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Graphics, Color, and Transparency

You will work with several fi les from the web05lessons folder in this lesson. Make sure you have loaded the web lessons folder onto your hard-drive from See “Loading lesson fi les” in the Starting Up section of this book. The examples throughout this lesson use Adobe Photoshop, but there are other applications you can use for cropping, scaling, saving, and retouching images.

Optimizing graphics for the web

Optimizing refers to the preparation of images for use on the web. The goal of optimization is to reduce the fi le size of the image for faster downloading, without compromising the quality of the image. Ultimately, you may have to reduce the quality of your images so they are small enough to be downloaded and viewed quickly; in many cases, it is more important to have a speedy download than to make the user wait for beautiful (but large) image fi les.

Selecting the best image format

When saving an image that you will use on the web, you need to consider two factors: the quality and size of the image fi le. When you are saving a fi le, you must fi and a balance between the quality you want and the download speed your viewers demand. In this section, you will look at diff errant fi le formats and decide on a format for the picture you just resized; the following example uses the Save for web & Devices feature in Adobe Photoshop.

Choosing the best fi le format for your image

Throughout this lesson, you will have the opportunity to save images in each of the major fi le formats: JPEG, PNG, and GIF. You will also see the diff ernes between the formats and when to use each.

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We strongly recommend that you sharpen an image after you resize and it Photoshop because it can become blurry. The Unshar Mask fi later is a great tool for sharpening images. The following fi gruel shows the image before and after you apply the filter.

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