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Aargh, picture quality!


Ellie Oddenfen
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For some reason I can't see, some of my pictures for products on the marketplace are much better quality then others. Some are blurred and pixellated. I've tried everything- switching picture format, size, compression, ect, and I can't figure out what makes the difference! Can anyone explain it for me?

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The resolution the initial picture was taken at is key along with the initial save of the picture.  Using my native resolution for my monitor and the capabilities of my video card as an example lets say you do the snapshot at 1600 x 900 pixels and save that snapshot at PNG.  Both the resolution and the format would give quite high quality for the image that you saved.  Now, in order to focus the image on your creation you crop 75% of the image out (background or distractiing parts of the picture) and to get the image back to a size you want you have to double the cropped image's size ...........you've lost 50% of the image quality.  There are 1600 pixels horizontally and 900 pixels vertically for the entire image and cropping, then upsizing you are cutting in half the pixels that make up the final image..........your software interpolates (or approximates) the pixels that are missing giving you a lower quatlity final image.  Once the pixels are gone they can never be regained.  Then if you save the initial picture to a lossy format like JPEG you also lose quality because that's what the format does......it removes pixels to reduce the file size.  Using the default save compression for my image editing sottware (GIMP) the default is 80% which means you lost 20% of the quality.

To get around this I suggest you zoom in as tight as possible for your snapshot  so that any cropping is always at a minimum (ideally none at all) and save to a lossless format such as PNG, TGA and, you are on a Windows maching BMG.......avoid JPEG.  You can reduce the size of an image and retain quality much easier than increasing the size (to a point.........a drastic reduction in size will degrade the quality too).

 

Editing:

Zanara I didn't mean to respond to your post but to Ellie.  Your response is spot on.

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The marketplace turns images into jpgs, even if they're already jpgs, so you get a second helping of compression defects. Some colours are hit by this more than others. Red areas will pretty much always blur and turn pixelly. I had to change the colour of my store banner due to that.

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If you uploaded the picture as JPEG it will look okay to you on your monitor.  But then when you post it again on Marketplace it gets a second save at JPEG (and probably at a high compression setting to boot).  It's similar to seeing the world through a slightly dirty pair of eyeglasses and everything looks okay (it could be better but quite acceptable) then someone hands you another pair of very dirty eyeglasses and throws yours away...........not so good now.  Always save at uncompressed formats and upload at an uncompressed format.  Then when when the image is compressed for display on Marketplace you only have that single degradation of the image due to compression.  PNG, TGA, and BMP (for Windows machines) are all uncompressed formats (lossless).  PNG and TGA are universal formats that every system platform can display.

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