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Tim Tylor
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2005 7:50 am    Post subject: Image file-size Reply with quote

Any opinions on what the biggest acceptable file-size for a single webcomic-strip or page is? I know it'll depend on how much patience and what type of connection you expect your audience to have. I've been trying to stick to a maximum of 110Kb for comicbook-page size images, but that's mainly because I've taken over from another artist on a feature, and I'm going by his image-sizes.
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Joel Fagin
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2005 8:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Depends on the detail and size of the artwork and whether it's colour, but 150KB seems to be an absolute maximum for an average comic. You could probably go higher on special ocassions as long as it's not a habit.

For a comic sized page, 110 seems quite reasonable to me.

- Joel Fagin
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ragtag
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2005 11:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That sounds about right to me too, but if you can make them even smaller that would be better. For instance, my parents have an internet connection with about max 3kb a second download speed. It would take about 35 seconds to download a 110kb comic on their connection (56k baud modem). Then again they don't surf the web much, mainly I believe because it's simply too frustrating at such a slow speed.

With the internet connection I have at work, a 110kb page would load in less than a second....which is about right when reading a mult-page comic. For my new site, which will be up sometime , I'm planing to offer both comics on html pages and the option to download the whole thing as a .zip file. That way those with slow connections can download the whole comic while they go grab a cup of coffee, and read it without having to wait for each page to load.

Ragnar
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losttoy
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2005 2:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My two-cents worth is that it depends on the size and kind of image. If it a really large image, I would concider saving it as mulitable files. Full color images with gradiants should be saved with a jpg (I use level 6). Black and white line art should be saved as a 6 "color" gif. File size should not go too much higher than 100k.
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collegepros
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2005 1:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

honestly, size doesn't matter all that much. People who read web comics are the same as those who write them, and we're all pretty geeky (comics + internet = geek) and most geeks have high speed. Now there are those that don't and they get angry when I say stuff like this, but post bigger page sizes if you feel you should. Make the files as big as they NEED to be. not bigger for bigness sake, but don't cut your work short because you're afraid it might take too long to load.
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Greg Stephens
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2005 2:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

collegepros wrote:
People who read web comics are the same as those who write them...

While it is true that people who create webcomics are extremely likely to read a lot of other webcomics, it isn't so that creators are the only readers. In my own experience, the number of readers who aren't artists outnumber the number of readers who are. And the larger the audience, the greater this gap will be.
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William G
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2005 7:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The majority of web users now have broadband. But even so, 80k is my personal cut off. Until everyone has 1600x1200 monitors, you simply dont need to go that big.
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Joel Fagin
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2005 7:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

William G wrote:
The majority of web users now have broadband.


Not in my experience but I have no hard data. I would definitly consider that a risky assumption.

- Joel Fagin
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kaos_de_moria
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2005 10:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i think image size (pixel by pixel) is more important than size in KB. most people do have broadband by now and if you don't you wont read many webcomics anyway, as it is rather annoying. regarding the size aspect. most people forget about laptop users. there is many laptops outthere these days. and most people forget that the computer has a menu and the browser a window. i think the website should be designed with a viewable area of maximum 800*600. (just not to be misunderstood, i don't refer to 800*600 screens. i talk about the viewed area in the browser window.) if you have a look at ballad (http://www.deadmouse.net/ballad/bd65.htm) you will realise, that the empty space at the top and the size of the picture will make you scroll with a average laptop screen. that has a rather negative effect on the reading experience. my proposal to deadmouse was to combine multiple pages on one screen. than there would not be this fast scroll-click-scroll-click pattern, which he rejected at the time because of loading time. (and again, not to be misunderstood. i do like ballad. i just think it could be even better...)

kaos
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Tim Tylor
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2005 10:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Personally, I'm still on dial-up. I think something like half the British home internet users still are (broadband was slow arriving here thanks to British Telecom's foot-dragging). I love Ballad too, and I'd have a hard time reading it if it had more than one image a page. I already have a hard time with many of the Graphic Smash strip archives, which group large strips in blocks of twenty per page or so (a pain in the neck when you just want to see the strip you missed yesterday). Broadband would be nice but it's hardly essential for me. Anyway, I'm sharing the ISP account with the rest of the household; I don't have the finances to spare for getting broadband on my own, and I can't ethically push everyone else into getting it just to satisfy my private addictions.
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Greg Stephens
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2005 11:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quite apart from the speed issue (not limited to the readers, either, since server speed can also be a problem) is bandwidth. If you make images too large and get a link from a bigger site, you may find that you've used up your bandwidth allotment and have to pay your webhost provider for the overages. Or, if you're hosting your own server, you'll find that serving up large images hurts your server's performance. It's always a good idea to know how to best optimize your image files.
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Rip Tanion
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2005 8:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tim Tylor wrote:
Personally, I'm still on dial-up. I think something like half the British home internet users still are (broadband was slow arriving here thanks to British Telecom's foot-dragging).
Hey, there's a lot of foot dragging here in the good old USA, too. I live on the edge of New York City, and I had been waiting seemingly forever for DSL (I could have gotten cable-modem earlier, but I've got issues with it, and my scumbag cable provider). And even after it became available, Verizon, the phone company here, took a month and a half after their promised activation date to get there act together and finally hook me up. After my whole ordeal with them, I feel like punching James Earl Jones in the face. I think Moe, Larry, and Curly, as well as Bud and Lou, and Stan and Ollie are working for these clowns.

Achem. I'm calm now.

Tim Tylor wrote:
I love Ballad too, and I'd have a hard time reading it if it had more than one image a page.
I quit reading Ballad for a while, because I got frustrated with the slow loading speed. However, I got DSL recently, and I started catching up with Deadmouse's strip again. That thing gets sicker and sicker everyday. And now that I can load it quickly, I wouldn't have him change a thing.

Another reason to optimize image size is if you have limited storage space on your server.

The quest to optimize can be a frustrating one. You're always asking yourself "how much quality do I want to sacrifice for smaller size". Nobody wants to sit and wait forever for an image (or Flash movie) to load. However, nobody wants to looks at artifact filled, blury, highly compressed jpeg, or strain their eyes on a tiny picture either. The happy medium must be found.
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William G
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2005 8:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Joel Fagin wrote:
William G wrote:
The majority of web users now have broadband.


Not in my experience but I have no hard data. I would definitly consider that a risky assumption.

- Joel Fagin

I've been trying to Google the page that had all of the internet usage data on it that I got that from, but it said something like 55-60% now have broadband.
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Greg Stephens
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2005 2:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

William G wrote:
I've been trying to Google the page that had all of the internet usage data on it that I got that from, but it said something like 55-60% now have broadband.

In a quick search, I found that a lot of that information is supplied by marketing companies and they want to charge for access. I found this page, which estimates 2004 broadband/narrowband usage for the USA broke down to 39.6 million narrowband to 32.5 broadband. Dial-ups seem to be over half of the internet users. For 2005, they estimate that broadband will surpass narrowband, but having over 50% doesn't equate to "most" (in my usage of the word).

I also found these pages of stats for the USA and the UK (with other pages available for other parts of the world), but the information is older and less relevant.

Lastly, this page has a ton of graphs, charts, links and whatnot, but I don't have the time to sort through it all. There may be something useful in there somewhere.
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