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Image File Sizes

At what point do you feel a file size is "too big"?

  • 100K

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 150K

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 200K

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 250K

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 300K

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 350K

    Votes: 1 50.0%
  • 400K

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 450K

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 500K+

    Votes: 1 50.0%

  • Total voters
    2

Hanazawa

Would Like To Play a Game
complication5 said:
I believe the flash files and music files may use up the most bandwidth. I can't see how images could go so large. I keep the size of the images I upload less than 100KB. It is probably a reflex action from living in 56kb days. Perhaps limiting the amount of music/flash a person can upload in a month's time would be appropriate?

I've seen some really honkin' huge image files. Batch-uploaded. All at once.

I'm not suggesting that music files aren't large, by any means; I'm just saying that large images are definitely more frequent than music submissions... and I'm inclined to think that the popularity of some artists causes their bandwidth usage to go much, much faster than 95% of the music bin.

If the admins are capable of giving any comparison on bandwidth usage between the sections, I'd definitely be interested in seeing that :D

Though I admit I've considered saving many of my songs in mono rather than stereo. Saves a ton of space and if I'm not using special stereo effects there's not any noticable difference IMHO... but I'm deaf in one side so I'm probably not the best person to decide that :p
 

Voln

New Member
emptyF said:
i never even thought about my file sizes until you mentioned it.  turns out most of mine are under 100k . . . 150 was the max.  go figure.  it's probably because i suck.  oh well, at least i'm not a bandwidth hog.


That doesn't mean you suck, it just means you're economic!  I think most of mine are pretty small, too.
 

Firehazard

I can fix it!
My opinion is that we already have the option of viewing only smaller versions of the picture. So people with slow connections can look at the smaller version and opt out of full-viewing it if they want to. Sometimes a largeish image is necessary, for instance long comics or tutorials (especially the latter).

That said, most normal images don't really need to be any wider than a typical 1024×768 screen can show, and not too much taller than that. If your image is that size, chances are it's not going to be a huge file unless you really suck at compression know-how or are ridiculously picky about image quality. When exceptions have to be made, such as for tutorials, the option of posting an image that big ought to be an option that's kept open.

Also, Umbreona makes a good point: dial-up is not ideal for anyone, anywhere, on any site. Those who are stuck using it have gotten used to lag by now. Speaking from experience, NO website nowadays loads quickly enough over 56k once you've gotten used to broadband.

As far as server space and bandwidth... filesize limitations aren't going to make much difference on a site that grows as fast as this one does. Any money you save limiting filesize will be lost within a couple months anyway. The only effective way to reduce costs is to allow ads. If you can find a deal that makes the site break even, you're fully scaleable: the bigger the site gets, the more money you make from ad hits. And trust me, I'm not big on ads. Heck, if there were any other workable way I'd recommend it. But if you're having trouble meeting expenses now, any temporary fixes won't help prolong the site's survival past a few months.

Just don't, for the love of Dog, ever go with a provider that allows SHOOT THE TURKEY AND WIN A FREE GAMEPLAY360!!!!!!111 type ads. *shudder*
 

Arshes Nei

Masticates in Public
Dragoneer said:
Arshes Nei said:
The only drawback I can see to keeping it small is if someone does tutorials on art. Usually these are the only things that usually have a larger file size. For regular artwork I think file size restrictions are fine, I just wonder if there is a way to treat tutorials in a good way since you'd either have to make a supersized tutorial so people can see details and your descriptions as well as screenshots or you break it up into small tutorials which can be annoying for a user to piece together.
Well, I want to have a tutorials section of FA eventually where users can submit tutorials to us directly, we format them... post them up. That way they're not hidden in the submissions but freely available to all by one single click.

That would be an interesting idea, do you have any people that would head such the project so that they get formatted correctly and such?
 

Starblind

Member
One suggestion is to try to get people to strip the headers and stuff out of their images, using a program like Jstrip. I do that with every single thing I post online, from a tiny avatar to a blog picture to a high-quality artwork scan. It always sayves at least 3K even on tiny images, sometimes up to 6K. Apparently Photoshop adds lots of headers to images. Stripping these out has absolutely NO EFFECT ON QUALITY, so you're not sacrificing anything either.

Granted, 3 to 6 KB isn't a whole lot, but if the image is being downloaded thousands of times, it can add up to significant savings in the long run.
 

Kougar

Member
My apologies if it has already been mentioned... but in line with Suke's idea, what about having some sort of powerful app like Photoshop automatically compress file sizes for all uploads to FA? I do not mean scaling the image size down, but simply having a powerful app like Photoshop run a high-compression run on each file submitted for upload. I am still amazed at how much compression it can give to 3mb print quality jpgs without any loss in quality or reduction in size. Even already compressed images it's able to compress down further.

Assuming this wouldn't offend some artists, and if it did, then perhaps enabling the compression by default but give the user the option to disable it for that upload and use their own compression software... Just some random thoughts. Finding an application that's as powerful as Photoshop's jpeg compression abilities that can be legally ported for FA use might also be a major problem.
 

Hanazawa

Would Like To Play a Game
Firehazard said:
My opinion is that we already have the option of viewing only smaller versions of the picture.

Well, yes and no - I ignore preview images and go straight to fullsize because I can already tell from the small thumbnail if I want to see the big picture - the problem is the thumbnail doesn't tell me what the big picture's actual dimensions and/or filesize are. Most of the time, clicking from the thumbnail is fine... but every now and then I get those huge freaking images loading up on me. And I'm talking about sizes that aren't necessary, ever. :/
 

uncia2000

Member
More than one question wrapped up in this, I think...
(Would be good to resurrect the old thread from over on the ArtPlz forums, since I'm sure that's where the number crunching was done).

Anyhow...
As to "personal" thoughts on what size is "too big", right towards the top end of the options presented.
Larger files /can/ be justified in terms of visual appearance, but as the exception rather than the rule... which is, of course, the crunch.

View counts are important, too, and perhaps a larger percentage of the more popular artists are better at achieving a good size/quality compression balance. I'm not naming the obvious exceptions I've seen!
Given that, and the current distribution of image file sizes (and there are many well compressed images), in order to create a significant throughput benefit I'd suspect a hard limit would have to be right down to around 200k max.

(aside: IMO, the example pic of Kacey's detailed 1280*569 = "only" 236k looks rather lossy to me; it's mostly the lack of any larger monochromatic areas that "hides" that lossiness at first view. A good "test piece", though.
And the idea of keeping larger versions of images on one's own website only works for the small minority of users who actually have one of those).

The other "obvious" bandwidth hog (despite lack of actual stats on traffic throughput) are animated avvies in the 50-100-200k range, especially for popular users. Even with user-side caching, the vast majority of those will require to be sent by FA many more times than all but the most popular of image submissions.
There was a half-hearted effort previously to reduce the avvie max to 30k/50k, but that came to nothing in the end.

Just my 02c, anyhow. :)

Hanazawa said:
Well, yes and no - I ignore preview images and go straight to fullsize because I can already tell from the small thumbnail if I want to see the big picture - the problem is the thumbnail doesn't tell me what the big picture's actual dimensions and/or filesize are.

That's been a long-time request to have those display on the mouseover box.

Around half of the /active/ FA users go direct to the fullsize image, without viewing the intermediate version. It could be argued that that either increases or decreases the stress on the system, depending on other viewing behavior factors.
 

Shiuk

New Member
There is seriously no reason for file sizes on web images to be anything over 200 KB. With a good know-how on JPeg compression and keeping the pixel size of the picture on a viewing scale of course. Each picture in my own gallery rarely exceeds 150 KBs. I'm ashamed that people believe that 500KB+ should be the limit, cause that's seriously astonishing. The only reason for such huge file sizes to reach half a meg would be in the case of printing, not for web show.
 

Kougar

Member
That is a very good point about avvies... especially considering that not every does use browser caches, and a good majority set them to be extremely small by IE's usual standards. (20mb is Opera's default disk cache) I'd hope that in some cases when the same avatar is displayed 6+ times on a single page that it only needs to DL just once? (Just to double-check that)

*pounces the floofy title kitty* :)

Edit: Shiuk, if a user wanted to upload a wallpaper it would need to be over 200kB, closer to 500kB. I'd have voted for 500kb+ in the poll if bandwidth wasn't an issue like it is, as really on some uploaded images you just can't see the detail at posted resolutions.
 

Shiuk

New Member
Arshes Nei said:
Dragoneer said:
Arshes Nei said:
The only drawback I can see to keeping it small is if someone does tutorials on art. Usually these are the only things that usually have a larger file size. For regular artwork I think file size restrictions are fine, I just wonder if there is a way to treat tutorials in a good way since you'd either have to make a supersized tutorial so people can see details and your descriptions as well as screenshots or you break it up into small tutorials which can be annoying for a user to piece together.
Well, I want to have a tutorials section of FA eventually where users can submit tutorials to us directly, we format them... post them up. That way they're not hidden in the submissions but freely available to all by one single click.

That would be an interesting idea, do you have any people that would head such the project so that they get formatted correctly and such?


I actually was working on a flash tutorial explaining how to properly compress and resize a picture for Y! gallery some time ago, don't know if you be interested in that if I can find it.
 

Arshes Nei

Masticates in Public
Shiuk said:
I actually was working on a flash tutorial explaining how to properly compress and resize a picture for Y! gallery some time ago, don't know if you be interested in that if I can find it.

Well I have no problem with FA wanting users to resize regular images. I'm specifically referring to tutorials that go into how to CG or do lineart where you can go into extensive detail and you want to have large closeups of a process, or add in screenshots, etc..
 

vashdragon

Member
My two cents i guess. I probly wont pay attention to this forum after making this post though.

Anyways, i dont much like the idea of having a limit on what can be uploaded. If someone wants to upload something at a large size they should probly be permitted. However, it is quite annoying when you get stuck looking at an unfinished work that like 5 times larger than my moniter and a meg in size.

I think there probly should be a limit just to make sure that pictures like these dont find their way on to the site. Proper compression for web viewing is extremely important for websites, and something all artists should learn. Seeing as that compression and resizing programs are very common and a lot work very well, there really is no excuse why not.

In the end though, i really dont think the limit should be set to lower than 500kb. (At the same time i really dont expect an artist to upload an image more than 300kb.) But larger than 500kb just seems like a mistake and a waste of bandwidth, as a picture with that much detail or that large a size will be more of a pain to view on my computer than beneficial. Anyways, i still dont think the limit should be set lower than 500kb because you never know, there may be a situation where the artist really wants to upload that large image for some perticular reason. But a limit on oversized artwork is very much usefull.
 

CyberFoxx

Wait, what?
Well, I decided to do a little experiment, to see what the allocation of the different filesizes are in my 12GB collection. I wrote a little shellscript to help me. For those also running *NIX, here's the code:

Code:
#!/bin/bash
echo "Finding files 0bytes to 99Kbytes"
find . ( -size +0b -and -size -99k ) -and ( -iname '*.jpg' -or -iname '*.png' -or -iname '*.gif' ) > 99k.txt
echo "Finding files 100Kbytes to 199Kbytes"
find . ( -size +100k -and -size -199k ) -and ( -iname '*.jpg' -or -iname '*.png' -or -iname '*.gif' ) > 199k.txt
echo "Finding files 200Kbytes to 299Kbytes"
find . ( -size +200k -and -size -299k ) -and ( -iname '*.jpg' -or -iname '*.png' -or -iname '*.gif' ) > 299k.txt
echo "Finding files 300Kbytes to 399Kbytes"
find . ( -size +300k -and -size -399k ) -and ( -iname '*.jpg' -or -iname '*.png' -or -iname '*.gif' ) > 399k.txt
echo "Finding files 400Kbytes to 499Kbytes"
find . ( -size +400k -and -size -499k ) -and ( -iname '*.jpg' -or -iname '*.png' -or -iname '*.gif' ) > 499k.txt
echo "Finding files 500Kbytes to 599Kbytes"
find . ( -size +500k -and -size -599k ) -and ( -iname '*.jpg' -or -iname '*.png' -or -iname '*.gif' ) > 599k.txt
echo "Finding files 600Kbytes to 699Kbytes"
find . ( -size +600k -and -size -699k ) -and ( -iname '*.jpg' -or -iname '*.png' -or -iname '*.gif' ) > 699k.txt
echo "Finding files 700Kbytes to 799Kbytes"
find . ( -size +700k -and -size -799k ) -and ( -iname '*.jpg' -or -iname '*.png' -or -iname '*.gif' ) > 799k.txt
echo "Finding files 800Kbytes to 899Kbytes"
find . ( -size +800k -and -size -899k ) -and ( -iname '*.jpg' -or -iname '*.png' -or -iname '*.gif' ) > 899k.txt
echo "Finding files 900Kbytes to 999Kbytes"
find . ( -size +900k -and -size -999k ) -and ( -iname '*.jpg' -or -iname '*.png' -or -iname '*.gif' ) > 999k.txt
echo "Finding files 1Mbyte and larger"
find . -size +1M -and ( -iname '*.jpg' -or -iname '*.png' -or -iname '*.gif' ) > 1m.txt

It's just a simple script that uses the amazing find util (Which should be part of any *NIX distribution) and just outputs the filenames to a textfile. Ya just gotta run it in the parent of the directory tree that you want to check. (For me it was /mnt/hd/My Documents/Stuff/) It's not 100% accurate. (I should've used 1byte to 101376bytes for the first test, and use bytes instead of Kbytes and Mbytes after that. Oh well, not a shellscripting guru here.) Afterwards, I just used less to view the file, and get a line count. Here's the results:

  • 0bytes to 99Kbytes: 39367 files
  • 100Kbytes to 199Kbytes: 18925 files
  • 200Kbytes to 299Kbytes: 9103 files
  • 300Kbytes to 399Kbytes: 4103 files
  • 400Kbytes to 499Kbytes: 1568 files
  • 500Kbytes to 599Kbytes: 1287 files
  • 600Kbytes to 699Kbytes: 890 files
  • 700Kbytes to 799Kbytes: 297 files
  • 800Kbytes to 899Kbytes: 175 files
  • 900Kbytes to 999Kbytes: 126 files
  • 1Mbytes and larger: 408 files

Now, I admit that I have been going through and jpegoptim'ng and optipng'ng alot of my collection But even then, it seems that at least in my collection, anything over 300Kbytes is rare. The main area seems to be clustered in the 0bytes to 199Kbytes range, with a bit spilling into the 299Kbytes and 399Kbytes range.

I might re-write the script to fix some bugs (0bytes, Bytes over Kbytes) and maybe even sorting via image type, JPEG, GIF or PNG. But eh, I just did this out of curiosity. Still, it is quite eye opening.
 

uncia2000

Member
CyberFoxx said:
Well, I decided to do a little experiment...

*g*. Yeah, that kind of number crunching. Thanks, CyberFoxx. :)

Pretty much tallies with my "would have to be right down to around 200k max. hard limit to have any significant throughput benefit" (paraphr.) comment.
 

shep

New Member
Although I see a lot of good art on FA that is worthy of uploading in its full glory, I also see much more half-assed drawings that people throw on a scanner then upload full size. I think the best thing to do would be limit how much a person could upload per month or week. A great picture takes time anyway, so if you think its worth uploading it over 500k out of your allotted limit, then go for it. If you just did a dozen poorly rendered pictures of stick figure porn while waiting around at jury duty and want to upload them all without resizing, then you're going to run out of upload allotment.
Educating people on how to manage their image sizes would be good too.
 

dom2012

New Member
I'm not an artist. I'm a writer, but I would have to say that in my opinion it would be great to limit art to around 200kb. I like looking at the drawings--it gives inspiration, but if i wanted to see highly, and by highly i mean you can see that off-coloration of a mole down to the pore, detailed art, id just end up going to the artists website. For FA I just wanted to see the drawings, not the detail. If I wanted detail, like I said, I'd go to the artists website and commission them if i had the money.

Speaking of money, id really like to not have to pay to visit FA.
 

Honeymane

Member
Personally, I think FA shouldn't put a set limit on file sizes, Unless FA is perhaps willing to allow larger images to be uploaded, but only so many per month, or, they have to be in ziped file (etc)
 

Shiuk

New Member
Kougar said:
That is a very good point about avvies... especially considering that not every does use browser caches, and a good majority set them to be extremely small by IE's usual standards. (20mb is Opera's default disk cache) I'd hope that in some cases when the same avatar is displayed 6+ times on a single page that it only needs to DL just once? (Just to double-check that)

*pounces the floofy title kitty* :)

Edit: Shiuk, if a user wanted to upload a wallpaper it would need to be over 200kB, closer to 500kB. I'd have voted for 500kb+ in the poll if bandwidth wasn't an issue like it is, as really on some uploaded images you just can't see the detail at posted resolutions.

A, browser chaches, it be wonderful if everyone had them set to 500mbs like normal people should. The problem with web images is that you are not suppoused to look at the detail, that's what printed images are for. Web images are mostly for, a quick glance at the person's stuff, if they want a detail shot that's another story. Now, I normally wouldn't care about detail shots, but many of the people that upload huge images don't have that much detail on their drawings.

And babe :3 please, I have wallpapers under 100Kbs in JPeg, and they look just as viewtiful as 1-3 meg BitMaps.
 

Dickie

Member
It's been said before, but when you have to compress your images, the quality quite frankly sucks.

My monster of a monitor is 1400x1050, and I STILL get pictures in my inbox that are way too freaking huge to fit on my page. Perhaps having a dimensions limit on the pictures will actually help the bandwidth issues, because just shrinking the images to a decent size will cut the size of the image dramatically.

Swampwulf said:
Nor I assume, text files.
I can't imagine writing a piece that took up 500+k of space.
Maybe if I was Stephen King...

That's actually about average for my completed pieces, but I'm just a nut. XD
 

dave hyena

A wonderous moorhen
I just looked through (in details view), my collection of the furry art I have saved over the past few years, and of 455 files, only two are larger than 249 kb (and they are huge very detailed images intended for printing anyway).

And if any of these images are compressed or whatnot, it's not really noticable. (And I'm not going to be printing out any of them or anything anyway.)
 

JessicaElwood

New Member
Personally, I would suggest a 300k limit. I know there are people out there that don’t know how to compress pictures and just upload them as large as they come from their scanner, and some dread the artifacts lower compression levels can cause. But, all of the JPG horror can be avoided with some smart compression (I use ACDSee 5.0 for compression and it does work wonders). Quoting another user, I like to use rich colors and details, many times these JPG artifacts seem to love as spawning grounds (high saturated red and blue, mainly) but that doesn’t mean I need images with obscene file sizes. Here are two examples of what can de done with a 80% compression + progressive and optimize options.

Image 1

Image 2

They have about no differences with the original PSD files =) as for the compression bots, the one used by VCL works wonders most of time, so maybe coding one into the upload system could be a good idea?
 

Shiuk

New Member
Dickie said:
It's been said before, but when you have to compress your images, the quality quite frankly sucks.

My monster of a monitor is 1400x1050, and I STILL get pictures in my inbox that are way too freaking huge to fit on my page. Perhaps having a dimensions limit on the pictures will actually help the bandwidth issues, because just shrinking the images to a decent size will cut the size of the image dramatically.

The problem with compressing images is that there are many ways of doing it, there are many levels of compression, and there are too many programs that claim to do it correctly and well. With the right now-how, you can compress drawings down to under 200KBs and keep them crisp and clean while keeping them in the 1000 pixel range. Truth be told it is a good idea to put up dimension limits on drawing but that won't stop people from putting up 500KB+ images under 800X600 (and believe me, those do exist).
 
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