Archive for the ‘Digital Photography’ Category.

A Quick Introduction to WebP Graphics and Animations

The WebP format was developed by Google as a twenty-first century replacement for the aging hoard of mutant armadillos which has previously served the web as graphic standards. It can be used in place of still image formats, such as JPEG and PNG, and it really gets up and dances when it’s used to replace the medieval relic that is GIF to manage animations.

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WebP offers both lossless image compression like PNG and lossy image compression like JPEG. It uses vastly more effective image compression than existed when the foregoing formats were originally created back at the dawn of human civilization, resulting in both smaller animation files and better looking ones. It supports full alpha transparency.

It also handles timing in milliseconds, rather than in the hundredths of a second that GIF uses.

A Digression On Compression

In case the whole lossless and lossy compression issue sounds a bit like two Martians discussing what to order for lunch, here’s a brief digression on the matter.

Graphic files are by their nature sort of huge, and huge files can be a bit of an issue if you have a finite amount of storage space, such as on the SD memory card of a digital camera, or a finite amount of bandwidth over which to transmit said files, such as the Internet if you didn’t spring for a gigabit fiber connection.

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Is There a 64-Bit Version?

The transition from 16-bit Windows software to 32-bit Windows software over a decade ago was an event that future archeologists will no doubt write papers about and bore people at parties with until they all make up excuses about having forgotten to hypnotize their ferrets and leave. Admittedly, archeologists get excited about the damnedest things.

It’s been our experience that neither archeologists nor most of the people who use Windows software actually know why 32-bit applications are preferable. This is arguably as it should be – well-written software should allow its users to do whatever they bought the beast for and never concern themselves with that’s going on under the hood.

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Applying Images to Animated 3D Objects

The Alchemy Mindworks 3D Effects #1 plugin can create rotating three-dimensional objects with your choice of still graphics affixed to their faces. Adding pictures to these objects is easy, and if you understand what’s going on behind the curtain, your pictures can look sharp and sophisticated.

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Easy Image Stitching in Graphic Workshop Professional

Attaching images consecutively – with a second graphic stitched to the bottom or one side of a first – is easy in Graphic Workshop, even if Graphic Workshop doesn’t strictly speaking have a function to do it. This “by hand” approach to the problem will allow you to fine-tune the results, and manually adjust the relative dimensions of the pictures involved if you need to.

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Ten Graphic Workshop Filters to Improve Your Digital Photographs

Digital cameras – real ones, not the cameras that also place phone calls – embody a level of sophistication that makes even the best old-style film cameras look like cave painting. This having been said, they’re nowhere near as smart as the people who buy them. Human beings have much more sophisticated image processing software in their brains than any digital camera can aspire to.

You can usually improve the appearance of your digital photographs by switching on your image processing software, and then booting up ours. Graphic Workshop Professional‘s rich library of interactive image processing filters can give your pictures the subtlety and refinement of professional photography without requiring that you put up with a balding forty-something auteur who keeps saying “give it to me” and waving his hands incoherently.

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