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Rodgers
07-05-2003, 19:08:50
Ok, so I'm looking around for a new avatar and I get dozens of great pics that I could use - except they're all too big - usually 350 x 350 pixels etc.

So, I save them as jpg images and try and resize but no joy. Also, I dont think I can use a jpg image as an avatar either. So -

how the hell do i resize?

what format do I save them as to be able to use as an avatar?

a greatful spastic awaits any advice you can give

MDA
07-05-2003, 19:26:46
What programs do you have to manipulate them with?

Selecting Resize or Resample on most programs (Corel/Adobe) will take you where you need to go - easiest to resize by pixels and make it so both dimensions are 59 pixels or less.

Darkstar
07-05-2003, 20:58:16
Remember when resizing to use 'retain proportions' option. Otherwise, your avatar sized picture will be stretched.

I currently use ACDSee and Firehand for my graphical needs. Both are reasonably priced and good at different things. Both include editors that can resize, crop, and convert as needed.

It's best to use a *loss-less* format for your originals and editing until you are finished and ready to do your final conversion. This helps reduce information loss in your graphics while you work with it.

Don't be afraid to crop your image. Sometimes a good crop is needed to get the shrunk image to be recognizable.

FYI: Most programs that can handle jpgs should also do gifs.

Sir Penguin
07-05-2003, 21:34:55
I wrote a script that will do that. Let me see if I can find it again.

By the way, MS Paint will do it. Open the image and press CTRL-W. It only does percent, so you'll have to apply an advanced mathematical algorithm to figure out what percentage to use to shrink it to <= 60×60. Avatars can be .jpg or .gif or .png.

SP

Debaser
07-05-2003, 22:22:32
Jpegs are fine for avatars, but .gif files usually use up far less memory.

Darkstar
07-05-2003, 22:32:16
Debaser, that isn't necessarily true (gifs being smaller). It really depends on the image, pallette needs, etc. It also depends ons the settings used, the algorithms, and the desired imagine quality. I find the about 50% of the time, Gifs are smaller for storage, and the other 50% of the time, Jpegs are.

Sean
07-05-2003, 22:38:48
Up with PNGs! Down with GIFs!

Debaser
07-05-2003, 22:41:52
Originally posted by Darkstar
Debaser, that isn't necessarily true (gifs being smaller). It really depends on the image, pallette needs, etc. It also depends ons the settings used, the algorithms, and the desired imagine quality. I find the about 50% of the time, Gifs are smaller for storage, and the other 50% of the time, Jpegs are.

Hense my use of the word "Usually". I know it's all relative to the image/set-up/whatever, but .gif's usually default to 256 colours where as jpegs usually use as many as possible unless you tell them otherwise, thus making them larger.

Rodgers
08-05-2003, 11:17:13
Sounds like the problem I have is a lack of software - only been using Microsoft Paint. Given that I want to use the PC for photography ("say no more") I suppose I should get a decent programme - Photoshop? Thats the only name I know but I think it's well out of date by now isnt it? Any suggestions?

Scabrous Birdseed
08-05-2003, 11:36:01
Adobe Photoshop is still the world leader, but prohibitively expensive. I'd suggest JASC Software's Paint Shop Pro as a good alternative with a great free trial.

Debaser: You can't tell a JPEG to use less colours- and it doesn't matter anyway. JPEG is a lossy compression system, and stores data in patterns rather than colours. JPEGs will nearly always be smaller if you use a number of colours above, say, 25, and certainly compress photographs much better. The only reason to use GIFs is if you've got really, really simple line art or something where the edges are incredibly important.

(If you don't believe me, experiment with the optimisation wizards in PSP!)

protein
08-05-2003, 11:42:39
I'll second Scabby on Photoshop. I use it every day.

You could PM the picture to someone to crop for you. I would do it but I won't get the time on the internet later.

Scabrous Birdseed
08-05-2003, 11:45:43
I find PSP just as decent for most everyday tasks, and better for at least a couple (moiré pattern removal, for instance).

Rodgers
08-05-2003, 11:58:44
Ok, whats the defienition of cheap and expensive here? Can I get this stuff free anywhere on the net?

Scabrous Birdseed
08-05-2003, 13:44:45
Paint Shop Pro has a fully-functional 60-day free trial which you can then, er, "register" for "$90". Ehum.

zmama
08-05-2003, 13:58:56
Photoshop also has a stripped down version for home use called Photoshop elements....priced the same as Paint shop.

Nevertheless, try Irfan view for free (forever)from downloads.com (http://download.com.com/3000-2192-10180889.html?tag=lst-0-1)

It will handle straight forward resizing and very basic tweeking.

Debaser
08-05-2003, 15:35:09
You will be able to download Photoshop from any Kazza style network. I'm not sure what the latest version is, but anything higher than (and including) Photoshop 5.5 will be fine for most operations.

MDA
08-05-2003, 19:27:15
...but that would be stealing! Not that there's anything wrong with stealing from people that have a lot of money... hey, wait just a minute!

I've found PS Elements to be more than sufficient for my day to day work. I can access the full version if I need it on one of the departmental, "special" computers.

zmama
08-05-2003, 20:02:46
Just about all that the full version does that PS elements doesn't is pre-press processing. Elements is a bit easier to use for the novice (red-eye removal is easier). Real photoshop can be daunting for someone that just wants to adjust some snap shots.

I also thought we were talking legal software...oh, well...sigh

Debaser
08-05-2003, 21:00:21
Sssshhh, if nobody get hurt then it isn't a crime, right?

Qaj the Fuzzy Love Worm
09-05-2003, 03:30:05
I'm surprised noone has mentioned The GIMP, available for Linux and Windows. Not sure about Mac, but then, who cares? :) The GIMP is 100% free. I recently installed it on my Win98 installation. Looks quite nice, especially for the price.

Sir Penguin
09-05-2003, 03:42:32
I was going to mention the GIMP, but I've filled my quota of open source slathering for this week.

Not many people claim that the GIMP is better than (or as good as) Photoshop, but it aims toward Photoshop's quality. In other words, it tries to fill the void left in people who can't afford Photoshop and don't want to break the law.

I'm sure you could compile the GIMP on a Mac. :)

SP

Bob
09-05-2003, 07:19:17
I got Photo Impact 8 SE from my ISP as a gimmick for the LM webspace. I also got "Corel Draw Essentials" which was cheap and it's OK

http://www.corel.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=Corel/Products/productInfo&id=1042152774096&did=1042153079054

Darkstar
09-05-2003, 20:45:16
Every digital camera I've bought has come with some form of graphic editor. Some have been pretty decent.

Rodgers, once you are out of the realm of freeware, the average cost of a graphics editor/manipulator is $99.

Humm... I used to use LViewPro, before I migrated to Firehand and ACDSee. It's a good shareware cropper/converter (basic graphic manipulator).

My girlfriend really likes Jasc PSP. She is doing a lot of photo manipulation (restoring her parent's old photos). My mother utilizes many different graphics programs, but then, she is a professional computer graphics artist. Her mainstays seem to be Adobe Paintshop and Jasc Paintshop Pro though.

It really depends on what you want to do, Rodger. Just making avatars, you don't need much. A basic manipulator that will let you crop, resize, and save/convert a few formats. If you are looking to do some serious photo manipulation and graphics creation, you'll be looking for one of the top line apps or suites.