Fotoxx - current release 20.12
Fotoxx is a free open source Linux program for image
editing and collection management.
The goal is to meet the needs of serious photographers while
remaining fast and easy to use.
Click the image above to see a full-size image.
Navigate a large image collection using a thumbnail browser, click
on an image to view or edit. A rich set of edit and retouch
functions is available. Import RAW files and edit with deep color.
Save revised images as JPEG, PNG (8/16 bits), or TIFF (8/16).
Select an object or area within an image (freehand draw, follow
edges, flood matching tones...), apply edit functions, copy and
paste, resize, blend, warp, etc. without using layers. Edit
functions have fast feedback using the full image. Edit image
metadata (tags, geotags, dates, ratings, captions...). Search
images using any combination of metadata and file and folder names
or partial names. Click a marker on a scalable world map to view
all photos from that location. Batch functions are available to
rename, add/revise metadata, copy/move, resize, convert format.
Fotoxx uses your image files wherever they are and maintains a
separate index for fast searching. Fotoxx is standards compliant
and can be used with other photo programs (no lock-in). Fotoxx is
easy to use but unconventional, so read the user guide (at least
the first few pages) before jumping in. Fotoxx has deep
functionality. Do not expect to master it in a few minutes.
Demo (YouTube video)
A basic overview of Fotoxx.
Sample Images (YouTube video)
A collection of before/after images edited with Fotoxx.
The latest release can be obtained here: downloads.
Packages for many Linux flavors can be found HERE.
Long Overview (or jump to the examples
Fotoxx is a free Linux program for editing photos or other images
and managing a large collection. Image directories (folders) can
be viewed as a scrolling gallery of thumbnail images. Navigation
of folders and subfolders is simple and fast. Click on a thumbnail
for a full window view of the image. The image can be zoomed,
panned and scrolled using the mouse. Gallery thumbnails can vary
from small to huge. Popup windows can be used to view multiple
images at any scale. Thumbnail galleries are also used to display
image search results and albums. Albums are selected images
arranged in a desired order. Fotoxx has many editing tools that go
beyond the basics. Images with severe problems (underexposed,
false colors, blurred, uneven lighting, fog/haze) can be brought
back to life. Details lost in shadows or haze can be brought out.
Fotoxx is standards compliant. Nothing done by Fotoxx makes your
images less usable with other applications. Fotoxx uses your image
files wherever they are: they are not moved or duplicated. Fotoxx
does create an index for fast image searching, and thumbnail
images for fast gallery displays. These add typically 2% to
overall storage requirements. There is no database to manage - the
index manages itself.
Fotoxx can import RAW images and perform all processing in deep
color (24 bits per color is used internally). Edited images can be
saved as JPEG, TIFF (8/16 bits/color), or PNG (8/16 bits). Convert
single RAW files or selected batches.
Image edit functions are interactive with rapid visual feedback,
using the full image or a chosen zoom-in area. Undo and Redo can
be applied serially to all the edits of an image. Intermediate and
final results can be saved as new files or as versions of the
input file (e.g. filename.v02.jpg).
Objects or areas within an image can be selected and edited
separately from the background. Areas can be selected using
several methods: drag the mouse to select and flood into matching
tones, follow feature edges, or outline an area freehand. There is
a special tool to select complex features, such as hair or
foliage. Selected areas can be copied and pasted into the same or
other images, resized, rotated, brightened, etc. Layers are not
Batch functions are available to copy, move, rename, resize,
upright, convert format, and add or revise metadata.
Several tools are available to change size and shape: trim (crop),
resize (rescale), rotate, fix perspective, curve/warp the whole
image or selected areas within the image. There is a special tool
to 'flatten' photos of curved surfaces, e.g. a page from a thick
book or a poster on a round column.
Dust spots from old slides or photos can be removed, roadside
trash or power lines can be erased. Panoramas can be made by
stitching photos together seamlessly, automatically matching
brightness and color. Photos with a range of exposure values can
be combined into an HDR image with adjustable contributions.
Photos with varying focus depths can be combined into an image
that is sharp over the combined range. Photos of one scene taken
at different moments can be combined to remove passing autos or
tourists. Multiple photos made under low light conditions can be
combined to reduce noise. Images and text can be combined into a
mashup, using the mouse to position and resize the components and
adjust overlaps and transparencies.
Fotoxx has a batch scripting tool to speed the processing of
multiple images requiring the same edits: record the edits made to
a base image and then apply these edits automatically to any
number of selected images.
Many special effects ('filters') are available to convert a photo
into a line drawing, sketch, painting, embossing, cartoon, dot
image, mosaic, or abstract patterns. Background patterns and
textures can be added.
Images can be rapidly searched using file and folder names or
partial names, dates, assigned tags, ratings, locations, and any
other metadata stored in the image. Some data is automatic from
the camera (date, location, exposure data), and other data can be
manually entered (tags, captions ...). Batch tools are available
to load metadata into many images at once. Search criteria can be
used in combination; e.g. find Chicago photos for years 2002-2005
containing tags "Barbara" or "Barbie".
Locations (from a camera GPS sensor or entered manually) can also
be searched. You can view a map of any region in the world, at any
scale, using an internet map service. Images having location data
show as markers on these maps. Click a marker to get a gallery of
the corresponding images, which can be viewed full size or edited.
Local map files of the world, each continent, and some countries
are also available, and you can add your own maps at any scale.
Local maps have no dependency on the internet. You can jump from a
given photo to its position on a world map, where you can find
other photos from the same or nearby positions.
Slide shows can be prepared. Choose animated transitions between
images, pan and zoom effects, and places to auto-pause for
Fotoxx includes a comprehensive user manual that also serves as
interactive help (press F1 while using a function). You should
take the time to read the overview pages. The function details can
be viewed as needed.
- Organize and manage a very large photo/image
- Thumbnail browser/navigator with variable
thumb size and metadata view.
- Click thumbnail for full-size view, image zoom
in/out and pan/scroll.
- View gallery of recently viewed or edited
images, or the newest images.
- RAW file conversion, single or batch, save as
TIFF/PNG with 16 bits/color.
- Edit RAW files directly using RawTherapee or
the Fotoxx edit functions.
- Internal processing in 24 bits per color
(float), output in 8 or 16 bits.
- Edited files are saved with a version number,
originals are kept.
- Rapid edit visual feedback using the full
image or selected zoom-in area.
- Undo/Redo edits, go back and forth to compare
- Large set of functions to edit, repair,
enhance, and transform images:
- brightness, color, contrast, trim/crop,
rotate, upright, resize, sharpen,
denoise, color saturation and temperature, white and black
- fix vignette and other brightness/color
- fix chromatic aberration: rescale color
planes or erase colored edges.
- Smart Erase (power lines, signs, litter
- Fix red eyes with one click per eye
- Make color adjustments, or match to colors
in a reference image.
- Make a black/white or color negative,
positive from negative, or sepia.
- Convert the color profile of an image,
e.g. Adobe RGB <--> sRGB.
- Warp an image to fix perspective,
straighten curves, or for special effects.
- HDR: combine dark/bright images, adjust
relative inputs by editing curves.
- HDF: combine near- and far-focus images to
get a greater focus depth.
- Suppress noise by combining and averaging
multiple high-noise photos.
- Stack multiple versions of an image,
select one to expose in each area.
- Panorama: combine 2-4 overlapped images
horizontally or vertically
(hand-held photos work OK - some
care is needed, but not a tripod).
- Posterize an image (reduce color depth).
- Convert photo to drawing (charcoal,
blackboard, colored lines).
- Convert a photo into a cartoon-like
- Add embossed effect (surface depth, 3D
- Make tiles: any size, with or without
borders. Pixelize to obscure a face.
- Dither - four methods for artistic effect,
including Roy Lichtenstein dots.
- Simulate a painting: aggregate matching
tones into larger patches.
- Paint or unpaint with the mouse, with
variable brush size and transparency.
- Add texture to an image background, random
or repeating pattern.
- Convert an image into a mosaic using tiles
made from image collection.
- Transformations: sphere, twist, stretch,
inside-out, tiny planet, Escher spiral.
- Many convolution kernels are supplied. Add
custom convolution kernels.
- Blur: ordinary, radial, directed,
background only, paint blur using mouse.
- Area Rescale: select an area to freeze and
rescale the rest of the image.
- Add text to an image with variable font,
size, angle, transparency, shadow.
- Add lines and arrows to an image.
- Most edit functions can be 'painted' locally
and gradually using the mouse.
- Select image objects or areas to edit
separately from the background:
outline by hand, follow feature edges, 'flood' matching colors
- Special selection tool for complex image
features (e.g. hair, foliage).
- Copy areas within and across images by mouse
painting and blending.
- Create or maintain transparent image areas
- Mashup: arrange images and text in an
arbitrary layout using the mouse.
- Custom scripts: record a series of edits and
use as a new edit function.
- Custom user menu: collect frequently-used
functions into a custom menu.
- Plugins: use other edit apps (e.g. Gimp) as
Fotoxx plug-in edit function.
- Batch tools for renaming, resizing,
converting, processing RAW files,
adding/revising/reporting metadata, and
executing custom edit scripts.
- Batch utility to set photo date/time or shift
by any amount (e.g. fix time zone).
- Metadata edit and report (tags, dates,
captions, geotags ... any metadata).
- Show all metadata in a popup window, or a
compact report with key items.
- Search images using any metadata and
folder/file names or partial names:
dates, tags, locations, ratings, captions, comments, exposure
- Show a table of image locations and date
groups, click for image gallery.
- Show an image calendar, click on year or month
for a gallery of images.
- Show scalable internet map with markers for
- Click map markers for gallery of images at
- Use locally stored maps: world, continents,
nations, cities, custom maps.
- View 360 degree panorama image (Google Street
- Show video files (first frame) in thumbnails,
view full size, play video.
- Show animated GIF files (first frame) in
thumbnails, play animation.
- Bookmark image locations with a name, jump to
- Find duplicate images within current gallery
view or entire image collection.
- Move a 'magnifying glass' around an image to
view any area magnified.
- Create albums linking selected images. Arrange
by drag and drop.
- Slide show: show album images with animated
transitions and pan/zoom.
- Grid Lines (horizontal, vertical, vary
count/spacing, shift positions).
- Print an image at any scale. Printer color
calibration tool is available.
- Custom keyboard shortcuts can be assigned to
- Comprehensive user guide and context help
popups via F1 key.
The GUI is available in English, Catalan, French, German, Italian,
Portuguese, and Spanish. A comprehensive user guide is provided in
Fotoxx needs a strong computer (multiple CPU cores, 8+ GB). 64-bit
Linux is required. Weaker computers may not work, may be slow, or
may fail to edit large images. The monitor should be at least HD
(1920x1080) and have accurate color (most do not).
Performance and Limitations
Most image edit functions respond within 1 second for images up to
30 megapixels on a strong computer. 100 megapixel images can be
edited on a computer with 8 GB RAM, 200 megapixels with 16 GB.
Some composite functions (panorama, HDR) may need a minute or more
when combining many large images. Image search time is generally
below 1 second for collections up to 300K images.
Click on the small images to see a full-size image.
These examples are not very useful on a
smart phone (small) screen.
View a large
collection of image files using a thumbnail gallery. Click on a
thumbnail to view or edit a full-size image. Move around within
gallery pages and navigate to other pages. A gallery may be a
folder of image files, the output of an image search, or an album
(ordered set of images). The thumbnails can be large or small and
can be zoomed out to any scale with the mouse wheel.
Images can have geotags (via camera GPS or manually added). A
scalable world map shows image location markers. Click on a marker
to get a gallery of images, instantly.
RAW file import
first image is the JPEG produced by the camera. The 2nd image is
the RAW file from the camera, converted to TIFF-16. The 3rd image
is the edited TIFF file saved as a JPEG file. The dark areas were
lightened and color was slightly increased.
RAW files can be directly opened and edited, or you can use a
batch function to select and convert many RAW files at once. The
speed is 1-2 seconds per file on a strong PC. The converted files
can be JPEG, TIFF (8 or 16 bits per RGB color), or PNG (8 or 16
bits). All internal editing is done with 24 bits per color.
tags (keywords), geotags, titles, captions, dates, and ratings to
images. Search images using these criteria as well as image file
and folder names. Partial matching also works. Matching images are
shown in a thumbnail gallery. Click a thumbnail to view or edit,
or step through sequentially. Search speed is nearly
Tags, etc. are stored inside the images using EXIF and IPTC
standards. They can be shared with other standards-compliant photo
images with any desired metadata, show thumbnail images with
metadata text. Click a thumbnail to view full-size. There are also
functions to view the key metadata for an image, view all
available metadata, or edit any metadata.
The search speed is almost instantaneous for 'main' (indexed)
metadata. The speed is slower (a few thousand files per minute)
for metadata that is not indexed and must be read from the image
You can optionally add metadata items to the index for fast
Cameras with GPS receivers can add geotags (location name and
earth coordinates) to images automatically. Fotoxx also has a
function to find the earth coordinates for a given location (city,
park, monument ...) and add geotags to a bunch of images at once.
If many photos made in one location are located together in your
collection, you can quickly process all of them. If this work has
been done, you can use the following geotag functions to find and
display images from a given location as a gallery of clickable
Search Images Using Geotags
List image locations: group by country, country/location, or
country/location/date. Click on a list entry to see all the images
in that group as a gallery of thumbnails. The example here shows
28 photos made in Jan. 2012 at Achensee, Austria. If listing by
dates, you can consolidate dates that are separated by less than a
given number of days.
Search Images by Clicking on a Map
Click on a map location to instantly see all
the photos made in or around that location. Location names pop up
as you move the mouse over the map. In this case, "Leipzig" was
clicked to retrieve 25 photos of Leipzig.
Search Images Using a Calendar
The calendar report shows image counts by year and month. Click on
any month to get an instant gallery of images for that month.
Edit Selected Object or Area
Little Mermaid was back-lighted. The fix was to select her
and flatten (spread out) her brightness distribution. Areas are
selected using the mouse: freehand draw, follow edges, or spread
into matching tones from the mouse position outwards. Edge effects
can be blended out.
Copy and Paste Selected Areas
Select Hairy Edges
There is a special tool for copying hair and
other irregular shapes. Drag over the area with the mouse,
clicking as needed on colors to be selected or suppressed. This
can be tedious if the background contrast is weak. This example is
about a 10 minute project for an experienced user. Novices will
need more time to get the feel of this tool.
Flatten Brightness Distribution
This tool is an easy way to improve detail in areas that lack
contrast. Uses a single sliding control with live feedback.
Sometimes works miracles and sometimes not very effective. Good
for fog/haze removal.
Global and Zonal Retinex
This tool can be used to restore the full color range for a badly
faded photo or one with an extreme color caste. It can also be
used to add flair to any image. The original and modified images
can be blended in any ratio.
View 360°Panorama Image
This tool is used to view a
360°panorama image. Use the mouse to rotate the viewpoint through
the full 360°. The view window is 90°(right image) and can be
zoomed-in for a larger/narrower view.
Comparison of different sharpening methods on a blurred image.
The 'gradient' method increases sharpness about as well as the
classic 'unsharp mask' method, but with less "halo" effect around
high-contrast edges. 'Kuwahara' produces excellent sharpness but
small details are lost.
Reduce noise in photos made under low-light conditions.
The original image was scanned from a magazine at 600 dpi.
The results from four noise suppression methods are shown.
Noise can be measured and noise suppression
can be quantitatively evaluated.
Revise Brightness by Editing a Curve
Edit a brightness curve while watching the live output image.
Remove fog and haze with flatten and gradients.
Compensate for radial brightness loss (vignetting), or highlight
some part of the image. Response curve can be customized, saved
and reused. Use the mouse to set the center for the response
curve. Image can be brightened or darkened, or a color-caste can
be added or removed.
lines and poles were erased. Select an object to erase using the
mouse like a paintbrush. Click to erase. Neighboring pixels
replace the erased area. This usually works well for small or
narrow areas, or even larger areas when surrounded with fairly
uniform background, like sky or grass. Selecting long thin objects
like power lines is done by clicking positions along the length.
Remove the dust spots from images made from dusty
scanned slides or old photo prints.
Remove Chromatic Aberration (color fringes)
Click to enlarge and view carefully. The left
image is a photo taken from inside a church (a small cutout of a
large image). It has color fringes on the dark to bright
transitions, and these were mostly eliminated in the edited
version on the right. Slider controls change the scale of
individual RGB color planes, and you simply adjust them to
minimize the color bands. It works for the usual sort of chromatic
aberration which increases radially from the center.
contrast where it is weak without changing overall contrast.
Watch the image change as you move a curve or slider.
This one was taken to extremes, giving the impression of an
Tools for Brightness and Contrast
5 methods to change brightness and contrast
HDR - High Dynamic Range Image
The lower image is a composite of
the upper ones. Brighter areas were taken mostly from the darker
image, and darker areas from the brighter image. Optionally use
editable curves to adjust the contribution of each image for each
Gradients tool was used after the images were combined.
The camera was hand-held. The automatic alignment works well
unless the camera is shifted significantly between shots. The
people moved between the photos, so ghosting can be seen.
HDR made from photos having significant camera movement and
Minor changes in image scale are compensated.
HDF - High Depth of Field
Combine multiple photos of the same subject, each having a
different focus distance. The combined image has a depth of field
spanning all the input images. This function is very sensitive to
changes in camera position or aiming point - these cause parallax
errors and changes in image scale that cannot be fixed with simple
translation and rotation. The software compensates for small
errors in scale. If you are careful not to move the camera too
much, you can get good results. All photos here were hand-held.
This HDF required several minutes
of manual work to choose which input image to use for each area in
the output image. This is done by choosing an image and "painting"
with the mouse. This can take time if there are lots of adjacent
near and far areas which must be painted separately using
different underlying images.
This one was easy because there are no adjacent near and far
Stack - Noise Suppression
9 photos were made at
ISO 1600 in a darkened room with a hand-held camera. My strong
computer needed nearly a minute to align and combine them into one
low-noise image. This is part of the 20-megapixel image, shown at
Stack - Paint
The two images were taken a few seconds apart, during which time
the cyclist (left image) moved out and the red car (right image,
left side) moved in. The images were combined, and the car and
cyclist were removed by choosing one image or the other and
"painting" with the mouse.
Four photos made in quick succession.
Stack - Paint can be used to make transient objects disappear or
make them appear multiple times.
Combine up to four images to make wide-angle images. Rough
alignment is done with the mouse and fine alignment is automatic.
All photos here were hand-held.
Indoor scene (house pet was pasted in).
Brightness and color matching was automatic.
3 images with poor camera handling. The final image was
straightened and retouched for brightness and color.
Acropolis closeup. A case where turning the camera with minimal
lateral movement was important for good image alignment. The guy
in the striped shirt moved up the steps between the two photos, so
he is seen twice in the panorama. The joint can be seen behind his
upper image, since no blending was done.
A vertical panorama. Brightness and color matching was automatic.
Photo montage. Add images and text to a background layout of
arbitrary size. Images and text can be moved around using the
mouse, resized, rotated, and made party or wholly transparent.
Transparency can be painted gradually or fully. Text can have any
font, size, and angle. Background, outline and shadow can be added
to text, with adjustable color and transparency for all of these.
Move around over an image with a simulated magnifying glass.
Diameter and magnification are adjustable.
Sometimes panorama images must be straightened.
Adjust while watching a live output image.
Fix images photographed from an angle, e.g. paintings, buildings,
Select the 4 corners and transform into a rectangle.
Flatten photo of a curved surface
Flatten the page edges and stretch the squeezed text where the
page curves down at the center binding. Mark the page top and
bottom edges at several points using the mouse. The rest is
Use for retouching. Pick a color from the image or from a palette.
Variable brush size and transparency allow gradual change without
Warp Image, 4 variations
Pull the image with the mouse.
The image behaves like sheet rubber.
Unwarp Close-up Photo (selfie)
Close-up portraits exhibit a "balloon face" distortion.
There is a special function just for this problem.
Straighten her eyes and smooth her skin.
Make Mosaic Image
Make any image into a mosaic with tiles created from your images.
Click on a tile to get a larger popup image which you can resize
and drag. This requires that you have thousands of images in your
collection, with an adequate range of available colors.
Click on image to view full size.
Make a Montage
Images can be mixed sizes. They are rearranged
and resized as needed to make all the columns as even as possible.
You can click on any image to get a larger popup image which can
be zoomed to any size, and disappears with another click.
Add Texture to an Image
Combine texture with gradients and embossing to get interesting
Add Background Pattern
A background pattern
can be added to an image or selected areas. The pattern is a small
image that is repeated to cover a larger area. If the pattern
repeats, dimensions are found automatically to make the pattern
seamless (left example). The pattern can be a photo of a texture,
as in the right sample. Pattern scale and opacity are adjustable.
Write text on images. Select font, colors, transparencies, shadow,
angle. Watermarks are made by writing faint text and embossing.
Lines, arrows, boxes, and circles/ovals can also be added.
Fix a Lousy Photo
The upper photo had multiple retouches to produce the one below.
The functions used were trim/rotate, flatten brightness
distribution, increase contrast, increase color saturation, and
gradients. These were applied in different areas of the image.
was back-lighted and the Fall colors came out faded. The following
steps were made in sequence: select the sky, invert the selection
(everything but the sky), increase overall brightness with an
upward slope for more contrast, select the foreground vegetation
areas, add more contrast, add color saturation, add slight
Convert a photo into a simulated drawing, painting, embossing,
cartoon. These take a few seconds to a few minutes, depending on
how long you want to play with the controls to optimize the
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