Various features I'm missing in Retrobatch (Scale to fit area, resize canvas, compression)

Hello! I’m finally facing the death of my beloved, creaky, 32-bit Fireworks and attempting to migrate to Acorn and Retrobatch. After seeing the PNG export incorporate the limited palette (~256 colour) options, I think I’m ready! It’s pretty great, and I’m inspired to try to use it to do more things than a combo of Photoshop and Fireworks and Imagemagick ever let me do.

But there are a few “missing” Retrobatch options I’ve noticed that are necessary for me to replace all the old tools I’m dependent on. I wanted to signal that I would make use of them and I think they’d be a good fit. Here’s my wishlist:

  • “Scale to Fit Area”: Specify a canvas width and height in pixels, and proportionally scale to fit within that canvas
  • “Resize Canvas”: Ideally it’d work just like Acorn’s feature of the same name, with support for relative values (e.g. +40px width, +10% height)
  • Set borders separately for “Add Border”: I’d like to set different border sizes at the top, right, bottom and left separately, like how CSS works.
  • Dynamic values for “Image Grid”: I’m looking to combine images in a vertical stack using Image Grid, and it works nicely with “Count Across” set to 1 and “Count Down” set to the number of images I’m feeding it… but couldn’t this be automatic? Either by a Retrobatch-wide system that allows me to put a “Input File Count” variable there, or an “auto” setting in the Image Grid node?
  • Better crushing: I notice that running through ImageOptim.app with default settings still shaves off 4-10% of PNG file size, even with the “Brute force crush” option selected. Same goes for JPEGs, which I guess don’t have any “JPEGOptim” style compressor. I see I can just use “Open In App” to run my output through ImageOptim after every “Write Images” node, but would there be a way to either make an ImageOptim node, or, better yet, integrate whatever ImageOptim is doing into “Write Images”?
  • Guetzli support: Guetzli was a bit of a revelation to me when it came out a few years ago. It’s super neato and really can compress JPEGs of a medium-to-high quality better than anything else, but there isn’t a Mac GUI tool for it out there. I continue to use it on batches of images for my comic, with a custom-made shell script. I think it could be a feature of “Write Images”, but accomodating its slow multi-minute render time could be difficult in the current UI.

I hope this is an OK format to post a big wishlist in! But I’m really excited to see how much Retrobatch can already handle and want to report on any of the roadblocks I run into.

Thanks for the ideas!

And I’ll see what I can do about getting better crushing as well. Retrobatch actually has a license for most of the same code that ImageOptim uses, so in theory it should be able to match what’s done there.

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