Sites and apps are including more and more high-quality images. The more you can compress images to reduce their size in bytes, the smaller your bandwidth, the faster your site will load and the happier your users will be. But when compressing images, you need to make sure you maintain high visual quality.
Most web sites and mobile apps use the popular JPEG format to display their images and user uploaded photos. The JPEG format has efficient built-in compression that reduces image size while maintaining a reasonable visual quality. But you can reach much better results using more modern image file formats.
Short animated GIF-based video sequences seem to be spreading like wildfire around the web.
Media and news sites display short video segments, social apps allow their users to share animated GIFs with their friends, and while the dated animated GIF format is very useful for this purpose, it has one significant disadvantage - its huge file size.
Animated GIFs are not optimized for captured videos, resulting in large files, heavy bandwidth utilization, slow loading times, and sub-optimal user experience. Also, resizing and manipulating animated GIFs to match the graphic design of your site or app might be a lengthy, cpu-intensive process, as it consists of dozens or even hundreds of frames being manipulated individually.
Web development was much simpler only a few years ago, when we were building HTML pages that included images and photos, and all elements shared the same resolution units. If for example, you aimed at a standard 1024x768 screen, you knew these were exactly the number of pixels available for displaying HTML elements and images.
In 2010, Apple introduced the iPhone 4 with Retina display. In order to simplify things for developers, the logical screen resolution remained the same as previous iPhone models (640x960) while the physical screen resolution was exactly doubled (1280x1920). This means that if, for example, you embed an image tag in your HTML page with width of 200 pixels and height of 300 pixels, and you display a double-size image of 400x600 pixels, the Retina display shows all pixels of the larger image, resulting in a much clearer visual result and without performing browser-side down-scaling.
If your web or mobile application involves user-generated content, you may encounter users who upload inappropriate photos or images to your application. These could be images which offend other users - adult content, violent photos, etc. - or images which cause your site to violate laws or regulations.
There are two ways to identify and remove such images: you can either require approval of each image before it is displayed to your users, or display images immediately after upload, and then quickly remove them from your site as soon as a moderator has found them to be inappropriate.
Handling user uploaded images on your website can be a time consuming task. In this post, we'll show how Cloudinary's cloud-based image management service can help you turn user uploading into a lightweight operation that bypasses your servers altogether.
How do you handle user uploads today? If images are uploaded directly to your servers, this requires some heavy server-side processing, bandwidth and storage space. One way to offload images is to transfer them to cloud storage. But if you're handling the upload operation on your own servers (and then transferring them to the cloud), this is still wasteful of server resources.
Cloudinary is passionate about its users. We built our cloud-based image management features around real-world pain points, and it's gratifying to see our customers use those features to solve major business challenges.
One example is Keep.com, an innovative online commerce startup, which the Huffington Post has called "the only fashion app worth getting". We wanted to share the story of how Keep used Cloudinary to remove a major bottleneck in the development of their website and business.
How do you crop an image to a custom shape? How do you add a shadow effect to an image with transparency? How do you add text overlay to an image without using HTML?
If you build or maintain a website with a lot of images, you've probably had many questions like these. Most developers who work with images have scripts or tools that can achieve dozens if not hundreds of image manipulations - from basics like crop and resize, to advanced stuff like shadow and transparency, watermarks, face detection, etc. But how do you mix and match these manipulations correctly to solve a problem or achieve a certain effect?
Fashion isn't something you'd expect to repeat itself in the technology world - technology advances quickly and hardly ever circles back. But where animated GIFs are involved, it seems like the 90s are here again. Animated GIFs are everywhere, and not only on strange, cheezy web sites - they've become mainstream. You now see short videos shared and played as animated GIFs in reputed sites such as Gawker and TechCrunch.
There are many options to consider when allowing a user to upload an image to your website or mobile app. You might wish to limit the size and format of the uploaded images. You may want to apply specific manipulations to the images, such as cropping, resizing and adapting the image to your site's look & feel. Beyond that, it's common to create a variety of thumbnails from a newly uploaded image.