Cloudinary Blog

Detecting the psychovisual impact of compression related artifacts using SSIMULACRA

Lossy image compression is a great way to reduce the file size of an image, which helps to improve the performance of your website or app and cut bandwidth costs. And, if it goes well, nobody can tell the difference. If it goes well…

When lossy compression does not go well, compression artifacts become noticeable or even completely ruin an image. For example, the following JPEG images have been encoded with a compression setting that is too aggressive:

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This talk was given at DevoxxUK by Jon Sneyers

Images are a crucial part of any website or app. In this talk we'll give a brief history of image formats for the web, discussing both the universally supported GIF, JPEG, and PNG formats and some of the newer formats: WebP, JPEG XR, JPEG 2000, BPG and FLIF. We also briefly look at vector formats, in particular SVG and icon fonts. We will cover the strengths and weaknesses of each format and how to use them effectively.

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Three different ways to do progressive JPEG encoding

There are two different kinds of JPEG images: progressive JPEGs and non-progressive JPEGs. These categories have nothing to do with the JPEGs’ political beliefs. They’re all about the order in which they’ve been encoded.

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Compressing a single-color image in various formats

In part one (One pixel is worth three thousand words) of this turned-to-be-two-part blog post, I discussed one-pixel images and how well different image formats “compress” these images. I was surprised how much there is to be said about the matter. This was supposed to be a short blog post, describing one-pixel images and how they compress, and instead it became a glorious monster (and also a two part blog post…).

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How various image formats compress one-pixel images

A couple of months ago while taking a break from implementing cool new features like q_auto and g_auto, I was joking in our team chat about how well various image formats “compress” one-pixel images. In response, Orly — who runs the blog — asked me if I’d write a post about single-pixel images. I said: "Sure, why not. But it will be a very short blog post. After all, there’s not much you can say about a single pixel."

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Why JPEG is like a photocopier (generation loss)

If you make a copy of a copy of a copy, the quality will deteriorate with every ‘generation’. This problem is called ‘generation loss’. It is not difficult to understand why this happens with actual copier machines. Scanning and printing are not perfect, being based on noisy sensors and physical paper and ink, and the resulting noise will tend to accumulate.

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