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  1. #1
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    I've been trying to create my website http://photopost.biz for about four months now, and i'm getting nowhere fast!!
    When i first started the project, I realised that i needed some help with the technical side and posted an appeal in a few forums. I was lucky, and someone agreed to help. However, after 3 months of waiting with the guy always saying "its nearly done" He just disappeared!! :disappointed: Lol!!! The only thing I ever saw was an url for a blank page where you could upload a photo :surprised: After a few unanswered emails i gave up. Obviously a timewaster! irate: Doh!
    Oh well, 'onwards and upwards' I was wondering what i was going to do next, and surfed a few code forums looking for inspiration when i came across some advice to try http://rentacoder.com. my prayers were answered! Genuine coders and designers who compete for work by bidding for it :classic: It's a great concept and a truly fantastic place to get work done. Unfortunately not my work! I put the project up for auction stating i was unsure of the price i was willing to pay, but was open to fair and reasonable offers. Alas, NO BIDS!
    Please take a look at the mock up i've done. http://photopost.biz I would of thought it would be an interesting project for a designer. I even said they could design thier way if prefered. I have no real idea of what is and isn't possible, Am i asking too much?
    So.. It looks like I'm going to have to try and have a go myself! :surprised: This is where you, the good reader comes in.. Can anyone tell me what skills i need to learn to be able to design a working site like that? Especially the photo manipulation side. I might have to leave the php mysql to someone who knows what they are doing. Having no one to physically show me what to do ( which is the only way this dimwit learns anything) I've found it difficult for me to understand.
    Thanks for taking the time to read this post. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
    Live long and prosper,
    Mark.

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  3. #2
    WDF Staff smoseley's Avatar
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    Web->Digital->Print is not a very heavily explored area yet.

    You should either create the entire composition as a TIFF image and send it off to your printer or convert it to a PDF.

    The problems you're going to run into are:
    1. Color matching. Web uses RGB, and printing uses CMYK. While it may not sound like a problem, I think you'll see when you get into it that it's causing some issues.

    2. Bandwidth. In order to create a decent print, people will have to upload high-res photos (figure 1-2Mb each). This will eat into your profits.


    I suggest you either use PHP, and take advantage of its simple photo manipulation tools or Java, and explore XSL-FO + FOP for simple conversion to high-res PDFs, or Batik + SVG for image manipulation.

    You also may want to create a basic image editing tool to allow people to rotate and crop their images. You could do this using Flash.

    Unfortunately for you, this will not be an easy undertaking. Your best option would probably be to hire a capable programmer to do the uploading/conversion, but that could get a bit pricey for you. I would probably give you a quote around $10k for a full-fledged solution, with all of the features mentioned above, and a basic website to go with them.

    Of course, you're probably also going to want a user database, credit-card processing, and other features, too (integration with mail services, printing services, etc.) All in all, you're probably looking at a $25,000 solution, and if you plan on buying a printer to handle the task of making your cards, you should consider another $50-100k for hardware.

    Anyhow, it's a really cool idea! Good luck!

  4. #3
    WDF Staff smoseley's Avatar
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    By the way, check out this "wallpaper maker" I made a couple years ago:

    http://www.lacatiraregional.com/wallpaper_maker.jsp

    Login in with Usuario: 11223344 and Contrasena: test to be able to download the results.

    It uses Flash, Batik, and SVG to do pretty much what you're asking for, but using predefined images, and exporting the results to the screen.

  5. #4
    WDF Staff Wired's Avatar
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    I remember that site
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  6. #5
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    Thanks Steve for a very informative reply!
    But first just let me say, "OUCH!!!! "
    As much as $10,000 eh? ( and thats just for the basics)Yikes, I had no idea any site could cost that much!. On the face of it, I thought my project would be a 'mere bagatelle' to someone who knew what they were doing. A days work for a professsional ( if that!)You have brought me down to earth with a bang! and i thank you for it. (shame.. cos it was quite cosy up there in cloud cuckoo land!)
    Also, thank you for opening my eyes to the RGB-CMYK issue. This would explain why I've always had to to make two prints, the first print being just to see how i need to adjust the colour balance before printing a final version.
    As for bandwidth, i was thinking limiting the size of upload .Just the other day I had a photo (from my ebay endeavours) that was 16mb) this would obviously not be good for my site! Is it possible to reformat on the upload?
    Judging by the skills you say I'm going need, I'm almost certain that i'm going to have to hand it over to a pro. Why o why didn't i take more interest in computers when they first came out! If only Windows was about at the time. The Sinclair Spectrum ZX with its Line 10, line 20, line 30, etc input was a real turn off! :cry: (but i loved the games )
    Well Steve, once again, thanks for opening my eyes to the real world. At least i now have a more realistic idea of what the projects going to take.
    God bless,
    Mark
    http://www.photopost.biz

  7. #6
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    Steve,
    Further to my previous reply (which i cut short because i could hear the wife getting up) I took a look at that site, very nice work my friend! I can see how that technology would help.
    Do you know if there is RGB to CMYK (what does the K stand for?) converter in exististence? If not, it sounds just the sort of job for rentacoder.com.
    One last thing.. If I did invest $10,000 developing my site, would it be possible for someone to copy it? By this i mean get their hands on the the complete package and disassemble it and reassemble with just a few visual alterations and call it their own?
    Thanks for your valuable time in answering such feeble questions. :thumbsup:
    N1 Steve,
    Mark.

  8. #7
    WDF Staff smoseley's Avatar
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    Mark,

    Don't go entirely by my estimates... I'm just giving you a very rough idea of what I would charge if hired to do a similar project... I'm very expensive, though. There are all kinds of programmers out there with all kinds of expectations, so you never know. You may even get someone to do it for free, if you take the right approach. (read on!)

    I think your best option will be to find a programmer capable of doing this work to partner with. The concept is strong enough that if done right it could make a decent amount of money. Give them a significant % of the business for their work. But you'll have to bring something else to the table besides your idea. You've already posted the idea up on the Internet, so you've essentially given the world permission to take it and run with it. What else can you do for your company? Marketing? Financial backing? If you buy the necessary hardware, that's a huge input into the company.

    You should sit down and write out a basic business plan outlining all of your fixed and variable expenses. Put together some specifications for your application so that you can get a realistic grasp on what it has to do, and what other associated expenses you'll have. This will give you a solid basis upon which to begin looking for a partner.

    For example, I can tell you right off that you're going to need:
    1. File Uploading - Simple to do...
    2. Image Editing - Some basic features not unlike what I did with the lacatira site.
    3. Image Generator - Once the user has inputed his desired changes into the interface, the server actually has to generate a final image for printing.
    4. Color Correction - You're on your own here.... I honestly haven't ever done web->print before, so I can't help much.
    5. Credit Card Transactions - You wanna get paid! Simple enough to do.
    6. User Database - People will have to be able to log in, input their information, where they want to send their image, their CC info, etc.
    7. Printer Integration - You'll have to integrate with a dynamic printing solution. I was thinking your best bet might be to send as a post card. That way, you can do all of your printing in one step (double-sided), and skip collation, sealing envelopes, etc.
    8. Printer Hardware? - I think it will be in your best interest to get the necessary hardware for the job.
    9. Server? - You may want to run this off your own machine for reliability.
    10. Bandwidth - You say you want to limit upload size, but that will also limit product quality. If you require JPG format, that might help a bit...
    11. Employees - Can't make your programmer do everything! You'll probably need 1-2 more people once you get rolling.

    The good news is that you have a really cool idea that venture capitalists may like. But an idea alone is worthless. You have to put together a plan to set the idea into action, and begin executing it. Hell, if you have a VC, that may be what you bring to the table.

    Good luck with this!

    Steve

    PS - I suggest that you keep your discussion of the project on the Internet to a minimum, for obvious reasons.

    PPS - No, people can't "steal" your application. They could possibly rip the source code of the flash component, but that's useless without the backend. And even if they did steal your code, it is copyrighted, and they would face a big lawsuit.

    PPPS - The "K" is for "black".

    PPPPS - You should get a ".com" domain name.

  9. #8
    WDF Staff Wired's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by transio
    PS - I suggest that you keep your discussion of the project on the Internet to a minimum, for obvious reasons.
    Definitely. Same reason why my secret project (in sig) is so hush hush
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  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wired
    Definitely. Same reason why my secret project (in sig) is so hush hush
    It is good advice and i will take it! from now on.. :-X
    Thanks Wired. :thumbsup:

  11. #10
    Senior Member straight_up's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by transio
    By the way, check out this "wallpaper maker" I made a couple years ago:

    http://www.lacatiraregional.com/wallpaper_maker.jsp

    Login in with Usuario: 11223344 and Contrasena: test to be able to download the results.

    It uses Flash, Batik, and SVG to do pretty much what you're asking for, but using predefined images, and exporting the results to the screen.
    Whoa, in spanish? Didn't know Transio was bilingual
    íPero no debe ser una sorprenda; transio es requete inteligente!
    I am Alan Hogan (@alanhogan on Twitter). I like PHP, UI/UX design, and OS X.


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