There are 2 options related to EXIF orientation

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B.Douille
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There are 2 options related to EXIF orientation

Postby B.Douille » Tue Sep 30, 2014 4:57 pm

There are 2 options linked to image orientation. This generates some misunderstanding from a user viewpoint. I wonder if they could be grouped together or even best, merged.

In the field, application displays images in 2 ways. By application I mean Digital photo frames, mobile phones of various brands, Windows Photo Viewer, Photoshop, TVs and multimedia adapters... Boths methods coexists:
A - Images are displayed as recorded in the JPEG stream (upper left corner of the captor/scanner is positionned upper left)
B - Images are rotated before display, upper left corner of the captor/scanner is positionned according to the EXIF Orientation field.

The option "General" > "Rotation based on EXIF orientation" allows the user to display image in XnView as they are shown by Typa A application:
- When disabled, the images are shown as scanned by the captor. This is ideal when the target application is unknown. For example if the pictures are to be shared and potentially shown with type A Applications. The 2nd option "Explorer " > "Change the EXIF Orientation only" should be disabled in this case (due to risk of mistakes). Finally, for compatibility with type B applications, for any rotation the Orientation field is changed to Normal / Upper Left /1.

- When enabled, all images are shown according to the camera orientation (portrait / landscape). This mode is to be used if all images are to be shown on type B applications only. There is no need to manually rotate an image so the jpeg data are not compute/altered. If needed, the best way to rotate an image is to change the content of the Orientation field. So, with this mode, the 2nd option "Change the EXIF Orientation only" should be always set to enabled.

Conclusuon:
The 2nd option, which can be found in "Explorer " > "Various" > "Change the EXIF Orientation only" can be considered as superfluous if it can be coupled with the 1st one.
If one thinks it's necessary to keep both I recommand to put them in the same place to make it clear for the user. I recommend also to make option 2 available only when the option 1 is enabled (disabled and grayed otherwise).

Thank you

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m.Th.
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Re: There are 2 options related to EXIF orientation

Postby m.Th. » Thu Oct 02, 2014 8:39 am

Sorry but I think that the two options are quite different.

The first one ("General" > "Rotation based on EXIF orientation") if for the display/read engine.
The second one ("Explorer " > "Misc" > "Change the EXIF Orientation only") is tied to the rotate engine. How the file is altered. Sometimes one wants to change only this flag, otherwise the user wants to rotate the actual image data. It depends.

So, IMHO they must reside in different places but we can discuss that.

What I think that it is more important is that after a Rotate, IF the 1st one is disabled AND the 2nd one is enabled then the Rotate engine to say "Son, I changed the EXIF orientation flag, but you cannot see it because the 'foo' option is disabled" (or something similar, of course :) )

Btw, the JPG 90degree rotation is loss-less AFAIK.
m. Th.

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B.Douille
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Re: There are 2 options related to EXIF orientation

Postby B.Douille » Thu Oct 02, 2014 12:49 pm

I made this proposal as I had this problem of pictures not showing as I expected in an application and I spent time to analyse how these 2 options interacts. Let's think of real workflows:
The default option after fresh install is "Rotate according to EXIF orientation" and do not "Change EXIF orientation only". The 1st is right as we should admit that most of current software and appliance is able to interpret the EXIF field - what I called Type B applications.
Thanks to our modern cameras all our photos looks right positioned and we are not going to use the nice rotation tool at all (and the setting of the 2nd option has no importance 8) )

Sometimes one wants to change only this flag, otherwise the user wants to rotate the actual image data.

So let's consider the actual use of the rotation feature in XnView. Only 2 cases:
1) When the source has no EXIF data or when the picture was taken horizontally (and the orientation sensor gave a wrong value). What would be the value of computing the entire picture data + resetting the orientation field to Normal/Top-Left/1? Either, we are back 5 years ago or there is another justification as bellow. A simple adjustment of the last does the job, is quicker and less destructive*.
2) The user wants to ensure the pictures he manages will be displayed right, whatever the application to display e.g. Windows Photo Viewer :wink: . I don't see the point of just changing the field as it does not achieve the target :?

This I hope demonstrates the 2 options are closed-linked together. If we want to see MP as a modern, new tool we should consider simplifying the user experience, not jut revamping the old XnView. IMHO Adding a warning message for each rotation is not the best way to achieve this.
The purpose of the MP project - I guess - is to optimise/update the development process, offer a new GUI with best features and attract new users / those not fan of Windows. Generally speaking I feel the number of options / combinations becomes too complex for new joiners and even for old-time users. At some point, all users should move from XnView to the MP version. Not move to another tool :|

*
Btw, the JPG 90degree rotation is loss-less AFAIK.

"if possible", that's what is said and we all see this warning message popping from time to time, warning that some pixels will be removed.

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B.Douille
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Re: There are 2 options related to EXIF orientation

Postby B.Douille » Sat Apr 11, 2015 3:47 pm

If you don't know there are 2 options in the menu or if you are confused with the actual meaning / feature behind each option you may think your pictures are just fine whereas they may not! - or they could be shown fine on your machine with XnView and wrong on another machine / on a phone / a TV set or a picture frame

Proposal:
One unique option in General> "Rotation based on EXIF orientation"

If the option is off:
This offers the best compatibility with all rendering device type (any phone, TV set, PC using MS-Photo viewer, electronic picture frame, web pages, social media, ...).
How XnView manages this:
    On display (Browser/View/Fullscreen/Diaporama)
    The EXIF orientation value Files are always ignored. Some images are obviously shown in bad position and need rotation
    Rotation actions
    Change the picture data (with no loss if possible) + Set EXIF orientation to Top-left (1)

If the option is on:
This avoid touching the picture data and works well for all rendering device interpreting the EXIF orientation field correctly (growing as time goes).
How XnView manages this:
    On display (Browser/View/Fullscreen/Diaporama)
    The EXIF orientation value Files is interpreted. All images are shows in their best position, none seems needing a rotation
    Rotation actions
    Do not change the picture data. Just change the EXIF orientation according to user's demand left or right

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Karl02
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Re: There are 2 options related to EXIF orientation

Postby Karl02 » Mon Jun 01, 2015 10:21 pm

I think that unifying these two options into "Rotation based on EXIF orientation tag" would also have drawbacks:

1) The name would be less self-explaining. The more self-explaining names would be:
a) "Rotate images according to EXIF orientation tag" for viewing. See also here: viewtopic.php?f=62&t=23933#p126151
b) "Only change existing or add new EXIF orientation tag" for saving. See also here: viewtopic.php?f=35&t=20915&p=126126#p126126

2) Some users might want to use option a), but not option b).

Perhaps if the user rotates an image with option b), then option a) could be enabled automatically, so the effect of the rotation will be visible.
-- Karl

Batteryman
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Re: There are 2 options related to EXIF orientation

Postby Batteryman » Sun May 28, 2017 5:50 pm

I just downloaded XnConvert. I have a file containing 350 photos on my PC. Approximately 50% of the photos are shot in landscape mode with my iPhone 5 and the others are in portrait mode. On my windows 8.1 PC the photos are all displayed properly but when I try to display them on my digital picture frame 50% of them are rotated 90°. Is there a way to stop the frame from rotating my photos using XnConvert? Please tell me what you can.


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