Optimizing You JPEG Formats

Phalaenopsis_JPEGCompressing image files has become a necessity due to the constrained space of hard drives, flash disks, and web hosters. This is because a common text file is comparatively smaller than an image file; an 800×600 24 bit color image file will usually take up 1.37 MB of space, and those are just small ones. One of the more popular formats to save a compressed image is JPEG which usually has an extension name of .JPG or .JPEG. It can achieve compression ratios of 10:1 with practically no lose in image quality.

There are two options with which you can compress your JPEG files. They refer to the same thing but are polar opposites of each other. Saving the file at 60% quality will mean a compression of 40%. Depending on the program you use, you will find either of these two options, but the results will always be the same: more quality will mean less compression and vice-versa.

Different programs also have different quality scale. By saving an image at 55 to 60 quality in Photoshop, it will look and have the same file size of other softwares saved at 80%. Also, never get tempted to save an image at 100% quality because this is not the highest possible quality rather it is the mathematical optimization limit, which will give you an unreasonably big file. Save the image at 95% quality for optimal results. This will be enough to prevent loss in quality and will produce the smallest file size for that quality.

Besides those options, some programs such as Paint Shop Pro and Corel Photo Paint allows you to choose the type of image downsampling or subsampling. A subsampling of 4:4:4 means that the image is not subsampled, 4:2:2 is standard subsampling, and 4:1:1 produces the lowest quality downsampling, although rarely used.

Aside from these tools, you can also optimize your image file by changing how the image data is stored . JPEG format is stored in a 8×8 pixel block and by saving the image exactly within the image block, it will produce a sharper image and save you a couple of MBs in the process. You will be able to see this if you set the JPEG quality parameter to low.

When a JPEG image is saved the image will be divided into blocks of 8×8 pixels. Each block will then be optimized independently. The image will look fuzzy if it does not fit exactly into the pixel block. Also, by adjusting the image right into the pixel blocks, you are decreasing the number of 8×8 blocks used up by the file. This way, the file will be save in to smaller size.

By doing these tips, you will be able to save up on disk space or web space when uploading your images. Every KB is precious due to the limited space it offers, and by effectively decreasing the size, even by a couple of KBs and not sacrifice any quality is well worth it.

Beautiful Vexel Art

vixelart

The term vexel art was coined by Seth Woolley while he was still a technical contributor of the now non-existent popular teenage message board Nova Boards. He coined the term to describe images that look like vector graphics but are an entirely pixel based form of raster images. Its popularity stems from the fact that it actually requires little skill in drawing.

Computer images and displays are often made up of pixels, small dots that when put together and viewed as a whole will show you a designated picture or image. The smaller and closer the dots are to one another, the better will be the quality of the image. But to do this, the image will have to be stored as a bigger file. Generally when the picture is zoomed in, the pixels will become more and more distinct and the image gradually deteriorates. Images such as these are generally done by raster programs and the images are usually called raster graphics.

On the other hand, vector art is the use of geometrical shapes such as lines and points but are represented as mathematical equations to create the computer generated image. Since the data is stored as a mathematical sequence the picture is scalable and will not pixelate even up close. This is of great advantage since you can print the vector image unto a sheet of paper and reproduce the same image unto a billboard without worrying about the quality. And since the file is stored in numbers, it can be easily modified so as to add or remove detail. Vector images are known for their crisp and quality texture. Even so, there are cases where in raster or pixel images are used while sometimes vector images will be more handy—as it is a case to case basis. Continue reading “Beautiful Vexel Art”

The New Super Theme for WordPress!!!

I have just released my pride and joy, the WordPress Super Theme called MoneyMasters! It is stuffed with all kinds of powerful options like customization of the look and feel, the colors and powerful custom SEO settings for each post.

Watch this video to see what it looks like and how it works:

YouTube Preview Image

See the demo here: Demo

Click here to go there now!

Getting a Deal on Adobe Suite

adobe_logoI’ve been doing a bit of research on getting me the Adobe CS4 Design Premium for the iMac that is in my future and I found out that I could get a nice discount in my situation.

A while ago, I bought Photoshop CS3 from a lady that I found on craigslist. I got it at a good deal, only $200. The other day, while looking at one of the iMacs at BestBuy, the sales guy told me that I could “trade in” my existing Windows Adobe software for credit towards the Mac version. That was great news for me, because I was going to shell out $1799 for the suite.

I called Adobe and asked them about it and they confirmed it. With my Photoshop for Windows, I get a $400 discount.

Soo, I say go out and find some used Adobe software to trade in for a discount.

But beware!!! Make sure the software you buy is genuine and has not been upgraded from. I would actually recommend calling Adobe before you buy with the serial number to make sure they will allow it.

Been a Busy Week

wp

Hey guys and girls, I am sorry for neglecting the blog this week. It’s been super busy with more and more web design jobs coming in. Hopefully I will get some time next week to post some updates.

Lately, I’ve been working on a lot of custom WordPress themes, I find them a lot of fun actually. The more I try to challenge my knowledge of WordPress the more I find out I can do with it. It ‘s an amazing piece of software. Almost anything is possible with this thing, you can make it do so many things using the hooks that are built into WordPress, you just need to tap into them to take control of it. See, there I go, way too exciting. lol, I know I’m such a nerd, someone already told me that. :)

I’ve also been working on a premium WordPress Super Theme that I will be releasing for sale soon. It will beat the socks of any other theme that is available out there. It’s super easy to use and has lots of extra options that you don’t get in a regular “premium” theme. I’ll keep you updated on this as I get ready to launch it.

Until next time,

~Valiik.

Thinking About Seriously Going To Be Switching From PC To Mac

imac

I’ve been a PC since 2000 and am very comfortable with it but as the work load increases I find myself fighting with this machine more and more. With having to have Dreamweaver, Photoshop, Outlook, FireFox (with 3 or 4 tabs open), and Pandora running at the same time and juggling between 3 or 4 files in Photoshop the PC I’m on just doesn’t have the muscles to perform.

I’ve used a Mac before and liked the performance but getting used to it is a whole different story. However, what is encouraging is that I’ve been through this kind of switch before on a smaller scale. I switched from IE to FireFox. I’ve dreaded having to do that for a long time before one day making a decision and getting rid of the IE icon from my task bar, replacing it with FireFox. I have not looked back since, FireFox is great! Now I am hoping that the PC to Mac switch will be just as smooth.

I am going to get me one of these new iMacs. I hear that they are pretty good for my kind of work. I know many of you will say I should go with the Mac Pro but those start at $2,500 and I just can’t afford that at this time. Plus I’ll need to buy me a Adobe Master Suite which will be a chink of cash too.

It is exciting and I can’t wait till the day this happens. First I need to get an SUV or a Van, the baby’s on her way and going to be here soon.

I have questions, have you had to switch from PC to Mac? How was the transition? What are the things I should watch out for? I would appreciate any tip. Thanks!

Soft Pastels, Beautiful Website Design

showntell

Pastel blues, greens and pinks, excellent layout and attention to detail makes Show & Tell Sale’s website very inviting, even cuddly, very clean and soft. The small edge treatment and the stitching detail at the bottom of the header area adds so much character to the page. The navigation buttons with the arrow marking the current page and the nice mouse-over effects. Make sure to scroll all the way down to check out the footer, it’s very nicely done, the white background ends right before the footer and sits on top of what looks sort of like blurry glass. This website has a perfect inspirational website design.

Source: http://www.showandtellsale.com

Another Simple One-Page Site

taptap

This one-page website looks like it has multiple pages but actually it’s all one, looks like the content scrolls behind the graphical page template to go to different sections of the page. Also, I want to mention the nice looking design. I think it’s because it has sushi incorporated in it, even though this is an iPhone app site and has nothing to do with sushi. Sushi sites get me every time ;), doesn’t everyone love sushi? Can’t go wrong with that.

Source: http://www.taptaptap.com

Beautiful, Clean, Inspirational Single Page Design

tanyamerone

Tanya Merone’s website is definitely inspirational. It sits all on one page and uses the A NAME tags for navigation. The design is very clean, simple and beautiful. I love the simplicity of the some-what narrow column, the nice little navigation buttons at the top and the section separators with the small details like the small arrow at the right side. The light blue floral background is cute and along with the logo, the colors on the website and the photo of Tanya, sets up the simple, professional and easy to work with attitude of the person behind the site.

See Tanya’s site here: Tanya Merone