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CROPPING.ROCKS HELP


The Idea

qCrop is a fantastic new technology to provide an image with a cropping hint (consisting of a point and a frame) in such a way, that a computer algorithm can automatically crop the image into any aspect ratio while preserving the image's focus area and composition.

Cropping.Rocks implements the qCrop technology in order to produce a wide collection of Social Media image formats with the least possible effort. Instead of selecting a set of Social Media formats and cropping them individually (as is the standard procedure on other sites), you apply a cropping hint only once, which then applies to all formats.


The Workflow

Step 1:

Select up to 12 images by dragging them on top of the green field or by using a file selector dialog by clicking "Browse". The selected images will be shown as preview and immediately start uploading to the Cropping.Rocks-server. On successful upload the image preview will turn to a dark green color and show the label "Click me". The next step is to click on an uploaded image to proceed to step 2: the application of the Cropping Hint.

HINT: you can start to apply cropping hints to an image as soon as it is uploaded. Other images in the queue will continue to upload in the background!

Step 2:

In step 2 you will apply the cropping hint for the selected image. The game is, to move the yellow diamond and the green frame in a way, that the sample previews in the mosaic all look perfect. This is the most crucial job in the workflow and is therefore more carefully explained in the following chapter. Once you are happy with the result, click the "Save and proceed..." button underneath the working area. This will automatically initiate step 3.

Step 3:

The Cropping.Rock server will now crop your image into a wide collection of Social Media image formats. Find a list of all formats that the server will produce in the section "Supported Formats". This step is fully automatic, you can only watch the progress bar. The process takes about 20 to 30 seconds, so probably not enough time to get a coffee ;-)

Step 4:

As soon as the server is done with cropping, it will bundle all target images into a Zip-file, including a copy of your original image with the cropping hint embedded in the metadata (simply upload that version of your original image at future visits of Cropping.Rocks to save the effort of applying the cropping hint again).

The download section will swing out. Press the "Download" button and save the Zip-file to your computer. This will bring you back to the Upload section, where you can start to process the next image in the queue. Do not wait too long with the download as we will remove your uploaded image and all croppings of it from our server after about three hours.


Applying the Cropping Hint

Start with the yellow diamond in the center of the original image (the socalled Vector Pointer). Click/touch and hold the Vector Pointer and move it around. Watch, how the Preview Mosaic reflects the position of the Vector Pointer while you move it. Make sure, that the extreme landscape and portrait previews look good – they are the most difficult to satisfy. When happy with the result, release the Vector Pointer. If all previews look satisfying, you are done.

If you were not able to find a good solution for the image with the yellow Vector Pointer alone, you can apply the green rectangle, called the Preservation Frame. The Preservation Frame is used primarily to indicate that part of an image, that should not get clipped if at all possible. By this definition, the Preservation Frame seems to be just another term for the focal area of the image. Well, it is – it will almost always embrace the most important part of the image. But it is also used to finetune the composition of the motif in the cropped versions. Click/touch and hold the green triangular handler in the upper left or lower right of the master image and position the rectangle around the most important part of the image. You will also have to readjust the Vector Pointer afterwards. There is no surefire procedure for this, just play and practice a bit until you get the hang of it. In the end, for the best result, the green frame might not exactly enfold the key aspect of the motif. That is why we avoid the term “focal area”, but rather use the more specific term Preservation Frame.

HINT: There are more sophisticated details and features (like the red Force Crop Frame), that we do not cover here to keep things simple. If you are interested to learn more about the application of qCrop Cropping Hints and how to master very difficult motifs, please refer to the How-to guides for Operators in The qCrop Book.


Supported Formats

Cropping.Rocks currently produces the following Social Media Images:


Compatible Browsers

Cropping.Rocks was successfully tested with these browsers:


Support

Cropping.Rocks is in early beta stadium and can certainly be improved in many ways. If you find bugs, want support or have suggestions, feature requests or the need for additional Social Media Formats, please contact us at "croppingrocks.support@appendx.de". We are happy to hear from you!