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October 8, 2009 12:20 AM   Subscribe

Facebook brutally compresses my images, anything I can do to minimize it?

Howdy all,

I'm finally getting around to making a Facebook page for my t-shirt designs, but I have bumped into a problem:

I'm trying to upload images of my designs, which tent to feature large flat areas of solid color. Facebook's compression algorithm mangles some of these solid colored areas them pretty brutally. Example, check out the red in this image:


Are there any tricks out there to minimize this problem? Formats, modes, resolutions to save in that might help things? Adding subtle noise, or other tricks to force the algorithm to work a little harder? Alternative means of uploading that don't get the usual treatment? any tricks would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks much!
posted by Jezztek to Computers & Internet (12 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Have you tried saving them as gifs, or maybe even pngs, prior to upload? The jpeg compression scheme simply isn't suited to that sort of image, with large swaths of static color, at all.
posted by biggity at 12:27 AM on October 8, 2009

Gifs are absolutely a better choicem for that type of image - you'll greatly reduce the filesize too, which is probably what's tripping Facebooks forced compression currently.
posted by Sparx at 12:36 AM on October 8, 2009

Response by poster: Ah, I should have been clearer. The original image uploaded was a gif of approx 15kb. Facebook converts them into the terrible jpegs.

Realizing they did this I also tried resaving the image as a web-optimized jpeg before uploading, in the hopes that perhaps that would give cleaner results, but alas it seemed to have no effect.

For the sake of the sample image I re-downloaded the facebook version, placed it next to the original gif and saved the pair as a png-24 to avoid introducing more artifacts.
posted by Jezztek at 1:52 AM on October 8, 2009

Best answer: Try converting and resizing them yourself prior to uploading them? Then at least the compression is under your control. They need to be jpg's no more than 604 pixels on the longest edge. I do it just 'cause it's faster that way than waiting on their java upload app to do the resize it, but maybe it'll solve your issue too.
posted by adamt at 4:44 AM on October 8, 2009

Best answer: If other uploaders are anything to go by, there's probably a threshold width, height and (possibly) filesize at which your jpegs will be reencoded in this crappy way. But then again, your original image looked to be within that... so maybe your high-quality jpeg is too large. Try testing at a lowe-quality and see if Facebook continues to reencode it.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 5:29 AM on October 8, 2009

I've seen folks upload to flickr and have those show in their facebook feed as clickable thumbnails. I don't know if there's any way to have those show on a page but may be worth checking out.
posted by ejaned8 at 5:36 AM on October 8, 2009

I don't mean to be unhelpful, but don't use Facebook for this. By all means create a Facebook page for your business, but don't rely on it to adequately display your designs - it's not meant for that.
posted by micawber at 6:50 AM on October 8, 2009 [1 favorite]

If you can't get Facebook to stop compressing the images, maybe you could take a photo of some people wearing the designs? Then the compression would be less noticeable.
posted by lucidium at 6:53 AM on October 8, 2009

Agree with Micawber. Any images of the art that you post to Facebook should be accompanied by a link "see here for the image in full quality."

The only other possibility that crosses my mind (and you'd need to research it) is that, since all your art is clearly vector art, maybe there would be a way to upload SVGs to Facebook…?

BTW, I've bought a couple of your shirts!
posted by adamrice at 7:50 AM on October 8, 2009

Best answer: How are you uploading these images? Using the basic web uploader, or something else? I noticed really terrible compression when I uploaded using the Facebook exporter from within iPhoto, but not so bad when I simply used the web-based uploader.
posted by splatta at 10:11 AM on October 8, 2009

Best answer: I've noticed a big difference in quality, depending on upload method. As I recall, the fancy java uploader, which precompressed images before uploading them, did a terrible job with B&W images, while the old fashioned upload web form handled them reasonably well (or vice versa).
posted by Good Brain at 10:44 AM on October 8, 2009

Response by poster: It seems the best results were produced when I converted the images to jpegs first, but instead of the relatively high quality jpegs, which got converted badly, if I uploaded medium quality jpegs they didn't try to decompress them.

The other trick was that the java uploader recompressed everything, but the basic web uploader only recompressed the files if they were too high of a quality (or a non jpeg).

So doing both those things I went from having terrible jpegs, to significantly improved, but still sub-optimal one. and that I can live with.

posted by Jezztek at 11:47 AM on October 8, 2009

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