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Create almost pixel-perfect JPEG files


Rekkio

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Create almost pixel-perfect JPEG files

Instead of the crappy, blurred ones

 


Time requirements (downloads)

  • About 2 hours 30 minutes for low-end connections (~512KB/s)
  • About 5 minutes for high-end connections (~10MB/s or more)

Target audience

  • Both beginners and advanced users.
  • Difficulty level is average.

Target system

  • Windows versions supported by Photoshop.

Required software

Optional software

  • Download | ExifCleaner (Batch Exif Cleaner)

 

The blurred JPG epidemic

 

Too many times I've seen blurred, crappy, compressed JPG files. People might not know, but there's a way to create bearable JPG files.

 

That way involves using Adobe Photoshop, and also if you wish, an Exif metadata cleaner (for compression and / or Privacy).

 

How it works

 

Softwares usually only allow you to choose a compression level ranging from lowest to highest. However, even at the highest quality settings, these softwares fail to create a bearable JPG file. The resulting output is blurry, pixelated and you finally decide to go with PNG because you can't create a JPG file the way you want.

 

I've accidentally found out when creating banners in Photoshop that this software allows you to create almost pixel-perfect JPEG files. Mind-blowing, and I'm sure there are people out there desperately seeking for a way to create 'clean' JPG files.

 

Part. 1 - Photoshop

 

Quote

 

To keep this guide as short as possible, I assume Photoshop is installed & medicine has been applied.

  • Run Photoshop from your Desktop shortcut (you may also run it from the start menu or directly).

Desktop_Shortcut.png

  • When Photoshop is loaded drag & drop your PNG file into the main window.

Drop_Action.png

  • After your picture is loaded in Photoshop click on the File > Save As... menu item.

Save_As.png

  • On the Save As prompt, choose a filename and the JPG file format. The ICC Color Profile is unnecessary (uncheck this box).

JPG_Save.png

  • A JPEG Options prompt will then appear where you can choose the preset you want, select 'Maximum' but don't click 'OK' yet.

JPEG_Max_Not_Enough.png

  • The 'Maximum' preset is good but that's not the maximum you can get, as the slider cans go much further. Drag it to the maximum level (12).
  • Set the 'Cache' option to 'None'. Leave the 'Format' option to 'Basic (Standard)' as it's the best one (no additional processing on your files).

JPEG_Max_12.png

  • You can now save the file by clicking the 'OK' button.

 

Part. 2 - ExifCleaner

 

Quote

 

This part is optional.

  • Your JPG file is already good, however Photoshop leaves alot of metadata on it (EXIF, IPTC, XMP, etc).
  • If you want to remove it, this part will cover how to remove any and all metadata on your JPG files.

Removing the metadata contained in your files cans shrink them down to 50% of their original size

  • A thumbnail contained in the file wil be removed, and if your file is in the likes of ~30KB it will be shrunk down to 50% of its original size.

 

I'll assume the software has been installed and activated, ready to use.

  • Run the software from your Desktop shortcut (here also, you may also run it from the start menu or directly).

Desktop_Shortcut.png

  • When the software is loaded drag & drop the JPG you want to remove metadata from into the software's main window.

Drop_Action.png

  • Click on the file's row in the list and choose the 'Clean Setup...' option. On the first tab, select 'Strip Exif data entirely' but don't click on 'Clean' yet.

Exif_Tab_1.png

  • On the last tab select everything (you may click on the 'Select All' button). You can now click on the 'Clean' button.

Exif_Tab_3.png

  • The software will save the new file in the same directory as the original one with the '_cleaned' suffix.

cleaned_directory.png

 

 

Before & After - Comparisons

 

Quote

 

Some Before & After comparisons of various files.

  • Original PNG file

clean_banner.png

  • JPG file created with common software

crap_banner.jpg

  • JPG file created with Photoshop

clean_banner.jpg

 

 

Quote

 

Direct, side-by-side comparison of the JPG files.

  • Common software versus Photoshop

Crappy_VS_Clean.png

 

 

 

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You don't need extra-mega-tools like Photoshop for that

It can be done with some small simple image viewer/converter

For example:
-  FastStone Image Viewer

-  FastStone MaxView

-  FastStone Photo Resizer

- XnView Classic

- XnView MP

- XnConvert

- IrfanView

- IrfanView RIOT Plugin

- ACDSee

- GIMP (Photoshop free alternative)

not test others

 

 

ACDSee 2.4 (released somewhere around 1998/1999)

 

kPdJd06.png

 

clean_banner.jpg

 

 

ACDSee Classic v2.4 (just main executable)
Site: https://www.upload.ee
Sharecode: /files/8373542/ACDSee24.rar.html

 

 

 

 

 

JPEG compression settings windows from various image tools mentioned above

 

faststoneimageviewerrgb.pngfaststoneimageviewerconvertjpg.pngxnviewmpjpeg2.pngxnviewmpjpeg1.pngxnviewjpeg3.pngxnviewjpeg2.pngxnconvertjpeg.pngirfanpluginjpeg.pngirfanjpeg.pnggimpjpeg.png

 

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This JPG file is 'damaged' : the segments surrounding the letters are blurred, and there are pixelated zones on the letters.

 

Damaged.png

 

That's still much better than common software nowadays however it's still not a clean JPG file.

 

I would really appreciate an alternative to Photoshop, so when I get time I'll check the other softwares.

I'll also try ACDSee without 'Optimize Huffman codes' but I think it won't work with this one anyway.

 

 

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11 minutes ago, Rekkio said:

This JPG file is 'damaged' : the segments surrounding the letters are blurred, and there are pixelated zones on the letters.

 

I change host, and put new link on banner

looks like Imgur recompress pics, and pics in attachment looks like it's recompressed

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4 minutes ago, xanax said:

 

I change host, and put new link on banner

looks like Imgur recompress pics, and pics in attachment looks like it's recompressed

 

The new banner (on the updated link) looks absolutely perfect, what was the tool & options used ?

 

 

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ACDSee 2.4

the most important thing in that conversion is sampling option, in ACDSee set it to YUV 111 (None)

similar in other tools, where sampling/subsampling is set to something like Disabled or None or 1x1,1x1,1x1 or 4:4:4

like in pictures

 

maybe it's time for WebP to replace JPEG's, PNG's and GIF's

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WebP

https://developers.google.com/speed/webp/

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