Desert Rides

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Tip: Posting Images on the Forum


Moderators: Admin1, DR1068, 9rocky

Postby Admin » Sun May 09, 2004 5:31 pm

The recommended image size for the forum is 800 x 600 maximum, under 150kb, and either JPG or GIF format. There are 3 factors to consider before posting an image on the forum:

1. File Type: There are two image formats that you will commonly see used on the internet, JPG and GIF. One is not better than the other, since they are used for different purposes. Never, I repeat, never use BMP files on the web. They have a ridiculous file size, and take dialup users an extremely long time to load. Who wants to wait 30 minutes to view a single image? For the sake of posting images on this forum, narrow your choices to JPG and GIF. PNG is another great format, which has very similar qualities to GIF, but it does have compatibility issues with older browsers, so we'd recommend against using it for the time being. When you are saving an image with most programs, it will ask you to type in a file name, and below this box is one that says "save as type". This is where you will select JPG or GIF. Now you ask, when is the right time to use JPG and when is the right time for GIF? Here are some guidelines:

Good Use:
  • Photographs
  • Game screenshots
  • Movie stills
  • Desktop backgrounds
Bad Use:
  • Windows application screenshots
  • Line art, charts, and text
  • Anywhere where fine lines or sharp color contrast is needed

Good Use:
  • Text images, line art, charts, general web graphics
  • Windows application screenshots
  • Where animations are absolutely required
  • Widespread browser support
Bad Use:
  • Photos
  • Will soon be obsolete when PNG compatibility grows

2. File Size: Another thing to consider is the image's file size. This number indicates how much space it takes up on your computer, and how long it will take to download. We would like all images to be under 150kb (which is somewhat large), but would prefer an average of about ~80kb. How can you compress your images under 150k? If you have Photoshop, you can open the image, and click File > Save For Web, and you can choose from several JPEG options (JPEG Medium setting usually works perfectly). You can view the file size for each option, and choose one that maintains the image quality while keeping the file size reasonable. If you don't have Photoshop, you can download a free Photoshop-like program called GIMP that allows JPG compression here:
(Note: Check the preview box when saving images to estimate file size)

3. Image Dimensions: We would like images to be no larger than 800 x 600px. When you dump images off of your digital camera, they are usually at least twice that size if you use a medium-high setting. This is way too large to post on the forum. To convert the image to a reasonable size, you can use Photoshop and go to Image > Image Size. Type 800 in for the width, and the height should automatically calculate. If it does not, you need to check the "Constrain Proportions" box. After doing this, use File > Save For Web, and follow the guidelines above. If you do not have photoshop, you can also use MS Paint, Microsoft Word, or the free GIMP program to shrink your images.

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