Reducing the size of pictures

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by sepandee, Oct 30, 2007.

  1. sepandee macrumors regular

    Jun 11, 2007
    My photos are distributed in a directory in folders which are organized by name and date (2002-10-Halloween, 2002-11-Birthday, 2002-11-Movie Night, for example).

    Some of the photos are ridiculously big, as my brother's a photographer and his pictures are now taking up a considerable proportion of my hard drive. I was thinking making copies of these photos but with a reduced size, and moving the originals to a HD.

    So Ideally, I need a resizing program that can take parameters so that it only reduces pictures above a certain limit to the size i want (e.g. reduce size to 500kb if size>1mb), or something similar. And I want a program that can work in batches, as opposed to individual pictures.

    Any recommendations?
  2. rogersmj macrumors 68020


    Sep 10, 2006
    Indianapolis, IN
    I think you'll want to read up on Automator. I personally don't check file sizes, but I do have an Automator action that allows me to select a bunch of image files and resize them with a single click. I don't think it would be worth the effort to do the file-size check thing; if you have a folder in which the images are all of a high resolution, then they're going to be large files. Just resize them with Automator.
  3. lofight macrumors 68000


    Jun 16, 2007
    Iphoto does this, load them all up in iphoto and edit them.
  4. sepandee thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 11, 2007
    But the problem is that i might have several types/sized pictures in 1 folder, so they're kinda mixed. That's why I need to somehow be selective.

    And the problem with automator is that the size-reduced file is copied in a different directory, whereas I want it to replace the original file (as I said, I'm keeping copies of the originals in my external HD).
  5. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    I think GraphicConverter can also do this, if you don't wish to use Automator (and may give you a little more flexibility).
  6. snickelfritz macrumors 65816


    Oct 24, 2003
    Tucson AZ
    Just create a Folder Action plug-in that scales the images then moves them back to their original location in the pictures directory.
    This way you can simply drag them to the folder action in any way you desire.
    AFAIK, there's no hard and fast rule that scaling images with automator workflows must use copies of the image instead of simply altering the source image.

    The Folder Action would be something like:
    1. Finder: Get contents of folder;
    2. Preview: Scale images ("show action when run" to allow the size to be set at runtime) (click "don't add" in the warning dialog)
    3. Finder: Move contents to folder; ("show action when run" to allow the target to be set at runtime)
    Use a few copies of your images (not originals) when testing this action.
    It works exactly as expected for me.
  7. sepandee thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 11, 2007
    K maybe I'm not understanding, or perhaps no one's understanding me. I have a directory called pictures, and in that directory i have 50 folders, each named in the 'date-event' format. Each of these folders hold some pictures of a specific event, maybe 10, maybe 3000 pictures, and perhaps even some subfolders with more pictures in those subfolders. The pictures in each of these folders are mixed in size, so some might be as small as 500kb, some as big as 9MB, and typically you can find all sorts of sizes in each of these folders.

    What I need to do is somehow exclude pictures which are smaller than 1mb (for example through an advanced search), take these photos and resize them to something between 500kb-1.0mb, and have the originals replaced with their smaller counterparts. Example:

    I have 5 folders A,B,C,D,E, and a simple search find that I have pictures a1, a2, b1, d1, e1, e2, e3 within these folders that are larger than 1mb (there are smaller files as well). I want to be able to reduce a1, a2, b1, etc. with
    smaller copies, a1*, a2*, b1*, etc., with one run and without touching those files that are smaller than 1mb.

    Now, I could do this folder by folder (and I think the instructions which you gave me are exactly for that, correct me if I'm wrong), but it will take ages to do it. There must be a faster way...
  8. snickelfritz macrumors 65816


    Oct 24, 2003
    Tucson AZ
    What the big problemo...?

    Do an advanced Finder search for ".jpg" (or spotlight comment, which can be added in one operation to all images at once using an Automator workflow) targeting your picture folder(s), filtered for size greater than 1MB.

    You will then have a Finder listing of images larger than 1MB, which you can then select and drag'n'drop to the fore-mentioned Folder Action for scaling and movement back into the source directory.

    BTW, it is no longer necessary (or beneficial, IMO) to build complex folder hierarchies to "micromanage" Finder items in OSX.
    Finder items can be more flexibly and effectively sorted using custom spotlight comments and Smart Folders.
    ie: Tag the photos to go in Smart Folder "A" with spotlight comment "A", etc...
    The photos will still reside in a single directory, but would be sorted into ABCDE etc... virtual directories in the Finder sidebar.

    Overall, this will be easier to manage and far more versatile than a group of nested folders, and it allows you to view all of your images in a single Finder window if needed.
    For example, you could go through your entire collection of photos and tag photos that are similar with a keyword and create a Smart folder to display those images together.
    ie: all pictures of cars in any context and from any other collection could be displayed together in the "cars" Smart folder without disrupting any other collection or creating duplicates.
  9. sepandee thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 11, 2007
    How does this have a greater utility than what I do? If I go to Paris for a summer, at the end of the trip I make a folder with the year-month-event format, so 2007-07-Paris, or 2007-12-Barbados, and copy the pictures of barbados and paris to their respective aforementioned folders. That way, when the main picture directory is organized by name, everything becomes organized by date. Why would it be better to tag the photos of the same event and have it organized by tags (is there a way to do this?)? What would this achieve that my system doesn't? (I'm sure you have an answer, i'm just not familiar with this concept of tagging my pictures).
  10. snickelfritz macrumors 65816


    Oct 24, 2003
    Tucson AZ
    It not a question of capability or whether one way is better than another.
    It's mostly matter of who does more of the work; you or the computer.

    Tiger and Leopard were designed to promote more flexible ways of organizing and presenting information with less overt effort on the part of the user.
    Using powerful functions like Spotlight and Automator to create flexible file management strategies is something that is essentially "loaded up front", in that you have to master several new concepts and do some work right now to gain proportionally greater benefit in the future.

    I'll use your "Paris" and "Barbedos" directories as an example.
    Create a Folder Action that does the following:
    1. renames the pictures
    2. tags them with spotlight comments for sorting
    3. copies the original to the backup drive
    4. scales the source image to 50%
    5. moves the scaled image back to the source directory.
    Select the entire collection of photos from Paris and drop them into the Folder Action.
    When the action runs, you will be prompted for naming convention, commenting, scale values, and destination.
    In the comments field, type "paris".
    Do whatever you want with the other values.

    Now perform an Advanced Finder Search for the Spotlight comments now embedded in the Paris Photos.
    The photos commented with "paris" will appear grouped in a search result.
    Save the search to the sidebar and name it "Paris"

    Repeat the process for the "Barbedos" photos.

    You should now have two Smart folders in the sidebar that segregate the paris and barbedos photos, even if those photos are mixed together in a single directory(!)
    The upside is that you can work with the photos in a single window if you want, or as separate groups of photos.
    Adding new photos or documents of any kind to these Smart folders is as simple as adding "paris" or "barbedos" to the comments in those files.

    BTW, you could theoretically just use the Folder action as the initial destination for copying photos to your computer, and in this way, the large source photos would never actually "reside" on your computer, since the folder action would immediately copy them to the back up drive, then write scaled-down copies to your system drive.

    The truly powerful aspect of this system is that the photos in "paris" can be shared with other smart folders without the need to create additional copies or use aliases; you simply append additional comments to the existing "paris" comment.
    In this way you could create a "vacations" Smart folder to display ALL of your vacations in a single view, by simply adding "vacations" to the existing "paris" and barbedos" comments, then creating the Smart Folder for "vacations".
    I would use a Finder Plug-in for this, which allows you to select a group of files, right-click and choose "Automator>append spotlight comment" from the contextual menu.

Share This Page