Image processing without custom scripts and cron jobs

  • industry
    Graphic design
  • headquarters
    Los Angeles, USA
  • employees
  • tenure
    8 months
Moodzer is a SaaS application that help interaction designers and graphic designers create image moodboards for their work. Moodzer uses Uploadcare to generate image thumbnails and analyze image color patterns to implement a “search images by color” features.

Started in 2013 by Trevor Greenleaf, Moodzer lets graphic designers and interaction designers create and share mood boards to assist in their work. These mood boards are collages of images centered around a particular theme or style and are used to help designers convey visual ideas.

Simply put, Moodzer is an application built entirely around images. It’s functionality and interface both primarily deal with the manipulation of large sets of them. This singular focus creates a need for extensive image processing.

Two of the core image-processing tasks required by Moodzer are generating thumbnails and and extracting color patterns from images. The thumbnails are used to optimize page-load times, while the color patterns are used to implement a “search by color” feature across all of the images in the system.

With a team of only two, automating this image processing is a serious challenge. Having efficient, reliable, and capable image-processing infrastructure is critical to the smooth operation of the application, but building that infrastructure is quite difficult. It takes a lot of time to do initially and requires ongoing maintenance, both of which draw development away from the application itself.

Uploadcare’s image processing functionality is built around our Smart CDN. You simply upload the assets, append the desired parameters to their URLs, and our on-the-fly image-processing system handles the rest. Using this system, Trevor implemented automatic thumbnail generation in 20 minutes.

Trevor Greenleaf, Founder
Trevor Greenleaf, Founder
The big optimization that came to mind was the thumbnail generation. You generate these low-resolution images by just changing the URL parameters. It’s literally just two different URL’s. It was amazing. Took about 20 minutes of work.

Similarly, Trevor implement their “search by color” feature using Uploadcare’s Color Recognition. Originally built on a system of custom scripts running on a cron job, Trevor trivially moved that system to Uploadcare as well.

I had written a custom script that would run on a cron that would go and analyze each image and grab the best color matches. Now, I just add a parameter to the URL, and you take care of it for me.

Ultimately, Moodzer moved all of their images and associated processing to Uploadcare. They no longer have to store their images on their own servers or process them with custom scripts running on cron jobs. They just upload the images directly to Uploadcare and add the desired parameters to their URLs.

I definitely believe, don’t build image-processing systems yourself. You save a tremendous amount of time. You can get ready to go in like an hour, two hours, and have Uploadcare completely integrated with your product.