Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Monday, October 7, 2002

Automatic Image Optimization Through Visual Evaluation

Sponsored Links

Photogenetics 2.0 name=photogeneticsfull (not accessible anymore)
= interesting, promising
Software Tool (Win & Mac)
FREE evaluation version / USD $ 19.95

Photogenetics is an innovative image color adjustment tool that allows the end user to improve the appearance of an image by evaluating interactively alternative image adjustments offered by the application and displayed on screen.

Photogenetics utilizes a special image processing formula Whereby depending on the evaluation you give to each image displayed the application adjusts and attempts to improve the image by gradually learning from the end user choices.

While very simple and intuitive to use for the novice user, it takes a bit of understanding the program and the technology approach behind it to obtain great results consistently. Some images can be starkly improved in the first one or two passes of Photogenetics in ways that it would take a lot of technical competence and experience to emulate in high end programs like Photoshop.

PhotoGenetics, on the other hand, applies a dozen global image processing functions at the same time, without requiring any experience or effort on your part. A result is immediately produced as a second version of the image on the screen. You may "mix" the positive qualities of the new version (if any) into your original image and continue the process until you are happy with the new image. The "mixing" is done using a new kind of interface element, the evaluator, and its results can be previewed in real time before you finally decide and click once with the mouse to let the program know which image you prefer.

Each image processing step performed by the program is called an image evolution. The application is able to perform also a speedy real-time preview which allows the end user to see how the digital image will change, before even rating it. The program will also detect colour shifts automatically and try to correct them in the first steps of an image evolution.

PhotoGenetics is based on the principle that only the user can determine when an image looks best. The easiest way for you to communicate your preference to PhotoGenetics is by comparing two images and telling the computer whether the second image looks better than the first one, and if so, by how much. You do this by moving the mouse over an evaluator scale while viewing what will happen to your original image if you decide to click at each position.

Photogenetics makes use of "genotypes" or image enhancement formulas that can be selectively applied to digital images. Genotypes are easy to manage, as they can be saved, renamed and deleted. The genes are properties of basic image processing functions.

More than a dozen genes are combined to build a very complex method of manipulating an image called a genotype. This genotype is developed during image evolution to find the best method for optimizing an image. Your feedback guides this image evolution process.

When you are optimizing an image in PhotoGenetics, you are not actually changing the image at all. In reality, you are developing a complex method of image manipulation called a genotype. This genotype is applied to the original image allowing you to see the result on the screen. This same genotype may be applied to a new image with similar success. For this reason, you may choose to save your genotypes separately for future use.

PhotoGenetics can perform batch image conversion of digital files from one format to another.

Unique among its features is:

a) the ability to control the colour temperature of an image.
While easy to implement this is a feature hat comes both handy and familiar to the experienced photographer and novice alike.
The only reason this function was made accessible in the Software was for experienced photographers who sometimes want to make up for certain lighting conditions manually.

b) a set of custom filters to dewarp images shot with digital cameras. The dewarp function for the correction of barrel distortions of wide angle snapshots is a useful and rare to find function. Each camera shot with a wide-angle lens adds a bit of distortion to images due to the curvature of its lens. Now this can be automatically corrected thanks to PhotoGenetics dewarping genotypes.

c) PhotoGenetics utilizes a well designed image browser which is enhanced by a batch print function that prints any number of images in a user selectable size and automatically distributes the images sparingly across as many pages as are needed. Batch printing may include image processing (optimizing and dewarping) by use of genotypes and thus makes PhotoGenetics 2.0 a real photo production tool.

Finally PhotoGenetics offers also Add-ons which are program extensions that provide unique extra functionalities. Each add-onis like a combination of multiple filters or Photoshop plug-ins. The following Add-ons are currently available: Isocolor, FineArt and Dewarp. All three Add-ons can be freely downloaded and tested for 30 days by entering the following registration code in the "Register Add-ons" dialog that can be called from the "Help" menu: LC3L3-9S7L5-RTSL6. Aside from the creative effects obtainable with the FineArt Add-on, very interesting results can be obtained with the Isocolor filter, capable of modifying and optimizing a specific color range selected in the image.

PROS: Mac users enjoy the same kind of image browser as users of the Windows version. Additional image file formats are available through QuickTime import and export.

The application is distributed in two languages. English and German. The language can be easily switched from the File/Preferences menu.

CONS: PhotoGenetics saves only in tif, .bmp and .jpg graphic file formats in the Windows version and also in PICT and Adobe Photoshop format in the Mac version.

If Quicktime is installed On the Mac, PhotoGenetics will read and write to all file formats supported by the specific Quicktime version installed.

PhotoGenetics does not work with black and white or grey scale images unless they have been saved as 24bit, true colour images before processing in PhotoGenetics.

In both cases, only TIF and Photoshop files without compression are supported.

Photogenetics provides a free trial evaluation copy that works for 30-days. name=photogeneticsfull

N.B.: While the program has been recently discontinued I have found a place where you can still download this interesting software. Go to: Grap/4110.htm

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posted by Robin Good on Monday, October 7 2002, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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