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Task 1 article on investigating the graphic file formats and applications

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  • 1. Ben Turner Unit 54 – Digital Graphics for Print-Based Media 7/12/12 (Investigating the Graphic File Formats and Applications)Unit 54-Assignment 1_Digital Graphics for PrintThe magazine article that I will be producing is based around several different raster andvector based applications that are used for the modification and creation of the images andfor exportation within a wide range of file extensions. There are good and bad qualitiesabout the different file extensions.Print-based media products mainly comprise of the following things like posters, leaflets,magazines, DVD and CD covers. This includes graphics and illustrations that are used inorder to grab the audience’s attention. An example of a print file format is a .TIFF (TaggedImage File Format) as it has lossless compression which means that all the detail within theimage is obtained seem as it is a raster file format. The interactive media aspects such as,the internet, computer games and CD roms where these all form as digital graphics.Websites that makes use of interactivity more often than not uses PNG (Portable NetworkGraphics) in which this is representative of the raster file format. The moving image mediaproducts are very much like adverts that can be found on television where these alsocontain a form of digital graphic that is involved within the opening sequence, a file formatthat is moving images is known as a Pixar file format. Pixars are designed for high-endgraphics, such as work involving three dimensional images and animation.Raster Images:Raster images can be used for print media products within the media industry for things likeposters and magazines. Every image assigns each pixel for one colour where this can beviewable on either a computer screen or on a piece of paper.As of now, there are two forms of compression schemes which are used to reduce the bigsize of the graphic files for Lossless and Lossy.Lossless compression is the more regular compression technique used today, even though itincludes quite a few variations, therefore not all compression systems work in the sameway.Whilst the uncompressed image encodes each pixel of an image with a specific value,whereas Lossless compression looks at areas andcontains pixels of the same value and givesthis area a code. This enables a more moderate compression rate while making sure that adecompressed file will look identical to the original image. Lossy compression, is a relativelynew method (used widely for JPEG formats) it achieves this by actually losing some of thedata and gives us a greater saving of up to ten times than the lossless compression wherethere is very little image degradation.
  • 2. Ben Turner Unit 54 – Digital Graphics for Print-Based Media 7/12/12 (Investigating the Graphic File Formats and Applications)This works well as the perception of colours and quality by is more often out of the range ofthe human eye. In conclusion, Lossy compression works well for 24 bit photo graphic imagesbut is not suitable for computer-based graphic files as this can cause corruption and qualityloss.The two different methods of compression both have pros and cons as shown below: • Pros: Lossless • Better image quality Lossless • Cons: • Large file sizes Lossy • Pros: • Smaller file sizes Lossy Cons: Picture Quality is reducedA raster image is made up of a wide range of dots where this can be recognised as `Pixels`.Every pixel within the graphic comprises of a tiny coloured square in which they areconverted to a collection of pixels called a raster image. Scanned graphics and Web graphicssuch as, JPEG and GIF file can be the most related forms of raster images.Resolution defines the quality of the picture and is expressed in dots per inch or dpi.Standard desktop laser printers print from 300 to 600 dpi in whichthe image setters are ableto print over 2,500 dpi. All printers that contain a higher dpi rate are more capable ofproducing a smoother and cleaner image. The output quality for a printing device is verymuch dependent upon the resolution (dpi) of a bitmap or scan.A 300 dpi raster image willmaintain the same quality on a 300 dpi laser printer as on a 2,500 dpi image setter.
  • 3. Ben Turner Unit 54 – Digital Graphics for Print-Based Media 7/12/12 (Investigating the Graphic File Formats and Applications)Take a 300 dpi bitmap and increase the size in a graphics program, and presto - you havecreated a bad case ofthe "jaggies" (very pixelated looking image). The only thing thathappened is that the tiny pixel squares got bigger and created jaggy edges on your image.Decrease the size of yourimage and the squares getsmaller. The image retains itsoriginal edgedefinitionwithout producing "jaggies".In other words, raster imagesdo not scale up very well. Thequality ofan imprintproduced from a rasterimage is dependent upon the resolution (dpi) of the raster image, the capabilities of theprinting technology and whether or not the image has been scaled up.Raster-Based Applications: Coral Painter (Is a digital art application used to make accurate images using traditional methods it is a very useful and creative tool. Latest version was released on May 11th 2011) Photoshop (Developed by Adobe Systems Incorporated it is a graphic imaging software and is able to read both raster and vector files. Its main strength is that it is a pixel-based image editor) GIMP (This is an image manipulation program which can be used for re-touching an image. (Resizing, cropping, photomontages and is good for converting to different image formats). Its freely available for both Microsoft Windows, Apple and Linux). MS Paint (The newest versions using Windows 7 and 8 where it is mainly used for artwork as it provides a wide range of brushes, colours, vary in grey shades and transparency to give more realistic images)Above shows the four main applications that are used for raster-based images.
  • 4. Ben Turner Unit 54 – Digital Graphics for Print-Based Media 7/12/12 (Investigating the Graphic File Formats and Applications)Vector images:Is a very good method for media printing as the size can be changed from tiny to size of ahouse without any image quality loss. It achieves this by using formula to calculate imageshapes, sizes and positions. One of the main applications that uses this is Adobe Illustrator(A charting application) it keeps everything in a mathematical equation to preserve thequality of the shape and positioning of the image.Photoshop can also accept vector image files and is able to manipulate them. Photoshopoffers a better range of file formats in comparison to the Adobe Illustrator applications.Example:SVG-Scalable Vector Graphic, this allows the graphic to bescaled to any size without it losing any detail in the image.The vector image is composed of a fixed set of shapes,which allows the graphic to be scaled to any size. Thismakes it a considerably better file format than bitmap fileformats. As shown in the image shown to the right.Vector-based applications: Fireworks (Developed for web applications/web designers is a fast way of creating website prototypes and application interfaces. It is specifically designed to interact with other Adobe applications for example, Dreamweaver and Flash) Illustrator (Specifically developed to create distinctive images in multiple media projects. This format can also be opened in Photoshop and in newer versions it is capable of simple 3D images) Flash (This application can be used to add animation or video and interactivity to webpages. It is mainly used in advertising and games also supports audio and video streaming. It also has a capture capability through various input devices that include microphones, camera, mouse and keyboard) Photoshop (This is specifically for image manipulation e.g. Photos. It edits at a pixel level and as multiple tools in varied shapes and sizes, including a range of smart tools)
  • 5. Ben Turner Unit 54 – Digital Graphics for Print-Based Media 7/12/12 (Investigating the Graphic File Formats and Applications)Metafiles:Basically it is a file that can store multiple types of data for example, graphic file formats ofall types: PDF (Portable Document Formats) SVG (Scalable Vector Graphic)These are good for interactive media files as they are ideal for portable devices.WMF (Windows Metafile) is a graphic format used by windows and is intended for portabledevices and contains both Vector and Bitmap formats.Print File Extensions:TIFF (Tagged Image File Format)is mainly used for exchanging documents between differentapplications and platforms such as, Paint and Illustrator etc. It is designed to become thestandard format and can handle just about anything. This format can be found inPhotoshop.JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group) it utilises the lossy compression method for colourimages and only supports 8-bit images.SVG (Scalable Vector Graphic) it is a file format for describing 2D Vector graphics, static anddynamic. It is idealy suited for interactive, print and also small animations.Interactive Extensions:PNG (Portable Network Graphics)was designed for transferring images on the internet; ituses lossy compression, therefore is not professional quality and does not support non RGB(Red, Green and Blue) colour spaces (CMYK) Cyan, Magneta, Yellow and Black. It is alsointended to improve and replace GIF files.BMP (Bitmap) this is a raster image file capable of storing 2D images (supporting RGB,indexed colour and Grayscale) of random height, width and resolution. Bmp is a standardWindows image format on DOS (Disk Operating System) and windows compatible.
  • 6. Ben Turner Unit 54 – Digital Graphics for Print-Based Media 7/12/12 (Investigating the Graphic File Formats and Applications)Moving Image File Extensions:Pixar is designed for swapping files with PIXAR image computers. There are no actual formatoptions with the PIXAR file format used within Photoshop.Targa – TGA it handles up to 16 million different colours and is the industry standard but isnot widely supported as pcx or tiff formats. It was designed for use in the MS-DOS colourapplications.