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Optimizing images in JPG format

So, the graphics for your pages is ready. But it is too early to lay it on the server, because if pages load long thata��s surely not for the good. So this article focuses on optimizing images in JPG.

This format stores the image in color depth 24bpp (TrueColor) and uses compression with information loss. It does not offer too many ways of optimization, but rather one: choose the best ratio for compression.

To implement this optimization a graphic package is needed allowing to adjust image compression setting. Unfortunately, PhotoShop in the base configuration does not allow to freely adjust the degree of compression (it offers a range of fixed values). It is possible to find modules, specially connected for the operation. To optimize the graphics it is better to use programs like PhotoPaint or PaintShopPro. When using these programs compression degree may be regulated either by setting compression loss, or by setting quality values from 0 to 255.

How to determine the optimal degree of compression?

To do this, save the image at several compression ratio, and then look closely at it. The criterion of quality loss will be so-called “feeble outlines”, most notable in areas of contrast transitions, and stains in areas with smooth transitions. The compression ratio at which the distortion is not visible, but by increasing ratio it becomes visible will be the optimal one. File size at this resolution will be minimal without quality loss.

If such operations are conducted with each photo, it may take too much time. But there is a way out – all pictures can be classified into several subtypes (e.g., black-and-white photos, tinted photos, landscapes, etc.) and optimal rate for each subtype may be chosen.

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