1. vBulletins uploader is rubbish, I need something like your flash uploader so people dont assume their pc is broken when uploading a large image. It'd be nice to change the background color and fonts in the uploader..is that kind of thing possible?
You can try and edit the flashuploader.css file to see if you can modify it as you wish. That code is not released or supported by us.
2. we need multiple verisons of each image, in varying sizes.im not sure 3 is going to be enough...if the orignal files are available then I think it's only a small step to creating these...especially if the image files are delivered back to <img> tags in a similar fashion to vb (ie in a php script, with hooks?)..is that how your system works?
The images are actually images created on disk through the use of an image processor like imagemagick or gd much like vb attachments so if your trying to create sizes that simply do not exist in the default code you would need to modify code at your own leisure.
Photopost images have specific paths like so
3. we need to make the orignal files available to a selected user group, but not anyone else. Again it is vbs upload method that is causing me problems here. Is your system going to cause me similar problems?
If you use the flash uploader you will by pass php restrictions. As stated if you dont want to resize a file down to keep originals you can do that if you use vbgallery. Photopost has way more options but I think if you want originals kept no matter what size restrictions you set vbgallery might be more suited to you as you can set usergroupu permissions of who can view an original but then again you lose mediums images. In vbgallery you just have thumbnails the resized image and then if you choose to save originals the original.
4. (and this is were im expecting to do some coding of my own) we need to enable some kind of tagging feature so that we say have users say "oh, there's Bob in that photo" and look at other photos containing bob. I have a tagging feature that works with user albums and pictures by pluging into a couple of vb hooks....will I be able to plug into vGalelry the same way?
You would need to modify code on your own sure. I cant answer what you must do not really something I have ever looked at personally.