Comic Talk, Tips and Tricks

Need help with file sizes...
Dr Robinson at 1:15PM, Feb. 10, 2006
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I am really enjoying sending cartoons to Drunkduck, but I'm having a serious problem with viewing quality. Sometimes the file will be too large to look at comfortably, and you have to wait a few moments for the whole picture to load. Is this normal, or should I do something to make this easier?

ALSO: I want to be able to reduce the file size preferably by just changing the file type without having to shrink the document or make the font really hard to read. What do I do?
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:14PM
Chameloncholic at 2:05PM, Feb. 10, 2006
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Could you possibly provide a link to your comic so we can see if there is something abnormal.

Also What is the actual file size you are uploading, what format is it and if you are using a save for web function what quality settings are you using?
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:39AM
Dr Robinson at 3:16PM, Feb. 10, 2006
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Oh, right, the link: www.drunkduck.com/Yellow_Snow_Community

The last comic was 1207x1786, JPEG format, and I did not think of using ‘Save for Web’. I will have to start doing that.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:14PM
Terminal at 5:03PM, Feb. 10, 2006
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You could try to lower the image size, That usually reduces the file size, and sometimes makes the line art a bit crisper.

.: Myxomatosis :.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:09PM
Black_Kitty at 5:21PM, Feb. 10, 2006
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I found that if you save it as a .jpg, it'll drastically lower the file size. I know you said you didn't want to shrink the document itself but I found that I can get it under 100k by shrinking it and using the save for web function. So maybe consider it?

.: Black Kitty :.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:23AM
Dr Robinson at 8:13PM, Feb. 10, 2006
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Actually, I just wanted to make it so I could also reduce the size of the document but still keep it legible. In the 2nd comic, I used computer font, and when that's lowered, you can barely make out what it says. But now that I see it's doable as long as you're not using computer font, it makes me feel a lot better, and it let's me have a lot more direction with my work. But I'm having a problem finding where I can save for web.

Cool icon, by the way.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:14PM
isukun at 7:17AM, Feb. 15, 2006
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If you're using photoshop, the option is under the “file” menu. Saving for web won't smooth out your artwork or text, though, it just lets you save in a format with some level of compression. Jpeg compressin is kind of lossy and I've seen some of your comics where you try to scale things down and it's very hard to read the text. Jpeg compression would likely make that worse. Alkalyne mentioned saving as a GIF or PNG file. If you save for web through Photoshop, you can set the number of colors in your exported file. This can drastically reduce your file size without losing too much quality. Since you tend to work with black and white line art, you might want to save as a 4 or 8 color GIF file.

Slow loading on your pages is due to excessive file sizes. When you have comics that are 1.5MB in size, they take longer to load. Even your more recent 300KB files are a bit big by web standards.

.: isukun :.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:03PM
mykill at 3:26PM, Feb. 15, 2006
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You're using an image size that is a standard full screen resolution. That means it'll require scrolling side to side usually, which can be a pain. Scrolling up and down is more acceptable.

I use a 500 pixel wide image, scaled in comicbook proportions. This is a fine width if your page is longer than it is wide, like a standard comic.

Here's a run down of the web image formats:

JPEG: works best for photos and paintings with many smooth transistions of color and shade. This is a destructive compression, it ruins image quality the more you optimize it. The more blurred the image, the smaller it will compress as a jpeg. Roughly how jpeg works is it makes a virtual greyscale color channel to keep the shades correct whilst it simplifies and destroys the color information.

PNG 8: this is a LOSSLESS compression scheme, alas it's 8 bit and most original art is 24 bit or greater - so you have a maximum of 256 colors to work with. It compresses to a size a bit larger than an 8 bit gif format, usually - but the image intergrity is superior. PNG features a REAL alpha channel for better transparancy effects. I use png8 for my painted comics with a 100 percent dither, my full color painted 500 pix wide pages clock in around 150k on average. If you have strong color harmony the image will feature little or no noticeable dithering.

PNG24: This is the holy grail, losslesscompression, a real alpha channel, web compable and 24 bit color (MILLIONS of colors). This is also the largest file format (my 500 pix wide full color page clocks in around 500k). As a web designer I always use this format for elements that need to be transparant and reused over many different background colors or patterns, the browser caches the image after the first download and the trnsparacy is so much better than anything else.

GIF: This is easy to understand, if your image has a lot of white space instead of counting each pixel and it's position - it says something like “all white pixels from X,Y to X1,y1”. If your image is black and white, or very few pure colors, gif will make the image smaller than anything else.

That said, saved as png 8 the image will only be a fewk larger, but it will be BETTER looking. Gif wil “interpret” a file in favor of its compression scheme so it's mildly lossy.

The PRO STANDARD: 100k or less per page is one professional standard. To get that, an image may be sliced up into different parts to be optimized separately, for example, the photos will be smallest as a jpeg - but the type will be smallest as a gif. That's why imageready and save for web offers slicing options.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:09PM
riley at 9:29AM, March 23, 2006
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JPEG is the only one i seem to be able to up load…with any luck..
PNG24 i use for things i plan to print cards and stuff…but it is to big for me to up-load…any thing that is not really small? any one else have this prob…
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:08PM

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