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We've added two actions to FinalBuilder 5 to manipulate image files (ie. JPEG, GIF, etc):

  • Image Manipulation
  • JPEG Lossless Transform

So, what can these do?

Well, firstly, JPEG Lossless Transform can be used to rotate, flip, transpose, mirror, or transverse transpose a JPEG image without loss of any information.  Normally, if you rotate a JPEG it has to be recompressed, and this causes information loss.  So this action can do these basic operations without recompressing the JPEG.  But what's cooler is that it can perform a rotation if required automatically based on Exif information stored in the JPEG.

Let me explain further - most digital cameras store certain information about the photo inside the JPEG file (called Exif).  This information can be the size of the photo, exposure time, if the flash was on or not, the make/model of the camera, etc.  Some cameras also detect the orientation of the camera when the photo was taken, and also record this information.  This is great when taking portrait shots as the photos can be automatically rotated using this orientation information in the Exif to rotate the photo so that it appears correctly on your monitor.  I know most Canon and Nikon cameras store the orientation, but not sure about others.  So, basically, you could use FinalBuilder to scan your entire hard disk and automatically rotate any photos that need rotating!

The other action is the Image Manipulation.  Here are some of the things it can do:

  • Convert image to: BMP, JPEG, GIF, PDF, TIFF, and PNG
  • Rotate Image
  • Mirror Image
  • Flip Image
  • Resize (to specific pixels, or percentage, and with choice of resize algorithm)

And you can combine functions - for example you can resize an image to a thumbnail of 100x75 and then convert to PNG.  Both the Image Manipulation and JPEG Lossless Transform actions also accept a FileSet, so you can easily do bulk operations.

So, a couple of practical examples - just say you want to convert all your .bmp screenshots in your help file to .png, or create thumbnails sized images for your screenshots on your website - very easy with these new actions.  And I already use the auto rotate using Exif information to automatically rotate my own photos :)

Some screenshots of the Image Manipulation action:




Showing 5 Comments

Rod 15 years ago

"OK, I'll bite. Why would I want to rotate images as part of my build process?"

Because you can!

How about this use.

Start off with an image of a "thumbs up".

If the build is successful, send it to the development team.

If the build is unsuccessful, rotate it to "thumbs down" and then send it to the development team.

Visual build validation!

Tate 15 years ago

Hi Michael,
You got me there... I can't think of one right now, but then again there's a lot of weird and wonderful things that people do during their build process... I'm sure someone will make use of these actions in some way :)

Michael Dorfman 15 years ago

OK, I'll bite. Why would I want to rotate images as part of my build process?

Tate 15 years ago

Thanks for the comment Ali.

It's actually easier to blog about new features then formally write about them in the help file or the website too ;)


Ali 15 years ago

Thanks for the post. Your blog is a great example of explaining new features (which would otherwise be boring to read about) in an interesting way.

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