Fotoxx-21 (test release - final release is planned for Jan 2021)
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/color), 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. Images distorted by perspective (camera position) can
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 (click thumbnail) or
selected batches (click thumbnails from gallery page).
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 used. Each edit stage can be
saved separately as a file 'version'. These can be re-used to make
new versions. Prior versions or other image sources
can be "mouse painted" onto new versions or images - paint from
any source to any destination.
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
Text can be added to an image. Any font and size can be used, any
color, any angle. The text can have variable
transparency, an outline, a shadow, or an embossed effect - good
for a signature or copyright. Other basic markups are
available: lines, arrows, box, oval/circle.
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.
Albums can be made using selected images from your collection
(images are linked, not duplicated). Select images by
clicking gallery thumbnails. Arrange the images with drag and
drop. Albums can be made into slide shows. Choose
animated transitions between images, pan and zoom effects, and
places to auto-pause for narration.
Fotoxx includes a comprehensive user manual that also serves as
interactive help (press F1 while using any function in
Fotoxx). 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, 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
...) (replace with surroundings)
- Fix red eyes with one click per eye
- Multiple tools to improve image quality:
remove fog/haze, boost local
contrast, edit brightness distribution, shift or increase
- 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.
- Remove general blur or motion blur using
- Area Rescale: select an area to freeze and
rescale the rest of the image.
- Add text - variable font, size, angle,
transparency, shadow, emboss effect.
- Add other markups: lines, arrows, boxes,
circles/ovals. Resize, drag.
- RGB color planes can be selected, edited,
pasted to same or other 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.
- Cycle desktop wallpaper image using an album
or any folder with images.
- Custom keyboard shortcuts can be assigned to
- Comprehensive user guide and context help
popups via F1 key.
Fotoxx needs a strong computer (4+ CPU cores, 16+ GB memory).
64-bit Linux is required. Lesser 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. 200 megapixel
images can be edited on a computer with 16 GB RAM. 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
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 2-4 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 instantaneous.
Tags, etc. are stored inside the images using EXIF and IPTC
standards. They can be shared with other
standards-compliant photo programs.
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
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 thumbnails.
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
Search Images by Clicking on a Map
Click on a map location to instantly see all
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
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 automatically blended out.
Copy and Paste Selected Areas
Drag into position, resize,
edit colors, etc.
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
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
Other tools to auto-improve images:
Local Contrast: bring out detail in low contrast areas
Gradients: increase low brightness gradients only
Use within selected areas for local optimizations.
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
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
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
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
Remove Motion Blur
camera or subject motion.
The camera was panned during the exposure to create motion blur.
This was mostly removed using the Richardson-Lucy
method. Drag the mouse to indicate the blur angle and input an
estimated blur span. Vary inputs to optimize
result. For subject
motion, use Select Area to isolate the blurred subject from
the sharp background.
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 brightness level.
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
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 full size.
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
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
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 automatic. Use for
any curved image, e.g. a poster on a round column.
Use for retouching. Pick a color from the image or from a palette.
Variable brush size and transparency allow gradual
change without edge effects.
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
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
You can click on any image to get a larger popup image which can
be zoomed to any size, and disappears with another
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
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 gradients.
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 result.
Your Veteran Coder