Flying Over Bar Harbor
July 21, 2001

This is a discussion of graphics enhancement and compression, click if you just want to see the enhanced pictures of flying over Bar Harbor or the original pictures.

I've been making graphic web pages for 10 years, but am still very sensitive to the size of graphic files because for several months a year I have to use a dial-up line.

I've found the compression with ACDSee 7 is much better than most other programs (or earlier versions of ACDSee). In fact it is so much better that files 800 pixels wide are about the same size as 640 pixel wide files produced by other programs. (Elements 3 doesn't seem to have better compression than Elements 2. I haven't tested Photoshop CS 2, but will soon.)

Recently I've been very impressed with the automatic enhancement using Bibble, but am sorry to say the compression is not nearly as good as ACDSee. Guess for now I'll consider using a combination of both ... those results are near the middle of the first table below.

I picked these images to experiment with just because they looked so poor. As you see, the enhanced versions produced by Bibble look much better!

The problem is that unless you use a quality of at least 50 for the Bibble JPG output, the images are just not acceptable for display on my web pages. The Bibble file sizes are almost twice those of the ACDSee files, and about 50% larger than files produced by ACDSee after the images have been enhanced by Bibble.

The table below show the relative file sizes for 9 similar images. You can see a comparison of one of the images below, or all 9 of a particular kind by clicking in this table:

Original 640x480
resized using PS4.0
18324 22502 27127 31542 39574 32523 40091 45113 40882
800x600 resized
using ACDSee, quality 15
19199 22811 27364 31609 40218 33778 35992 42038 36713
800x600 resized
using Bibble, quality 15
with no enhancement
23080 25249 27430 30057 35007 30433 33410 36967 33989
800x600 resized
using Bibble, quality 15
with enhancement
30713 30067 36807 39836 48654 42306 42858 48403 44226
800x600 resized
using Bibble, quality 30
with enhancement
38598 38166 49144 52752 65189 57473 55810 63993 58116
800x600 resized
using Bibble, quality 50
with enhancement
47922 47890 63717 67621 83279 74562 70467 80576 73835
800x600 resized
using Bibble, quality 50
enhanced, with profile
51084 51052 66879 70783 86441 77724 73629 83738 76997
Enhanced using Bibble
Full size, quality 95
Resized by ACDSee
800x600 Quality 15
31778 31062 44651 48586 62411 54696 51299 59339 53571
800x600 resized
using ThumbsPlus, quality 20
with no enhancement
14772 16660 18461 21732 26927 22103 25509 29302 25657
800x600 resized
using ThumbsPlus, quality 30
with no enhancement
18219 21038 23816 27787 34881 28920 32228 37394 32556
800x600 resized
using ThumbsPlus, quality 40
with no enhancement
21380 24885 28948 33380 41838 35249 38285 44527 38714
800x600 resized
using ThumbsPlus, quality 50
with no enhancement
24990 29580 34827 39639 49190 42183 44730 51377 45406
800x600 resized
using ThumbsPlus, quality 50
enhanced using Histogram
Streach and Unsharp Mask
36136 37342 41396 44698 58133 52313 53577 61987 57028

Note that the "profiles" add about 3K to the file size ... the difference between lines 6 and 7 above. I haven't yet explored the advantages including the profile in the output file, but doubt very much it has any value on a web page.

Just for the sake of completeness, the table below shows the original file sizes using a Nikon 990 camera, and the intermediate files produced by Bibble at full size and a quality of 95...

Original Image
2048x1536
1328595 1193310 1135496 1149489 1087727 1094665 1149283 1203333 1147166
Enhanced using Bibble
Full size, quality 95
1446431 1268963 1460153 1446575 1533272 1561120 1409455 1475335 1426137

 

Original 640x480 image as posted 4 years agoBar Harbor
ACDSee 7, No Enhancement, Quality 15Bar Harbor
Bibble, No Enhancement, Quality 15
Note the unacceptable artifacts of compression.
Compare with the ACDSee image above which is about the same file size.
Bar Harbor
Bibble, with Enhancement, Quality 15Bar Harbor
Bibble, with Enhancement, Quality 30
You can still see some compression artifacts.
Bar Harbor
Bibble, with Enhancement, Quality 50Bar Harbor
Bibble, with Enhancement, Quality 50, with ProfileBar Harbor
ThumbsPlus enhancement using Histogram Streach and Unsharp Mask, Quality 50Bar Harbor
The results of the ThumbsPlus batch enhancements weren't as good. I tried several
different enhancement techniques, some of other results were quite poor. What
impressed me with Bibble is that the default enhancements were almost
always better than the original.
Bibble Enhancement, ACDSee 7 compression, Quality 15Bar Harbor
Repeat of original for comparison (ACDSee 7, No Enhancement, Quality 15)Bar Harbor

 
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