3 comments

  1. Kenny says:

    Just found this article. Very thorough and well described! I was searching for an answer to if more settings could be tweaked from ImageMagick, and it seems (from your research) this is not possible. Bummer. But I actually do use an older plugin (ImageMagick Sharpen Resized Images) that taps into ImageMagick’s sharpening features. It does a GREAT job of resharpening the soft resized images, but not sure at what point it’s applied and therefor if it is adding another round of compression along the way (plus it hasn’t been updated in years).

    I’m curious if you have any thoughts on WebP conversions? It seems that WebP has a more up-to-date and advanced way of compressing images that retains much higher quality at the same filesize as a similar JPG. But I’m under the impression that most/all of the current plugins that do the WebP conversions are using the already resized & compressed JPG thumbnails, so just re-compressing the much lower quality thumbnails rather than starting from the high quality original. Garbage in…

    If there was a method/plugin/function that could generate the WebP thumbnails from the original well-optimized original, I think you could simultaneously have much higher quality thumbnail images AND smaller filesizes. Since most browsers support WebP these days, a fallback JPG would be less & less utilized. Still searching for this possibility…

    • Carl Seibert says:

      Thanks!

      WEBP is interesting. Google has a utility that works with it pretty well. Well, sort of almost pretty well. ImageMagick has added some WEBP functionality, but nothing that preserves metadata yet. There is a fair amount of browser support, but you still have to serve backup JPEGs. Image editor support is scant yet. So, a work in progress, basically.

      I lived through the JPEG2000 ordeal. Spent a bunch of time working out new workflows that would take advantage, including remote transmission – which was a bigger deal back then – and it was all for naught. So, for WEBP/FLIFF/HEIF/FUIF/JPEGXL and whatever other wonders are lurking out in vaporware land, I’m in wait-and-see mode for a while. I have made some test images with WEBP and it does indeed look nice at smaller file sizes, compared to JPEG. (After nearly 30 years, I’d kind of hope so.)

      All that said, the biggest bang-for-buck jump in image load time that I know of right now is still to nail the size of the served file. (and, of course, CDN and lazyload) The trade-off being server space for all those renditions. (Which is a thing that FLIF was going to address and the yet-newer formats may still. Sigh.)

      For all its flaws, JPEG remains for the moment a pretty decent choice, IMHO.

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