Posts tagged ‘PNG’

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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An Introduction to Alpha-Channel Animations

While its sounds like a fragment of dialog from a 1980s science fiction flick shot on a budget in an unnamed eastern European country, alpha channels are actually a profoundly useful feature of graphics… as long as you know what they’re really up to.

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Intermediate Files for Animation Wizard

In building animation with GIF Construction Set’s Animation Wizard, you’ll need to create source art as still image files. It’s not immediately obvious which of the formats imported by Animation Wizard will result in the most attractive final animations, and the two most obvious ones – GIF and JPEG – turn out to be the two worst choices.

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