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Thread: It is okay for you guys to help me out with my FYP?

  1. #1

    Default It is okay for you guys to help me out with my FYP?

    Greetings to all CSers,

    I'm a student with Singapore Institute of Management, Computing and Information Systems doing my FYP this year and was wondering if you can give me some feedback from a photographers' standpoint for my project if possible.

    Since I'm new here, I'm not sure if posting such a thread here is actually appropriate, so please pardon me if I broke any rules

    My project targets photographers who shoot RAW and it has to do with developing a web application that has to ability to share (not publicly of course, probably with user accounts or passwords) and post process your RAW images online.

    The aim of my project is:

    1. To have the web server do the post processing instead of on your own desktops since this is a pretty CPU intensive process.
    2. Share your JPEG photos online like other photo sharing sites
    3. Offer the option to share the RAW files to trusted friends/clients via user accounts

    The post processing will be handled by a linux program called UFRaw and will include options to change the:
    1. Temperature
    2. Exposure
    3. Saturation
    4. Interpolation Algorithm
    5. Other possible options as I learn more from your requirements?

    What are your views on a application like this?

    Thank you so much

  2. #2
    Senior Member hanqiang1011's Avatar
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    Default Re: It is okay for you guys to help me out with my FYP?

    Quote Originally Posted by CloudSix View Post

    The aim of my project is:

    1. To have the web server do the post processing instead of on your own desktops since this is a pretty CPU intensive process.
    2. Share your JPEG photos online like other photo sharing sites
    3. Offer the option to share the RAW files to trusted friends/clients via user accounts
    First & foremost, welcome here. Here are my humble 2 cents opinion:

    1. To have a web server to do post processing is as similar to using the 'auto' function in Photoshop Camera RAW. The computer does the auto adjustments...etc...etc. But ultimately, the results are ''not definitely what you want''. So in the end, you would still need the desktop or lappy to do your own post processing. If users, are afraid to do the tedious process, just take in jpeg will do! Isnt it?

    2. If you want to share the photos in jpeg, what for having to share in jpeg, then when your client need the same picture, you would re-edit back the same image to suit his/her style? Then how would you charge the client? To buy the RAW or jpeg? It all involves the labour fees and charges like admin fees from the website. In the end it will be ended up with high cost for an image.

    3. Let's say in a case of freelance job, your client likes this image, you edit it. He/she prefers the same image to be edited in a different way, pays you for that too. Then his/her boss told him/her that to call you to re-edit in another way, and pays you for the work. Would you choose to work 3 times to collect 3 payout vs 1 payout and they do many editing works by themselves. In business term, you lose profits. And usually even if you include giving RAW, they dont give a bother what they do with the RAW files as long as you deliver the work.

    All this are my point of view, you might have a valid point to share in your report. But I feel that sharing RAW filesid like selling your rights away too, imagine if other uses your RAW file, re-edit the images in a different way, won some compettion, gets the prize money, share nothing with you, you wont be happy isnt it? You could include a clause of no images from you to be used for any purposes but no matter how well you are protected, others will find ways to counter it for their own benefits.

    Cheers

  3. #3

    Default Re: It is okay for you guys to help me out with my FYP?

    I dun see technically would have any issues with the immplementation... only problem is whether people will want to use it.

  4. #4
    Moderator ed9119's Avatar
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    Default Re: It is okay for you guys to help me out with my FYP?

    go ahead and welcome to CS..... BUT reminder.... NO links to Market Survey, Poll or Questionnaire sites... thanks !

    Not my call..... CS policy....
    Last edited by ed9119; 14th October 2010 at 08:53 AM.
    shaddap and just shoot .... up close
    Walkeast

  5. #5

    Default Re: It is okay for you guys to help me out with my FYP?

    raw files are huge. Before anybody wants to use the web based/cloud technology raw editor. The hurdle is how to get it onto the server quick.
    5DMk2,400D,EOS3 50mm F1.4,28-75 F2.8,GRDIII 28mm F1.9
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  6. #6

    Default Re: It is okay for you guys to help me out with my FYP?

    I think you're forgetting bandwidth. If I want to process 20 of my RAW files, and each is 40MB, how much time will I waste uploading to your server? Then after every tweak, I need to wait for my image on my browser to be updated? How much $$$ are you putting aside for bandwidth on this server?? Why would I not just use the free software that came with my camera? What if I'm a total newbie (the exact people who may need help with RAW) and bought a brand new camera model, but your software does not support it yet?

    Many of our desktop PCs here are actually on par with web servers out there in terms of raw power.

    If I really die die want to share RAW files in a hurry, I'll use YouSendIt. But even so, RAW should never be sent out - this is your digital negative!!

    I'm sorry, I'm sure you have big dreams, but to me this is not a service I would use because it would waste more time than save time.
    Alpha

  7. #7
    Member dannyfoxy's Avatar
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    Default Re: It is okay for you guys to help me out with my FYP?

    Dude, check up www.picnik.com the solution is there. You no need to develop.
    flickr
    ... I'm not a photographer yet.....

  8. #8

    Default Re: It is okay for you guys to help me out with my FYP?

    Thanks for the warm welcome and your valued feedback! They have certainly helped me identify areas that I have overlooked. Please allow me sometime to think about it and draft my replies to your responses. Thanks guys really appreciate it!

    Quote Originally Posted by ed9119 View Post
    go ahead and welcome to CS..... BUT reminder.... NO links to Market Survey, Poll or Questionnaire sites... thanks !

    Not my call..... CS policy....
    Affirmative. I'm glad I didn't do any of those links

  9. #9

    Default Re: It is okay for you guys to help me out with my FYP?

    Quote Originally Posted by hanqiang1011 View Post
    First & foremost, welcome here. Here are my humble 2 cents opinion:

    1. To have a web server to do post processing is as similar to using the 'auto' function in Photoshop Camera RAW. The computer does the auto adjustments...etc...etc. But ultimately, the results are ''not definitely what you want''. So in the end, you would still need the desktop or lappy to do your own post processing. If users, are afraid to do the tedious process, just take in jpeg will do! Isnt it?

    2. If you want to share the photos in jpeg, what for having to share in jpeg, then when your client need the same picture, you would re-edit back the same image to suit his/her style? Then how would you charge the client? To buy the RAW or jpeg? It all involves the labour fees and charges like admin fees from the website. In the end it will be ended up with high cost for an image.

    3. Let's say in a case of freelance job, your client likes this image, you edit it. He/she prefers the same image to be edited in a different way, pays you for that too. Then his/her boss told him/her that to call you to re-edit in another way, and pays you for the work. Would you choose to work 3 times to collect 3 payout vs 1 payout and they do many editing works by themselves. In business term, you lose profits. And usually even if you include giving RAW, they dont give a bother what they do with the RAW files as long as you deliver the work.

    All this are my point of view, you might have a valid point to share in your report. But I feel that sharing RAW filesid like selling your rights away too, imagine if other uses your RAW file, re-edit the images in a different way, won some compettion, gets the prize money, share nothing with you, you wont be happy isnt it? You could include a clause of no images from you to be used for any purposes but no matter how well you are protected, others will find ways to counter it for their own benefits.

    Cheers
    Thank you for your views. They've helped me think a lot actually

    I guess one of the problems might have been the vague description of my project. Please let me clarify.

    1. >> I'm actually looking to provide the post processing options as sliders that users can use to adjust the values. So instead of just relying on the 'auto' function, you can have a certain degree of control at least. I'm seeing the user interface to be something similar to that of Photoshop when you first open a RAW file - image preview (in JPEG) on left, sliders on right. And as you make adjustments, the preview will be updated accordingly. One main concern would be the speed at which the preview can be generated like what Rashkae has mentioned. But that will depend on the size of the RAW file.

    2. and 3. >> I see your business perspective. But please allow me to further clarify that my application shares both JPEG and RAW. It accepts a RAW file, post processes it, generates the JPEG, then keeps your RAW files private unless you specifically allow it to be shared. So you sell only the pictures in JPEG format - you still charge them 3 times for post processing instead of 1, or you could charge them a really high premium before you open up the RAW files to them on a particular project portfolio. What I'm trying to achieve here is to increase the accessibility of your RAW files while still providing a level of security. Ideas for this project actually came about from the following scenarios:

    A. Would my application be useful in circumstances whereby you need to post process a RAW file urgently and
    • You couldn't find a terminal with the proper software to process your RAW image
    • You don't have your memory card/storage drive with you


    B. Does it allow you the flexibility of choosing where you can work on your photographs rather than limited to your desktop? Say in the office but you don't have any rights to install programs?

    C. Do you also have situations whereby you want to share a RAW file but have found it tedious to do so because you have to
    • Load up Photoshop or the bundled software from your camera to verify the contents of the RAW file before uploading (Thumbnails doesn't work for RAW files on my file explorer)
    • Upload it on a separate file hosting solution when it could be downloaded directly (if the permission permits) from your online photo album via my application?


    D. Would the sharing of RAW on a website be a useful feature when you can have team mates or close friends who can help you out with the post processing? Say you're on a tight schedule or sharing the workload.

    I think this site could also act as your portfolio to showcase your projects in low-res thumbnails, allow high res downloads to customers and allow you to work on various locations.

    Thank you for your valuable time!
    Last edited by CloudSix; 14th October 2010 at 08:39 PM.

  10. #10

    Default Re: It is okay for you guys to help me out with my FYP?

    Quote Originally Posted by CyberTron88 View Post
    I dun see technically would have any issues with the immplementation... only problem is whether people will want to use it.
    Thanks for your input But what is your view? Would you want to use this application?

  11. #11

    Default Re: It is okay for you guys to help me out with my FYP?

    Quote Originally Posted by blurry80 View Post
    raw files are huge. Before anybody wants to use the web based/cloud technology raw editor. The hurdle is how to get it onto the server quick.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rashkae View Post
    I think you're forgetting bandwidth. If I want to process 20 of my RAW files, and each is 40MB, how much time will I waste uploading to your server? Then after every tweak, I need to wait for my image on my browser to be updated? How much $$$ are you putting aside for bandwidth on this server?? Why would I not just use the free software that came with my camera? What if I'm a total newbie (the exact people who may need help with RAW) and bought a brand new camera model, but your software does not support it yet?

    Many of our desktop PCs here are actually on par with web servers out there in terms of raw power.

    If I really die die want to share RAW files in a hurry, I'll use YouSendIt. But even so, RAW should never be sent out - this is your digital negative!!

    I'm sorry, I'm sure you have big dreams, but to me this is not a service I would use because it would waste more time than save time.
    Thank you for your feedback. Both of you really hit the nail regarding the bandwidth issue but with the recent introduction of the fibre optic plans in SG of about 50Mbps upload (theoretical upload rate of 6.25MB/s, let's just say you can upload at 2MB/s considering noise, congestion and other factors), I was hoping that it could serve as a solution to the upload bottleneck, at least locally for now. What do you think?

    To Rashkae:

    Yes, you'll have to wait for the image to be updated after every tweak, the waiting time is directly proportional to the size of your RAW file. What is the average size of your RAW file? Maybe I find a similar RAW file and test it out with UFRaw and let you know the results if it is of acceptable waiting time?

    You have helped me identified some of the limitations of my application with regards to supporting new camera models. But the reason why I wanted to move the processing to a web server is because I've tried batch processing on Photoshop with about 20 RAW of various sizes (6MB to 36M) and things were a little sluggish for me. I'm wondering if it is the same for you? So I was thinking if I can channel that processing elsewhere, users could benefit from the available resources to do something else.

    Also, I would like to ask for your opinion from my previous reply to hanqiang1011.

    A. Would my application be useful in circumstances whereby you need to post process a RAW file urgently and
    • You couldn't find a terminal with the proper software to process your RAW image
    • You don't have your memory card/storage drive with you


    B. Does it allow you the flexibility of choosing where you can work on your photographs rather than limited to your desktop? Say in the office but you don't have any rights to install programs?

    C. Do you also have situations whereby you want to share a RAW file but have found it tedious to do so because you have to
    • Load up Photoshop or the bundled software from your camera to verify the contents of the RAW file before uploading (Thumbnails doesn't work for RAW files on my file explorer)
    • Upload it on a separate file hosting solution when it could be downloaded directly (if the permission permits) from your online photo album via my application?


    D.Would the sharing of RAW on a website be a useful feature when you can have team mates or close friends who can help you out with the post processing? Say you're on a tight schedule or sharing the workload.

    I think this site could also act as your portfolio to showcase your projects in low-res thumbnails, allow high res downloads to customers and allow you to work on various locations.
    Thanks a lot!
    Last edited by CloudSix; 14th October 2010 at 08:47 PM.

  12. #12

    Default Re: It is okay for you guys to help me out with my FYP?

    Quote Originally Posted by dannyfoxy View Post
    Dude, check up www.picnik.com the solution is there. You no need to develop.
    Hey ya, thanks for the link! The site is great. I think I could use it to act as a baseline for my application. But it seems that they do not have support for camera RAW files yet.. Would you be interested in one that support camera RAW? Thanks

  13. #13

    Default Re: It is okay for you guys to help me out with my FYP?

    The average size of my RAW files is 40MB. I batch process quite quickly - Let's assume I take 100 images, and my adjustments are to correct the WB to 5300k, increase contrast, run a light sharpen, save as JPEG, resize to 1024x768 with a final sharpening touch. My normal workflow would also be to add a border and signature, but for the sake of this argument I'll skip it. My PC takes 3 seconds per picture. I would not use your service because it will hog bandwidth (and fibre is very limited in availablility right now) and even if my home bandwidth is good, your server's bandwidth may not be - you'd pay a lot of $$$ in bandwidth costs.

    As for your other points:
    - Work on your RAW files remotely from the office? Wanna get fired, eh? You're at work!! :P
    - No, I share via YouSendIt or my personal FTP server which I have running on my router, connected to a NAS.
    - If I'm on a team of photogs working on a project, we don't rely on a separate site - we get together for a coffee and collaborate directly via LAN. Much faster, discussions are easier and options on color tone, etc, can be resolved on the spot.
    - I generally NEVER share high-resolution shots with customers. They can get low-res shots and the prints, but that's all. The only time I upload the high-res pictures is when I'm submitting to stock photography sites.
    Alpha

  14. #14

    Default Re: It is okay for you guys to help me out with my FYP?

    As a follow-up: Time is money. If, for every picture that needs tweaking, I waste 5-10 minutes or more on uploading, waiting for tweaks to take effect, etc, I lose money.
    Alpha

  15. #15

    Default Re: It is okay for you guys to help me out with my FYP?

    Welcome to CS.
    The idea is quite good in a computing point of view, given technology is moving towards 'cloud' stuff.
    But in a photography point of view, I won't use it.
    The bandwidth needed to process the raw files online is just too much, maybe when the next gen broadband in singapore gets more mature, it'll be more feasible.
    Anyway, If I do not have a system fast enough to support the processing, changes are I do not have a connection that would support the bandwidth needed.
    A slow computer should still be faster than processing the raw file over the network on a normal connection.

    Some things you might want to note is does the server keeps a copy of the raw file? does it take some ownership on the file once it's used on the server? is the file immediately destroyed upon the request of ther user?

    Lastly, for functions of the software used, you might want to take reference from Adobe Raw, Photoshop, Canon DPP, Nikon NX etc.

  16. #16
    Moderator Octarine's Avatar
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    Default Re: It is okay for you guys to help me out with my FYP?

    If it takes 3 seconds to process a single RAW image on a PC then this performance is achieved in a physical implementation where the application has direct access to all CPU cores and can utilize the computing power fully. Most servers offered online (even root servers) are running virtualized in a shared host, sharing resources with other virtual servers. (I'm not referring to Apache vhosts here, but VMware or other forms of virtualization.) On such systems the CPU power is limited to avoid that a single server uses up all resources and all other servers are unusable. Although you might "see" 4 or 8 CPUs in your system reports, their computing power is not fully available to you. This will slow down all your processing further.
    I have to agree with others, although technically maybe interesting I see no real value or need for such an application.
    EOS

  17. #17

    Default Re: It is okay for you guys to help me out with my FYP?

    Just a point to note, your program is banking on broadband internet being universally accessible and fast. All the other technical nitty gritty that other CSers have pointed out aside, I'm curious to know who exactly your target group is. Many, many photographers shoot raw, from new amateurs, serious amateurs to freelancers to professionals. Even within, say the "professional" group, there are many sub-strata such as studio photographers (where such a program might make a little sense) and travel photographers (where such a program will make minimal sense).

    Just something for you to consider.
    Olympian

  18. #18

    Default Re: It is okay for you guys to help me out with my FYP?

    No. I would not use the application, for it takes donkey years to upload raw files...and I dun see what you can provide, and a desktop application cannot provide, and probably faster, more user friendly. If I need mobility, I think easier to bring a laptop than to try find a wireless / 3G network and slowly upload the raw to work on the files. Time spend uploading, laptop slower also can finish the job faster.

    Even if your application is best in the market, and I'm tempted to use do I trust my raw files with you? What if your servers crashes without backup? Of cos if you do a great job, flicker just need to provide 90% of what you doing, I think most people end up with flicker instead...

    So I dun see any value add that is compelling to use the service.

  19. #19

    Default Re: It is okay for you guys to help me out with my FYP?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rashkae View Post
    The average size of my RAW files is 40MB. I batch process quite quickly - Let's assume I take 100 images, and my adjustments are to correct the WB to 5300k, increase contrast, run a light sharpen, save as JPEG, resize to 1024x768 with a final sharpening touch. My normal workflow would also be to add a border and signature, but for the sake of this argument I'll skip it. My PC takes 3 seconds per picture. I would not use your service because it will hog bandwidth (and fibre is very limited in availablility right now) and even if my home bandwidth is good, your server's bandwidth may not be - you'd pay a lot of $$$ in bandwidth costs.

    As for your other points:
    - Work on your RAW files remotely from the office? Wanna get fired, eh? You're at work!! :P
    - No, I share via YouSendIt or my personal FTP server which I have running on my router, connected to a NAS.
    - If I'm on a team of photogs working on a project, we don't rely on a separate site - we get together for a coffee and collaborate directly via LAN. Much faster, discussions are easier and options on color tone, etc, can be resolved on the spot.
    - I generally NEVER share high-resolution shots with customers. They can get low-res shots and the prints, but that's all. The only time I upload the high-res pictures is when I'm submitting to stock photography sites.
    Wow, your PC must be pretty good! Anyway I tried it post processing a Sony A900 RAW of about 37MB (the biggest I can find) resize to 1024x768 on a quad core server processor and I got about the same results as you.. It took around 2.8 to 3.2s.

    Btw thanks for sharing your post processing workflow I have another series of questions for you. Sorry for taking up your time.

    What software do you use for post processing? Photoshop, lightroom or the bundled software from your camera?

    No, I do not want to get fired The office was just an example, maybe a better example would be a cyber cafe, friend's house

    When you say:

    1. Sharing low-res shots with customers, do you mean images that are in 1024x768 resolution as mention earlier in your workflow?

    2. You share via YouSendIt or your personal FTP, do you also use Flickr, Picasa or other photo sharing sites to share your photos?


    If we take bandwidth issues (cost and capacity) out of the picture, would this application actually be:
    1. An app that supports both tweaking and sharing capabilities that could complement your workflow? I mean rather than having you to manually zip up the selected photos, upload and ensure that it is actually the correct file, it does all of that for you?
    2. A good collaboration tool if you are on a team? You save the time in setting up your LAN and synchronisation issues with regards to who actually have the most updated post processed image?

    Also, is it okay for you to discuss the workflow of how you actually work in a team? How is the LAN setup? Do they work via a NAS? How you divide the work, how you put it altogether later on?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rashkae View Post
    As a follow-up: Time is money. If, for every picture that needs tweaking, I waste 5-10 minutes or more on uploading, waiting for tweaks to take effect, etc, I lose money.
    Yes waiting for the tweaks to take effect is a problem, so I'm actually exploring options offered by HTML5 to ensure that tweaks can be made real time on your browser instead of waiting for the rendered result from the web server. Then once you are happy with it, you can go ahead and batch process it. For that I would have to research on the formula they use for the tweaks.

    So is it alright to say that if bandwidth is fast, cheap and abundant, there might just be a chance that you might use it?

  20. #20

    Default Re: It is okay for you guys to help me out with my FYP?

    Quote Originally Posted by wdEvA View Post
    Welcome to CS.
    The idea is quite good in a computing point of view, given technology is moving towards 'cloud' stuff.
    But in a photography point of view, I won't use it.
    The bandwidth needed to process the raw files online is just too much, maybe when the next gen broadband in singapore gets more mature, it'll be more feasible.
    Anyway, If I do not have a system fast enough to support the processing, changes are I do not have a connection that would support the bandwidth needed.
    A slow computer should still be faster than processing the raw file over the network on a normal connection.

    Some things you might want to note is does the server keeps a copy of the raw file? does it take some ownership on the file once it's used on the server? is the file immediately destroyed upon the request of ther user?

    Lastly, for functions of the software used, you might want to take reference from Adobe Raw, Photoshop, Canon DPP, Nikon NX etc.
    Thanks for the welcome. You guys are really helpful

    I have the same question for you as above:

    Since you mentioned that it might be feasible when the NGNBB picks up, is it alright to say that if bandwidth is fast, cheap and abundant, there might just be a chance that you might use it? I know this is out of context but limited bandwidth capacity is not stopping people from uploading to YouTube right? :X

    I'm really glad you brought up concerns with regards to copyright issue pertaining to camera RAW. From the responses I've received so far, I understand the importance of it and will keep in mind to ensure that rights belong to the users.

    Thanks for the list of software for my reference! Btw, is it possible for me to get the bundled software from DSLRs without actually purchasing one? I went to Canon support site but it only lets me download the updater

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