (1280x720) “HDTV"

16:9 (1920x1080) "HDTV"

16:10 (1680x1050) “WSXGA+"

16:10 (2560x1600) “WQXGA"

25:16 (1600x1024) "WSXGA"

 
Display Formats:

As digital displays become more prevalent, there are many new display resolutions and types. The following table represents many of the current display aspect ratios, resolutions, and types:

Over time, more higher resolution displays will be added that follow the 5 basic aspect ratios show above. For additional information on display aspect ratios and resolutions, please refer to: Wikipedia-Display-Resolutions

  • A horizontal 3:2 aspect ratio (typical camera image) displayed on a 16:10 aspect ratio monitor:

  • AutoMatting output displayed on a 16:10 aspect ratio monitor:

  • A horizontal 3:2 standard image displayed on a 4:3 aspect ratio monitor:

  • 4:3 aspect ratio with matting:

  • A vertical 3:2 standard image displayed on a 4:3 aspect ratio monitor:

  • 4:3 aspect ratio with matting:

  • A vertical 3:2 aspect ratio (typical camera image) displayed on a 16:10 aspect ratio monitor:

  • AutoMatting output displayed on a 16:10 aspect ratio monitor:
    Note that portrait oriented images are displayed much smaller than are landscape images.

Tips & Techniques

AutoMatting should be the last step in your workflow. All images should be properly oriented before processing by AutoMatting.

If your images use Adobe RGB as the color format, it is suggested that they be converted to sRGB format. We have observed that some slideshow utilities will cause Adobe RGB images to be dull in color.

Hovering the mouse over a button will show the definition of that button.

The first image displayed after the 'Process Images' button is pressed will not have a mat until the processing for that image has completed.

The sharpest image will be seen when the AutoMatting output format exactly matches the size of the monitor. If you do not know the display resolution of your customer's monitor, then select the highest likely resolution, such as UXGA (1600x1200), and let the customer's slideshow software downsize the image. Most slideshow viewers will correctly downsize the images for the display.

If you do not know the aspect ratio of the customer's monitor, then choose a 4:3 aspect ratio for the display resolution.

You may want to provide the customer both a wide screen version and a standard screen version of the output formats.

Keyboard Shortcuts:

Help can be accessed by pressing the 'F1' key

 

system requirements

  • Operating Systems:
    Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, XP, NT, 2000
  • Memory Requirements:
    Minimum recommended is: 1GB