Don't crop images, use Drupal Focal Point module

  • Tech
  • May 29 2018
  • 2 min read

Videos and illustrations, including images, are the new fad. Visual content has increasingly been garnering the attraction and largely affects the way people consume the information. And if I tell you that visual content can get you almost double the likes and shares on social media, that shouldn't be a surprise either. 

As much as it is important to include images, is it as easy, for the content creators to add and edit these images to the webpage?

Editing and styling can take up a lot of time and scaling, cropping or resizing aren't the solution every time either, since every tiny element is as important. 

What do you do in such a fix?

I suggest you use the Focal module. Among other top Drupal modules, the focal point is one. With this, you can present the image without losing onto the beauty of the image. 

One of the key benefits of the modules is to focus on the main portion of the image without giving the impression of a poorly cropped image. That's worse.

Let us read what else can this module helps us with.

When it comes to catching the attention of the user we know there is only a limited amount of time and space. As a content creator, I have many times faced the problem where cropping is not part of the solution. 

Focal Point module lets you specify the parts in an image which are important. It can be used in both cropped and original image. 

Focal Point test image with two red parrots

What does Focal Point Do?

Since the Focal Point Module has dependencies on other modules, you need to install the Crop API Module first. 

Or you can simply install the module using the following Drush command.

$ drush dl focal_point  //to download the focal point module
$ drush en focal_point  //to install and enable the focal point module

Enable it from extend. Once enabled, all the image fields on your website will allow the content creator to set a focal point by default. Interesting? Go ahead. 

The focus point of the image can be set from the content edit form after which all you need to do is upload the image. The focus can be set with both drag and drop and click.

In Drupal 8, the module has a dedicated form widget which needs to be enabled for content creators to set the focal point for a particular image.

To ease the process, the module has two main functionalities:

  1. Focal point crop
  2. Focal point crop and scale

These effects ensure that the set point is as close to the center of your image as possible. Also, it ensures that the set point is not cropped out. 

Although this module can turn out to be a good solution, it has its own flaws. It lets you decide a focal point, the part that is to be retained after the crop but, sometimes that part is not in the center.

How Does Focal Point Work?

After successfully installing the module let's try out how this module works.

Add the Styles for the image.

Go to Home → Administration → Configuration → Media → Crop Type → Set the Aspect Ratio. 

setting the aspect ratio as 1:1

setting the aspect ratio as 300*300
Go to Configuration → Image Style → Large style name → Add effect as needed. 

setting the effects with the focal point module

Select Focal point Scale and Crop and Save it.

Go to Structure → Content Type → Article → Manage from Display → Image

Select the Image and set the point as well as the default focus point too. Save the settings. 

updating the style after selecting the effect

The Focal point module is now ready to use.

Now, whenever you upload a picture you can set the focal point according to your need. You can do so by hovering the cursor and click at the point of the image which needs the focus. Save it.

preview with focal point module; Image of red fort, Delhi

And with this, you are now the owner of your content!

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