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G'MIC, full-featured ImageMagick alternative (github.com)
49 points by wx196 on Jan 25, 2016 | hide | past | web | favorite | 32 comments

It should be noted that the project CIMG/GMIC is _not_ built and billed as an IM alternative. It's an image processing framework that happens to have similar utility to IM for some folks and that is also available as a plug-in to GIMP for visual+interactive use.

"In this setting, G'MIC may be seen as a serious (and friendly) competitor of the ImageMagick or GraphicsMagick software suites."[1]


That feels a lot like being billed as an IM alternative to me.

As a single _example_ of one (of many) possible interfaces for it? Seems to hardly qualify as 'billing' as much as one example of how it might be used...

One of two possible interfaces (command line vs not command line) The context is that their command line interface is billed as an alternative to IM.

I'm my experience it has been the only plugin to help Gimp fill in the space of the advanced features Photoshop users enjoy such as Content Aware Fill.

The Resynthesizer plugin (Heal Selection, Heal Transparency) and Liquid Rescale work well as alternatives to the Content Aware system, in my experience.

Not only that, but these plugins existed years before Adobe implemented these algorithms in Photoshop.

I recently using G'MIC to produce a video for a client. We used the G'MIC plugin in GIMP to build up the look, then used those parameters to drive it on the command line frame by frame. It's very slow, so we ended up having to build a solution with AWS to do massively parallel processing, but in the end it turned out great.

G'MIC is really good at that kind of thing. I wouldn't use it to replace ImageMagick though.

Which G'MIC features did you use for the video?

So, a question: why? Just so that there is an alternative (not that there is anything wrong with that), or is there an issue with ImageMagick that discourages some people from using it?

GMIC is far more powerful with a lot of very sophisticated filters [1] and a completely different beast to ImageMagick to the point of this title being actively misleading. Yes, both can edit images. But so can Gimp or Darktable, but they are not trying to displace IM either.

[1]: http://opensource.graphics/christmas-is-already-here-for-ima...

Imagemagick is 25 years old. It is one of the canonical softwares that doesn't seem to have any alternative. If anyone has something else to bring to the table I'd love to see it.

I don't know what your standard is when it comes to software but by this point I'd expect a lot more out of what we have. I've experienced nothing but headaches with imagemagick. Have you ever tried to use it for rasterising a pdf? Forget about it.

The only other alternatives I'm familiar with involve 3rd parties and web based apis. If you want to perform image editing in an app, it seems like its the only choice.

I don't think this software is an alternative to imagemagick, but those are my thoughts on imagemagick since you asked.

Flexibility. With G'Mic it's easy to implement a new feature or a plugin. With ImageMagick, I wouldn't even know where to start. Esoteric command line input is not my definition of a user interface designed for artists.

Plus it comes bundled in with Krita and Gimp.

Just as a sidenote, if you like playing around with G'Mic, you might absolutely love Python+OpenCV+Numpy combination. It's crazy powerful for tiny amounts of code required.

It's also a GIMP plugin. ImageMagick is command-line only.

Thanks for the replies, everyone. I have only used ImageMagick lightly, for e. g. resizing or merging simple bitmaps, and I never found it lacking. However, I recognize that there are users who need more.

I want to be nothing but encouraging, but I have simultaneous positive and negative reactions. On one hand, we need better FOSS alternatives to imagemagick, on the other hand, using imagemagick as the target to compare against means it's doomed to repeat some of IMs mistakes. And sure enough, using the online server's filter examples, so many of them seem to exist to fill a checkbox and increase the filter count, but are utility wise, useless as a serious filter, and aesthetically unpleasant to boot. I have the same contention with a significant portion imagemagick's feature set.

The IM/GM command line is also a disaster of weird names for things and inconsistent conventions and hundreds and hundreds of pages of manual. Reinvent IM's command line to be pleasant and simple and make sense, and it'll be a HUGE win!

What we really need is an open source alternative to is Nuke or Shake (RIP). Anyone want to help build that? ;)

I can't get to the project page, but I hope that GMIC borrows the positive developments from GraphicsMagick. One of the things GM improved over IM is large image handling. GM can stream a gigapixel image resize in minutes, while IM gets stuck in virtual memory swap for hours.

Regarding Nuke alternative, if we're talking about the same software (VFX domain), you have http://natron.fr/

It's still quite young imho, but it's very promising.

Incidentally, it also integrates with GMIC

Could you please mention good filters, both free and commercial, that you think "aesthetically pleasant to boot"?

Sure, though clearly I need to explain that it's not symmetric. I don't expect a filter to output a beautiful image. It is possible for some filters to be neutral while others spit out "ugly" results. And, of course, ugly is strictly my biased personal opinion, not an objective result.

What makes filters more ugly to me is filters that aren't very functional as a building block or a node in the middle of an image processing graph. When I said aesthetically unpleasant, I was thinking about design too, not just the aesthetics. Filters that include any aesthetics at all, frankly, are not very useful, and that is the main problem with many of G'MICs (and ImageMagick's) filters. Photoshop has some too.

I'm using https://gmicol.greyc.fr/ as the reference for filter names.

G'MIC Filters that are useful as a building block (filters you're likely to find used by professionals), and are not aesthetically unpleasant:

Basics, Colors|Channel Processing, Contours|Difference of Gaussians, Degradations|Blur, Details|Sharpen, Repair|Upscale

A small sampling of G'MIC Filters that are aesthetically unpleasant to me, primarily because they are poor building blocks (less likely to be used in professional work), secondarily because they add an aesthetic that I personally don't like, and try to do too much:

Arrays|Puzzle, Artistic|Ellipsionism, Deformations|Rain drops, Frames|Tunnel, Lights & Shadows|Shadow Patch, Patterns|Hearts, Rendering|Cupid, Sequences|Lava Lamp

Note that many of these could be re-created easily using proper image processing building blocks, like an over operator for compositing, or an expression node for image warping.

Ah, I see, thank you for detailed answer.

Does it support vectors? And PDFs, AI, EPS? Does it handle CMYK/RGB properly?

Looks like a raster library to me. I imagine if it does handle vector graphics, it's only on the input side, same as ImageMagick. Didn't see any indication one way or another on color spaces.

It is announced as an "image processing tool". This is a field mostly interested in raster images usually.

G'MIC home page is : http://gmic.eu

The only thing I want to know is if it breaks every dependency, on every update, like ImageMagick does.

It's a very popular plug-in for GIMP. I don't think this is an alternative to ImageMagick

I marked it as alternative only because it has full command line support, which is rare case for filters. But it is mainly strong filter library, than batch convertor/resizer, you are right.

As far as I understood, it calls GIMP to do the work?

It appears the GIMP dependency is just so you can build the GIMP plug-in. It appears to use (the same author's) cimg to do the heavy lifting. (https://github.com/dtschump/CImg)

Thanks. CImg seems to be whole in one 2 MB header file? Wow.

Yes, and all 450+ filters compiled in one 5 MB file.

There is a plugin to add G'MIC support to GIMP.

  A plug-in gmic_gimp, to bring G'MIC capabilities to the image retouching software GIMP.

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