Retrobatch: node-based image processing

I mentioned Retrobatch a while back when it first went into public beta. After using it for a while now, I wanted to let you know that it’s worth grabbing and getting into. I’m pretty sure that if you’re one of the people it’s designed for, you’ll be happy to pay for it.

Retrobatch is a node-based image processor from Flying Meat, the creator of the acclaimed image editing app Acorn. It makes it easy to automate multi-step image processing, including scaling, resizing, cropping, converting, watermarking, metadata, and even things like color adjustment and PSD layer generation. You drag the steps together in a sequence on your workspace and save the result to run on any number of images at once.

I’ll note that the interface can get a bit frustrating when you get too many nodes in an area and the auto-connecting lines start misbehaving. I think that this is an area that will improve over the next few releases. Be sure to give yourself plenty of space to add in new node paths as you work. Beyond that, working in Retrobatch is quite pleasurable.

Update: I stupidly missed that you can turn off auto-snapping entirely in Preferences and draw connections with a CTRL-drag. That completely solves the above issue for me. Forget I said anything, unless you also missed that and have the same problem in which case, you’re welcome.

As one example, I use Retrobatch to prepare my header images from this blog to be used in various social media sharing platforms. I start with a template for the header design with markers showing me where square images will crop, the sizes I’ll need to match for Facebook open graph images, etc. Once I’ve finished designing in the template, I output a single JPEG or PNG file and run it through my “OpenGraph” Retrobatch sequence:

  • Create a square crop and resize it for use on Twitter cards
  • Crop and resize a Facebook/Large Twitter Card image
  • Create the @1x and @2x versions for my own blog
  • Process all of these through ImageOptim

I won’t share the template and Retrobatch file here as it’s pretty specific to my needs, but I’d be more than happy to offer them as examples to anyone who asks.

Like I said, if the above example reminds you of any image processing you do on a regular basis, you should definitely check out Retrobatch. It won’t take long to see all of the possibilities it offers! Retrobatch has a standard version for $29.99 US, and a Pro version for $49.99.

Brett Terpstra

Brett is a writer and developer living in Minnesota, USA. You can follow him as ttscoff on Twitter, GitHub, and Mastodon. Keep up with this blog by subscribing in your favorite news reader.

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