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D2: Discuss the impact that file format, compression

techniques, image resolution and colour depth have on

file size and image quality.
Different types of File formats: There are many different file formats that can
be used to change the quality of an image, all the file formats have different size
and it all depends on a number of factors. I have chosen four file formats to see
how it works on image quality as shown below:


It is used extensively for photos and other

continuous tone images on the web. Uses
lossy compression by trying to equalise eight
by eight pixel blocks.

These files are large and uncompressed, but

the images are rich in color, high in quality,
simple and compatible in all Windows OS and
programs. BMP files are also called raster or
paint images.
BMP files are made of millions and millions
of dots called pixels, with different colours
and arrangements to
come up with an
image or pattern. It
might an 8-bit, 16-bit
or 24-bit image.



It is an image format specifically designed

for the web. PNG is, in all aspects, the
superior version of the GIF. Just like the GIF
format, the PNG is saved with 256 colours
maximum but it saves the color information
more efficiently. It also supports an 8 bit


Its a default
proprietary format for
Adobe Photoshop
documents. It has
many extra features,
such as image
layering. Best software
to use if you want a
standard quality of
editing within your

Which File format?

As shown above the table, I tried all the four file formats to decide on which
format to use for better quality image (I used JPEG file format in M2). I was
interested with the PSD file format when creating, editing the image that I
wanted with better quality, so I used the Photoshop.
I used PSD to create the poster, because of its features that makes an image
standard quality.
PSD is an uncompressed, lossless file type, it is great for photo manipulation as
you can resize much as you like, without distorting it most of the time, it is great
to use for posters. The 'PSD' file can hold all the extra functions that you may
end up using when correcting an image, such as very large working file size, 16
bit depth, extra wide colour space, masking channels, and adjustment layers.
Although there will be problem in terms of file size, PSD files tend to be
extremely large, since these lossless images use no compression. This preserves
all image information, but can make the file itself unwieldy and difficult to
transfer from one to another.

Compression techniques:

Lossy Compression: When you save an

image in file format of jpeg, as you
compress the image the quality of image
decreases. It will result in the data of
image being lost which will also result in
pixilation and the image quality being
very poor.
This usually happens in video
conferencing and the frames freeze or a
pixelated, this is acceptable as highresolution is not needed as long as you
understand the file. These types of files
are going to take up less space.
Lossless Compression: When you save
an image in file format such as png, it does not hinder the quality of image and
compresses the file to its requirements. It is commonly used in websites as the
image quality stays the same and the image has small size, it uploads faster and
doesnt take up a lot of space. They are compressed to your standards; this can
increase or decrease the file size to your liking.
Which Compression?
I used both compressions to try out for the file size and
image quality for my poster image:
File size and Quality: When I compressed a PSD file, which
is lossless; it retains all data, therefore resulting in a large
file size. A JPEG on the other hand, when compressed,
would permanently lose some of the data held by the file
and in effect would lose quality as some unnecessary bits of data are thrown
In lossy compression, once you compress the file, e.g. JPEG image, the data is
permanently deleted and the quality of the image is significantly decreased.
Therefore, I used lossless file compression because it lets you compress a file
and transfer it somewhere, to another computer, without affecting the quality, as
when you unzip that file, the data will be put back again. This is because the
data only gets broken down for easier transmission.

Image resolution:
Image resolution affects file size because the bigger the image, the more pixels
is needed to display the image, therefore more memory is needed to hold and
process all this data.
When it comes to image quality and how it is affected by the resolution, in most
cases the bigger the resolution, the better the image quality. This is because, if
an image is bigger, theres more data in the image, thats why you can resize it
by a large margin and in most cases the image isnt impacted in a negative way.

In addition to the number of pixels, digital images have another resolution

setting: DPI, which is important for printing images. Printed images are also
formed from dots, but the user can decide the quality of the print by setting the
appropriate DPI.
This setting tells the printer how many dots to print per
inch. The higher the DPI, the better the tonality of the
image, colours should look better and blends between
colours should be smoother.
Therefore, to ensure best print quality, you are likely to
need a high resolution image with plenty of dot pixels.

DPI used?
I used Photoshop to print out my A3 poster using 600 DPI resolutions. A lower DPI
would have fewer ink dots making up each pixel, which would make the colour
for the image look worse.
Therefore, a higher DPI has more ink dots for each pixel and has given more
accurate colour.

Colour Depth:
Colour depth is expressed in the number of bits for each pixel. Depending on the
amount of bits, results in the difference of colour depth in certain bits per pixel,
so more shades of a colour can be displayed on the screen.

File size: Colour depth has an effect on the file size because the more colour data
there is in an image, the more memory it takes, as there is more data for the file
to hold and process.
Image Quality: Colour depth affects image quality as the higher the colour depth,
the better the quality of the image.
16 Bit Colour this format uses two Bytes to store the information, one Byte for
the colour and one Byte for the shade of the colour. So 65,536 colours
(256256). Saving the image in different file formats can have a huge impact on
the file size.
24 Bit Colour This format stores the Red, Green and Blue for each pixel. So
256 values for each colour so giving a total of 16,777,216 colours
(256x256x256). Having 16 million colours allows the quality of the image to be
realistic and good quality however as the colour depth is higher and there are
more colours that mean that the storage space will also be higher.

32 Bit Colour (True Colour) This colour depth is known as True Colour, this
format uses the same format as above for the Red, Green and Blue colours but
also stores transparency information for each pixel. So it allows each of the 256
pixels to be fully opaque to fully transparent which is very important when it
comes to having a good quality image, however it does mean the image size will
be even larger.
I used a 24 bit colour depth in this image, I wanted to keep all the colours of the
people image in detail with high quality even after I had manipulated it, and
keeping this colour depth allowed me to do this without any trouble. Even when
this image is zoomed in you can see the colours stay crisp and close to the
original colour.