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I know how to run a batch resize based on fixed width, height, or percentage... but what if I have a number of photos of all different sizes and shapes and I want them to be roughly the same size visually? I am using photoshop, but could try fireworks or some other thing, but hopefully nothing too complex.

I guess this would mean the same number of pixels in each image (as in the example image), but there may be a better ways of determining.

Max-height and max-width constraints on a percentage resize would probably suffice here as well.

Visually same size images

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"roughly the same size visually" is not a good enough specification for a batch process. Can you be more specific? –  horatio Feb 13 '13 at 22:21
    
I would think 'the same number of pixels' but there could be better ways of estimating visual similarity that I'm not aware of –  Damon Feb 13 '13 at 22:42
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You say "nothing too complex", so this might be out of the question, but ImageMagick can do this. If you're not familiar with it, it's a command line image editor, so it's great for batch processing.

Resize using a Pixel Area Count Limit
There is one final "-resize" option flag. The "at" symbol '@', will resize an image to contain no more than the given number of pixels. This can be used for example to make a collection of images of all different sizes roughly the same size. For example here we resize both our images to a rough 64x64 size, or 4096 pixels in size.

convert dragon.gif    -resize 4096@  pixel_dragon.gif
convert terminal.gif  -resize 4096@  pixel_terminal.gif

If you're not familiar with shell scripting, would Photoshop's "Fit Image" work? You can have an image fit within a given area and Photoshop will constrain the proportions. This can be automated with a script in Photoshop as well.

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I'm not opposed to command line tools if I can figure out the commands for them.. the fit image solution looks like the best compromise of results and speed for sure tho! –  Damon Feb 14 '13 at 15:41
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