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April 10 2013

20:24

Rewind Episodio 11

IN QUESTO EPISODIO:

- Gossip in primo piano…
- Facebook e quell’esagerato miliardo di dollari spesi per acquisire Instagram LEGGI
- Le ambizioni politiche di Zuckerberg: «siamo ricchi e controlliamo i canali d’informazione di massa» LEGGI
- Batman si aggira per Isernia…

August 22 2012

13:09

How to Properly Use Instagram and Pinterest For Your Company

After the first two Etiquette Guides for Facebook and Twitter, I’ve decided to also tell you something about two other services which, although popular, are quite new to the market: Instagram and Pinterest. If you find them difficult to use in such a way that your company will benefit, this article will most likely answer your questions and help you make better use of these two underdogs.

What’s Instagram

You’ve probably heard about Facebook buying Instagram for a billion dollars some months ago, news that was a hit in the stands for many weeks. With more than 15 million users signing up in the past year and more than 400 million photos uploaded, Instagram might have been able to put a dent in Facebook’s hopes of internet domination. So Zuckerberg decided to buy the small company with only 13 employees. It was not the features of the app, but the database of people Facebook bought that defends this astounding price. Instagram might have become more than just a photo sharing app with a reported number of 26 new pictures uploaded every second and with a new user signing up every second.

Apparently, Facebook bought Instagram for $300 million in cash and 23 million in shares. And with the updated stock values, Instagram is somehow short of $300 million.

Basically what Instagram does is simple: it allows you to take photos with your smartphone, apply filters and share them on Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare and other networks. Basically it does nothing more than you could do with other apps – so again, its power is translated by the number of registered users.

Who uses it?

Instagram is used by a number of companies, news channels, sports teams and so on. Almost everybody with an iPhone or an Android-based device uses Facebook’s app.

What companies like is that for every time you check-in on Facebook, you advertise them. Every time you write something about them on Twitter, you advertise them. And every time you take a photo of a product and share it with Instagram, you advertise them yet again. This is the way people tell stories nowadays. It is much easier to post a picture of a product than trying to describe it. And this is why Instagram is so powerful. And when you will go by a Starbucks and will see a Cafe Latte in the window, you will remember the picture posted by your friend on Instagram and might go in to try it yourself. And you know what the funny part is? You might post a picture of the same Latte again.

Other big companies use Instagram to run contests of submitted consumer images, such as General Electric. Thousands of people submitted their picture and hoped to win. And all of this just to win a trip to Wales where you had to take pictures of an aviation facility. The results of the #GEInspiredMe campaign were incredible compared to the prize.

Some other companies use Instagram to tell consumers more about their inside workings or to introduce new products. Engaging customers is probably the best bet a company has with Instagram.

What about you?

Now you could say that other companies were successful in using Instagram because they already have a huge database of followers. And I have to agree. But that doesn’t mean you can’t do it yourself. Some tips for you? Sure, here they are:

  1. Decide on what you want to do. By just starting and posting random pictures of random things won’t make you successful. You need to know from the beginning what it is you want to do and ONLY do that thing. Have a plan. It can be showing the world how you design a website and the whole process behind it; it can be showing how you relax on your lunch breaks; it can be how your small company employees have fun on their breaks; it can be literally anything. But let it be something interesting, something part of a routine, something you will be able to share about in the following days.
  2. Establish a posting routine. When you own a blog, it is a good idea to get your readers used to a posting pattern. If you post daily for two weeks in row, then for the following two you post three times, this inconsistency might not please your readers. They usually expect something from you. They don’t know exactly when it’s coming, but they know it’s close. It is important to have consistency in posting, so keep this in mind when you make your plan.
  3. Get your followers involved. If you really want to engage customers, Instagram is one of the best ways of doing it. This is the way to ensure followers will participate and they will continue to follow you. Ask them to post pictures of your product and see what the results are.
  4. Follow uploads. While it can be very funny to ask customers to post images of their new sun glasses that your company makes, it can also be quite damaging if they get shipped the wrong product or a product in a bad shape. It is important to keep an eye on what people upload to assure that you protect your brand. If bad uploads are found, then always respond in a calm and helpful way and correct any misunderstanding. Do not EVER get into a war.
  5. Take quality pictures. You might not be a professional photographer, but keep in mind that picture quality is an important element of a good brand. If you are not good at taking pictures yourself, let someone else do it for you, or read some tips and tricks that can improve your skills.
  6. Connect and share. Integrating Instagram with other networks is crucial. I would immediately start with Facebook, Twitter, maybe Flickr and Foursquare. This way you can take images and share them using hashtags on other networks. Proper SEO will bring in many views.

What’s Pinterest?

The concept behind Pinterest might be a bit more complicated than Instagram’s. The basic idea is that you have a digital bulletin board and post everything you find interesting there . You basically have the option of creating and managing theme-based image collections (events, hobbies, interests and others) and you can like or re-pin other user’s content. The idea behind Pinterest is to connect everyone  through the things they are interested in using the tool.

Pinterest is, just like Instagram, one of the fastest growing social services in the world and can be considered a mix between Facebook and Twitter, which allows you to have lots of followers to whom you can share your interests. Although not as effective as Instagram, Pinterest has some advantages of its own.

  1. Spend the time.  There is no social media network where you will be popular right from signing up. You need to spend time on all of them. You need to prove your followers and readers you are an important and credible source of information. It takes months for even the biggest companies in the world to reach a high number of followers – and they will never reach all of their customers on social media for various reasons. Keep in mind that spending time to build a profile is important. On Pinterest you can get recognized as a profile that only posts valuable pins. If you own one of those profiles, it will be easier for you to move the relationship on another media and make the best out of it.
  2. Promote others. The first temptation for a new Pinterest profile owner would be to only post products he/she sells. But this is entirely wrong. Many successful Pinterest users declared that in order for a profile to become popular, you also need to pin tips, products from other companies and interesting news. If you only post your own products, Pinterest users will spot that sooner or later and might not be interested in your updates anymore.
  3. Learn from the elite. It is a good idea to follow big hitters on Pinterest and see what they are doing. If a huge company does something a specific way, there is definitely a reason behind it. Try to catch up on that and do the same if the strategy fits your target customers.
  4. Connect online with offline. Remember to always draw a connecting line between the online profile and the offline location. If you have a store, include some ads on the walls for your Pinterest profile (and other social media networks for that matter). And if you have something like it (and you should), then advertise all your Pinterest promotions there as well. Combining the offline with the online is a good recipe for success.
  5. Do you fit in? It is an important questions to ask when you sign up on Pinterest. Is your company really fit to use this particular social media tool? There are companies out there who are simply not a good fit for Pinterest because their target audience is not present on Pinterest. If you think the ones you want to do business with are there, then use Pinterest, otherwise try to avoid spending time on it and focus on something else.

Bonus: Pinstagram

So we’ve talked about Instagram and Pinterest..did you know that there’s a fairly new application called Pinstagram? Pinstagram is a service that lets you use and enjoy Instagram on the web and make it easy to share your photos on Pinterest. Since the two applications/services deal with photos, Pinstagram is a valuable tool to fully utilize Instagram and Pinterest at the same time!

Conclusion

Online success can be achieved with Facebook and Twitter – and it would be enough. But if you are good enough and interested in adding different networks, your audience can get much larger and you might get clients and contacts you’ve never dreamt of. Instagram and Pinterest are two of those underdogs who offer the goods only to people who want to spend time and learn how to use them. If you are one of these people, I hope this article inspired you to go out there and experiment a brand behaviour on two of the hottest social media networks out there.

So, let’s see, do you use Instagram or Pinterest? Is it for personal use or for a company? And how did you find these two in the first weeks when using them?

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09:01

Soup.io will be discontinued :(

Dear soup.io fans and users,
 
today, we have to share very sad news. Soup.io will stop working in less than 10 days. :(
 
It's breaking our heart and we honestly tried whatever we could to keep the platform up and running. But the high costs and low revenue streams made it impossible to continue with it. We invested a lot of personal time and money to operate the platform, but when it's over, it's over.
 
We are really sorry. Soup.io is part of the internet history and online for one and a half decades.
 
Here are the hard facts:
- In 10 days the platform will stop working.
- Backup your data in this time
- We will not keep backups nor can we recover your data
 
July, 20th, 2020 is the due date.
 
Please, share your thoughts and feelings here.
 
Your Soup.io TEAM
Reposted bydotmariuszMagoryannerdanelmangoerainbowzombieskilledmyunicorntomashLogHiMakalesorSilentRulebiauekjamaicanbeatlevuneserenitephinangusiastysmoke11Climbingpragne-ataraksjisauerscharfArchimedesgreywolfmodalnaTheCrimsonIdoljormungundmarbearwaco6mieczuuFeindfeuerDagarhenvairashowmetherainbowszpaqusdivihindsightTabslawujcioBateyelynTabslaensommenitaeliblameyouHalobeatzalicexxxmgnsNorkNork

April 18 2012

13:00

Facebook Buys Instagram. How Will Microsoft React?

This is the link to the original article creator of this site, if this message appears to another site than 1stwebdesigner - Graphic and Web Design Blog - 1stwebdesigner is a design blog dedicated to bloggers, freelancers, web-developers and designers. Topics focus on web design and inspirational articles. it has been stolen, please visit original source then!

Instagram is a free photo editing and sharing application which was launched in October 2010. It allows its users to take photos and apply one of the many digital filters available, then share it on social networking websites like Facebook and Twitter. When the application was launched, it was only available for Apple mobile users (iPod, iPhone, iPad) but in April 2012 they made it available for Android as well. The application is being distributed for free via App Store and Google Play. Because of the application’s popularity, many social networks made modifications and tweaks on their websites for Instagram users because only after one year of existence, Instagram had 10 million users already.

About The Purchase

Image Source

On April 9, 2012, Facebook made an announcement regarding the upcoming purchase of Instagram. Instagram, with only 1 application, only 13 employees, is supposed to receive $1 billion in cash and stock. Until now, Instagram had only two rounds of funding, first in February 2011 when the company raised $7 million from a variety of investors and $50 million in the first week of April when the company was valued at $500 million. While these funding rounds, especially the first one, helped the company grow and expand, no one had ever expected this purchase to be worth $1 billion. While this may sound like the “purchase of the year” and there aren’t doubts it can be it, Facebook played very well. It is being said that Facebook itself, is worth $100 billion which is exactly one hundred times more than what they are going to pay for Instagram. While someone may think it is a lot for a company to give such a big sum when it only holds $10 billion in its hands, it isn’t exactly like that. Probably Facebook and specifically Mark Zuckerberg didn’t care much about the sum paid. Of course they won’t go insane and pay dozens of billions but keeping away such an amazing start-up from the hands of Google or Microsoft, is worth much more worth than the money they paid. It was probably thought by the “Big Daddies” that Instagram would be killed on its development road. Facebook has waited for a while before they decided to purchase Instagram, it’s most likely they’ve understood its real value only after the second “wave” of funding and after extending its market. We can remember the “Flickr Story” when in 2005, Yahoo (a prosperous company at that time) acquired Flickr , for only $30 million making it the most popular photo-sharing web site.

Microsoft At the Moment

Image Source

Over the years, Microsoft has been building a series of successful products, making the company stronger and stronger.. It survived many civil actions against it. However, even if it has been really stable and growing over the past decades, it now faces a few problems. In 2011, it has been reported that Microsoft, Dell and Intel combined are worth the same as Apple. This makes Microsoft leave the leader position on the technology market. Microsoft has always been recognized for its Windows operating system, it isn’t so successful with web products. The company tried a few products which only became stable but not phenomenal. Bing, their search engine, is well known for being stable and receiving a majority of its traffic from Internet Explorer users, who represent  52% as of 2011. Since 2007, they have renovated and updated their products, by releasing: Windows Vista, Widows 7, Windows Mobile and recently announcing the beta consumer preview of Windows 8. An unexpected move by Microsoft was done in May 2011, when the company decided to buy Skype. Skype was bought by Microsoft for $8.5 billion , the biggest purchase the company has ever made. A very large amount was indeed invested but probably having Skype under its wing, Microsoft will get on the top of the leaderboard soon. We only have to wait and see how Skype will evolve and what marketing strategy will be used by Microsoft to keep this product alive and attract more users to it.

Why Microsoft Doesn’t Buy Successful Web Companies

Image Source

We can see that Microsoft isn’t very successful at building web products if they aren’t associated in a way with its OS or big properties the company owns. That’s why the company should make the appropriate conclusions and with the financial possibilities it has, either investing a lot into themselves, so they could become the leaders again, or, begin buying successful web products and companies that will have success. Except Skype, Microsoft hasn’t bought anything very significant that would still be appropriate to show as an example, a few reasons this hasn’t happened are:

  • The Company Sees No Benefit in Spending More Money

I highly doubt this is the main reason why Microsoft didn’t please us with a revolutionary web product with the current value of approx. $200 billion. However, it could still be a reason. There aren’t any financial details how much was spent on developing the Windows 8 OS so we can’t rule out anything, at least for the time being.

  • There aren’t Opportunities on the Market

Well, this is more possible but still it depends on what the heads of Microsoft would like to aim at. While there aren’t any revolutionary ideas available for purchase, there are more possibilities in the social media sector. I suppose that Microsoft has an eye on both, Twitter and Pinterest. While Twitter is a more stable, day by day growing social network with a really unique idea, they may aim at Pinterest more because even though it was launched only in May 2010, it has become the third most visited social network, overtaking such networks like Tumblr, Google+ and LinkedIn. In my opinion, Pinterest isn’t a great business opportunity for Microsoft because it may fail in a year or two. I wouldn’t give Pinterest a longer lifespan than 3 or, at most, 4 years. Twitter has been around for a while, and while it’s been quietly killed by millions of spammers using Twitter for their benefit, a radical change in user policy and a better fight with the audience which isn’t using Twitter as it has to be used, can solve and make Twitter a very prosperous company.

  • They are Preparing their own Product

This is the most possible prediction I can think of. I think, they will be releasing a product to rock the web together with the new Windows 8. Its has been already said that Microsoft has success with almost every product related to its OS, so, why wouldn’t they use this benefit and release a web service really close to the new OS? They could even win some mobile audience if this service will be implemented as a primary one on the Windows mobile as well.

Microsoft, Twitter & Facebook and Instagram

I don’t believe Instagram is a big opportunity loss for Microsoft. For Twitter? Most likely, but not for Microsoft. Microsoft aims on software and products used by masses. I think a mobile photo sharing service wouldn’t interest Microsoft because of one important factor. They don’t have any acceptable space to use the respective service. Facebook will be using Instagram as an addition to its mobile version, as the current Facebook version for phones isn’t very well thought out and isn’t ready yet to be used by masses. Instagram will be the “final touch” which will encourage Facebook users to use the mobile version of the site more. I suppose Twitter was thinking about having a collaboration with Instagram, but definitely not buying it. Twitter can’t afford paying 1 billion for a photo-sharing company with the 2010 estimated revenue of 140 million dollars.

Conclusion

I believe Microsoft isn’t really worried about the recent acquisition of Instagram. Microsoft has other priorities at the moment and if they are not planning the release of any social network in the upcoming days, then, they don’t have much to lose with the loss of Instagram.

March 24 2012

22:53

Create Instagram Filters With PHP

In this tutorial, I’ll demonstrate how to create vintage (just like Instagram does) photos with PHP and ImageMagick. Wait? What? Yes, you can do this very thing with PHP and ImageMagick, and that’s just scratching the surface!


We Made Digital Vintage Photos, Before it Was Cool

Once upon a time – technically 22 years ago (5 years before PHP) – ImageMagick was released. Since then, it has evolved to a platform independent software suite that can create, edit, compose, or convert raster images (over 100 formats supported!). You can use it to resize, flip, mirror, rotate, distort, shear and transform images, adjust image colors, apply various special effects, or draw text, lines, polygons, ellipses and Bézier curves. It truly has everything you will ever need, when dealing with image manipulation in web development, video processing, panorama generating, etc. Please note, however: it is not a GUI image editor.

ImageMagick is command-line Photoshop for web.


Image Manipulation With PHP

PHP comes bundled with GD (GIF Draw/Graphics Draw), which is a library for the dynamic creation of images. It can be used for simpler image operation, such as resizing, cropping, adding watermarks, creating thumbnails (Jeffrey wrote about it), applying basic photo filters – you’ve probably used it before. Unfortunately, if you want to create something more complex with GD, like Instagram effects, you can’t. Luckily, though, we have ImageMagick!


GD vs. ImageMagick

These two can’t compare on higher levels, therefore, we will use simple example, like resizing. Let’s imagine that we’ve uploaded a new 1024×768 photo.jpg image, and we want to dynamically resize it to 640×480 pixels.

GD

In the example below, we have to call six functions, and possibly perform some calculations if we have variable aspect ratio.

$im = imagecreatefromjpeg('photo.jpg');

$ox = imagesx($im);
$oy = imagesy($im);  

$nx = 640;
$ny = 480;

$nm = imagecreatetruecolor($nx, $ny);  

imagecopyresized($nm,$im,0,0,0,0,$nx,$ny,$ox,$oy);  

imagejpeg($nm, 'photo.jpg');

ImageMagick

IM (short for ImageMagick) has a nice wrapper, called Imagick – a native PHP extension to create and modify images using the ImageMagick API. The only downside is: you will likely have to install it from PECL, which can sometimes be a problem for shared hosting.

$image = new Imagick('photo.jpg');
$image->resizeImage(640, 480, imagick::FILTER_LANCZOS, 0.9);

Even simpler, command-line usage with PHP (this is what we are going to use):

exec('mogrify -resize 640x480 photo.jpg');

That’s it! Excellent.


Installing ImageMagick

Although nearly every good hosting company has ImageMagick installed, you probably don’t have one on a local machine, simply because it isn’t shipped with PHP.
Installing ImageMagick is a cinch, though. Go to the ImageMagick Download page, choose your platform (Unix/Mac/Win), and select recommended package. Simply follow the simple instructions; you can’t make a mistake here.

Once finished, go to your terminal/command-prompt, type in convert and hit Enter, If you receive a list of options instead of “Command not found”, you’re good go! Note that you don’t need to configure anything in PHP.


How Does Instagram Work?

Well, to be honest, I don’t know what system the Instagram team are using for image processing. ImageMagick is also available for iOS; perhaps that is the magic of how Instagram works? To quote Kevin Systrom, Instagram CEO and co-founder:

It’s really a combination of a bunch of different methods. In some cases, we draw on top of images, in others we do pixel math. It really depends on the effect we’re going for.

For instance, Lomo-fi really isn’t much more than the image with boosted contrast. Whereas Toaster is one of the most complex (and slow, yet popular) filters we have with multiple passes and drawing.

I’d give up more info, but it’s our secret sauce :) Maybe some day…

“Maybe some day…” isn’t good enough for us, Mr Systrom. Challenge accepted!


Show Me Teh Codez!

We are going to mimic gotham (return of gotham), toaster (the complex one), nashville (the popular one), lomo (lomo-fi isn’t that good) and kelvin (lord kelvin – original) filters.

Instagraph – the PHP Class

I have created a little PHP wrapper class to make the process of filtering images as simple as possible. In these filters, as you know, we have lots of…

  • colortone: will color tone an image in highlights and/or shadows. For example, we want to change black to purple.
  • vignette: edges of photo fade out or desaturate gradually. We can even reverse this, or use colors for vignette.
  • border: will add a border to the photo. For example, we want a white or black or any color border of a certain width; note that the width of the border will add up to the photo dimensions.
  • frame: will read specified frame and stretch in to fit to photo. We need this for the Nashville and kelvin filters.
  • tempfile: creates temporary file (copy of original image), to work with.
  • output: simply renames the working copy.
  • execute: we will send all commands through this method to prevent errors that can occur while working with the shell.

I’ve made all of these mentioned, so we can skip to fun part. Create a new file, called instagraph.php, and copy & paste the code below.

/**
 * Instagram filters with PHP and ImageMagick
 *
 * @package    Instagraph
 * @author     Webarto <dejan.marjanovic@gmail.com>
 * @copyright  NetTuts+
 * @license    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/ CC BY-NC
 */
class Instagraph
{

    public $_image = NULL;
    public $_output = NULL;
    public $_prefix = 'IMG';
    private $_width = NULL;
    private $_height = NULL;
    private $_tmp = NULL;

    public static function factory($image, $output)
    {
        return new Instagraph($image, $output);
    }

    public function __construct($image, $output)
    {
        if(file_exists($image))
        {
            $this->_image = $image;
            list($this->_width, $this->_height) = getimagesize($image);
            $this->_output = $output;
        }
        else
        {
            throw new Exception('File not found. Aborting.');
        }
    }

    public function tempfile()
    {
        # copy original file and assign temporary name
        $this->_tmp = $this->_prefix.rand();
        copy($this->_image, $this->_tmp);
    }

    public function output()
    {
        # rename working temporary file to output filename
        rename($this->_tmp, $this->_output);
    }

    public function execute($command)
    {
        # remove newlines and convert single quotes to double to prevent errors
        $command = str_replace(array("
", "'"), array('', '"'), $command);
        $command = escapeshellcmd($command);
        # execute convert program
        exec($command);
    }

    /** ACTIONS */

    public function colortone($input, $color, $level, $type = 0)
    {
        $args[0] = $level;
        $args[1] = 100 - $level;
        $negate = $type == 0? '-negate': '';

        $this->execute("convert
        {$input}
        ( -clone 0 -fill '$color' -colorize 100% )
        ( -clone 0 -colorspace gray $negate )
        -compose blend -define compose:args=$args[0],$args[1] -composite
        {$input}");
    }

    public function border($input, $color = 'black', $width = 20)
    {
        $this->execute("convert $input -bordercolor $color -border {$width}x{$width} $input");
    }

    public function frame($input, $frame)
    {
        $this->execute("convert $input ( '$frame' -resize {$this->_width}x{$this->_height}! -unsharp 1.5×1.0+1.5+0.02 ) -flatten $input");
    }

    public function vignette($input, $color_1 = 'none', $color_2 = 'black', $crop_factor = 1.5)
    {
        $crop_x = floor($this->_width * $crop_factor);
        $crop_y = floor($this->_height * $crop_factor);

        $this->execute("convert
        ( {$input} )
        ( -size {$crop_x}x{$crop_y}
        radial-gradient:$color_1-$color_2
        -gravity center -crop {$this->_width}x{$this->_height}+0+0 +repage )
        -compose multiply -flatten
        {$input}");
    }

    /** RESERVED FOR FILTER METHODS */

}

Instagram Filters

We will go over the filters, one by one; I will explain the necessary PHP methods and Imagemagick commands, including examples. Make sure you update your PHP class with these new methods (paste below RESERVED FOR FILTER METHODS comment). The photo frames are provided in the download package; they are just PNG transparent images without extensions. Feel free to make your own! So let’s begin…

Original

Here we simply have a photo of my dogs enjoying the day at the beach. This is straight out of my camera.

terry and linda on the beach

Gotham

The Gotham filter produces a black&white, high contrast image with bluish undertones. In real life, this would be created with a Holga camera and Ilford X2 film.

public function gotham()
{
    $this->tempfile();
    $this->execute("convert $this->_tmp -modulate 120,10,100 -fill '#222b6d' -colorize 20 -gamma 0.5 -contrast -contrast $this->_tmp");
    $this->border($this->_tmp);
    $this->output();
}

In English: create a working file, load the image into memory, improve brightness a bit, (almost) desaturate, change the remaining colors to deep purple, gamma correction (value below 1 darkens image), add more contrast, add more contrast, and save everything to a file. Add a 20px black border. Simple, eh?

Gotham filter

Toaster

The Toaster filter resembles old Polaroid shots; it features vivid colors with pink/orange glow out of the center. By the words of Instagram CEO, it’s one of the most difficult effects to create; we’ll take his word for it.

public function toaster()
{
    $this->tempfile();
    $this->colortone($this->_tmp, '#330000', 100, 0);

    $this->execute("convert $this->_tmp -modulate 150,80,100 -gamma 1.2 -contrast -contrast $this->_tmp");

    $this->vignette($this->_tmp, 'none', 'LavenderBlush3');
    $this->vignette($this->_tmp, '#ff9966', 'none');

    $this->output();
}

In English: create a working file, load the image into memory, change blacks to dark red, enhance brightness, desaturate by a fifth, perform gamma correction (make image brighter), add more contrast, add more contrast, save. Lastly, add a grayish vignette (desaturates edges a bit), and an “inverted” orange vignette for color burn effect.

Tip: You can even add a white border for a full effect; just add $this->border($this->_tmp, 'white'); before $this->output();.

Toaster filter

Nashville

Nashville has a nice washed out 80s fashion photo feel. It produces image with a magenta/peach tint. It additionally adds a frame to get that slide look. It’s easily one of the most popular Instagram filters.

public function nashville()
{
    $this->tempfile();

    $this->colortone($this->_tmp, '#222b6d', 100, 0);
    $this->colortone($this->_tmp, '#f7daae', 100, 1);

    $this->execute("convert $this->_tmp -contrast -modulate 100,150,100 -auto-gamma $this->_tmp");
    $this->frame($this->_tmp, __FUNCTION__);

    $this->output();
}

In English: create a working file, load the image into memory, change blacks to indigo, change whites to peach color, enhance contrast, enhance saturation by half, gamma auto-correction. Add a frame from a PNG file.

Nashville filter

Lomo

Lomography is all about making high contrast photos with vignettes and soft focus (everywhere you go). In real life, they are mostly made with Holga, LOMO LC-A or so called toy cameras (cameras with plastic lens). This effect is pretty easy to recreate; we will simply enhance the red and green channels’ contrast by a third, and add a vignette. Feel free to experiment as you wish.

public function lomo()
{
    $this->tempfile();

    $command = "convert {$this->_tmp} -channel R -level 33% -channel G -level 33% $this->_tmp";

    $this->execute($command);
    $this->vignette($this->_tmp);

    $this->output();
}

Create a working file, load the image into memory, enhance red channel contrast by a third, enhance red channel again, apply a vignette.

Tip: If you prefer lomo effect without vignette, just comment or remove that section of code.

Lomo filter

Kelvin

Named after Lord Kelvin, this effect applies a strong peach/orange overlay, and adds a washed out photo frame.

public function kelvin()
{
    $this->tempfile();

    $this->execute("convert
    ( $this->_tmp -auto-gamma -modulate 120,50,100 )
    ( -size {$this->_width}x{$this->_height} -fill 'rgba(255,153,0,0.5)' -draw 'rectangle 0,0 {$this->_width},{$this->_height}' )
    -compose multiply
    $this->_tmp");
    $this->frame($this->_tmp, __FUNCTION__);

    $this->output();
}

In English: create a working file, load the image into memory, normalize, enhance brightness by a fifth, desaturate by half, create an peach/orange color overlay, and apply the multiply blending mode. Lastly, add a frame, using the PNG file.

Kelvin filter

How to Use

It’s easy to use these effects! I’ll assume that you saved all the code within instagraph.php file. Now, create a file, called filter.php and copy the code below that suits you.

If you want to apply only one filter on an image, you can do it this way:

require 'instagraph.php';

try
{
    $instagraph = Instagraph::factory('input.jpg', 'output.jpg');
}
catch (Exception $e)
{
    echo $e->getMessage();
    die;
}

$instagraph->toaster(); // name of the filter

That’s it! Now, if you want to apply all filters to one image, use this code:

require 'instagraph.php';

try
{
$instagraph = Instagraph::factory('input.jpg', 'output.jpg');
}
catch (Exception $e)
{
    echo $e->getMessage();
    die;
}

// loop through all filters

foreach(array('gotham', 'toaster', 'nashville', 'lomo', 'kelvin') as $method)
{
    $instagraph->_output = $method.'.jpg'; // we have to change output file to prevent overwrite
    $instagraph->$method(); // apply current filter (from array)
}

Now, just open it in your browser and enjoy the results!

Performance

Performance is certainly an important part of every application. Because the average time to apply a filter to an image is roughly 1 second, we can safely say it is pretty fast!


ImageMagick Resources

To learn more about ImageMagick, here’s a list of links to all the commands and options that were used in these filter methods:

  • convert:
  • modulate: vary the brightness, saturation, and hue
  • contrast: enhance or reduce the image contrast
  • size: width and height of image
  • fill: color to use when filling a graphic primitive
  • draw: annotate the image with a graphic primitive
  • compose: set image composite operator
  • channel: apply option to select image channels
  • level: adjust the level of image contrast
  • auto-gamma: automagically adjust gamma level of image
  • gamma: level of gamma correction

Additionally, here’s a list of ImageMagick scripts, tutorials and examples:


Summary

In this tutorial, we learned a bit about Imagemagick, and demonstrated the power of it by creating filters that are similar to the ones generated by Instagram. We created Instagraph!

If you need any help, or need assistance creating additional filters, such as Tilt Shift or Earlybird, let me know within the comments, and I’ll do my best to assist!


November 06 2011

23:59

Instagram annuncia l’imminente arrivo dei video sulla piattaforma di photo sharing

Dopo aver rivoluzionato il mondo del photo sharing, Kevin Systrom, CEO di Instagram, in un’intervista a TechCrunch ha confermato che l’introduzione dei video è in cima alla lista delle priorità dello sviluppo della popolare applicazione di photo sharing per iPhone che, in poco più di un anno, ha raggiunto la ragguardevole cifra di dieci milioni di utenti attivi.

Il meccanismo d’uso della funzionalità video sarà identico a quanto avviene già per le foto. L’utente registra un video, applica un filtro e lo condivide con i propri followers.

Nel passato anche Flickr, il servizio per il foto sharing di Yahoo! dedicato ai fotografi professionisti, aveva provato ad introdurre una funzionalità del genere, lasciando all’utente la possibilità di caricare video della lunghezza massima di 90 secondi sul proprio profilo. L’accoglienza è stata timida e nel lungo periodo la funzionalità si è dimostrata un mezzo flop.

Il perché è abbastanza immediato. C’è una differenza fondamentale tra foto e video che sta principalmente nel loro “peso” in termini di bit. L’upload di una foto su un server da una device mobile richiede, con le attuali connessioni 3G, soltanto pochi secondi. Caricare un video (in formato HD) è invece tutta un’altra storia: qualche decina di mega, se basta, che si traduce in diverse decine di minuti d’attesa per l’upload.

Il successo di Instagram sta fondamentalmente nella sua facilità d’uso e immediatezza. Si apre l’applicazione, si scatta, si sceglie un filtro e cinque secondi dopo la foto è on line. Registrare un video già di per se richiede più tempo e l’upload (anche se in forma compressa) da connessione mobile può diventare proibitivo.

Tutto starà nel vedere come la nuova funzionalità sarà implementata e verrà accolta dagli utenti. Stando ai rumors che circolano, l’attesa non durerà a lungo.

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