Does what it says
on the box…
My fascination with all
things imagery continues as long as MS keeps its steamroller
parked outside this vibrant sector of the industry and allows competition
to thrive. Alien Skin kindly mailed me a copy of Image Doctor, and
plug-in filter family for Adobe-compatible graphics products,
specifically Photoshop 5.5 or later, Paintshop Pro 6 or later and
Macromedia Fireworks. The words on the box that describe the
features of the product are simply wonderful:
FILL seamlessly replaces large objects and defects. Repair large
tears in heirloom photos. Remove signs and trash from landscapes,
unwanted tourists from vacation snapshots and estranged persons
from family photos.”
is my favourite phrase: “Remove estranged persons from family
photos”. We can all use some that, eh? Well, I just had to
try that one, so I found a happily family group photo and
anticipated how Our Beloved Leader might prefer it to look - just
in case the Iraq thing goes pear shaped.
Me and my best mate dubya
doctor did that in a single pass and it’s good enough for a lot
of purposes – although a little more fiddling in Paintshop or
Photoshop and history is completely rewritten.
Joseph Stalin, famous for Tip-exing his erstwhile rivals
from the Kremlin group photos would have loved it.
Saddam Hussein is probably filling out the web form at http://www.alienskin.com/
to order his copy as I type this.
A more day-to-day
application is the repair of “over compressed” JPEG images,
and here Image Doctor can pretty much raise the dead in terms of
busted imagery, although it cannot exhume details that have been
lost, it makes the process of invisible mending through assessment
and interpolation of the repair a lot simpler and faster than
doing it all by hand. This is well illustrated (geddit?) in
Removing text from
imagines – such as date codes and in this example, watermarks
from TV image grabs – is pretty much pixel perfect.
Again, you can do this
sort of thing by hand a pixel at a time, but Image Doctor “just
does it” and makes the judgement better than all but the very
most fastidious manual touch-up artist.
I was going to mention the
UK distributor, but they have edited the product description:
“Smart Fill replaces large objects and defects, intelligently
combining the repair with the background. Remove signs and trash
from landscapes, unwanted tourists from vacation snapshots, and
uninvited guests from party photos - without leaving seams.”
Spoilsports, so I won’t
mention them after all, especially since they are suggesting the
usual $/£ exchange rate. Nevertheless, this is neat stuff
that’s worth the $99 cost of admission, and perfect for the
digital camera age.