Digital Photo Crop Overlay (D-PCO)

Software for aiding artistic composition

Stephen Roxburgh, September 2017

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D-PCO is a small utility program that displays a moveable, sizable and transparent grid on a computer screen. I wrote this as an aid to cropping and composing digital photographs, but the various grids and guides can be overlain onto any image displayed on a computer screen. The program DOES NOT add grids or guidlines to image files - it is simply a visual tool for aiding composition.

The program has 16 pre-defined overlays, including the 'rule of thirds', regular grids, and a range of overlays based on the golden ratio, including the Fibonacci spiral. The aspect ratio can be locked to a number of common formats (e.g. 1x1, 6x4, 7x5, A4, Letter, etc.) or the frame can be adjusted 'freeform'.

Windows XP or greater.

The program is provided as a single executable file, and requires no installation. Simply download and run.

When executed the program will display the grid on the screen, together with the control menu. To move the grid, simply click anywhere within the interior and drag. To re-size, simply click and drag one of the corners.

The mouse wheel can also be used to resize (roll backwards and forwards) and rotate (roll backwards and forwards whilst pressing the left mouse button).

The control menu functionality is described below.

(A) Aspect ratio drop-down selector
A number of pre-defined aspect ratios are available, or the frame can be re-sized freeform

(B) Overlay grid options
Select from a number of overlays. For some selections, such as a regular grid, the number of drawn lines can be changed using the '# Lines' selector. The line width can be changed with the 'line width' selector, and the line colour by clicking on one of the 16 coloured squares.

Golden section grid (the number of divisions is selectable).

'Rule of thirds' grid.

A regular n x n grid (the number of divisions is selectable).

The Fibonacci (Golden) spiral

Dynamic symmetry guides

Centre marker

Variations on the golden section.

Extra overlays, marking the image centre (either diagonally or horizontally), and a phi grid.

Rotate the overlay left/right, and reset.

Add a new overlay.

(C) Dispay options
The frame can be displayed either in portrait or landscape, and the pattern can be flipped either horizontally or vertically.

(D) Program control
The 'Hide/Unhide button can be used to temporally hide the overlay - useful for gaining access to the underlying image. Note that the grid must be visible for the menu to be enabled again.
The program can be terminated with 'Exit'.

Download -->
Simply dowload and unzip the single executable file, and run

Licence: Freeware. No guarantees. No responsibility.


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