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Editing Batches of Photos Easily on Linux
December 22, 2010
Akkana Peck introduces David's Batch Processor, a Gimp plugin that makes editing big batches of photos a breeze. Resize them for the Web, make them lighter or darker, crop, rotate-- DBP does it all.
Do you take a lot of photos over the holidays? I know I do, what with getting together with family and friends.
And then you get back home, pick the best 50 or so -- and face the problem of how to get them all ready to share on the web. Not to mention all those photos you shot of the neighbor's Christmas lights that came out too dark ... how do you brighten those all up at once?
If you're good with the command line and shell scripts, you may already be familiar with ImageMagick, covered in these previous Linux Planet articles: Building Attractive Web Photo Galleries and Writing a Simple Web Gallery.
But not everyone is a command-line whiz. If you're more comfortable with menus and buttons, don't give up hope. There's a GIMP plug-in that's perfect for you: David's Batch Processor, or DBP.
In Ubuntu or Debian, all you have to do is install the gimp-plugin-registry package, which also includes a whole slew of other useful GIMP plug-ins.
In most other distros, you'll need to build DBP from source. Go to the David's Batch Processor home page and download the latest .tar.gz file, currently 1.1.9. Make sure you have the gimp-devel or gimp-dev package installed (which includes the gimptool program), as well as any packages like g++ and make that you need for building C++ packages.
Unpack the tarball, build and install it:
$ tar xvf dbpSrc-1-1-9.tgz
You should end up with a file called dbp in your ~/.gimp-2.6/plug-ins directory.
If you get errors, make sure you really have the GIMP development package installed, as well as build tools.
Bring up the main DBP dialog with Filters->Batch Process... (Figure 1).
Of course, the first thing to do is Add Files. In the file selector that pops up, you can use Shift-Click to choose a range of images (or all of them), Control-Click to toggle one file on and off. There's no preview, so you're probably best off choosing your image list before starting DBP.
How turn your attention to the tabs in the DBP dialog. You can choose from operations like Turn (rotate multiples of 90 degrees), Blur, Colour, Resize (scale), Crop, Sharpen, and Rename. In each tab, clicking Enable lets you apply that operation to every photo in the list.
Suppose you just want to scale your images smaller to share on the web. The Resize tab (Figure 2) gives you a choice of Relative -- say, make the images 1/4 their current size -- or Absolute, if you know the size you want, like 640x480.
You can combine operations: for instance, you can brighten (in the Colour tab), Resize and Sharpen all at the same time. So choose all the operations you want. The tabs are handled in order, so if you Turn by 90 degrees, you might want to make that Resize 480x640 instead of 640x480.