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Determining the perfect JPEG settings

From: Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Fundamentals

Video: Determining the perfect JPEG settings

I am still working inside of the Save for Web & Devices dialog box and I have opened that 1770x780 photo.tif file found inside of the 12_for_ Web folder. Now because I'm working inside of a continuous tone photographic image chances are very good, I would say 99 out of 100 that I want to stick with JPEG as supposed to some other file format. So I am going to switch out all of my previews to various JPEG settings, first I'll click on the upper-left preview. Currently it's set to Original, I'm going to a switch it out to JPEG High and then I am going to go ahead and raise it to Maximum.

Determining the perfect JPEG settings

I am still working inside of the Save for Web & Devices dialog box and I have opened that 1770x780 photo.tif file found inside of the 12_for_ Web folder. Now because I'm working inside of a continuous tone photographic image chances are very good, I would say 99 out of 100 that I want to stick with JPEG as supposed to some other file format. So I am going to switch out all of my previews to various JPEG settings, first I'll click on the upper-left preview. Currently it's set to Original, I'm going to a switch it out to JPEG High and then I am going to go ahead and raise it to Maximum.

And that gives me the maximum quality setting. Notice it sets to the highest it goes of hundred. Now if I were to trying to archive the full resolution image, I wouldn't be using Save for Web I'll be using the Save As command instead. But then I would use the maximum JPEG setting which would be in that case a quality of 12 because they have different scales in the different dialog boxes. But when I'm exporting an image for the Web I don't want maximum quality, because that's going to give me an enormous file size and 1.5 megabytes as you can see here, and you might say, well this is our big high-resolution image.

This is the one that we want to put out there and we want it to look as good as possible, and people are going to be willing to wait for it, but I'm not sure if they are going to be willing to wait three times as long. It's three times the size. And the other JPEG image doesn't look qualitatively any different and it's got a quality of 60 notice that. So let's go ahead and click on it and I'll show you it's set to High which is the setting by the way that I almost always use and I'll show you why, for my photographic images. So Quality setting of 60 works out really, really nicely.

And if I were to change it to Maximum you would see some details shift in the background. It's not the kind of thing where you say, Oh that looks better. It looks actually quite the same. It just had a few things shifted when we compress the image farther. Now the reason I would never go this low with an archived image, this would be equivalent to about a quality of eight. If I were using a Save As command. The reason I wouldn't use such a low quality there is because, well, this kind of compression is pretty much invisible. It becomes more visible as you edit the image.

So if I had to go in Photoshop and edit that archival JPEG image later then I might start to see the JPEG artifacts brim to the surface. And we might start having problems with it. However, if I'm sending this image out to the Web, I'm presuming that it's done. There is no more editing that's going to occur. So all that I'm concerned about is that I'm retaining as much detail as I can. Compare high however to the next level down I'll go ahead and click on this lower left preview and from the Preset menu, I will choose JPEG Medium.

That is starting to look pretty darn bad. Now bear in mind we're quite zoomed into this image. We're seeing all the images at the 300% zoom level, but you can really make out those squares. It's now quite obvious that our image is organized into blocks of 8x8 pixel squares. And that's not something I want people to see even if we can get this image down to 264 K, I don't think it's worth it, and it certainly ain't worth low. I'll go ahead and click on the bottom right preview and change the Preset to JPEG Low. And I end up getting this effect here which is just abysmal of course, even at 155K.

What's amazing about all these images is if we start to back out to 100% actually the medium setting looks pretty darn good. It's very difficult to see those square blocks now, even though they were so obvious just a moment ago. The low quality image still looks quite bad in my opinion. So here is what I recommend where these quality settings are concerned and by the way I should say this you don't have to accept the default quality settings that is the numerical quality settings. I could click on Medium and say you know what 30 is too low, high is 60, so why don't we split the difference and make it 45 or something along those lines.

You can do that if you want to, however here's what I am going to tell I'll click on the top right image. Most of the time and I mean like 9 out of 10 times, I'll just go with High. I'll bring up this dialog box make sure High is selected, make sure Convert to sRGB is selected click Save and I am out of there. But on some rare occasions if I think an image is really stellar, it has just great detail throughout, then I'll choose Very High in order to try to retain as much of that information as possible. You can see though in the case of this image that knocks out the image size to 781 K which is just too large.

And I suppose although, I never use it that if you really need to squish that image down. You really need to compress it and make it as small as it possibly can file size wise. Then you could go with Medium here, but I would recommend you steer clear of it when possible. All right so the other options that we have available to us are Optimized right there the Optimized check box. Make sure that's turned on that goes ahead and optimizes the run line compression which is loss less and that shaves off a few K sometimes from the file size.

Embed Color Profile I was telling you I'll leave that turned off its just going to add to the file size and it's just going to tell your browser you're working with sRGB and that's supposed to be the default setting anyway. Then Progressive leave that off Progressive is a real old style setting where if you had a large graphic that was taking too long to download over a modem for example, then it would display in stages. So it would come through very low res at first and then redraw incrementally as the information downloaded. Well my thinking is that just makes the image look like something wrong with it at first on modern machines you just want it to display onscreen.

Quality we've already discussed it varies from zero for horrible to a hundred for the best. Blur steer clear of Blur the idea behind Blur is that blurry images compress better than sharply focused ones. But you'd don't want your image to be blurred that's crazy. And then Matte is the color that going to appear in any transparent areas of your image. So if there is any transparency it'll be filled in with the matte color I don't mean that where there is a transparent layer that's blending in with other layers. I mean if by the time you get to the bottom of the layer stack there is a transparent hole someplace.

It will be filled with white. If you need to retain that transparency you should think about using the Png format instead. And that is it folks that's all you need to know about saving a JPEG image, with one exception and that's the Metadata, and I'll tell you how that works in the next exercise.

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This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Fundamentals
Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Fundamentals

195 video lessons · 74111 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 39m 52s
    1. Welcome to Photoshop CS5 One-on-One
      1m 49s
    2. Making Photoshop your default image editor
      7m 43s
    3. Installing the DekeKeys keyboard shortcuts
      8m 10s
    4. Remapping Mac OS shortcuts
      7m 37s
    5. Installing the Best Workflow color settings
      4m 31s
    6. The color settings explained
      6m 54s
    7. Loading the CS5 color settings in Bridge
      3m 8s
  2. 53m 36s
    1. There is nothing you can't do
      2m 1s
    2. The power of Photoshop
      4m 43s
    3. Duplicating a layer
      4m 49s
    4. Liquifying an image
      4m 43s
    5. Adding a layer mask
      5m 54s
    6. Loading an alpha channel
      7m 42s
    7. Selecting with Color Range
      4m 10s
    8. Making a Hue/Saturation layer
      2m 53s
    9. Luminance blending
      7m 21s
    10. Mask density
      5m 9s
    11. Making a knockout layer
      4m 11s
  3. 51m 23s
    1. The best way to work
      41s
    2. Setting General preferences
      5m 33s
    3. Changing the pasteboard color
      5m 41s
    4. File handling, performance, and units
      7m 25s
    5. Touring the Photoshop interface
      11m 5s
    6. Creating and saving a workspace
      7m 21s
    7. Changing settings and updating the workspace
      6m 4s
    8. Resetting the preferences
      7m 33s
  4. 2h 46m
    1. The amazing Adobe Bridge
      1m 17s
    2. Making a new image
      5m 11s
    3. Opening an image
      7m 7s
    4. Opening and closing multiple images
      5m 24s
    5. Opening a problem image
      4m 23s
    6. Adding file information
      8m 37s
    7. Introducing Adobe Bridge
      7m 37s
    8. A whirlwind tour of Bridge
      7m 21s
    9. Adjusting the interface and thumbnails
      8m 18s
    10. Using the full-screen preview
      8m 5s
    11. Rotating images on their sides
      5m 38s
    12. Assigning star ratings and labels
      8m 40s
    13. Filtering thumbnails in the Contents panel
      9m 13s
    14. Moving, copying, and deleting files
      6m 34s
    15. Creating and assigning keywords
      6m 38s
    16. Searches and collections
      7m 3s
    17. Batch-exporting JPEG files
      8m 57s
    18. Batch-renaming
      7m 15s
    19. String substitution and regular expressions
      8m 50s
    20. Grouping images into stacks
      7m 21s
    21. Comparing images in Review mode
      5m 58s
    22. Playing images in a slideshow
      4m 49s
    23. Customizing and saving the workspace
      7m 17s
    24. Using Mini Bridge in Photoshop CS5
      8m 36s
  5. 1h 1m
    1. Learning to swim inside an image
      37s
    2. The tabbed-window interface
      5m 19s
    3. Arranging image windows
      4m 26s
    4. Common ways to zoom
      5m 31s
    5. New zoom tricks in Photoshop CS5
      4m 24s
    6. Hidden old-school zoom tricks
      4m 34s
    7. Scrolling and panning images
      4m 8s
    8. Viewing the image at print size
      6m 42s
    9. The Navigator and "bird's-eye" scrolling
      2m 56s
    10. Nudging the screen from the keyboard
      2m 39s
    11. Scroll wheel tricks
      3m 41s
    12. The Rotate View tool
      3m 36s
    13. Cycling between screen modes
      6m 17s
    14. Using the numerical zoom value
      6m 14s
  6. 1h 6m
    1. Imaging fundamentals
      58s
    2. What is image size?
      7m 45s
    3. The Image Size command
      6m 0s
    4. Selecting an interpolation option
      4m 56s
    5. Upsampling versus "real" pixels
      5m 22s
    6. The penalty of pixels
      5m 35s
    7. Print size and resolution
      7m 26s
    8. Downsampling for print
      6m 39s
    9. Downsampling for email
      7m 28s
    10. Options for upsampling
      8m 13s
    11. Better ways to make a big image
      6m 1s
  7. 44m 43s
    1. Frame wide, crop tight
      1m 2s
    2. Using the Crop tool
      8m 8s
    3. Fixing out-of-canvas wedges
      5m 31s
    4. Crop tool presets
      6m 53s
    5. Previewing the crop angle
      4m 24s
    6. The Crop command
      4m 47s
    7. Straightening with the Ruler tool
      4m 18s
    8. Cropping without clipping
      5m 1s
    9. Perspective cropping
      4m 39s
  8. 1h 41m
    1. Making drab colors look better
      1m 20s
    2. Brightness and contrast
      4m 10s
    3. Adjusting numerical values
      4m 26s
    4. Introducing adjustment layers
      5m 17s
    5. Editing adjustment layers
      2m 51s
    6. Saving adjustment layers
      4m 35s
    7. Adding a quick layer mask
      4m 23s
    8. Introducing the Histogram
      4m 34s
    9. Working with the Histogram panel
      6m 27s
    10. Using Color Balance
      7m 18s
    11. Introducing the Variations command
      4m 51s
    12. Luminance and saturation controls
      3m 54s
    13. Fading a static adjustment
      3m 21s
    14. How hue and saturation work
      4m 28s
    15. Rotating hues and adjusting saturation
      6m 4s
    16. Creating a quick and dirty sepia tone
      4m 42s
    17. Adjusting hues selectively
      5m 32s
    18. The Target Adjustment tool
      4m 24s
    19. Photoshop CS5 Target Adjustment enhancements
      53s
    20. Adjusting the color of clothing
      8m 44s
    21. Enhancing a low-saturation image
      4m 23s
    22. Refining saturation with Vibrance
      5m 1s
  9. 1h 57m
    1. Photoshop versus the real world
      1m 21s
    2. Meet the selection tools
      10m 26s
    3. Marking the center of an image
      4m 9s
    4. Drawing a geometric selection outline
      4m 45s
    5. Blurring a selection outline with Feather
      6m 8s
    6. Copy and paste versus drag and drop
      5m 31s
    7. Creating a graduated selection
      4m 29s
    8. Aligning one image with another
      4m 45s
    9. Accessing the Move tool on the fly
      3m 34s
    10. Invert and Match Colors
      5m 4s
    11. Matching colors selectively
      3m 52s
    12. Feathering and filling a selection
      5m 14s
    13. Dressing up a composition with effects
      5m 34s
    14. The incredible image rotation trick
      2m 18s
    15. The Magic Wand tool
      4m 12s
    16. Tolerance and other options
      7m 7s
    17. Grow, Similar, and Inverse
      5m 39s
    18. Quick selection and the Magnetic Lasso
      7m 27s
    19. Evaluating a selection in Quick Mask
      8m 52s
    20. Saving and loading selections
      6m 14s
    21. Placing an image with a layer mask
      3m 23s
    22. Eliminating edge fringing
      7m 43s
  10. 1h 58m
    1. Brushing to correct
      56s
    2. How brushing works
      4m 52s
    3. Working with spacing
      7m 32s
    4. Changing size and hardness
      7m 45s
    5. The heads-up Color Picker
      7m 17s
    6. Flipping a mirror image
      3m 33s
    7. Setting the source for the History brush
      3m 42s
    8. Brightening details with the Dodge tool
      7m 49s
    9. Darkening details with the Burn tool
      3m 5s
    10. The Sponge tool
      4m 29s
    11. Backing off edits
      8m 4s
    12. Patching eye bags
      8m 57s
    13. Evening out flesh tones
      7m 23s
    14. Smoothing away whiskers
      7m 41s
    15. Reducing shadow noise
      7m 0s
    16. How healing works
      4m 40s
    17. The enhanced Spot Healing brush
      4m 52s
    18. Using the better Healing brush
      4m 23s
    19. Introducing the Clone Source panel
      3m 49s
    20. Cloning from one layer to another
      5m 30s
    21. Working with multiple sources
      4m 44s
  11. 1h 23m
    1. The layered composition
      1m 0s
    2. Making a new background layer
      6m 58s
    3. Working with "big layers"
      6m 24s
    4. Move, Duplicate, and Scale
      4m 11s
    5. Transforming a copy and repeat
      5m 15s
    6. Stacking order and eyedropping a layer
      5m 15s
    7. Adjusting multiple layers at once
      4m 22s
    8. Switching between layers
      4m 56s
    9. Making a digital star field
      5m 9s
    10. Blend mode and clipping mask
      4m 50s
    11. Dragging and dropping from your desktop
      4m 38s
    12. Black + Lens Flare = glow
      6m 16s
    13. Locking transparency
      5m 42s
    14. Adding gradient layers
      8m 12s
    15. Stacking an adjustment layer
      4m 12s
    16. Adding shadow and stroke
      6m 9s
  12. 1h 17m
    1. Outputting from Photoshop and Bridge
      1m 32s
    2. Printing an RGB composite
      5m 31s
    3. Customizing the subjective print file
      3m 15s
    4. Gauging print size
      5m 35s
    5. Scale, position, and page orientation
      5m 6s
    6. Three important printing curiosities
      4m 41s
    7. Introducing the Output options
      5m 34s
    8. Establishing a bleed
      5m 52s
    9. Using the Color Management options
      7m 21s
    10. Generating a PDF contact sheet
      6m 18s
    11. Creating a contact sheet template
      6m 8s
    12. Saving and opening a PDF contact sheet
      4m 18s
    13. Introducing the Web Gallery
      7m 53s
    14. Exporting and editing an HTML site
      3m 58s
    15. The Airtight Photocard site
      4m 56s
  13. 1h 9m
    1. Rules of the web
      1m 1s
    2. Introducing web graphics
      6m 59s
    3. A first look at Save for Web
      5m 47s
    4. Scaling a layered image versus a flat one
      7m 30s
    5. Incremental downsampling
      3m 1s
    6. Adding text, bar, and stroke
      4m 24s
    7. Assigning copyright and metadata
      6m 21s
    8. Comparing GIF, JPEG, and PNG
      4m 59s
    9. Determining the perfect JPEG settings
      6m 31s
    10. Saving metadata
      3m 52s
    11. Working with an unprofiled RGB image
      4m 35s
    12. Downsampling graphic art
      4m 49s
    13. Saving a GIF graphic
      6m 1s
    14. Antiquated GIF versus the better PNG
      4m 6s
  14. 1m 37s
    1. Until next time
      1m 37s

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