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Picture Editing for Gallery or Tutorials
Article © MAIL User: Catweazle

Sometimes it is a bigger problem to create a suitable picture for this forum than making the maille which can be seen on the picture. So here are a few hints which hopefully will help you:

The most important requirements for pictures on mailleartisans.org are:


Example 1:
Let's assume I've got a piece of armour – in this case a pair of kote – which I want to show you.
I'm positioning the armour on a piece of light cloth (the armour is dark, so it wouldn't make any sense to use dark fabric). Because of the length of the armour (65 cm) the picture is completely filled.
I take a photo with my camera and load it onto my computer.

The problem is, that this picture is way too big: 5329 kB without compression (100 % quality of the jpg-image) and 3872 x 2592 pixel.
So I resize the picture to 800 x 600 pixel. Now only 324 kB are left and the quality is still at 100 %.
Image: AS_Foto-Kote_800x600_exif_90.jpg

The resolution of the picture is OK, but the file-size is still too big.

Now I save the picture without the EXIF information. The file-size is now 288 kB. My last chance to get to a file-size of 100 kB (or smaller) is to reduce the quality of the image. And with a quality of 90 % my picture has a file-size of 90 kB.


Pixel
Size [kB]
Exif
Quality [%]
Original Picture
3872 x 2592
5329
Yes
100
Resized Picture
800 x 600
324
Yes
100
Resized Picture
800 x 600
287
No
100
Resized Picture
800 x 600
90
No
90



Example 2:
I want to show you a pendant or I need some photos for a tutorial. The piece of maille is small (and I have to keep a minimum distance of 60 cm with the lens from the object). My picture looks like this:
Image: AS_Foto-DB_800x600_90.jpg

A small piece of maille in the middle of the picture and the rest is some sort of a frame. If I'd handle this picture like the image in example 1, it'd look like this:
Image: AS_Foto-DB_480x320_exif.jpg

Nothing is gained. On the contrary – the maille is getting smaller and smaller and it is worse to see. So I have to go another way:

Do I need the empty space around the maille? - Certainly not! So let's crop the picture!
The size is now 1500 x 600 pixel and 630 kB. After resizing it to a width of 800 pixel (229 kB, 100 % quality) the image looks like this:
Image: AS_Foto-DB_gesch_800x600_90.jpg

As you can see the rings are a little bit blurred. (Due to the resizing a lot of information of the original picture is lost.). I have to sharpen the picture:
Image: AS_Foto-DB_gesch_800x600_mod_90.jpg

The picture still has a width of 800 pixel, but the file-size increased to 257 kB. Nevertheless it looks much better.

Saving the image without the EXIF information leads me to a file-size of 222 kB. And with reducing the quality to 90 % I'll come to a file-size of 85 kB.


Pixel]
Size [kB]
Exif
Quality [%]
Original Picture
3872 x 2592
4441
Yes
100
Resized Picture
800 x 600
273
Yes
100
Cropped Picture
1501 x 601
630
Yes
100
Cropped Resized Picture
800 x 600
229
Yes
100
Cropped Resized Sharpened Picture
800 x 600
257
Yes
100
Cropped Resized Sharpened Picture
800 x 600
222
No
100
Cropped Resized Sharpened Picture
800 x 600
85
No
90



Now I'll show you two possibilities to make those alterations.
Usually I'm using PMViewPro for those changes. (You can download a trial version, if you want to test it.) A completely free alternative is GIMP. I'm sure there are a lot of other programmes with which you can do these things – but I don't know them. :-(

How to do it with PMViewPro:

1. Load your image.

2. In order to crop your picture you have to pull a selection-window with your mouse on the picture.
Image: AS_Foto_PmViewPro_04.jpg

You can move the window with the mouse or edit the data with the “Selection Info”-window. For cropping press Alt-X or click on Edit -> Crop.

3. If you want to resize your picture, click on Transform -> Size. The following window will open:
Image: AS_Foto_PmViewPro_02.jpg

As you can see, there are several standard sizes, but you can also customize your size.

4. If you want to sharpen the image, click on Transform -> Normal Filters -> Sharpen. You can choose between 5 sharpening options (mild, moderate, strong, very strong, unsharpen mask). I usually use mild or moderate.

5. For changing the quality of your image click on File -> Save As:
Image: AS_Foto_PmViewPro_05.jpg

If you click on Options, you can edit the quality of the picture. You can also decide whether you want to save the EXIF information or not.


How to do it with GIMP:

1. Load your image.

2. In order to crop your picture you have to click on the Rectangle Select Tool (marked red) or you have to press R.
Image: AS_Foto_GIMP_01.jpg

Then pull a selection-window with your mouse on the picture. You can move and/or edit the window with the mouse. In order to do the cropping click on Image -> Autocrop Image.

3. If you want to resize your picture, click on Image -> Scale Image. The following window will open:
Image: AS_Foto_GIMP_05.jpg

Enter the new width and press Scale. It is important, that the chains on the right side beneath the scale are connected (green +). If they are not connected (red -) the picture will only be resized in width or height. If you want to change the chains from “connected” to “disconnected” (or the other way around), you have to click on them.

4. If you want to sharpen the image, click on Filters -> Enhance -> Sharpen. A window will open and you can sharpen your picture easily.

5. For changing the quality of your image click on File -> Export As. If you're not altering a jpg-image, change the file-type to jpg. Click on Export and open the Advanced Options in the following window:
Image: AS_Foto_GIMP_08.jpg

Here you can edit the quality of the picture and you can also decide whether you want to save the EXIF information or not.

I hope you'll find this a little bit helpful! If you have question – send me a PM.
Original URL: http://www.mailleartisans.org/articles/articledisplay.php?key=691