Making Nice Looking Thumbnails for HTML Photo Albums.

Jan 29 23:00 2006 Mark Loumbert Print This Article

Learn how to create non-rectangular nice looking thumbnails with frames, bevels and masks for your web photo galleries.

Several years ago I spent a nice summer in Europe,Guest Posting visiting great countries like Spain, France and Netherlands. I brought a huge collection of digital photos from this trip and wanted to share them with my friends and relatives. I started to look for the software that can generate photo albums to upload them to my homepage and was quite dissapointed with the quality of the thumbnails pages - even though the pages themselves looked fine - the small pictures were just resized originals, rectangles, the one-pixel frame around them was the best that I could found those times. What I wanted is something like bevel effect or frame effect around the thumbnail and a shadow to make it look more 3D, alive and fancy.

Then I thought that it could be easily done just saving a script in Paint Shop Pro with bevel, frame and shadow effects, and then running batch on all my gallery photos. But I figured out that I can't create HTML pages along with my generated thumbnails.

So I decided that we might develop that kind of software ourselves. At that times we were a team of software developers that were working on projects for the offshore business. I talked to guys and after some planning we started on this project.

The main goal was to create nice looking, stylish thumbnails, so we started with a picture frame. The frame looks like a conventional picture frame, so you can specify frame thickness, give it round edges, specify the frame height, light direction, overlay any texture - for example any wood or marble and give it 3D shape. But if you want - you can create all sorts of fancy frames with acid textures and irregular borders - it depends on what style do you want!
Another effect I always wanted was Bevel - it is an effect that makes your picture look three dimentional, thus more effective and striking. Also - rounded edges together with bevel give us nice and extreemly good-looking thumbnails. Almost what I wanted...

But what about other shapes ? Rounded rectangle was not enough for me, so here is where the masks come out ! I was really amazed, I remember, how effective the masked thumbnail looks together with beveled edges, just pick a mask and bevel does the rest. Or create a frame and apply a mask to make irregular shape for the frame.

Also we created many other features like HTML gallery templates, e-mail sending, batch processing and others, here I just wanted to point out why we started this project - we wanted our galleries to look unique, stylish and fancy, and we think we did it ! You can try it yourself - the program is called Photo Shaman.

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Mark Loumbert
Mark Loumbert

Mark Loumbert - Communication Director and CEO, Brave Orange. http://www.photoshaman.com

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