The Images

by Joe Gillespie — Apr 1, 2000

Red Dog

Red Dog

A studio shot on a plain white background that was originally intended to be a cut-out vignette half tone. The large area of plain white and the soft shadow to the right are challenges for the JPEG format because any compression artefacts will start to show up there first.

The restricted palette makes low bit-depth GIF or PNG a possibility and allows the background to be transparent although the file size will be larger than with JPEG.

The image shown is a 6-bit (64 colour) GIF with a transparent (white) background.

Red Dog - GIF format, 6-bit (64 colours), dithered
Fireworks Magenta 18.53k
Ignite Red 15.31k
PaintShop Pro Yellow 15.48k
PhotoGIF Green 18.60k
Photoshop Light Green 15.67k
ProJPEG n/a
SmartSaver Pro Purple 16.02k
Red Dog - PNG format, 6-bit (64 colours), dithered
Fireworks Magenta 16.93k
Ignite Red 14.71k
PaintShop Pro Yellow 18.16k
PhotoGIF Green n/a
Photoshop Light Green 19.32k
ProJPEG n/a
SmartSaver Pro Purple 19.63k

Tunisian Port

Tunisian Port

A full tone photograph with lots of fine detail in the masts and rigging. Although there is a predominance of blue in the shot, allowing a restricted palette to be used, the JPEG gives format better results than the other two and at about half the file size.

The sky and clouds are the most difficult areas for both JPEG and dithered GIFs and PNGs.

Tunisian Port - JPEG format
Fireworks Magenta 11.76k
Ignite Red 11.95k
PaintShop Pro Yellow 11.95k
PhotoGIF Green n/a
Photoshop Light Green 11.93k
ProJPEG Blue 11.95k
SmartSaver Pro Purple 12.51k

Sun Arch

Sun Arch

A very stylised photograph that I originally used as a posterised illustration. The large areas of flat colour make the choice between a JPEG and GIF or PNG more difficult.

The JPEG version was slightly smaller than the other two but required a low degree of compression to keep the flat areas from going blotchy.

Sun Arch - JPEG format
Fireworks Magenta 13.27k
Ignite Red 16.07k
PaintShop Pro Yellow 13.49k
PhotoGIF Green n/a
Photoshop Light Green 15.89k
ProJPEG n/a
SmartSaver Pro Purple 16.76k

Big Deal

Big Deal

This image is well suited to low bit-depth GIF or PNG. If saved as a JPEG, even the lowest compression displays artefacts on the sharp edges and requires a file that is three times bigger than it needs to be.

Big Deal - GIF format, 4-bit (16 colours), not dithered
Fireworks Magenta 3.16k
Ignite Red 2.97k
PaintShop Pro Yellow 2.98k
PhotoGIF Green 3.18k
Photoshop  3.08k
ProJPEG n/a
SmartSaver Pro 2.99k
Big Deal - PNG format, 4-bit (16 colours), not dithered
Fireworks Magenta 2.85k
Ignite Red 2.45k
PaintShop Pro Yellow 2.52k
PhotoGIF Green n/a
Photoshop Light Green 3.72k
ProJPEG n/a
SmartSaver Pro Purple 2.86k

Simple Headline

Simple Headline

This is the type of image that works best in GIF format. With only one foreground colour and one background colour plus the anti-aliased fringe, it only needs 3 bits (8 colours) and gives a very small file size.

Note that these graphs are at a larger scale than all the others.

Simple Headline - GIF format, 3-bit (8 colours), not dithered
Fireworks Magenta .91k
Ignite Red .81k
PaintShop Pro Yellow .89k
PhotoGIF Green .88k
Photoshop Light Green .84k
ProJPEG n/a
SmartSaver Pro Purple .87k
Simple Headline - PNG format, 4-bit (16 colours), not dithered
Fireworks Magenta .88k
Ignite Red .81k
PaintShop Pro Yellow .78k
PhotoGIF Green n/a
Photoshop Light Green 1.22k
ProJPEG n/a
SmartSaver Pro Purple .91k
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