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Techniques > Image Optimization

Image Optimization

GIF—Graphical Interchange Format

The Principle of a CLUT

How Does GIF Compress?

Balancing Compression with Quality

LZW Pattern Recognition

GIF Comparison Table

Dithering Comparison Chart

The Lossy Option

Creating GIFs

Optimizing a CLUT

Step by Step: Optimizing a GIF

Creating Custom (Master) Palettes

Weighted Optimization

Applying Lossy to Part of an Image

Dithering Part of an Image

Creating Effective Alpha Channels

Simulating Multiple Levels of Transparency

JPEG—Joint Photographic Experts Group

How Well Does JPEG Compress Images?

The Correlation of Compression and 8-By-8-Pixel Blocks


Quality Differences Among JPEG Decoders

How a JPEG is Encoded

Improving Compression with Blurring

Optimizing Savings through an Alpha Channel

JPEG Comparison Charts

PNG—Portable Network Graphic Format

Comparing PNG, GIF, and JPEG File Sizes

Saving PNG Images

Optimization is a major part of Web design. Even if you work in a large agency where you have a specialist doing the optimization, it is still important to know the problems and challenges. Only this way you can come up with a design that later works. Despite the fact that more and more people surf the Internet with DSL or Cable modems, many users still access the Web with 56 K modems, particularly people who travel and use their laptops. The importance of image optimization is probably going to become even more important in the coming years, due to the many handheld devices that can access the Web. These devices have speeds of less than 14 KB, which imposes even more restrictions on Web designers. However, it is fair to assume that this field will become huge. Given the increase in cell phones with Internet connection, I wouldn’t be surprised if one day most people access the Web from a portable device. But even if that is never the case, what is safe to predict is that optimization is going to be the field with the most growth. Adobe already supports this area by offering the WBMP image format in the Save for Web dialog box. GoLive even has a special preview mode that simulates the display of a cell phone. Any Web designer who wants to stay ahead of the game should look into this. Ironically, issues that seemed to have disappeared, like optimizing images for 256-color displays, are coming back. So welcome back to the future.



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