Any tips for reducing image file size?

  • Hi everyone!

    Since the monthly contest entries are supposed to be submitted at 500KB or less, I've been struggling a bit to reduce the file size of my entries but still keep the images looking sharp.

    For my last entry, I exported the image as a JPG at about 80% quality (from Affinity Designer), which seemed to do the trick. But when I post an image to the forum, I notice an additional loss of quality that I can't seem to shake.

    Does anyone have any tips or tricks for exporting, posting, or even starting the image?


  • Clicking on your contest entry, it looks like the dimensions- width and length are quite large. 2595 X 3608 I'd consider making it to 1200 or less on the longest side and see if that helps. I don't see why you'd need to go larger than that. I don't think the judges are needing to zoom into your piece so much, and if they need a bigger size if/when you win, they'll ask for it.

    I wonder if the forums are reducing the quality of your piece, to help the image load quicker, because the dimensions are so large.

  • Ok- so trying to upload your last contest piece at the same pixel dimensions, when I look at the image code, or whatever it's called, it has "resized" in the code. I don't know if that's reducing the quality or not, but I suspect it is. I think you can take out the "resized" part out of the code and it might help with the quality, but I'm not sure what that would do for loading times or if it would bog down the forums.

  • Pro

    @TessaW I think it gets resized because it's so big - if it's a restriction for the forums to load properly I'm not sure they'd let us post the image with the remove code? :o The easiest way seems to be resizing as you first suggested. @miranda-hoover Although it's a great idea to create the original piece large and high resolution (at least 300 dpi) so you can use it in various context in the future (print, etc), for posting on the internet 72 dpi is the norm and as Tessa said, 1200 px on the longest side is more than enough. If you reduce the size, you won't need to reduce the quality and the forum should not compress your image further 🙂

  • @miranda-hoover I've noticed mine look fuzzy when I first upload but if I reload/look on another device it seems to be fine.

  • @miranda-hoover

    I find running my images through a web compressor often helps a lot! If you have photoshop, there’s an option for it (I think it’s called save for web? I automated the process to a hot key a while back and don’t remember the exact menu option) when saving! If you don’t have photoshop, there’s definitely programs online that will compress your image for you. When I go into a program like that (or directly in photoshop) usually setting the max width to 1200 and selecting the highest quality compression gets me well under the size limit.

  • @NessIllustration Yeah, I agree. I was mainly trying to call attention to the code, to pinpoint a reason why the image quality was lost once uploaded. Even though she apparently kept it under 500kb- it was still too big for the forum and it was therefore resized. But it does sound like I'm encouraging cheating the forums, so I should not have mentioned taking it out of the code.

  • I use to compress my website's image files. I save them out of photoshop at 75% quality then run them through tiny png and it makes the images nice and small without loosing any noticeable detail.

    I think my image got butchered by the forum image compressor in the last contest too 😰 I made it the size of a standard magazine spread for the purpose of my portfolio but when it got shrunk down to forum image size you lost all the quality in my line and subtle texture. I was bummed. I don't want a portfolio full of postage stamp-sized illustrations just cuz thats what jumps out the most when you're flipping through the slideshow.

  • @TessaW It's actually 500 kb not 5000 kb. Be sure to save a copy of your large size first! Then 1200 x 900 pixals at 72 dpi gets it down to about 500 kb. You might have to lesson the quality a little bit too, but I would changing the sizing first. They look surprisingly clear.

  • @deborah-Haagenson I don't think I said 5000kb? Either way, solid advice.

  • @TessaW You didn't ! Sorry about that ☺!

  • @TessaW Also I just saw that you weren't the original poster either. Sorry about that too. I don't think you needed my advice!

  • If you have Photoshop ctrl+shift+alt+S (save for web) and then on the top right you can set JPG and choose from low, med or high and at the bottom you can set the size you want then under the preview you will see the actual size on the bottom left corner of the image.
    This way you can save new files without resizing the original into what you need. This works great when you have to resize artworks to upload to your portfolio.
    Hope it helps!😊

  • @TessaW @NessIllustration @carrieannebrown @korilynneillo @StudioLooong @deborah-Haagenson & @cristamay

    Thanks for all the helpful tips! I'll try experimenting more with dimensions and sizing for web with my next entry.

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