Tuesday, 24 December 2013

How to make a perfect web thumbnail using SharpResize

This article uses SharpResize.

Opening an Image

There are several ways to get your image into SharpResize.
  • New from clipboard using File > New From Clipboard or cmd-N
  • Drag the image onto application's dock icon
  • Drag the image onto application icon or alias
  • Drag the image into SharpResize's image well
  • File > Open or cmd-O
You can grab an area of the screen using cmd-ctrl-shift-4. Drag a rectangle and see the width and height of your selection. It's not an easy shortcut to remember but worthwhile.

In addition there are toolbar buttons for New from Clipboard, Open and Save.



Quality and size

When you open a new image, the width and height won't immediately set themselves to the size of your image. You may need all of your thumbnails to be a standard size. This is also important for SharpResize's single-step feature. If you do want to set the output size to the actual size of the image, press 'Actual' or cmd-=

Resizing will be performed with Lanczos sharpening which is noticeably better than the more usual bicubic. You will see the output image displayed in the image well.

The Quality slider is the jpeg compression of the output. For maximum quality you'll also get the maximum file size but the file size can be reduced significantly (maybe halved) by backing off that slider a tiny bit below maximum.

The Sharpening slider applies a further filter to further improve a resized image. Use judiciously - too much will result in an artificial look. The best setting here will depend on the image. Most pictures seem to look best with the slider about a third of the way. If the image includes text, any more than a small amount of sharpening can spoil the anti-aliasing and make the text look jagged.


Adjustments

New in v1.2 is this panel which allows you to correct brightness, contrast and saturation. The latter can be used to remove colour completely. Call up the adjustments panel with cmd-alt-A. To check your changes, toggle the 'Preview' button.


Saving

You can save the image using File > Save, cmd-S, the Save button or the toolbar Save button. There will always be a dialog shown and the image will be saved as a jpg.

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