Every Friday, I wish for a little bit of magic to become available to me. If I could be God for a Friday, I know for sure I wouldn’t enlarge my wife’s breasts… maybe I would only make her a bit thinner, but that’s not something I am sure I would do. On the other hand, I’m sure I would resize the week and make a 5-day weekend. Sounds like a good plan, or not?
Getting serious for a bit, it seems that resizing stuff isn’t always as easy as it seems, especially when talking about images. Sure, changing the resolution of an image is a really straightforward operation, but resizing it the smart way and, maybe, even taking out some parts of it without turning the image into a mess, that’s something that requires a lot of skill… or just the right tool and the few minutes most people need to get busy with programs as easy to use as today’s subject, Image Resize Guide.
As I write this, Image Resize Guide’s current version is 1.0.3, released in the second half of January. A commercial product, this program can be purchased for $45 and tried for free, as long as you can live with the trial version’s limitations – it can only save your work using the special .TPI format and the Smart Remove is not available for use. Well, at least you can actually get some work done and, if you ask me, this is what really matters.
Fully compatible with Windows XP and Vista – according to the official page, but don’t be surprised if it’s going to work well with other Windows versions (the Information screen that appears during setup claims Microsoft Windows XP/Vista/7 are supported, for example), Image Resize Guide 1.0.3 comes inside a 3.5 MB setup package and installing it is as easy as it gets – no toolbars, no spyware, no options to get you in trouble, only 6.9 MB of free disk space required and a few clicks to get to the last screen, where you press the Finish button and you will end up right inside the program itself in a blink of an eye!
There’s nothing impressive about Image Resize Guide’s look & feel, but the demos included with it are excellent, the documentation could have been better, but it’s good to know you get some documentation with the program – could have been much worse, trust me! For now, this program is only available in English, but since it has a Language menu, I am sure more will arrive in the future. All in all, things are looking good here, especially with those demos that come with the program – a “must watch” for everyone, no doubt about it!
I know this may seem like a huge laziness, but I spent some time today staring at the demos included with this program, and I must confess they look quite impressing, so now I’ll start with the description I found in the documentation: “Image Resize Guide is a program that allows you to change the size or aspect ratio of an image keeping the “important” features intact and remove objects from photo without visible traces,” a description that seems to be pretty close to reality. Sweet!
Before moving on, I have to tell you that Image Resize Guide is more than just a standalone applications, since it also installs automatically a Photoshop plugin (if you have Adobe’s flagship product installed, of course) – or you can copy the .8BF file yourself to the plugins folder of any other program that supports Photoshop plugins. So far, so good…
… and the next thing to check here is, obviously, support for various file formats. Well, there’s nothing special here – Image Resize Guide can open its own TPI format, as well as JPG/TIFF/PNG/GIF/BMP files. Such a pity not to have support for PSD… but at least there’s the plugin I mentioned above, so you can almost consider that this program also handles PSDs!
When we get to the features of this program, all I can tell you is “watch the demos” and, of course, the names of the tools/features offered by Image Resize Guide: Resize, Crop, Smart Remove, Smart Resize and Smart Path. I guess the names (almost) say it all, don’t you think? If they don’t, let me say only this: Image Resize Guide is clearly far from your average image editor, yet it may prove really useful when you’re in need of taking out objects from images or changing the size or aspect ratio of your photos. The rest of it is nothing but background noise, so grab the program, watch the demos, then try to do it by yourselves, that’s all!
Tips & Tricks
1. I know it may sound like a dirty tricks to this program’s author, but if you want to save your work as JPEG or any other format, you can do it even when using the trial version – just get the job done, capture the desktop, then cut your image. Sometimes, you may have to drop to a lower resolution, but if you’re really in a hurry, it may get the job done well enough…
2. As I was saying earlier, there’s only support for English right now, but nothing stops you from translating the program, so… what you’re still waiting for, huh?
3. It’s not your eyes, it’s the demos themselves – if you think you see some funny English when watching the demo, you’re right – the program is much better than the grammar used in those demos…
Image Resize Guide 1.0 has a demo version that’s a pleasure to use, works with Windows 7, comes with decent documentation (and very good demos!) out of the box and working with it should be a no-brainer for most people, even for those who never used such programs.
The interface could be improved a lot (useless Language menu, the Import menu seems to have no option available…) and the price is too high, in my opinion – at least for now. Some additional editing/retouching capabilities would surely add value to the program, not to mention upload to Facebook/Flickr or other similar services. Oh, yeah, one more thing – maybe a name that actually says more about the program itself could be found in the future…
I’ll be honest – for now, Image Resize Guide is not worth its price, no doubt about it. On the other hand, I can’t say I regret the time I spent with it, so I strongly advise you to take it for a spin and add it to your watch list. One day, probably not too far in the future, Image Resize Guide will surely become a piece of code worth buying, but until then… it’s bye-bye!