Start learning with our library of video tutorials taught by experts. Get started

Illustrator CS4 for the Web

Comparing GIF, JPG, PNG, and WBMP files


From:

Illustrator CS4 for the Web

with Mordy Golding

Video: Comparing GIF, JPG, PNG, and WBMP files

In the world of pixel based web graphics, the most common file formats that you'll find is GIF or some people pronounce it 'JIF,' JPEG and PNG. There is also another raster format that's supported by Illustrator which is called WBMP or Wireless Bitmap. It's not nearly as popular. It's reserved for the older versions of cell phones. But in either case, let's take a look at the options that are offered for each of these file formats. I'll go to the File menu and I'll launch to Save for Web & Devices dialog box. Let's just focus right now on a 2-up version so you could see the original and also the optimized version of my artwork. I am going to go ahead and select this slice right here so we can see this Groundswell logo.
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 3m 22s
    1. Welcome
      1m 23s
    2. Understanding pixel- and vector-based web graphics
      1m 36s
    3. Using the exercise files
      23s
  2. 10m 27s
    1. Using the Web New Document Profile
      1m 56s
    2. Creating your own New Document Profiles
      1m 57s
    3. Taking advantage of web templates and content
      1m 48s
    4. Setting up a custom web workspace
      4m 46s
  3. 23m 42s
    1. Setting measurement preferences
      1m 11s
    2. Setting preview bounds
      2m 38s
    3. Setting grid preferences
      2m 18s
    4. Understanding Pixel Preview
      3m 54s
    5. Understanding anti-aliasing
      5m 3s
    6. Disabling anti-aliasing
      2m 35s
    7. Setting up color management
      6m 3s
  4. 9m 49s
    1. Comparing pixel dimension and resolution
      2m 26s
    2. Grid is good, grid is great
      4m 45s
    3. Working with multiple artboards
      2m 38s
  5. 10m 1s
    1. Understanding web-safe colors and hexadecimal
      4m 31s
    2. Pulling colors from Kuler
      1m 43s
    3. Using the Color Guide with web-safe colors
      1m 48s
    4. Converting art to web-safe or limited colors
      1m 59s
  6. 22m 5s
    1. Understanding slicing
      1m 36s
    2. Using manual slicing
      2m 16s
    3. Using object-based slicing
      2m 33s
    4. Comparing user slices and auto slices
      1m 57s
    5. Applying settings to slices
      4m 59s
    6. Defining an image map
      3m 46s
    7. Working with slices
      4m 58s
  7. 10m 45s
    1. Making text look good on the web
      2m 58s
    2. Adding reflections
      2m 42s
    3. Applying rounded corners
      1m 7s
    4. Creating dynamic text buttons
      3m 58s
  8. 19m 54s
    1. Optimizing web graphics
      2m 41s
    2. Comparing GIF, JPG, PNG, and WBMP files
      6m 38s
    3. Setting up transparency and matte
      2m 52s
    4. Adjusting image dimensions
      2m 7s
    5. Optimizing to a specific file size
      2m 27s
    6. Editing output settings
      3m 9s
  9. 4m 3s
    1. Understanding Illustrator and Flash workflows
      2m 42s
    2. Understanding SVG
      1m 21s
  10. 19m 14s
    1. Defining symbols in Illustrator
      5m 23s
    2. Editing symbols in Illustrator
      2m 19s
    3. Choosing a symbol type
      2m 7s
    4. Setting the Flash registration
      1m 23s
    5. Using 9-slice scaling
      4m 34s
    6. Defining static and input text
      3m 28s
  11. 14m 17s
    1. Setting preferences in Flash
      1m 27s
    2. Copying and pasting elements
      1m 50s
    3. Exporting entire files
      4m 35s
    4. The Save for Web & Devices dialog
      2m 58s
    5. Exporting SWF files
      3m 27s
  12. 16m 11s
    1. Converting layers to frames
      3m 17s
    2. Working with blends
      3m 11s
    3. Releasing to layers
      3m 44s
    4. Defining static layers
      2m 43s
    5. Adjusting timing
      3m 16s
  13. 11m 29s
    1. Working with Photoshop
      2m 18s
    2. Working with Acrobat Pro
      2m 54s
    3. Working with Dreamweaver
      2m 14s
    4. Working with Flash Catalyst
      4m 3s
  14. 42s
    1. Goodbye
      42s

Watch this entire course now—plus get access to every course in the library. Each course includes high-quality videos taught by expert instructors.

Become a member
Please wait...
Illustrator CS4 for the Web
2h 56m Intermediate Jan 23, 2009

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Mordy Golding demonstrates how to be more productive, efficient, and creative by taking advantage of Adobe Illustrator to create pixel-perfect web graphics and interactive Flash content. Illustrator CS4 for the Web investigates the pros and cons of pixel- and vector-based web graphics, demonstrates efficient workflows, and explores the creative options available in Illustrator. Mordy also covers design techniques, such as creating typography that works well on screen, adding reflections, and making Flash animations. He discusses new Illustrator CS4 features, including using multiple artboards, bringing art into Dreamweaver, and utilizing Flash Catalyst. Exercise files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Differentiating between pixel- and vector-based web graphics
  • Creating screen-friendly typography
  • Adding reflections
  • Creating Flash animations
  • Using multiple artboards
  • Bringing art into Dreamweaver
  • Utilizing Flash Catalyst
Subjects:
Web Web Graphics Prototyping Web Design
Software:
Illustrator
Author:
Mordy Golding

Comparing GIF, JPG, PNG, and WBMP files

In the world of pixel based web graphics, the most common file formats that you'll find is GIF or some people pronounce it 'JIF,' JPEG and PNG. There is also another raster format that's supported by Illustrator which is called WBMP or Wireless Bitmap. It's not nearly as popular. It's reserved for the older versions of cell phones. But in either case, let's take a look at the options that are offered for each of these file formats. I'll go to the File menu and I'll launch to Save for Web & Devices dialog box. Let's just focus right now on a 2-up version so you could see the original and also the optimized version of my artwork. I am going to go ahead and select this slice right here so we can see this Groundswell logo.

And let's take a look at some of the options that are available for the GIF file format. Now one of the things about the GIF file format is that it's really optimized for working with flat colors. For example logos and things like that. Any time you have gradients or photographic content, it doesn't really work that well and the reason why is because the GIF file can only contain a maximum of 256 colors. But here's the sweet thing about working with a GIF file. Of course we know that the name of the game when creating optimized web graphics is to get the best possible looking graphic but at the smallest file size. And yes, you can have a maximum of 256 colors inside of a GIF file, but the lower that you bring that number down, the smaller your file size can get.

For example take a look over here. I had this Groundswell logo and right now my file size is 9.4 k. But my Color setting is set to 256. Let me go ahead and change that to -- let's do something drastic and go down to 4. Sure, it doesn't look that great but I have also changed my file size down to 2.3. And this is really one of the great things about Save for Web. Instead of having to export this in many different formats and see what works well, I could just play with this particular setting until I get enough colors that it looks really good, but yet it also comes down in file size. For example here you can see that the logo itself looks pretty good. But the drop shadow here does not really look that great because there aren't enough colors to make that happen. So let me crank this up a little bit higher. Let's go to around 32 Colors. Now I have an acceptable drop shadow. My color looks great and I am able to save a couple of K on my image.

Let's take a look at some of the other settings available for GIF. First of all, it says here Selective. This is actually an algorithm that's used to reduce the number of colors. Now in my original, I am working with millions of colors that are right here. How do I take those millions of colors and make them fit within just 32 colors? Illustrator has several different methods to do that. Something called Selective, Perceptual, Adaptive and Restrictive. The Restrictive version only uses web safe colors. So I doubt you'll ever get anything you'll be happy with when you use that option. For the most part, I find the Selective version to be the best. What's really happening when you use Selective is Illustrator is looking at the overall graphic and it's selecting the best colors to use in order to preserve the appearance of the artwork as you've created it. Now there are also times when you go ahead and you choose to use fewer numbers of colors that Illustrator has to use some kind of dithering pattern in order to simulate those colors. Like for example notice that over here the drop shadow is really smooth while I have lots of colors to get that great gradation.

However, because I am only using 32 colors right here I start to see some artifacts in that drop shadow. By default, when you choose GIF as a file format inside of Illustrator, Illustrator use something called Diffusion Dither. However, you can choose between Pattern and Noise or you can turn off dithering all together. I don't suggest that one but there are times when depending on the colors that are used that the Noise option is better. What the Noise normally does is it adds kind of destructive pattern to that area so that you don't really see any artifacts. But I'll go back to the Diffusion setting right here. One of the really neat things about working with GIF files is that they can also have transparency settings inside of them. That means you can specify up to one color in your graphic to be transparent. We'll talk more about that in another movie.

You also have an option over here to choose Interlaced. What Interlaced does is it basically allows a large graphic to download in multiple passes. So it appears first in a web browser window as a lower res graphic and then over time it starts to res up and comes to full strength. So again because of these settings, the ability to add transparency and also the ability to limit the number of colors to save file size, the GIF file format works really great for logos or things that have flat color or even text for that matter. Now if you are dealing with something that's photographic in nature and really want to get as many colors as possible, the best format for you to choose in that case would be JPEG.

The main difference between JPEG and GIF are two things. First of all like we said before, the GIF format can only contain a maximum of 256 colors. JPEG can have millions of colors inside of it, but there is a catch. You see a GIF file saves file size by finding common areas of the same color. That's why it works great for artwork that has flat color. However, a JPEG is considered a lossy format, meaning that it basically takes a look at your artwork and it tries to find areas that may not be as important then it throws that data out of the file.

In fact, each time that you save a JPEG the quality degrades more and more. It's kind of taking a piece of artwork and making a photocopy of it and then making a photocopy of the photocopy and making a photocopy of that photocopy. Each time you make another copy of it, the artwork just does not look great. That being said, you can see a tremendous amount of file savings when working with JPEG and again it's mainly beneficial to be used on photographic content. When you do choose the JPEG option, you could choose exactly how much quality you would like to keep in that particular image. For example, a low quality image will store a lot more information out of the file.

It won't look that great. For example take a look over here; you can see lots of artifacts in the artwork. But you really get a large file savings. For higher quality, go ahead and choose something like very high or maximum. It will look great, but you may be faced with a larger file size. Here at the maximum level for example, it says over here 25k. That's a pretty big difference from the 3k option that we saw when we chose the low version. There are two other options here that are important to know about. Progressive is the same thing like interlacing was with GIF. It basically allows the file to be downloaded over time. There is also an option to include an ICC color profile with your artwork. I don't recommend this because not only does it add to your file size, there are very few web browsers that are available today that actually honor those color profiles.

For a third possible option as far as file formats go, you can choose the PNG option or PNG and there are 8-bit and 24-bit versions. But I am going to choose the 8-bit one. Basically the PNG file format combines the best of both worlds between GIF and JPEG. PNG files can support more colors, they also have transparency, and they're supported by most modern web browsers. If you take a look at the options presented for the PNG file format, they match closely to what you've seen with a GIF file format and just to close the loop on all bitmap based formats, if I go over here to what it says WBMP or Wireless Bitmap, I'll see that I can optimize this graphics specifically for the wireless bitmap format.

But again, it's very rare that you would want actually use this particular feature. Most of the mobile devices that are used today have the ability to support color graphics.

There are currently no FAQs about Illustrator CS4 for the Web.

Share a link to this course
Please wait... Please wait...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.
Upgrade now


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ.

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Upgrade now

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed Illustrator CS4 for the Web.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK

Course retiring soon

Illustrator CS4 for the Web will be retired from the lynda.com library on April 24, 2014. Training videos and exercise files will no longer be available, but the course will still appear in your course history and certificates of completion. For updated training, check out Illustrator for Web Design in the lynda.com Online Training Library.


Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferencesfrom the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Welcome to the redesigned course page.

We’ve moved some things around, and now you can



Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked