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The versatile PNG format

From: Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals

Video: The versatile PNG format

In this exercise I'm going to show you how to save a PNG graphic, a PNG file. I'm still working inside Goodbye overprints.ai found inside the 12_exporting folder. I'm still looking at the contents of artboard number 2. I would like you to be doing that as well if you are working along with me. I am going to go up to the File menu, choose Save for Web & Devices and we are still seeing the last applied settings which are my GIF settings right there, 32 Colors, 50% Dither, notice that. Now what I want you to see down here is the size of the file, 35K. So a pretty small file compared with the original 1.25 megabytes and it looks pretty darn good. Of course, now I should make very clear these JPEGs and these GIFs and these PNG graphics they are all image files, they are all pixel-based image files. You cannot open them inside of Illustrator. You can place them, but you can't do any sort of vector work on them.

The versatile PNG format

In this exercise I'm going to show you how to save a PNG graphic, a PNG file. I'm still working inside Goodbye overprints.ai found inside the 12_exporting folder. I'm still looking at the contents of artboard number 2. I would like you to be doing that as well if you are working along with me. I am going to go up to the File menu, choose Save for Web & Devices and we are still seeing the last applied settings which are my GIF settings right there, 32 Colors, 50% Dither, notice that. Now what I want you to see down here is the size of the file, 35K. So a pretty small file compared with the original 1.25 megabytes and it looks pretty darn good. Of course, now I should make very clear these JPEGs and these GIFs and these PNG graphics they are all image files, they are all pixel-based image files. You cannot open them inside of Illustrator. You can place them, but you can't do any sort of vector work on them.

You need to keep that .ai file around because that's your original good vector file. These are just files that you would post to a website. You could edit them a little bit in Photoshop if you wanted to, but generally you don't. You just post them. All right, but I want you to see 35K, dinky file. Watch what happens when I switch to PNG-8. The whole idea behind the PNG file format just so as you know, GIF is a copyrighted file format. It's actually owned by this group called CompuServe which in the old days was akind of an AOL thing, except without the snazzy graphics. And PNG was created by a group that was sick to tears of GIF and they were trying to create an open source alternative.

So PNG-8 is designed to pretty much exactly emulate GIF, except to be better and it is. Notice if I choose PNG-8, all of my settings will remain intact. I'll go ahead and choose that. I have the exact same palette, 50% Dither, 32 Color Selective palette right there. Everything is exactly the same. 29K, I just dropped 6K off the size of this graphic. So why wouldn't you use PNG instead of GIF? Why indeed? Mostly these days you would use PNG instead of GIF. PNG is supported by all the major browsers. The only reason you would use GIF is if you are appealing to folks who have very old browsers that don't support PNG and you want to make sure that you are supporting everybody. And also there may be certain rules at your company and they may require you to use GIF instead of PNG. So that's something to look into as well. But PNG is better, make no mistake about that.

Now if you are feeling like well, okay, it's great that we are reducing the size of the file and the numbers of colors inside the graphic and so on and so on, but I don't care about that. I just want the best version of this graphic possible. Then you will switch from PNG -8 to PNG-24. So PNG-24 is better than everything we have seen so far. It's better than GIF and PNG-8 because it supports 24 bit graphics, meaning that you have available to you the entire array of 16.8 million colors in the RGB space and notice when I choose PNG-24 my Color Table goes away, because there is no Color Table anymore. You have all the colors available to you.

It's also better than JPEG and that there is no compression whatsoever associated with it. It's just Lossless compression. That is to say there is compression that's totally lossless. So you are not going to get any of that chunkiness associated with your image files. The size of the file will jump. It will be higher than any of the others. So it's 104K, but its way down from the original. It's less than a tenth of the size of the original illustration and its supports transparency, which as you may recall JPEG does not. So we can turn on this Transparency checkbox and notice that Translucency. So we have an 8-bit transparency channel and actual real alpha channel at work here inside of this image and all we added was about 4K worth of data to this file, so it's not that much bigger and we do have translucency inside of our drop shadow. It looks totally beautiful and then we will click the Save button. Of course, do not turn on Interlaced. That is another one of those incremental display options that's just bad.

Go ahead and click on the Save button at this point. That's good and you will go ahead and save out your PNG image. Click on the Save button. And this one will go ahead and open in Photoshop. Let's switch over to the Bridge, once again. There is my PNG file, right there my Goodbye-overprints.png file and I'm going to double-click on it. There is the GIF file by the way, in case you want to look at it and there is my PNG file. I am going to go ahead and right-click on it and choose Open With and choose Photoshop in order to open the image inside Photoshop, so that we can see it here. Right after the JPEG that I already had open, and there it is. Notice we've got transparency. In the background we actually have an independent floating layer. Is that not awesome? So we could take this and we could introduce it into a larger Photoshop composition as well, which proves something very large about PNG graphic, they are extremely versatile. Not just useful for web graphics, but useful for all kinds of other image applications as well, and they look great.

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This video is part of

Image for Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals
Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals

182 video lessons · 37873 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
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  1. 42m 7s
    1. Welcome to One-on-One
      1m 58s
    2. The Welcome screen
      3m 2s
    3. Creating a new document
      5m 6s
    4. Advanced document controls
      4m 43s
    5. Saving a custom New Document Profile
      8m 46s
    6. Changing the document setup
      4m 21s
    7. Special artboard controls
      4m 58s
    8. Accepting artboard changes
      2m 19s
    9. Saving a document
      4m 33s
    10. Closing a document
      2m 21s
  2. 1h 0m
    1. Adobe Bridge
      56s
    2. Opening an illustration
      4m 45s
    3. Modifying an illustration
      6m 27s
    4. Saving changes
      4m 58s
    5. Introducing Adobe Bridge
      8m 41s
    6. The all-important file type associations
      3m 20s
    7. Navigating inside Bridge
      4m 23s
    8. Previewing and collecting
      5m 55s
    9. Using workspaces
      6m 41s
    10. Customizing a workspace
      6m 14s
    11. Cool Bridge tricks
      8m 17s
  3. 1h 4m
    1. Preferences, color settings, and workspaces
      35s
    2. Keyboard increments
      5m 12s
    3. Scratch disks
      3m 48s
    4. Changing the user interface and setting Appearance of Black
      4m 14s
    5. Best workflow color settings
      9m 17s
    6. Synchronizing settings across CS4
      3m 2s
    7. Working inside tabbed windows
      7m 14s
    8. Organizing palettes
      5m 4s
    9. Saving a custom workspace
      4m 12s
    10. Zooming and panning
      4m 19s
    11. Using the Zoom tool
      3m 3s
    12. Navigating the artboards
      5m 5s
    13. Nudging the screen image
      3m 3s
    14. Scroll-wheel tricks
      2m 8s
    15. Cycling between screen modes
      4m 39s
  4. 1h 22m
    1. The Wedjat (or Eye of Horus)
      55s
    2. The line tools
      2m 57s
    3. Introducing layers
      5m 10s
    4. Creating ruler guides
      6m 18s
    5. Creating custom guides
      5m 16s
    6. Snap-to points
      5m 25s
    7. Organizing guides
      5m 43s
    8. Making a tracing template
      3m 42s
    9. Drawing a line segment
      4m 29s
    10. Drawing a continuous arc
      5m 28s
    11. Drawing a looping spiral
      6m 5s
    12. Cutting lines with the Scissors tool
      6m 20s
    13. Joining open paths
      7m 31s
    14. Aligning and joining points
      6m 34s
    15. Drawing concentric circles
      4m 41s
    16. Cleaning up overlapping segments
      5m 34s
  5. 1h 4m
    1. The anatomy of a shape
      1m 1s
    2. Meet the shape tools
      3m 5s
    3. The traceable Tonalpohualli
      2m 52s
    4. Drawing circles
      4m 38s
    5. Enhanced Smart Guides
      4m 1s
    6. Aligning to a key object
      4m 29s
    7. Creating polygons and stars
      5m 4s
    8. Using the Measure tool
      3m 47s
    9. The Select Similar and Arrange commands
      3m 56s
    10. Rectangles and rounded rectangles
      6m 8s
    11. The amazing constraint axes
      5m 26s
    12. Grouping and ungrouping
      3m 35s
    13. Flipping and duplicating
      4m 12s
    14. Combining simple shapes into complex ones
      5m 24s
    15. Cutting and connecting with Scissors and Join
      3m 31s
    16. Tilde-key goofiness
      2m 53s
  6. 1h 41m
    1. The ingredients of life
      54s
    2. Fill and Stroke settings
      4m 22s
    3. Transparency grid and paper color
      5m 47s
    4. The None attribute
      5m 4s
    5. Color libraries and sliders
      3m 39s
    6. Industry-standard colors
      4m 38s
    7. Using CMYK for commercial output
      6m 39s
    8. Using RGB for the web
      7m 23s
    9. Color palette tips and tricks
      7m 18s
    10. Creating and saving color swatches
      4m 35s
    11. Trapping gaps with rich blacks
      6m 46s
    12. Filling and stacking shapes
      5m 38s
    13. Dragging and dropping swatches
      5m 0s
    14. Paste in Front, Paste in Back
      4m 54s
    15. Filling shapes inside groups
      5m 28s
    16. Pasting between layers
      4m 41s
    17. Joins, caps, and dashes
      6m 50s
    18. Fixing strokes and isolating edits
      7m 12s
    19. Creating a pattern fill
      4m 57s
  7. 1h 50m
    1. The power of transformations
      1m 20s
    2. From primitive to polished art
      2m 42s
    3. Using the Blob brush
      5m 46s
    4. Resizing the brush and erasing
      4m 15s
    5. Selection limits and methods of merging
      6m 39s
    6. Cloning and auto-duplicating
      6m 45s
    7. Customizing keyboard shortcuts
      3m 7s
    8. Moving by the numbers
      5m 15s
    9. Using the Reshape tool
      7m 47s
    10. Modifying, aligning, and uniting paths
      7m 14s
    11. Using the Offset Path command
      4m 43s
    12. Styling and eyedropping
      5m 28s
    13. Making a black-and-white template
      2m 27s
    14. Scale and clone
      4m 57s
    15. Enlarge and stack
      5m 46s
    16. Positioning the origin point
      6m 59s
    17. Using the Rotate tool
      3m 55s
    18. Using the Reflect tool
      4m 15s
    19. Series rotation (aka power duplication)
      6m 48s
    20. Rotating by the numbers
      6m 12s
    21. Transforming the tile patterns
      7m 52s
  8. 2h 4m
    1. Next-generation text wrangling
      55s
    2. Placing a text document
      5m 38s
    3. Creating a new text block
      6m 1s
    4. Working with point text
      3m 57s
    5. Selecting the perfect typeface
      5m 48s
    6. Scaling and positioning type
      8m 57s
    7. Leading, tracking, and lots of shortcuts
      5m 54s
    8. Adjusting pair kerning
      6m 55s
    9. Eyedropping formatting attributes
      3m 54s
    10. Flowing text from one block to another
      8m 28s
    11. Creating and applying a paragraph style
      7m 39s
    12. Rendering the text in graphite
      5m 55s
    13. Creating a scribbly drop shadow
      5m 17s
    14. Advanced formatting and bullets
      7m 43s
    15. Setting Area Type options
      4m 57s
    16. Justification and the Every-line Composer
      5m 52s
    17. OpenType and ligatures
      7m 19s
    18. Fractions, numerals, and ordinals
      9m 7s
    19. Swashes and small caps
      5m 40s
    20. The amazing Glyphs palette
      8m 12s
  9. 1h 18m
    1. Points are boys, handles are girls
      1m 20s
    2. Placing an image as a tracing template
      6m 56s
    3. Drawing a straight-sided path
      6m 8s
    4. Moving, adding, and deleting points
      6m 50s
    5. Drawing spline curves with Round Corners
      9m 7s
    6. Smooth points and Bézier curves
      8m 29s
    7. Defining a cusp between two curves
      6m 59s
    8. Replicating and reshaping segments
      8m 30s
    9. Converting anchor points
      7m 55s
    10. Deleting stray anchor points
      5m 1s
    11. Separating and closing paths
      5m 43s
    12. Eyedropping template colors
      5m 55s
  10. 1h 40m
    1. Paths never rest
      1m 34s
    2. Exploring the Appearance palette
      9m 54s
    3. Snip and Spin
      8m 3s
    4. Adding a center point
      4m 12s
    5. Keeping shape intersections
      3m 42s
    6. Lifting fills and selecting through shapes
      5m 54s
    7. Saving and recalling selections
      6m 20s
    8. Rotating is a circular operation
      8m 32s
    9. Lassoing and scaling points
      5m 28s
    10. Using the Transform Each command
      4m 11s
    11. Using the Magic Wand tool
      8m 1s
    12. Eyedropping live effects
      9m 58s
    13. Merging strokes with a compound path
      6m 50s
    14. Selecting and scaling independent segments
      7m 59s
    15. Scalloped edges with Pucker & Bloat
      5m 16s
    16. Expand before you merge
      4m 17s
  11. 1h 26m
    1. The new pleasures of printing
      44s
    2. Outlines and artboards in CS4
      7m 35s
    3. Setting trim size and bleed
      7m 17s
    4. Creating custom dynamic crop marks
      3m 41s
    5. Working with the Separations Preview palette
      7m 42s
    6. Trapping an object with an overprint stroke
      8m 20s
    7. Placing multiple artboards into InDesign
      5m 17s
    8. Working with the Print Tiling tool
      4m 55s
    9. Setting the General Print options
      6m 9s
    10. Setting printer marks
      5m 16s
    11. PostScript-only output and graphics
      9m 10s
    12. The Color Management options
      6m 56s
    13. Adjusting the Flattener settings
      7m 32s
    14. Setting the Raster Effects resolution
      5m 32s
  12. 1h 32m
    1. Illustrator does pixels
      51s
    2. Illustrator, PDF, and Save As formats
      8m 15s
    3. Saving an illustration for the web
      6m 13s
    4. Saving a continuous-tone JPEG image
      10m 1s
    5. Saving a high-contrast GIF graphic
      6m 26s
    6. The versatile PNG format
      4m 45s
    7. Saving a scaleable Flash (SWF) graphic
      11m 0s
    8. Opening and placing an Illustrator file in Photoshop
      12m 44s
    9. Exporting a layered PSD from Illustrator
      12m 57s
    10. Exporting to Microsoft Office and PowerPoint
      7m 24s
    11. Sharing with InDesign, Flash, and Photoshop
      12m 12s
  13. 1m 4s
    1. Until next time
      1m 4s

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