Yes, image compression is still a thing
As you might recall, i wrote about this issue some time ago. Yep, it’s been over a year. What has happened since? Not too much, i’m afraid. Things were being discussed for a while, until back in March of this year when we got one final official update (that i know of). Has the issue been fixed since? Nope, it certainly has not.
Now here’s the kicker: I did some digging and found a shockingly easy fix.
Let’s take this image by the talented JenZee:
Note: Jen Zee isn’t just anyone. She’s the Art Director of Supergiant Games, responsible for the amazing games Bastion, Transistor, Pyre, and now Hades. And what does she write in the artist’s description? “Hmmm, not sure why but it’s uploading super blurry on deviantart !” That should tell you something.
Alright, back to the image. If you rightclick on the image (either the full view or small view) and hit ‘view image’ and then take a look at the URL bar of your browser, you’ll see a rather long string, akin to this:
(I took out the token at the end, since it’s not relevant to my point.)
I highlighted this little detail for you: q_80. Which you can guess, means, quality of 80. If you change the value to 100, you’ll get the pristine quality you would expect and want from a proper art site (like DeviantArt). (Note: Sometimes you’ll find q_70, usually on smaller views and thumbnails.)
Now, if someone could write a userscript that automatically changes this value to 100 across the board, that would be awesome. And i do mean ‘across the board’, since this compression also applies to thumbnails and small views, as i’ve mentioned – even if the actual images are PNGs (where you won’t see this q_80 setting).
So there’s your fix. Didn’t i mention how shockingly easy it would be? What i find even more shocking, however, is that DA is deliberately withholding this best quality from us. I find this unacceptable – even if we had a script that fixes this. After all, this is not Facebook or Instagram, where i go to when i’m bored. This is DeviantArt, and i hold them to higher standards. Yes, q_70 and q_80 uses much less bandwidth compared to q_100. But if this image processor they’re using isn’t up to the task, there are dozens of alternatives that can be implemented in its stead.
I’ll end this with my usual plea: Please DeviantArt, stop ruining our images!
P.S.: If you’re reading this in Eclipse, sorry that this journalskin looks so bad!
Eclipse, pt. II
Eclipse And The Broken Tag System
How to make a feature on Eclipse
Everything Wrong with DeviantArt Eclipse
They did not. Check out this picture of mine:
Go there and look at it zoomed out vs. zoomed in. Zoomed in is the original (and hence not compressed), but the smaller view is still very much compressed. If you rightclick and open the image in a new tab and then look at the URL, you'll still see a "q_70" string.
They created a new mistake
I have a Doc...with all saved info relative march of different work
to compensate the quality q_70 they have compensated it using "scale image"....for this reason i see the thumb image perfectly! 1,552px × 822px (scaled to 1,252px × 663px)
I attached an image with my 3 skulls..and this is the proof....an objective proof!
My analysis of last march is clear.....
The issue is another now! Actual "scale image" is not able to manage our images correctly in Eclipse!!!!! WHAT A MESS!
but not only with specific sizes, the system goes in Tilt haha
check my work 9000x1080....try to zoom it...we are not able to zoom in it!
To visualizate correctly not only the previous image but all DeviantArt images, actually we are obbliged to use "view image" the following link show well this!
Incredible how they have managed bad this part in Eclipse----> 2,400px × 1,018px (scaled to 1,344px × 570px) I want the image 2,400x1,018 and they are forcing us to visualizate as they want!! 1,344 x 570!! Yes ok we can click visualize image.....but this isn't a standard procedure and an high % of people will never use this procedure
The funny thing is in DA classic is perfect haha Well.....there is to wait the deactivation of DA classic.....to see if all this will be fixed automatically also in Eclipse!
Are you saying, about this topic, the system working randomly? I have to check your point!
In my example shown previously, the issue was permanent....i checked that image for some week (and not only that image)....to see some change...but nothing always destroied and blurred! Than i gave up!
Yesterday i noticed something of new and im gone immediately to check my famous thumb preview image permanetly blurred-destroied.....like all the others...because of course i had checked different images of my gallery.
and they were all on high quality today! They were of same quality of the psd file offline. So am i lucky to be able to visualize all them perfect like the original psd?
But after some hour i noticed the other issue....relative the system manage the size as it want!
I had a doc file with many info saved
And i noticed immediately the following thing:
Image old analysis march: 2,400px × 1,018px --------> w_2400,h_1081,q_100,strp
Today the same image show -----> 2,400px × 1,018px (scaled to 1,344px × 570px)
Im not a guru....but i noticed immediately the voice "scaled" + the different size!
What do you think?
Personally im waiting the DA classic deactivation to see if all this will be fixed in automatic!
The scaling thing is not an issue though, at least not per se. In theory, the system creates an image (or several) that is close to either your monitor size, or a "standard" small view (again, i don't know how the system is actually written), and then scales it slightly up or down, to perfectly fit the size of your browser. (This way of scaling up or down does NOT actually resize the image, though, this is more like the zoom feature of, say, Photoshop.) It does the same with thumbnails, by the way. Optimally, it only scales them down and never up, of course.
Heh, yeah, one can only hope that the permanent switch to Eclipse is going to make things easier for them!
it would be nice if DA would just stop compressing images at all, but at least there's a way to prevent it.
Since this issue is still a thing nowadays, I once found a way to preserve any image's quality and never had any problem ever since: the thing is to upload .png files, and NEVER use the "resizing" options provided by DA on the "Submit Art" page. Choosing any other resolution than the native one will end up in blurry images with a hella lot of artifacts.
So the fix that worked for me was:
Manually setting the desired fullview resolution of the image directly in the image editing software
Saving the file in .png (not much heavier than .jpg from the moment the file is not insanely large; funnily enough, the .jpg version of an image may end up heavier than its .png sibling if its resolution is high)
When submitting, always choosing the "Original (yyy x zzz pixels)" resolution.
I started doing this in 2016. As of December 2019 (old DA), not only does this prevent any drop in quality, but the thumbnails also look better and less blurry.
Side note: A further proof that DA doesn't alter images uploaded this way is, any data hidden in the file (using steganography tools for example) is preserved, which means the file being displayed doesn't suffer from any alteration. Using DA's resizing options on such a file otherwise results in the hidden data being erased.
Yeah, sorry for the picturesque reaction, but just.... DAYUM. What I find most shocking is not even how easy the fix would be (though that deserves a little dayum as well), but what you remarked in the end: DA is deliberately showing us shitty quality.... To me, that's scandalizing. Nothing short of scandalizing. I must thank you for taking the time to dig it out and let us know. However.... sadly, even if someone does make a script like that, this means with it you can fix your own experience of everybody else's art.... but you cannot fix how everybody else experiences your art.... that will always remain up to whether or not they use that script. And that really, really sucks, man. I'm not showing my works in this - ART !!! - site for them to be displayed deliberately in such lower quality. Wtf DA, seriously.... Anyway. I regress to ranting.
Suggestion for potential script-writers (if possible / implementable): Allow a selectively adjustable quality? What I mean, I personally want full images to be at their 100% quality, but not thumbnails because 1) my internet is sometimes quite slow and when displaying many images I can see the merit of stronger compression, and 2) I don't really care to look at images on thumbnails, I am a fossil and like to open the deviation page in order to admire an artwork in full view.