As most 36IC users already know, 36-image converter can’t edit images bigger than the screen resolution minus 20 pixels, eg. 1.400×830 = max. size of 1.380×810 pixels. Many people have been wanting a fix for this problem, but there isn’t any except for 36-image express which allows conversion of bigger images, but isn’t as advanced as 36IC. So when will it be fixed?
In our next version (4.7) coming in the fall of this year, we will include tools to batch convert/resize/rename images of any size. This will be the first step. In version 5.0 this issue will be resolved completely and you will also be able to edit/convert and save images in the default editor. But this won’t happen anytime soon.
The current editor of 36-image converter is too complicated to support images bigger than the screen resolution, the entire application has to be rewritten. That’s why we created 36-image express, 36Ix is build to support large images and to be much lighter. But at the moment 36Ix is still lacking a lot of features and is actually a development version of 36-image converter 5.0 which is publicly being tested and incrementally being improved.
So first we have to complete 36IC 4.7, then we have to update 36Ix with the new CIPU conversion engine from 36IC and make it more stable, then we can begin improving 36Ix step by step to support all functions of the current 36-image converter and to support advanced image editing features like editable layers. Then 36-image converter 5.0 will be build on top of 36-image express. So we can proceed the 36IC development with the same care we used for developing 36Ix.
So in a while 36-image converter will support large surfaces, but it will not be for 2009. Even we are waiting for a stable core to continue the development of 36-image converter. But as always when we fix the size issue, the 36IC users will find something new to rant about on CNET, that’s why all coming versions of 36-image converter and 36-image express will have the Reasonable Feedback Agreement in the EULA, like 36Ix does. In this way we can at least protect all future version of 36IC against idiotic comments and even sue the people who do.
36-image converter 4.7 has come a long way yet. It can already open raw filetypes, has a faster effects engine, improved in and output support and is lighter. So many of our main goals have been accomplished. We see people who are looking for a decent way to convert, say NRW to JPEG and we are looking for people to test 36IC 4.7 so everything functions well at it’s release. Therefore 36-image converter 4.7 Alpha 1 Build 140 will be made available somewhere in the coming month. This version will function fine for testing purposes and use of some core functionalities, but it is not meant to be used on production machines or for daily use. 36IC 4.7 Alpha 1 is stable, but still lacks a lot of core functionality.
So to summarize :
Name : 36-image converter
Version : 18.104.22.168a
Development state : Alpha 1
Release date : 25th August ’09
Last stable version : 4.6.198
Codename : Tiger Chameleon
-Write support for various new filetypes
-Read support for various new filetypes
-Source included for some libraries
-New conversion engine (CIPU)
-Support for RAW filetypes of more than 300 cameras
-Faster filters + new filter added
-Various tweaks and bugfixes to the interface and engine
We also have some other great news. Since our CIPU (CoreImageProcessingUnit) is finished we took some time to combine this technology with another great graphics library, CoreGraphics on Max OSX and iPhone OS. This project called CoreFusion delivered an iPhone App which brings the image editing capabilities of CIPU to the iPhone. This primitive version of 36 for the iPhone will be able to perform basic image editing functions and feature a bunch of filters and masks also found in 36-image converter. Everybody should keep in mind that this v1.0 is a basic version and that we are already working on a giant expansion of this app’s capabilities. The name will be announced together with some more information when it is approved by Apple. We can already announce the price which will be $0.99 or €0.79.
36-image converter 4.7 “Tiger Chameleon” will be the 36-image converter version with the highest amount of improvements and new features to the previous one. This means that it beats v4.4 “Ninja” in increased functionality.
36-image converter 4.4 “Ninja” release 1, released last year only had 74 improvements and the coming 36-image converter 4.7 “Tiger Chameleon” release 1 will have over 107 new features if we stick to all our plans. Of course for most users, the change will not be this dramatic since most improvements happen far away from the main 36-image converter executable in the image processing unit, where in “Ninja” the entire main executable was rebuild. So this gives a bit of a wrong view to this comparison. So you have to decide yourself which update is the most valuable one.
You could already see an overview of all new coming features in one of the previous posts, but now we have also added usability improving features like keyboard shortcuts and mouse gestures. Mouse gestures is something which has never been done before in an image editing application.
Let’s give you another overview of all 108 coming improvements :
-Improved performance : By removing old parts of the engine, we increased performance and reduced memory load. (2 improvements)
–New conversion engine (Core Image Processing Unit v0.3.1) : This improvement speeds up conversions, makes all existing write support more reliable, adds write support for TIF, TIFF, TGA, Portable bitmaps (normal, raw and ascii), RLE, 256-colors and 16-bits bitmaps, ICB and read support for jpeg2000 and 33 raw image filetypes of 300 digital camera’s. It also provides more stable PII encryption/decryption and improves the speed of all existing and coming filters tremendously. (61 improvements)
–New selection and layer features : The amount of possibilities added to the selection menu will dramatically increase. You will be able to cut out or copy a selection and save it to a file or create a layer with it and apply filters or transformations upon it. You will also be more free in the transformation of your selection, you will be able to contract or expand selections to all directions and set the size or location for the selected area. There will also be minor tweaks to the selection controls and an update of the current object insertion (layer) function. (15 improvements)
–New filters : With 36-image converter 4.7 come a whole bunch of new faster filters : Monochrome, Equalize, Red, Blue and Green. You will also be able to encrypt and decrypt images with a password using a filter. (7 improvements)
–New improved settings panel, Extension Manager and DashBoard : All extra tools will be renewed and improved, they will get improved interfaces, the DashBoard and its channels will be adapted, the Extension Manager will enable you to choose an icon for 36IC files and the Settings Panel will be adapted to conform to the new functions. (5 improvements)
–Batch and Context menu conversion : 36IC 4.7 is the first version of 36-image converter to support Batch and Context menu conversion. You will be able to directly use the CIPU to convert an amount of filetypes to all filetypes supported by 36IC. This will happen in batch and with technology taken from Blastgen to enable thousands of files to be converted, resized or renamed in a matter of seconds. (6 improvements)
-Usability improvements : In 36-image converter 4.7, image editing never was easier. You will be able to use keyboard shortcuts and adjustable mouse gestures for a whole lot of standard operations. Also the new Mirage theme will also be applied to the selection and color squares to improve visibility. When you open a submenu for the first time, an animated tutorial will pop up to get people used to 36IC in no time. (4 improvements)
–The usual bunch of tweaks and fixes : As a surplus to all new functions and improved features some things were tweaked and fixed as well. 36IC 4.7 has new icons, a new splash screen, a new help file and finally fixes the resize inaccuracy bug. There have also been minor tweaks to the interface to the quality of the interface. (8 improvements)
As you can see, 36-image converter 4.7 will have a whole bunch of new features, how many will survive it to the finish is something we will see in August.
36-image converter 4.7 “Tiger Chameleon” will support 35 raw input filetypes of over 337 digital camera’s thanks to the great work of Michael Coffin, DCRAW.
for 435Kb of extra load you will be able to batch resize and convert an amount of RAW camera pictures directly to all output formats supported by 36IC 4.7, PNG, JNG, JPEG, BMP, RLE, DIB, TIF, TIFF, ICO, CUR, JP2, PCX, TGA, PBM, PPM, PGM, WMF, EMF, GIF, ICB, RAWPII, RAW portable bitmap, and of course you will also be able to directly encrypt any RAW files with PII and your 36IC password.
As you can see, 36IC 4.7 will be an enormous improvement and with the extra +-35 filetypes of DCRAW, it will be able to support more than 70 input filetypes and about 25 output filetypes.
For a while you have been noticing that we use the term CIPU a lot in our twitter posts concerning the development of 36-image converter v4.7 “Tiger Chameleon”. CIPU is the new conversion engine of 36-image converter and stands for Core Image Processing Unit, it is in fact comparable to Core Image in Mac OSX but of course not as advanced. We will disclose more about CIPU in a later post. This post concerns our proceedings in the development of the newest 36-image converter, “Tiger Chameleon”.
We have ported the Internal Batcher supporting TIF, TIFF, TGA, PBM, PGM, PPM and RAW to CIPU which takes the weight of the front end. This improves the performance a whole lot and lightens 36-image converter’s executable from 4.5Mb to 3.3Mb, also lowering memory usage.
This change also optimizes support for the concerning filetypes, Portable Bitmaps for example are now converted correctly, PBM is monochrome, PGM is greyscale and PPM is full color. Also error messages and bugs during the conversion of the above filetypes are hereby history.
We have also added support (at request) for 256-color (8-bits) BMP, 16-bits BMP, ICB, RLE, RAW and ASCII Portable Bitmaps and removed malfunctioning support for basic RAW.
Other not filetypes related changes are :
-Tweaks to the UI of the Convert-menu
-A new splash screen
-A new Icon
But this isn’t all, 36IC 4.7 is far from being released and we still have to add a lot of functionality. In total there will be more than 100 updates and bug fixes, these are a few of them that are still in progress :
New Features :
-Tool to directly communicate with CIPU to allow batch and context menu conversion/resizing
-Read Support for Jpeg2000 and loads of other filetypes
-Active Tutorial when you first open every submenu
-“Duplicate as object”-function
-“Move Selected area”-function
-“Apply Filter to Selection”-function
-“Expand to Left”-function
-“Expand to Right”-function
-“Expand to Up”-function
-“Expand to Down”-function
-“Set Selection Size”-function
-Updated color of selection and color squares to new Mirage Gradient for visibility
-Updated Extension Manager with ability to select an icon for 36IC associated files
-Updated DashBoard Channels
-Updated Settings Panel
-Updated and more reliable PII encryption
-Faster filters handled by CIPU
-Tweak Object insert tool
-Fix rotation by checking pixels
Minor Updates :
-Updated Help File
-Move Color Mozaic to Filters menu
-Make Add Object button
-Add optional v4.4/5 “Twilight”-Theme
As you can see we are working hard to deliver a 36-image converter 4.7 that is an improvement to v4.6. The same stable 36-image converter which is even lighter and with dramatically improved functionality, we are even aiming to make 36IC 4.7 the second biggest release to v4.4 “Ninja”.
36-image converter 4.7 will be released in August 2009, about a year after v4.4 was released, but in the meanwhile you can enjoy 36-image converter 4.6.
Fall 2007 we started with the development of an entire graphics suite called 36-image converter 5 or “Hummingbird”. The suite consisted out of 36-image converter 5.0, 36-image explorer 1.0, 36-imageVault and a primitive 36CONVERT which also allowed grayscale filtering. The suite was never finished due to some events at the beginning of 2008, with 4 applications in test build. Not all the development was in vain, many of the 36IC5 functions have been directly implemented into 36IC4.4 “Ninja” eg. drawing, erasing, selections and some filters. 36-ImageVault is now PII-encrypted images and LockPhix. And 36-image explorer is just an inch from being released for fun as a semi-functional developer’s preview.
Everyone was waiting for a version 5 but instead you got version 4.3 in Spring 2008 to fix critical errors and version 4.4 in Summer. But 36-image converter has to get a version 5 sooner or later, so it’s inevitable. But our demands have changed, 36IC5 will not be an image suite. We want to develop in the direction of a graphics editor which can handle huge images, has a great interface and has the potential to overpower photoshop. As you can see we won’t be able to achieve this using the current 36-image converter engine. We tried to implement the use of surfaces in 36IC4.6 but it failed because the code was too complex and simple tasks like resizing or rotating failed. So 36-image converter 5 “Hummingbird” will be completely based on 36-image express.
36-image express still is too buggy and the subwindows are too static, but when it is out of Beta it will be the base we are going to use to create “Hummingbird”. We will then port all features of the 36IC4 object based engine to the new surface based engine to allow faster operations and bigger image sizes.
36IC5 has to allow the use of layers which do not get rasterized immediately, has to support a project filetype, plugins, interactive tutorials, all current v4.6+ functions and has to have a new image processing unit which can handle filters, because the current internal filters system is too slow. We will probably also drop the DashBoard for something far bigger.
When we will start development is still unknown since we have to get a stable and more flexible 36-image express first and of course we have planned some more magnificent 36-image converter 4 releases, but the dream of providing something better than photoshop for free is finally coming into sight.
Yesterday we released version 4.6 of 36-image converter. This version fixes major problems with 36-image converter which were paining the backside of many users. First of all, we updated the interface from the blue “Twilight” theme to a new theme called “Mirage” with multiple colors. This solves the visibility issues some people had. 36-image converter 4.6 is also 60-80% lighter than v4.5 depending on your system’s configuration. We also added a new feature called “MemoReduce” which lowers the memory use by 95% when minimizing the window. This makes 36-image converter one of the lightest image editors.
We are also one step closer to Photoshop-like features. Now you can insert images as objects with alpha and transparency which you can put anywhere on the image. You can also set the size in % and the angle in degrees.
We also fixed some major errors with the libpng library by completely replacing the old conversion engine by the new 36CONVERT engine.
Further changes consist of some minor tweaks to the UI and the engine.
36IC 4.6 still isn’t able to support large images but this will be added in one of the coming versions.
The new version is already available for download on our servers and will be available in the Dashboard UpdateChannel once the Download.com submission process is completed.