Preparing your first image

In this five minutes tutorial we will teach you the most basic skill to apply cropping hints to an image – the usage of the Vector Pointer. Providing cropping hints for an image is the most reliable way to ensure perfect automatic cropping results later on.

Interactive qCrop Webclient

For the purposes of this tutorial we have embedded a live qCrop Webclient in this page, so you can execute the tutorial without leaving the documentation.

The center part of the qCrop Webclient shows the original image (with the filename underneath), some icons in the toolbar above and a number of colorful symbols layered on top of the original image. We call this center part of the qCrop Webclient the Workarea. The yellow, green and red symbols are the interactive Cropping Hint Handles.

Around the workarea there is a collection of cropped versions of the original image: an extreme landscape and portrait on the top and right, a quadratic version and four more versions in 4:3 and 16:9 aspect ratios, both in landscape and portrait each. We call this the Preview Mosaic and this previews provide a live impression of how the qCrop Cropping Service would trim the images to the respective aspect ratios in dependence of the cropping hints.

Using the Vector Pointer

Now click/touch and hold the large yellow diamond-shaped symbol in the center of the original image and move it around. This symbol is the so-called Vector Pointer. Watch, how the Preview Mosaic reflects the position of the Vector Pointer while you move it. Try to find a position for the Vector Pointer at which all of the live previews show an acceptable cropping result. Make sure, that the extreme landscape and portrait previews look good – they are the most difficult to satisfy. Then release the Vector Pointer.

A good solution might look like this:

You are done. The position for the Vector Pointer will be stored in the metadata of the original image and you have thereby prepared the image for cropping to any aspect ratio in the future (our assumption is, that if all the aspect ratios in the Preview Mosaic look good, so will all other aspect ratios in between). You might click the green checkbox icon in the toolbar to switch to another motif and continue practicing, if you like.

Congratulations, you are now a qCrop Operator!

Moving on

A good many times, placing the Vector Pointer will be a sufficient method to provide a good universal cropping hint for all possible aspect ratios of an image. But all too often the motif will not allow to get a satisfying result for all the previews by just moving the Vector Pointer. For that case, qCrop provides additional, more sophisticated cropping hints. Become an expert qCrop operator by attending our interactive How To Guides, that will teach you the subtle details of applying cropping hints to more intricate image motifs.

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