GMIC filter lab goes online
Several days ago David Tschumperlé announced an online version of GMIC, a popular GIMP plug-in for applying various filters and transformations to images. The on-line version was developed by Sébastien Fourey, David’s colleague at GREYC lab.
It quite meticulously reproduces the UI of the GIMP plug-in with few exceptions: the navigation and the way to chain operations (since today you can apply a filter and then use the result as an input for the next filter).
Originally GMIC has always been a standalone image processing tool, so an online version was really just a matter of time.
David kindly agreed to answer some questions on this project.
Could you please share some details about the implementation?
As you may know, G'MIC is not only a plug-in for GIMP, but is also distributed as a command line tool 'gmic' (kind of equivalent to the ImageMagick's binaries), and we put this binary on a web server, in order to manage all the image computation stuffs.
For obvious security reasons, not all the plug-in filters are available, but still there are more than 200 of them, usable from the web page. Adding new filters is technically quite easy (it uses exactly the same addition mechanism as in the GIMP plug-in), so it remains easy for both interfaces.
Did you do any load tests?
Not really. Although we have extensively tested the service functionalities, we don’t know very much about the server load limit. For now, everything is working fine. We still don't know if this kind of service can be a big success or not (though we hope so!). If necessary, we could probably get a more powerful server.
Would it work in a cloud?
Probably, but it would require some important work on the current source code. So, not planned for the moment.
Do you think it could become an online editor with at least basic transformation tools like cropping or rotating?
We didn't plan to add much more complicated user interface (for instance, allowing to click on the preview window to get some mouse coordinates..), but crop or rotating filters are something we can add as new filters (even if this would not be particularly the most user-friendly way of cropping/rotating a picture).
Probably I will add them in the future, as well as other such “simple” filters (which are available with the default tools in GIMP, so they obviously do not appear in the plug-in).
But no, we don't have any plans to transform it to a complete image editor. There are already very good ones on the web (Pixlr is one of them), and we don't have ways to compete with these.
So you don’t have any business plan behind the project?
It is intended to remain free to use as long as possible. The web service code is not available yet, but we are planning to release it someday.
Now, almost all features we wanted to add have been completed. We will probably focus more in the addition of new filters in a near future.