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Title:
METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR EDITING PHOTOGRAPHS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2018/007679
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The invention concerns a method and an apparatus for editing photographs on a computer. The invention is based on the idea of providing a mechanical user input interface with dedicated controllers for the most common adjustments and means for reading photograph related data from a memory for adapting functionality of the user input interface based on said data.

Inventors:
KESTI, Mikko (Kirkonkyläntie 3B, Helsinki, 00700, FI)
Application Number:
FI2017/050513
Publication Date:
January 11, 2018
Filing Date:
July 06, 2017
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
LOUPEDECK OY (Kirkonkyläntie 3B, Helsinki, 00700, FI)
International Classes:
G11B27/034; G06F3/02; G11B27/28; G11B33/10
Other References:
ANONYMOUS: "Pusher Labs - Workflow Solutions for Lightroom - Minimal Controller", 17 May 2016 (2016-05-17), XP055414717, Retrieved from the Internet [retrieved on 20171011]
SUPER USER: "Review: Loupedeck the Lightroom controller", 30 June 2017 (2017-06-30), XP055414831, Retrieved from the Internet [retrieved on 20171011]
SUPER USER: "Lightroom usage with midi controller : Hardware Requirements", 22 February 2016 (2016-02-22), XP055414816, Retrieved from the Internet [retrieved on 20171011]
None
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LEITZINGER OY (Tammasaarenkatu 1, Helsinki, 00180, FI)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. A user input interface apparatus (10) for editing photographs on a computing device, the user input interface apparatus comprising:

connecting means for connecting the user input interface apparatus (10) to a computing device;

one or more mechanical buttons (12), rotary selectors (14) and linear selectors (16) for receiving user input;

input means configured to detect the user input;

processing means configured to convert the user input to one or more commands; and

data transfer means configured to transfer said one or more commands to the computing device for executing an operation in editing photographs, memory means configured to read data related to a photograph from a first memory unit on a computing device

adapting means configured to adapt functionality of the user input interface apparatus (10) based on said data related to a photograph, characterized in that said data related to a photograph comprises metadata of the photograph and editing history of the photograph, and said adapting means are configured to visually indicate at least a part of said editing history of the photograph on the user input interface apparatus (10) with one or more illuminated visual indicators.

2. The user input interface apparatus according to claim 1, characterized in that said data related to a photograph comprises editing history of the photograph and said adapting means are configured to move at least one of said one or more mechanical buttons, rotary selectors and linear selectors to a position according to the data related to the photograph.

3. The user input interface apparatus according to claim 1 or 2, characterized in that at least one of said one or more mechanical buttons, rotary selectors and linear selectors comprise an illuminated visual indicator for indicating at least a part of said editing history of the photograph by visually indicating a value according to said editing history of the photograph. 4. The user input interface apparatus according to any one of claims 1 to 3, characterized in that said data related to a photograph comprises editing history of the photograph and said adapting means are configured to adapt functionality of a mechanical button in such a way that said mechanical button is configured to apply editing of said editing history of the photograph to another photograph.

5. The user input interface apparatus according to any one of claims 1 to 4, characterized in that said data transfer means are also configured to transfer data from the computing device to the user input interface apparatus and said data related to a photograph is read via data transfer means from a first memory unit accessible by said computing device. 6. The user input interface apparatus according to any one of claims 1 to 5, characterized in that the user input interface comprises said first memory unit and said memory means are also configured to write data related to a photograph to said first memory unit. 7. The user input interface apparatus according to any one of claims 1 to 6, characterized in that said first memory unit is a file comprising image data.

8. A method for editing photographs on a computing device using a user input interface apparatus, the method comprising:

connecting the user input interface apparatus to the computing device; detecting user input with one or more mechanical buttons, rotary selectors or linear selectors of the user input interface apparatus;

converting the user input to one or more commands;

transferring said one or more commands to the computing device executing a photograph editing operation on the computing device; reading data related to a photograph from a first memory unit on a computer; and

adapting functionality of the user input interface apparatus based on said data related to a photograph,

characterized in that said data related to a photograph comprises metadata of the photograph and editing history of the photograph, and said adapting of functionality includes indicating at least a part of said metadata of the photograph and editing history of the photograph with an illuminated visual indicator on the user input interface apparatus.

Description:
METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR EDITING PHOTOGRAPHS

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The invention relates to a method of editing photographs and to a user input interface apparatus for editing photographs. BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Digital photography has given new opportunities to photographers for editing and post-processing photographs. Digital photographs are typically stored as raw image files which essentially contain all the data acquired by an imaging sensor of a camera during exposure of the image. The raw image files give a lot of freedom for the photographer to edit and post-process the captured image with various software tools that are available for this purpose.

One of the problems associated with the above arrangement is that the level of freedom means that there is a vast amount of adjustments and settings which can be applied to the raw image file in order to produce a photograph. In addition to technical aspects, an artistic impression is often desired. In order to reach a satisfying impression to a photograph, a photographer has to go through numerous adjustments back and forth because adjustments have a combined effect to the impression but each adjustment is made individually. The editing process is thus an iterative and time-consuming process.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

An object of the present invention is thus to provide a method and an apparatus for implementing the method so as to alleviate the above disadvantages. The objects of the invention are achieved by a method and an apparatus which are characterized by what is stated in the independent claims. The preferred embodiments of the invention are disclosed in the dependent claims.

The invention is based on the idea of providing a user input interface apparatus with dedicated controllers for the most common adjustments and means for reading photograph related data from a memory for adapting functionality of the user input interface based on said data by visually indicating said photograph related data on the user input interface.

An advantage of the method and arrangement of the invention is that the mechanical user interface that is automatically adapted for each photograph enables more effective editing of photographs and significantly reduces the time that is spent editing the photographs compared to solutions of the prior art.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

In the following the invention will be described in greater detail by means of preferred embodiments with reference to the attached drawings, in which

Figure 1 illustrates an exemplary embodiment of a user input interface apparatus.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Figure 1 is an example of an embodiment of a user input interface apparatus 10 having mechanical buttons 12, rotary selectors 14 and linear selectors 16 for receiving user input. The user input interface can comprise one or more mechanical buttons, one or more rotary selectors i.e. dials and one or more linear selectors, i.e. sliders. Preferably buttons are used for input of on/off or yes/no type of adjustments and selections while dials and sliders are used for input of a numerical value, e.g. from -100 to +100, percentage e.g. from 0 % to 100 %, or some other adjustment having more than two possible values. The user input interface thus enables simultaneous adjustment of two or more values. For example exposure or gamma can be adjusted using a dial and e.g. saturation or vignetting can be adjusted at the same using another dial or a slider so that a resulting image can be constantly monitored and a satisfying result can be found faster than by adjusting one at a time.

The user input interface has connecting means for connecting the user input interface to a computing device, such as a desktop computer, a laptop computer or a tablet device. The connection can be e.g. similar to connection between a keyboard and a computer. The connection can be wired connection, e.g. a USB connection, or a wireless connection e.g. a WLAN connection of Bluetooth® connection. A user can provide input with input means, i.e. by pressing a button, rotating a dial or sliding a slider and the detected input or command(s) associated with the detected input are sent to the computing device using said means for connecting.

The user input interface comprises processing means, such as a microprocessor, configured to convert the user input to one or more commands which are transmitted to the computing device using data transfer means. The data transfer means are configured to transfer said one or more commands to the computing device for executing an operation in editing photographs. For example, if a dial of the user input interface is associated with exposure correction command and the user turns that dial 90 degrees clockwise, the user input interface sends e.g. a command to increase exposure by 1 EV (Exposure Value) to the computing device. Similarly, if a button associated with "Save" function is pressed, the user input interface converts the input with said processing means to a command to save the current settings or image and sends the command to the computing device.

The user input interface also comprises memory means configured to read data related to a photograph from a first memory unit. Preferably said data related to a photograph comprises editing history of the photograph and/or changes made after raw image data of the photograph was saved. The user input interface may comprise said first memory unit and said memory means are also configured to write data related to a photograph to said first memory unit. Preferably said data related to a photograph written to said first memory unit comprises editing history of the photograph and/or changes made after raw image data of the photograph was saved. The term raw image data should be understood widely as, preferably lossless, representation of image data captured with an imaging sensor without limitations to specific image formats and including camera settings and all other data that is saved with the image data. Said camera settings and all other data saved with the image data are metadata which is not represented in a captured image itself. For example, the user input interface may store each press of a button, turn of a dial and/or slide of a slider to said first memory unit and associate this editing data to a particular photograph. Said editing data can then be read from said memory means when said particular photograph is opened later.

In an embodiment, said data related to a photograph is read via data transfer means from a first memory unit that is located at the computing device or accessible by said computing device e.g. via network or USB connection. Said data related to a photograph can be in an internal or external hard drive, on a removable media, on a server accessible via local area network or in the internet. Said data transfer means are also configured to transfer data from the computing device to the user input interface and said data related to a photograph is read via data transfer means from a first memory unit accessible by said computing device. In an embodiment the first memory unit is a file comprising image data, such as raw image data.

The user input interface further comprises adapting means configured to adapt functionality of the user input interface based on said data related to a photograph. The adapting means may comprise said processing means of the user input interface. The processing means may process said data related to a photograph and adapt the way user input is processed and converted into commands. For example, a button associated with "Undo" function can be adapted to cancel the latest entry of editing history of the photograph. In this case said data related to the photograph comprises editing history which adapts functionality of the "Undo" button. In an embodiment a prolonged pressing, e.g. a duration of more than a second or more than two seconds, of "Undo" button erases the whole editing history and the user input interface returns to an initial state without any preset adjustments. In another example a mechanical button is configured to apply editing of said editing history of the photograph to another photograph, i.e. performing "Copy" and "Paste" functions wherein the result of these functions of course depends on the editing history.

In an embodiment said data related to a photograph comprises editing history of one or more previously edited photographs and image data of said previously edited photographs. Said adapting means are configured to compare image data of a photograph to said image data of previously edited photographs. In an embodiment, said adapting means are configured to receive a comparison result of image data of a photograph compared to said image data of previously edited photographs from the computing device with the connecting means. In an embodiment, the adapting means are configured to move at least one of said one or more mechanical buttons, rotary selectors and linear selectors to a position according to editing history of one of said previously edited photographs having most similar image data based on said comparison. In an embodiment, the adapting means are configured to move at least one of said one or more mechanical buttons, rotary selectors and linear selectors to a position according to editing history of the latest edited photograph if a defined level of similarity between image data of the current photograph and the latest edited photograph is found in said comparison. In an embodiment, said adapting means are configured to adapt a button or another selector for performing said moving of at least one of said one or more mechanical buttons, rotary selectors and linear selectors, when said button or another selector is pressed or otherwise activated.

In an embodiment said data related to a photograph comprises metadata of the photograph and editing history of the photograph and said adapting means are configured to visually indicate with an illuminatd display and/or at least one of said one or more mechanical buttons, rotary selectors and linear selectors at least a part of said metadata of the photograph and editing history of the photograph. Said metadata of the photograph and editing history of the photograph are transferred from the first memory unit at the computing device to the user input interface. The indication can be a visual indication such as a light, a symbol or a text presented on the user input interface. For example illuminated scales may be provided around one or more dials or next to one or more sliders. The visual indication can also be presented on a display with text, numbers, symbols, colors or any combination of the afore-mentioned. Said editing history of a photograph can be indicated by a blinking or lit number or marker on said one or more scales, wherein said blinking or lit number or marker matches the value(s) given with said one or more dials and/or sliders based on said editing history of the photograph. In an embodiment the user input interface is configured indicate at least a part of said editing history and metadata of the photograph on the computing device by transmitting the indication to the computing device using data transfer means.

In an embodiment said data related to a photograph comprises editing history of the photograph and said adapting means are configured to move at least one of said one or more mechanical buttons, rotary selectors and linear selectors to a position according to the data related to the photograph. For example, said rotary and/or linear selectors can be equipped with an electric motor for turning the rotary selectors and/or moving the linear selectors to a position according the to the editing history of the photograph. This facilitates further editing as it can be immediately seen from the user input interface, which adjustments have already been made.

In an embodiment at least one of said one or more mechanical buttons, rotary selectors and linear selectors comprise a visual indicator for indicating at least a part of said editing history of the photograph by visually indicating a value according to said editing history of the photograph. The visual indication can be for example a light, a symbol or a text that is presented on the user input interface. For example illuminated scales may be provided at one or more dials or at one or more sliders. Said editing history of a photograph can be indicated by a blinking or lit number or marker on said one or more scales, wherein said blinking or lit number or marker matches the value (s) given with said one or more dials and/or sliders based on said editing history of the photograph.

Another aspect of the invention is a method for editing photographs on a computing device using a mechanical user input interface. The method comprises a step of connecting the user input interface to the computing device, either with wired connection, such as USB connection, or wireless connection via e.g. WLAN or Bluetooth®. The method also comprises a step of detecting user input with one or more mechanical buttons, rotary selectors or linear selectors of the mechanical user input device. When a user provides input by pressing a button, turning a rotary selector or moving a linear selector, the user input is detected electronically with said button, rotary selector and/or linear selector. The user input is converted to one or more commands. One or more buttons of the user input interface are associated with one or more commands and preferably each button is associated with a unique command. User input provided by a rotary selector and/or a linear selector is associated with one or more commands and preferably including a numerical value in addition to the command. An example of this could be for example command "adjust brightness" and value "+18". In an embodiment, one or more rotary selectors or linear selectors are configured to detect speed of the user input and adapt the value of the user input based on detected speed. For example, if a rotary selector is turned 90 degrees in 5 seconds, resulting value can be e.g. "+5" but if the same turning of 90 degrees is made in half a second, the resulting value can be e.g. "+25". This enables both quick and precise, or coarse and fine, adjustments with a single selector.

The method further comprises step of transferring said one or more commands to the computing device. The transfer of commands can be realized using the connection established in the step of connecting the user input interface to the computing device. The format of commands, transfer protocol and other details vary between systems and are preferably defined in application programming interface. For example, the commands can be transferred to the computing device by programming or using an existing a plug-in for a photograph editing software, which plug-in is configured to receive an input of commands from the user input interface.

Once the commands have been transferred to the computing device, a photograph editing operation is executed on the computing device. A conversion of commands transferred from the user input interface to commands of e.g. a photograph editing software may be needed. For example, the commands can be converted to a format required by the photograph editing software by programming or using an existing a plug-in for the photograph editing software, which plug-in is configured to convert commands of the user input interface into commands of the photograph editing software. In an embodiment, the commands are shown on a display of the computing device while the command is being executed. This is preferably realized with a pop-up window displaying the command and value that is applied, for example "BRIGHTNESS +28". Said pop-up window is preferably opened when adjusting of a value begins and closed shortly after the adjusting of the value ends, for example less than 5 seconds later.

The method further comprises a step of reading data related to a photograph from a first memory unit, preferably located on a computing device to which the user input interface is connected. Preferably said data related to a photograph comprises metadata of the photograph and editing history of the photograph and/or changes made after raw image data of the photograph was saved. The user input interface may comprise said first memory unit. In an embodiment, the method comprises a step of writing data related to a photograph to the first memory unit. Preferably said data related to a photograph written to said first memory unit comprises editing history of the photograph and/or changes made after raw image data of the photograph was saved. For example, each press of a button, turn of a dial and/or slide of a slider may be stored by writing it to said first memory unit and by associating this editing data to a particular photograph. Said editing data can then be read from said memory means when said particular photograph is opened later.

In an embodiment, said data related to a photograph is read via data transfer means from a first memory unit that is located at the computing device or accessible by said computing device e.g. via network or USB connection. Said data related to a photograph can be in an internal or external hard drive, on a removable media, on a server accessible via local area network or in the internet. In an embodiment said data related to a photograph is read via data transfer means from a first memory unit accessible by said computing device. In an embodiment the first memory unit is a file comprising image data, such as raw image data.

The method also comprises step of adapting functionality of the mechanical user input interface based on said data related to a photograph. The adapting may be realized with processing means of the user input interface by adapting the conversion of user input to commands. The processing means may process said data related to a photograph and adapt the way user input is processed and converted into commands. For example, a button associated with "Undo" function can be adapted to cancel the latest entry of editing history of the photograph. In this case said data related to the photograph comprises editing history which adapts functionality of the "Undo" button. In another example a mechanical button is configured to apply editing of said editing history of the photograph to another photograph, i.e. performing "Copy" and "Paste" functions wherein the result of these functions of course depends on the editing history. In an embodiment said data related to a photograph comprises metadata of the photograph and editing history of the photograph and said adapting the user interface comprises indicating with at least one of said one or more mechanical buttons, rotary selectors and linear selectors at least a part of said editing history of the photograph. Said metadata of the photograph and editing history of the photograph are transferred from the first memory unit at the computing device to the user input interface. The indication can be a visual indication such as a light, a symbol or a text presented on the user input interface. For example illuminated scales may be provided around one or more dials or next to one or more sliders. The visual indication can also be presented on an illuminated display with text, numbers, symbols, colors or any combination of the afore-mentioned. Said editing history of a photograph can be indicated by a blinking or lit number or marker on said one or more scales, wherein said blinking or lit number or marker matches the value(s) given with said one or more dials and/or sliders based on said editing history of the photograph.

In an embodiment said data related to a photograph comprises editing history of the photograph and said adapting comprises moving at least one of said one or more mechanical buttons, rotary selectors and linear selectors to a position according to the data related to the photograph. For example, said rotary and/or linear selectors can be equipped with an electric motor for turning the rotary selectors and/or moving the linear selectors to a position according the to the editing history of the photograph. This facilitates further editing as it can be immediately seen from the user input interface, which adjustments have already been made. The adapting can also be indicating at least a part of said editing history of the photograph by visually indicating a value according to said editing history of the photograph using a visual indicator provided on said one or more mechanical buttons, rotary selectors and linear selectors. The visual indication can be for example a light, a symbol or a text that is presented on the user input interface. For example illuminated scales may be provided at one or more dials or at one or more sliders. Said editing history of a photograph can be indicated by a blinking or lit number or marker on said one or more scales, wherein said blinking or lit number or marker matches the value(s) given with said one or more dials and/or sliders based on said editing history of the photograph.

It will be obvious to a person skilled in the art that, as the technology advances, the inventive concept can be implemented in various ways. The invention and its embodiments are not limited to the examples described above but may vary within the scope of the claims.