April 21, 2010

New Feature! Photo Enhancement

Those of you who follow us on Twitter will be aware that over the past few months we’ve been looking for a steady stream of people to come to MOO HQ to help us test new developments on the site. We’re sure it doesn’t take a genius to add two and two together and figure that we’ve got lots of changes planned, to roll out over the next few months.

There will be lots more information on that to follow but in the meantime, the first fruit of this major update is ready to be unveiled…

Photo Enhancement

Our motto is “We love to print”. And we mean it. More importantly though, we love to print at the highest quality possible, making photographs and images pop off the page as much as they do on your monitors and screens. However, the very nature of the print process means that sometimes images do not print exactly the way you would expect.

With that in mind we have built an exciting new tool – Photo Enhancement.

This really is a case of something doing exactly what it says on the tin.

Photo Enhancement is an optional check that looks at every photograph you upload. It adjusts a range of parameters, making each photo look as good as it possibly can before it reaches the printing press. It’s important to remember that this is a dynamic system – meaning it will check each photo individually and adjust settings accordingly.

Some of the key areas we check are:

    Brightness and contrast

    Colour

    Shadows and highlights

    Sharpness (for example: we can remove grain in the sky but sharpen vegetation)

Photo enhancement is applied automatically to all photos uploaded to the site. However, it is easy to disable the service on any or all photos if you choose not to use it. It is NOT designed for use on graphic art, line art and logos as it can make some unexpected changes.

You’ll find Photo Enhancement on all of our products except Greeting Cards as of today. Below we’ve included a mini “how-to” on how to add or remove Photo Enhancement when making MOO products:

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  • Martin says:

    Hello Neemers,

    Part of the difficulty with a system like our Photo Enhancement tool is that it is hard to show the benefit on screen. The problem with online printing is that often what you see on your screen and what eventually prints do not match. It’s one of the vagaries of printing. Physical prints often lose a little vibrancy in comparison to what you see on screen and the enhancement tool is designed to help counter that.

    As such, what you see on screen will sometimes look inferior to the original image as it may look too bright or too “contrasty”. However, when it prints, those effects should be counteracted by the print and laminating process.

    We could of course, edit the on-screen display to try and show you what we feel the printed product will look like, but we prefer to show the ACTUAL changes rather than a representation of what we think your images will look like. We believe transparency, accuracy and honesty in printing is more important, and leads to less confusion.

    When it comes to making a decision, it’s a very personal decision on what you prefer. Enhanced images will not be right for everybody. In your case I’d recommend not using it this time, and when you receive your products, let us know what you thought. All feedback is good feedback and we’d love to know if you still feel you made the right decision when you get your cards!

    Thanks!

    Martin

  • neemers says:

    When I looked at the before and after on photo enhanced images they seemed to loose something. I think maybe the color saturation seemed to go down and I was afraid to use them. Maybe they print better but it didn’t look better at all in the previews. Very misleading and hard to know what to do.

  • Denise says:

    @Amanda Goode – we can’t remove grain or noise, no. It can sharpen images though, so if you do have very grainy images, do check the preview to make sure it’s not sharpened that! You’ll be able to switch it off on a per image basis if it doesn’t look the way you were hoping.

    @Marlene, sRGB is fine – for RGB images, we assume sRGB, so if you convert there’s no problem.

  • MundoCaco says:

    love this tool! great! I´ll use it & talk here about it. 😀

  • marlene says:

    Printing profile says, RGB. Does this mean that you recommend not to convert profile to sRGB? I plan to order in the next few days.

  • Amanda Goode says:

    Sharpness (for example: we can remove grain in the sky but sharpen vegetation)
    Taken from ‘ Some of the areas we check ‘.

    Do you mean cannot remove grain ?
    Just wonderin’ !

  • Martin says:

    Hello Cathy,

    Good news! So long as your old order was made using the Uploader tool, then when you reorder you’ll be able to enable Photo Enhancement on your images. The only difference will be that we will not auto-detect whether your images should be enhanced, but you’ll be able to choose for yourself.

    Thanks!

    Martin

  • Cathy says:

    This is great! Can the photo enhancement tool apply to business cards we’ve already ordered or will we need to re-upload the photos? I ordered a pack on April 14th and uploaded from my desktop. Thanks Moo!

  • Catherine says:

    I have found my dark images to come out too dark when Moo prints my photo cards. Will the photo enhancement help?

  • Cassio says:

    hello lisa,

    thanks for the reply! i’ve sent customer support a message.

    cassio

  • Martin says:

    Hello again Mike,

    The reasons we cannot offer Photo Enhance on images uploaded from our partners are numerous, but it’s primarily related to how we import those images and WHEN we upload them during the creation process.

    However, Flickr does offer a very similar enhancement tool on their site in conjunction with Piknik I believe, so if you’ve experienced images darker than you’d expect, I’d highly recommend trying that out.

    Hope that helps!

    Martin

  • Mike says:

    Thanks Martin – You were right. I uploaded from Flickr 🙁

    Is this something that will be available to Flickr users who import photos in the future, or is there some type of restriction that makes this impossible (ex: you’re unable to edit photos from those sites)?

  • Lisa says:

    Hi Cassio.
    I would still contact customer support if you are unhappy. They may still be able to help you out.

    Lisa (from MOO)

  • Martin says:

    Hi Mike,

    I’m guessing the main reason you didn’t see the option to enhance the image side of your MiniCard orders was because you uploaded from FLickr or one of our other partner sites? At the moment, Photo Enhancement is only available on images you upload directly from your desktop.

    For images on the Details (back) side you are forced to upload from there, so you will always see the option to enhance there.

    Hope this helps!

  • Cassio says:

    sorry i meant because my monitor was too bright 😛

  • Cassio says:

    great…i just recieved my mini cards today and some came out darker than i expected…probably because my monitor was too dark. this would’ve probably been useful.

    good job moo! but not so good for me 🙁

    not your fault, mind you.

  • Mike says:

    I just ordered a pack of Minicards today but didn’t see the option to enable photo enhancement anywhere except for the back of the card – is there a way to enable it on the 100 front images?

  • Denise says:

    Hi Tiggothy – yes, you’re correct. It’s just for photos, so if you have strong artworked shapes in there like text or logos, then it’s safer not to use it.

  • Tiggothy says:

    I generally use a mixture of text and photos on the ‘image’ side of my minicards – am I right in guessing I would want to treat it as a logo and disable the photo enhancement?

Comments are closed.

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