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Old 03-07-2009, 12:29 AM   #1
OsakaTom
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Thumbs up Manga on Kindle/Cybook/V3 - Automatic Photoshop Image Conversion!

Editor's Note: While this was written for the Kindle, it will likely be useful for other eink devices.

In gearing up for my Kindle 2, I decided to create an a script/action set in Photoshop to easily convert manga (and any other image) to a Kindle optimized version. This Photoshop action/script set will automatically convert your image to greyscale, flip it to portrait mode (if it isn't already), apply a few contrast, sharpening, and smoothing filters, resize and center to 600x800 and finally, export as an optimized .gif file (using 22 colors, just to give the Kindle a bit more to work with -- outputs to c:\Kindle Manga). You may still want to run Mangle to rename and create a book for your files, but UNCHECK any image optimizations in that program if you convert images with this action/script first.

This will work with any image you throw at, but I mostly optimized for manga images with the applied filters! To install, put the two script files in your photoshop/presets/scripts folder and install the action via the action menu. If you have any problems getting it to work, post here!

Rapid share link: XXXXX (see attached)

(I have tested it on my Kindle 2, seems to work great, however, my Kindle suffers from pretty terrible contrast, so it'll be going back to Amazon! ...rather annoying given that I live in Osaka, Japan!)
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Old 03-07-2009, 03:09 AM   #2
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Great, thanks, but after using it, I think that Mangle works better:
http://www.foosoft.net/mangle/
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Old 03-07-2009, 03:49 AM   #3
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I mentioned Mangle in my post! This isn't a Mangle replacement... Mangle doesn't actually do any major filtering or compression of your images, aside from moving to greyscale and GIF (256 color GIFs as far as I can tell). Since the Kindle 2 is limited to 2GB of space, the Photoshop script/action cuts down file size significantly by reducing color count, without sacrificing much (if any) image quality. As far as I can tell, Mangle doesn't actually improve the contrast ratio or get rid of compression artifacts either.

Anyway, Mangle is totally great (I use it!)! This is NOT a total Mangle replacement, and you should STILL run your images through Mangle to get the book thingy, BUT, it doesn't do nearly the same thing this does! Of course, you can also one shot any image with this too, for screensavers (waiting on that for K2) or the general image browser (which seems better this time around).

The newer version of Mangle also does image trimming and centering too, which is great!

*Note: If you want to drop file size down even more: get rid of the centering part of the action (the canvas resize part), and set your output to a 16 color .gif file, that'll cut things down even more without losing much quality (though it won't center your images on the Kindle anymore). If anyone wants that version, I can post it here too.

Last edited by OsakaTom; 03-07-2009 at 03:56 AM.
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Old 03-07-2009, 04:31 AM   #4
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It would be interesting to figure out exactly what colors are native to the Kindle native display. I can do some testing with the Kindle 1, would be nice if someone did the same for Kindle 2, since I don't have one. That could trim file size down a bit. I'm also adding optional JPEG output to the next version of Mangle, that should help alleviate some storage issues on the space-starved Kindle 2
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Old 03-07-2009, 09:02 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FooSoft View Post
It would be interesting to figure out exactly what colors are native to the Kindle native display. I can do some testing with the Kindle 1, would be nice if someone did the same for Kindle 2, since I don't have one. That could trim file size down a bit.
If you post a test gradient I'd be happy to shoot it on my Kindle 2 for you.
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Old 03-07-2009, 09:15 AM   #6
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I attached the Photoshop script to the first post. (I effing hate Rapidshare.)
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Old 03-07-2009, 11:08 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unrequited View Post
Great, thanks, but after using it, I think that Mangle works better:
http://www.foosoft.net/mangle/
How would it compare with the improvements to PDFRead discussed here: Kindle 2 and PDFRead 1.8?
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Old 03-07-2009, 11:29 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by nrapallo View Post
How would it compare with the improvements to PDFRead discussed here: Kindle 2 and PDFRead 1.8?
...two different things. Mangle is for GIF or JPG batch conversion to 600x800x16color, while autosplitting or rotating double-pages (2-page layouts in comics), etc.
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Old 03-07-2009, 12:18 PM   #9
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I actually played with rendering manga pages with PDFRead. There is an album in my profile with the results.

I've never read manga and don't know what it should really look like but nekokami (who writes it) is helping me with my experiments.

It would be great if unrequited and OsakaTom would help in the testing. You can pull the images from nekokami's album in her profile.
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Old 03-07-2009, 12:38 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FooSoft View Post
It would be interesting to figure out exactly what colors are native to the Kindle native display. I can do some testing with the Kindle 1, would be nice if someone did the same for Kindle 2, since I don't have one. That could trim file size down a bit. I'm also adding optional JPEG output to the next version of Mangle, that should help alleviate some storage issues on the space-starved Kindle 2
I used a 256-shades of grey test pattern to find out. And then took a screen shot of it on my K2.

Kind of obviously, the palette ends up being #000000, #111111, #222222 ... #ffffff

Not so obviously, only 15 shades of grey are rendered (both on the K2, and in the screen shot image). For whatever reason there's no #eeeeee. And if I make a 16 color image, again only 15 are rendered.
Attached Thumbnails
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ID:	25177  
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Old 03-07-2009, 12:55 PM   #11
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Here is the same image on the original Kindle.
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Name:	screen_shot-48767.gif
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Old 03-07-2009, 01:17 PM   #12
nrapallo
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Here's the '256 shades - test pattern' rendered by PDFRead with the modified NRhtml2mobi.exe using 4, 8, and 16 colors.

I don't know if the 32, 64, 128 and 256 color versions will look any different...

I also got a "full color/grayscale" version using 2 colors (I guess it's a bug with PDFRead).
Attached Files
File Type: prc TESTPATTERN6-4colors.prc (8.3 KB, 172 views)
File Type: prc TESTPATTERN6-8colors.prc (9.1 KB, 143 views)
File Type: prc TESTPATTERN6-16colors.prc (9.7 KB, 164 views)
File Type: prc TESTPATTERN6-32colors.prc (10.1 KB, 150 views)
File Type: prc TESTPATTERN6-64colors.prc (10.0 KB, 142 views)
File Type: prc TESTPATTERN6-128colors.prc (10.3 KB, 156 views)
File Type: prc TESTPATTERN6-256colors.prc (10.1 KB, 152 views)
File Type: prc TESTPATTERN6-fullcolors.prc (10.2 KB, 150 views)

Last edited by nrapallo; 03-07-2009 at 01:24 PM.
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Old 03-07-2009, 02:10 PM   #13
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How come you want to do preprocessing than just let the Image Viewer does its job to do the dithering? Isn't it painful to preprocess instead of just drop the files into the Kindle and let it display it on the fly?

- resize
- zoom
- panning
- rotation

Aren't all those supported in Kindle 2?

Last edited by stevenmoy; 03-07-2009 at 02:20 PM.
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Old 03-07-2009, 02:53 PM   #14
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Nice work with the gradient shots! Now I'll be able to predither images in Mangle, should trim size down a bit

@stevenmoy - the image viewer (at least on Kindle 1) kind of blows. In Kindle 1 you can't do rotation or panning. I don't know if it got any improvements for Kindle 2, but in my 5 minutes of playing around with it on my friend's Kindle it seemed pretty much the same deal.

As far as resize goes - when you only have limited storage it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to store image data that you won't see when you are in zoomed mode (which is the only thing you can use since panning doesn't work). Besides with preprocessing it's possible to run the image through other filters that the Kindle doesn't have.
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Old 03-07-2009, 03:01 PM   #15
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In the Picture Viewer:
C - Toggle Actual Size [This overrides all other image effects]
F - Toggle Full Screen <-- forget this for now since Kindle 2 Image Viewer has a bug regarding to full screen mode.
Q - Zoom In
W - Zoom Out
R - Rotate
e = reset zoom level

The 5 way joystick can be used as panning.

P.S. I should have also mentioned that Mangle is great. I guess I have used too many other Swiss-army-knife-like image viewer that preprocess is just too much trouble to go through.
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