Home | Blog | Software | Reviews and Features | Forum | Help | Donate | About us
topbanner_forum
  *

avatar image

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
  • December 11, 2016, 05:52:01 AM
  • Proudly celebrating 10 years online.
  • Donate now to become a lifetime supporting member of the site and get a non-expiring license key for all of our programs.
  • donate

Author Topic: Looking for whiteboard photo cleanup software  (Read 7092 times)

mwb1100

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 1,522
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Looking for whiteboard photo cleanup software
« on: May 20, 2011, 06:39:16 PM »
I'm looking for software that will take my pictures of whiteboards and perform as close to a one-click clean up that makes the photos usable as images.

The software that searches usually point to is "Whiteboard Photo", which seem to have been acquired by an outfit that makes 'smart whiteboards', so the software has gotten expensive and seems to be neglected in the support department. I think they'd rather you buy an expensive whiteboard system rather than use some cheap software to cleanup any old picture.

I've also come across PhotoNote by South Wedge Software (http://www.southwedgesw.com/photonote/), which seems to be pretty much what I want.  But still, it costs $50, and I'd rather pay less or nothing if I could.  

One option I thought I'd try is to use something like Sagelight (or Gimp or Photoshop Elements), which I'm certain can be made to do what I'd like, but I'm not certain that *I* could get it to happen.  We have licenses for each of the above, but I can't get good results.  This is because I know absolutely nothing about image enhancement.  I can barely work the red eye removal tools in these things, so my attempts at getting whiteboard photos to look decent amount to randomly moving sliders and pressing buttons (I'm not joking about this!).  A four year old could work more intelligently.  If anyone can give me directions that will get decent results that involve no more than 2 or 3 steps and doesn't use meaningless (to me) jargon such as "gaussian blur" or "histogram", I'd be very, very happy.

If that isn't possible, I'll be happy to pay the $50 to South Wedge.  Well, maybe not happy, but satisfied enough.

As an example, here's a whiteboard photo:

whiteboard.photo.small.jpgLooking for whiteboard photo cleanup software

And here's what PhotoNote's trial did with essentially one click (I did have to drag around some cropping guides):

whiteboard.photo.small.photonote.jpgLooking for whiteboard photo cleanup software

That result is fine and was easy to get.  But if something I already have can do similar without too much trouble, I'd rather go that route.



« Last Edit: May 20, 2011, 06:55:57 PM by mwb1100 »

nudone

  • Cody's Creator
  • Columnist
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 4,117
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Looking for whiteboard photo cleanup software
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2011, 05:42:42 AM »
It looks like you could get the same results with the software you have by using The Levels features - or Auto Levels. Or by using some other image manipulation tool you find easier to use, as they are all likely to have some kind of Levels function built in.

You could tweak things further but 99% of the work will be done with a very quick click on Auto Levels. Maybe that's what you've already tried though.

Renegade

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 13,220
  • Tell me something you don't know...
    • View Profile
    • Renegade Minds
    • Donate to Member
Re: Looking for whiteboard photo cleanup software
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2011, 05:47:49 AM »
It looks like you could get the same results with the software you have by using The Levels features - or Auto Levels. Or by using some other image manipulation tool you find easier to use, as they are all likely to have some kind of Levels function built in.

You could tweak things further but 99% of the work will be done with a very quick click on Auto Levels. Maybe that's what you've already tried though.

+1

Effects like "Find edges" could help out. Try recording a macro and using a few effects to get things working. You'd have a 1-click solution then.
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

mwb1100

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 1,522
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Looking for whiteboard photo cleanup software
« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2011, 01:48:22 PM »
Thanks for the suggestions. 

I might not have a chance to try these out until I get to work on Monday. I'll let you know if they work out for me.

mwb1100

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 1,522
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Looking for whiteboard photo cleanup software
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2011, 02:15:18 PM »
It looks like using a general purpose photo editor for this special purpose just isn't going to produce the results I could get with PhotoNote (at least not without more work than I want to do and/or more knowledge than I have).  I did find these notes from WikiHow describing how one might do this with PhotoShop:

  - http://www.wikihow.c...mera-or-Camera-Phone

And I got 'good-enough' results with Sagelight by using the 'Automatic Levels" option in the "Levels Adjustment" tool, followed by playing around with the "Smart Fill Light" gadget. 

That's probably not too much work, but I still feel like I'm just randomly monkeying around and not getting results that are quite as good as I'd really like. I'll probably cough up for PhotoNote next time  I need this.

JohnFredC

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 70
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Looking for whiteboard photo cleanup software
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2011, 12:32:52 PM »
I expect that the legibility of the whiteboard image is very important.  This means that contrast needs to be enhanced, gamma adjusted, extraneous "ghosts" of partial erasures need to be suppressed, perhaps some routinized cropping needs to performed...

Take a look at the free application: XnConvert MP.  It is an interactive tool for building sequences of image edits, then saving them as "batch" files to re-apply to subsequent images either singly, or in groups.  Very robust, many nice features, runs on many platforms (not just Windows).

XnConvert is a member of the XnView family of image tools, all of which are free and of the very highest quality.

mouser

  • First Author
  • Administrator
  • Joined in 2005
  • *****
  • Posts: 36,435
    • View Profile
    • Mouser's Software Zone on DonationCoder.com
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: Looking for whiteboard photo cleanup software
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2011, 12:49:00 PM »
Quote
It is an interactive tool for building sequences of image edits, then saving them as "batch" files to re-apply to subsequent images either


that's a very clever suggestion by JohnFred, definitely worth exploring.

mwb1100

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 1,522
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Looking for whiteboard photo cleanup software
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2015, 11:53:08 AM »
Sorry for reviving this old thread, but I came across a one-liner script that uses the ImageMagick library to clean up whiteboard photos:

  - https://gist.github..../lelandbatey/8677901

It's a bash script that uses the ImageMagick library and a straightforward conversion to a DOS batch file works on windows just fine.

@rem here is the DOS/Windows version:
convert "%1" -morphology Convolve DoG:15,100,0 -negate -normalize -channel RBG -level 60%%,91%%,0.1 "%2"

It doesn't work nearly as well as the PhotoNote software, but it's free and PhotoNote is apparently no longer available (I'm really sorry that I didn't shell out the $50 when I could).

Here's how the ImageMagick script handled my example jpg:

example.whiteboard.cleaned.jpgLooking for whiteboard photo cleanup software

It's done a better job with some other whiteboard photos I've used it on.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2015, 12:02:20 PM by mwb1100 »

Curt

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 7,092
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Looking for whiteboard photo cleanup software
« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2015, 12:51:29 PM »
Did you ever try Kyle Burton's method? It all was a while ago, but he was a "Superuser". GitHub was in 2009 (was? it's still there!) His twitter account snapcleanme was not updated since 2012, and his blog not since 2013, but MAYBE the trick itself still works?:

http://snapclean.me/ + an email endpoint
It's FREE, but an old "Donate" button is present.

Quote from: can you tell me how it works?
Sure. I first read about the technique at the C2 Wiki CleaningUpWhiteBoardPictures page.
Then I wrote a Gimp Script-Fu script to automate it (clean-whiteboard-photo.scm).
All of that was still too many steps for lazy old me so I hooked it up as an email endpoint.

>>Since 2010, this service has cleaned 10407 pictures for 188 happy people (at least I hope they're happy).<<

Quote
5. Read through our Tips for getting the most out of SnapClean.me.

1. Take a snapshot of your Whiteboard or Napkin masterpiece:
2. Email it to doodle@snapclean.me
3. Our highly trained team of image gnomes will polish it to perfection, (perfection is a journey right?), and email it back to you:
4. Bask in the glory of your work!

If you have any questions or run into any trouble, please email support@snapclean.me for support.

If you need to clean up a white board pic on your desktop yourself, you do have a few alternatives:

Gimp Script-Fu: clean-whiteboard-photo.scm
Do it by hand: How to Copy a Whiteboard With Your Digital Camera or Camera Phone
Do it by hand: C2 Wiki Instructions
Use a commercial Product: Whiteboard Photo

I have not used any of the commercial product(s), I'm not endorsing them, I just googled for them. If you have something you feel I should add to this list, please email me.
This is courtesy of Kyle Burton.

mwb1100

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 1,522
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Looking for whiteboard photo cleanup software
« Reply #9 on: August 10, 2015, 07:38:00 PM »
Did you ever try Kyle Burton's method?

I had seen that before, but my whiteboard photos are from work, and I don't feel comfortable sending them out to an email service for processing.  However, your post prompted me to test with with my example whiteboard photo and it did very well with it:

example.whiteboard.snapclean.me.jpgLooking for whiteboard photo cleanup software

Kyle Burton has posted a link to the Gimp script that the email service uses (or at least used - I supposed it may have been tweeked since).  So I can try installing Gimp and running the script myself.  Since I know nothing about Gimp or Gimp scripting, this is a higher barrier to entry than I'd like (basically, install-and-run).  But it seems like something I should be able to get going, and once I do it should be as easy as anything else and possibly produce better results.

4wd

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 4,477
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Looking for whiteboard photo cleanup software
« Reply #10 on: August 10, 2015, 07:43:59 PM »
Just as a matter of interest and assuming you have a smart phone, maybe MS' Office Lens would be able to help?

Android
iOS
Windows Phone

Just as an example, I use a $19 Lumia phone just for a media player and Office Lens, (no SIM installed), then when I get near a WiFi hotspot the images scanned by Office Lens get dumped to OneDrive so I can access them elsewhere.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2015, 11:55:45 PM by 4wd »

Ath

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 2,790
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Looking for whiteboard photo cleanup software
« Reply #11 on: August 11, 2015, 03:15:25 AM »
+1 for Office Lens

Curt

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 7,092
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Looking for whiteboard photo cleanup software
« Reply #12 on: August 12, 2015, 07:47:11 AM »
at first this looked promising: "Wikihow: Copy-a-Whiteboard-With-Your-Digital-Camera-or-Camera-Phone": http://www.wikihow.c...mera-or-Camera-Phone

-only when I was posting here did I notice the sentence "Clean Up Using Photoshop".


mouser

  • First Author
  • Administrator
  • Joined in 2005
  • *****
  • Posts: 36,435
    • View Profile
    • Mouser's Software Zone on DonationCoder.com
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: Looking for whiteboard photo cleanup software
« Reply #13 on: August 12, 2015, 02:33:56 PM »
The thing is, whatever cms we use -- we will just barely be using the cms features -- just a handful of users, no ability for normal people to create accounts, little or no extensions, mostly static pages.  The likelyhood of security vulnerabilities in such a scenario is close to zero.

sorry posted in wrong topic somehow!
« Last Edit: August 15, 2015, 04:33:07 AM by mouser »

4wd

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 4,477
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Looking for whiteboard photo cleanup software
« Reply #14 on: August 12, 2015, 06:02:31 PM »
@mouser:  You sure you got the right thread?  (Or it could be I'm not fully caffeinated yet.)
« Last Edit: August 15, 2015, 04:47:15 AM by 4wd, Reason: GFU »

mouser

  • First Author
  • Administrator
  • Joined in 2005
  • *****
  • Posts: 36,435
    • View Profile
    • Mouser's Software Zone on DonationCoder.com
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: Looking for whiteboard photo cleanup software
« Reply #15 on: August 15, 2015, 04:32:53 AM »
thanks i was wondering where that post went!!!  :huh: