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ImageDupeless Tutorial

User interface

The dialog for image series merging

Most of the pictures which you download from Internet is initially a part of large series or groups having common themes. Names of such pictures are usually given according to the uniform template: a certain character part and the number (index) at the end. Unfortunately, at a later time such series are broken into fragments that are edited, renamed, lost.

A certain category of people (collectors, picture-hunters) are mad on classification and systematization of such series. They feel vastly unpleasant when a certain initially united series gets to them as separate intersected fragments with various file names and mixed-up indexes. To merge such fragments is a difficult problem taking a lot of time.

All said, although to a lesser degree, relates to the photos obtained with digital cameras, when you save them at a different time to the separate directories on your computer, keeping them untouched in your camera. Later you can create a set of partially intersected series by editing, scaling, cutting, renaming, deleting the separate photos.

Being collectors and wishing to make own and other's life easier, we add to ImageDupeless a small and very simple tool permitting to facilitate solution of the problem "IMAGE SERIES MERGING". To run it you should press the appropriate button in the dialog for comparison of two images.

This tool is simple enough, it allows to manipulate easily with two sets of images by means of one dialog that shows their thumbnails. Sense of series merging consists in moving the images of one series to the directory of another one together with possible assigning the new names to moved files (or to all the files of both series). Thumbnails for the images of both series are located abreast, one under another, and you can see their contents as well as the result of subsequent merging in obvious and compact form.

The dialog works so that all the operations assigned to image files ARE NOT EXECUTED IMMEDIATELY! You can change more than once output names for the files, direction of merging, assign operations to separate files - nothing happens with them at the moment. Even after final pressing the button "OK" in this dialog nothing happens with the files, you will get a full list of file operations generated as a result of your actions. The list shows what files will be deleted, renamed, moved, replaced. You can look through the list and cancel any (or all) operations. Only after pressing "OK" in this list the program will execute these file operations. So, a wise advice to the users of the dialog for series merging is the following: "Do not fear to experiment, you will be able to cancel at any moment!".

Appearance of the dialog for series merging is the following:

Series Dialog

Two marks can be displayed on top of thumbnail of each image. The first is the red tick meaning that this image is marked for further deletion or moving (it is the same flag that is displayed practically in all the windows of the program). You can mark the separate images for further deletion in the dialog for series merging and close it, doing no other actions. At that the value for this flag will be kept for all the images and you will be able to see the marked images in the other windows of the program as well as to delete or to move them if necessary. The second mark shows an operation assigned to the file by the dialog for series merging. A set of operations is equivalent to the one in the dialog for comparison of two images and includes:

  • deletion,
  • renaming,
  • moving to the directory of another series with possible renaming,
  • indefinite operation,
  • empty operation.

In the columns where there are images of both series (duplicates) the operations "deletion" and "moving with renaming" can be considered as the single operation "replacing". The indefinite operation may be automatically assigned to a file in special situations. It means that the application cannot decide anything concerning this file, and you should assign the required operation by hand. The dialog does not permit you to run merging procedure while there is at least one file with the assigned indefinite operation.

Currently the dialog have no advanced tools for automatic assigning the operations to all files, except for the button "Change common direction of merging". When the button is pressed, the operation "moving" is assigned to all the images of the source series, either an empty operation or "deletion" is assigned to the images of the target series, depending on availability of their duplicates in the source one.

NOTICES:

  1. Pressing this button leads to disappearance of all the operations assigned by hand.
  2. Assigning the operation "replacing" to pairs of duplicates takes into consideration quality of the images in very simplified form and can delete more qualitative image. Please, be careful and look through the suggested variant just after assigning this operation.

The internal algorithm of the dialog automatically try to define order of images in the resulting series, using an information about duplicates. The duplicates of both series are necessarily placed one under another, and an indicator of difference similar to one in the dialog for comparison of two images is displayed in this column at the turn of two cells. An user has a chance to affect upon the order of images by setting the following options:

  • "use the Output name". When it is set the images will be sorted according to the assigned output names. Otherwise the original names of images will be used. Using this option just before pressing "OK" in the dialog allows you to look through a view of the resulting series.
  • "try to keep the original order inside the separated series". Otherwise the images of both series will be placed sequentially (except for pairs of duplicates that are always placed one under another).
  • "group the duplicates inside the series". This option allows to simplify work when duplicates was found not only between the series, but also inside them. When the option is set these duplicates are grouped and placed sequentially one after another, at that the other options are not taken into account. A simplified difference indicator are displayed between such duplicates. The images inside this group are not separated by thick blue vertical line that separates the other columns.

NOTICE:

Changing the order of files in the dialog according to the assigned options occurs not automatically, but after pressing the button "Reorder". Correspondingly, the order of files will not be changed automatically when a set of file operations and their parameters are changed; it will be changed after repeated pressing the button "Reorder".

Another group of options is responsible for assigning the output names to images in the series. The output names may be assigned individually by editing the name in the appropriate element. To do this you should select the required image in the dialog by clicking it with the mouse button, assign to it one of the operations requiring to set an output name: "rename" or "move and rename", and set the output name in the combobox "New given filename for the current image". Besides, the output names may be assigned to a group of files according to some template. The template consists of a textual prefix and a final digital part (currently the other formats for name templates are not supported). The digital part consists of one or multiple symbols "#" that will be replaced by a certain integer index in the real name. The number of the symbols "#" corresponds to the smallest quantity of digits in the index. If the index occupies the smaller number of positions, it will be padded by zeroes at its left. Thus, for the index equal to 23 the template "###" results in its substitution for the string "023", while the template "#" substitutes it for the string "23". By default this index is equal to the number of column where the corresponding picture is located. When the option "try to keep the original indices" is set, the integer index will be extracted from the original name. For example, the name "JRR_Tolkien_534.jpg" will be assigned to the file with the initial name "JRR0534.jpg" when it is renamed according to the template "JRR_Tolkien_#" and this option is set.

Setting the option "only for moved images" allows to assign the new names according to the template only to the files that will be moved, keeping untouched names of the files that stay on their place.

The user can assign own string as the template by selecting the item "By user-defined template", make use of the templates obtained by means of source series analysis by selecting one of the items: "As in the first series", "As in the second series", "As combination of both series (1+2)", as well as force the output names as equal to the source ones by selecting the item "As the original filenames". Assigning the new names is accomplished after pressing the button "Set Output names".

For convenience the dialog shows information about the directories where the images are located (near the appropriate series).

The main dialog window with thumbnais gives also an additional information (image size, file length, modification date) about the current image. To make the image current one you should click on its thumbnail by the left mouse button. A blue frame is drawn around the current image in the dialog.

The dialog also allows to select several images at once and to execute some operations on them. To select one or multiple images (or unselect them) you should click on them by the left mouse button, holding pressed the key "Shift". A thick lilac frame is drawn around the selected images in this dialog.

A set of operations on current and selected images that is available through the contextual menu called by pressing the right mouse button in main area of the dialog consists of the following ones:

  • Remove current image from series,
  • Remove selected images,
  • Keep only selected images,
  • Unselect all,
  • Invert selection,
  • Modify output name for selected images,
  • Remove selected images from series 1,
  • Keep only selected images in series 1,
  • Invert selection in series 1,
  • Remove selected images from series 2,
  • Keep only selected images in series 2,
  • Invert selection in series 2.
Matter of the operations is obvious from their titles. Notice should be made that the operations are also stored in the dialog rather than applied to actual files immediately.

Delete Dialog

After pressing the button "OK" in the dialog for series merging an user get the list of file operations having the following view:

Delete Dialog

Each line displays one elementary operation on a file (or two files for the operation "replace") and its parameters. In the list you may cancel separate operations by unmarking the appropriate lines and run the list by pressing "OK".

The typical operation sequence in the dialog for series merging can be the following:

  1. Selection of the directory where you want to place the resulting series and pressing the choice button (if necessary);
  2. Selection of the name template, the parameters of its applying, and pressing the button "Set Output names" (if necessary);
  3. The detailed look through the contents with separate accent on duplicates and refinement of the actions assigned to the separate files;
  4. Setting the ordering options and pressing the button "Reorder";
  5. Looking through the final view of the series and pressing "OK";
    1. Name conflict resolution (when rising);
  6. Looking through the final list of the generated operations, possible cancelling some of them, and pressing "OK".

The tool for series merging has a number of restrictions:

  • it can help only at merging of fragments of the series which are partially intersected, i.e. under that condition if the program ImageDupeless has found duplicates in them,
  • the series themselves should be easily recognized on file names, currently only simple name templates consisting of an identical initial text line and an integer index of fixed width will be recognized automatically, for example: "JRR Tolkien 0534.jpg", "JRR Tolkien 0536.jpg","JRR Tolkien 0539.jpg",
  • a simple template of specified type (see above) is used for assigning new file names,
  • actions on files are set by force, at that information about quality of duplicates or complexity of names in different series is taken into account in a very limited aspect,
  • a number of other restrictions.

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Copyright 2002-2012 Oleg Tarlapan.