WELCOME TO YOUR CLIENT SITE.
Still Photos Guide
Photos are used in many places in a presentation, as pieces of content and parts of the interface. In order to have the best resultant output, we need the purest input. This document discussed the forms of photos desired/required for a presentation application and how the photos are treated during the content integration process.
In Order of Preference:
- PNG, 1024x1024px or greater
- JPEG, 100% Quality, Baseline Standard, 1024x1024px or greater, 8-bit, RGB Mode
- JPEG, whatever quality you have, 1024x1024px or greater, 8-bit, RGB Mode
- TIFF, 1024x1024px or greater, 8-bit, RGB Mode
- JPEG, whatever quality you have, whatever size you have, 8-bit, RGB Mode
- GIF – Only supports 256 colors—not useful as a photo
- Photos smaller than 475px x 475px – approaches the full-size image used in most presentations.
Photos below “original” are generally undesirable, but at this size, they are ill-suited to use in the presentation as full-size images.
Why Format and Size Matter
The Content Editor stores photos at the maximum size that Flash can display: 2880px x 2880px. If a photo is imported that is larger, it scales it down.
The engine then uses these “source” images to allow variations to be created. These variations are scaled to different sizes, as needed for different places in the presentation, then are unsharpened, compressed, and saved.
Images are requested in as uncompressed a form as possible because they will be recompressed during the variation-creation process. Starting with a significantly compressed or treated image will result in unrecoverable lower quality in the presentation.
How Photos Are Used in a Presentation
Each photo may be used in several different places in the presentation, from a full-stage background image, to a full-size media item for a building or topic, to a thumbnail, and several variations in-between. When supplying a photo to be used in a video, it is sequenced with video. The better the image provided, the better the results.
Where Does Cropping Occur?
The Content Editor (Content Editor) crops photos for use in various places in the presentation. It contains the tools to crop, enhance, and save each and every photo. Pre-cropping a photo is unnecessary. Supplying a photo for each variation is unnecessary; those variations have no way to be inserted into the Content Editor.
Once the content has been inserted into the Content Editor and the data files have been delivered along with training provided, a client may edit photo crops. If a cropped version of a photo can be provided without significantly reducing pixel dimensions of the supplied image, then that may occur, but is not suggested or preferred.
About Different Image Formats
Lossy vs. Lossless
It is all about preserving image data.
Lossy compression sacrifices color, definition, and other factors to achieve a smaller file size, and is usually measured in percentages. JPEG is the most prevalent lossy compression format.
Lossless compression uses non-destructive techniques to lower the file size, and is either on or off. There are no gradations of lossless compression, just different kinds. TIFF is the most prevalent format for lossless compression.
Tagged Image Format. Literally an image that can be encoded many ways, but has “tags” in the image that delineate certain values. The standard has been around for awhile, and as a result has seen many permutations. It is possible that a TIFF could be in so bizarre a format that it cannot be read. However, it is a standard for high-quality imagery.
TIFFs are preferred because they achieve a lossless image quality. They produce the largest of the requested file sizes. The intent of requesting a TIFF is to receive a lossless file. Do not convert another format into a TIFF simply because it is requested (unless that format isn’t otherwise specified here).
Portable Network Graphic. Developed as a way to express simple colors only (as in GIF files) as well as complex photos (like JPEGs), but mostly to avoid any licenses issues with existing companies. It is a lossless format. Not nearly as common in the artistic or publishing community as TIFFs, but just as useful.
The intent of requesting a PNG is to receive a lossless file. Do not convert another format into a PNG simply because it is requested (unless that format isn’t otherwise specified here).
Photoshop native file format. Usually, images that are provided in photoshop format are lossless, though it is certainly possible to import a lossy JPEG (or other format) into Photoshop and save it as a PSD. The intent of requesting a PSD is to reduce the work on the part of the client if an image is already a PSD. Do not import an image into photoshop and save it as a PSD if it is not already one.
Joint Picture Experts Group file. A lossy compression format intended for the exchange of photographs. While a very good compression scheme, it does not deliver the best photo quality, and often leaves compression artifacts where detail once existed. 100% quality is requested if a photo must be a JPEG, but most JPEGs are typically 70-80% of their original quality. Even 100% quality still incurs some loss on the photo. Do not try to convert an existing JPEG to 100%. If you have a JPEG image, the best you can do is try to go back to the source image. If the source image is a JPEG, then that is the best that is available. Each time a JPEG is saved as a JPEG, it has the chance of losing more image quality.
Digital Negative / Raw
A digital negative or camera raw format is usually a direct dump from a camera’s image sensor, saved to a special file format. Normally, even the most professional digital cameras process a photo significantly before saving it as a JPEG or TIFF. The camera “makes decisions” about contrast curves, white balance, exposure compensation, shadows, highlights, camera distortion, color noise, and dozens of other criteria. Once these factors have been applied to flat image file, they cannot be adjusted as completely as when they are “fresh” from the camera’s image sensor.
Digital negative formats capture each of the camera’s colors and store them separately, along with other details the camera recorded at the time of capture. Programs like Photoshop and camera-specific applications (and even a standalone converter made by Adobe) can interpret these files and give all the control of the final image to the user.
It is helpful for a client to have a digital negative for their own records. In the absence of uncompressed or well-preserved source material, they are an excellent fall-back position, but there is a significant labor “cost” of newly processing digital negative / raw files. Ideally, a client would create a TIFF or PNG from a Raw file before supplying for use in the presentation. However, if a client wants to improve the quality or tone of an image, it is possible to return to the Raw file to make adjustments.
There are hundreds of image types available, many of which might be good substitutes for the ones specified here. Formats mentioned in this document are simply the best candidates for images that may already exist.
If a client finds that they have an alternate image format, it is best to discuss it before converting it to one of the specified formats. It is always important to have as-source-an-image-as-possible.
For Commissioned Shoots (Paid New Shoots)
If a shoot is being done by a non-NimblePitch team member, insist that your photos be captured and delivered in Raw or Digital Negative format. These is like exposed, but undeveloped film. It gives you the maximum versatility with future use.
If the photographer offers (or is required to) create a “fully developed” image or supply “finished” images, a Digital Negative photo won’t capture the extra work that the photographer must execute to perfect the photo, and so it is worthwhile to have the photographer deliver a TIFF of the finished file, but also deliver the Digital Negative.
Do’s and Don’ts
- Do provide an image as close to the source image as possible
- Don’t convert an alternate format of image to one of the prescribed formats before consulting NimblePitch.
- Don’t provide a smaller version of a larger image because it is easy to copy or transmit
- Don’t worry about DPI. On-screen all images are based on pixel dimensions. DPI is only a factor in print.
- Don’t assume that supplying an image for a presentation is like supplying an image for conventional website—not all the same rules apply for preparation.
- Do supply only the images that you’d like to see in your presentation.