Making Nice Looking Thumbnails for HTML Photo Albums

I spent a pleasant summer in Europe several years ago, visiting wonderful countries such as Spain, France, and the Netherlands. I brought a sizable collection of digital photos from this trip, which I wanted to share with my friends and family. I began looking for software that could generate photo albums in order to upload them to my homepage and was quite disappointed with the quality of the thumbnail pages – even though the pages themselves looked fine – the small pictures were simply resized originals, rectangles, with a one-pixel frame around them. What I wanted was a bevel or frame effect around the thumbnail, as well as a shadow, to give it a more 3D, alive, and fancy appearance.

Then it occurred to me that I could easily accomplish this by simply saving a script in Paint Shop Pro with bevel, frame, and shadow effects and then batch processing all of my gallery photos. However, I discovered that I am unable to create HTML pages alongside my generated thumbnails.


As a result, I decided that we could develop such software ourselves. At the time, we were a group of software developers working on offshore business projects. I spoke with a few guys and after some planning, we began working on this project.


The primary objective was to create attractive, stylish thumbnails, so we began with a picture frame. Because the frame resembles a conventional picture frame, you can customise its thickness, round its edges, height, and light direction, as well as overlay any texture – for example, any wood or marble – and give it a 3D shape. However, if desired, you can create a variety of elaborate frames using acid textures and irregular borders – it all depends on your desired style!


Bevel: Another effect I’ve always desired is Bevel – it gives your image a three-dimensional appearance, making it more effective and striking. Additionally, rounded edges combined with a bevel create extremely attractive thumbnails. Almost exactly what I desired…


However, what about other forms? Because the rounded rectangle was insufficient for me, this is where the masks come into play! I was truly amazed, I recall, at how effective the masked thumbnail looks when combined with bevelled edges; simply choose a mask and the bevel takes care of the rest. Alternatively, create a frame and use a mask to give the frame an irregular shape.


Additionally, we developed numerous other features such as HTML gallery templates, email sending, and batch processing. Here, I wanted to emphasise why we started this project – we wanted our galleries to look unique, stylish, and fancy, and we believe we achieved that goal! You can try it for yourself using the programme Photo Shaman.

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