[The Basics of Graphics - Image]

The Basics of Graphics

| GIF File Format | JPEG File Format | PNG File Format | Graphics - Practical Applications |

Graphical images add that certain visual appeal or expression to your Web pages. Whether the image is a background image or inline image, they can certainly spice up a Web page when used properly. Images can be used in place of text or in fact can be an image of text. Pictures, Icons, buttons, lines and logos are some typical uses of graphical images. If you're interested in learning about the different types of image formats, then visit these sites:
[*] Graphic Formats for the World Wide Web
[*] The Graphics File Format Page

GIF - Graphics Interchange Format
You will find GIF images all over the Web. The main reason is that all graphical browsers support this format. Contrary to beliefs, GIF images are actually stored in a compressed format, which is a lossless compression and uncompression process.

There are two major versions of GIF; GIF87a (non-interlaced) and GIF89a (non-interlaced or interlaced). The loading of non-interlaced or interlaced images takes the same amount of time, however, there are some advantages of using interlaced over non-interlaced. One advantage is that interlaced images will quickly display a low-resolution of the image and then proceed to load three more passes of higher resolution until the full resolution of the image is displayed. This allows your visitors to get an idea of what the image is about and then they can decide whether to wait for the full resolution or move on. Another advantage of GIF89a images is the fact that you can make one of the colors transparent.

Did I mention that GIF images are limited to 256 colors? Okay, GIF images are currently limited to 256 colors.

[*] GIF Compression
[*] GIF87a Specification
[*] GIF89a Specification

JPEG - Joint Photographic Experts Group
JPEG or JPG is the second most popular image format found on the Web. There are quite a few graphical browsers that support the display of inline JPEG images. An advantage of JPEG is compression (reduction is stored size), however this type of compression is known as lossy (degradation of quality). The more the image is compressed, the more degradation of quality occurs. Another advantage of JPEG is that it supports 16 million colors.

[*] JPEG Specification

PNG - Portable Network Graphics
PNG is the new kid on the block, born out of a need for an improved image format and the fact that it is patent free. If you're interested in the technical specifications or an overview of PNG, then visit the following site:

[*] PNG (Portable Network Graphics) Specification Version 0.96
[*] PNG (Portable Network Graphics) Specification Latest Version

Graphics - Practical Applications
So now it's time to learn the "how to's" of graphical designs. Whether you create 2D or 3D images, will be up to you; you may even wish to use some of the available public domain images. Here are some sites where you find information and images to use on your Web pages:

[*] Adobe Tips & Techniques
[*] Anton's Freehand Page Tips & Tricks Index
[*] Creating Great Web Graphics by Laurie McCanna
[*] Creating High-Impact Documents
[*] Creating "Teeny Photo Icons"
[*] Creating Transparent GIF Images using LVIEW Pro
[*] Designing Web Graphics
[*] Fractal Design: Tips and Tricks
[*]GIF Animation on the WWW
[*] GIF89a Tutorial
[*] Graphics R Us: Tips and Tricks Page
[*] How I Made my Logo
[*] HTML Image Tips
[*] Inline Images FAQ
[*] JASC Web Developer's Forum
[*] Kais Power Tips and Tricks for Photoshop
[*] MetaTools University
[*] Photoshop Techniques
[*] Photoshop Tips Page
[*] Preparing Graphics for the Internet
[*] Sal's Flaming Text Effect
[*] Realm FAQ: Transparencies
[*] The Bandwidth Conservative Society
[*] Ticks on Trips (Photoshop Tips)
[*] Tom's Tips for Web Designers
[*] Transparent Background Images
[*] 3d Graphics for the World Wide Web

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Page maintained by John K. Hart, jkhart@pstbbs.com
Copyright 1996 John K. Hart
Created: April 13, 1996
Updated: October 9, 1996

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