The first step when starting your optimization procedure with Fireworks CS3 will probably be to move into the Two-up view of the workspace and then using the Optimize Panel, select one of the Optimize presets here in the drop-down: GIF Web 216 all the way down to animated GIF Web Snap 128 with two JPG options in between. This will let you quickly set a file format and apply several format-specific settings. Notice that for JPG you can set a Quality, Smoothing setting; for all of the GIF options you can set a palette, the number of colors, dithering options, and then transparency settings. Now, if you need more customized optimization control than the presets offer, you can also create your own custom optimization settings here in the Optimize Panel. You can also modify a graphics color palette using the color table in the Optimize Panel. So, in this movie, let me go over the Optimize presets that are available here in the Optimize Panel. They're also available in the Properties Inspector. And I'll also go over in more detail how to set up your own custom optimization settings. To select a preset optimization, I recommend first moving into this Two-up view, click on the image or the slice, and then set an option to one of the GIF settings. Check out the size, look at the quality, then convert the drop-down to one of the JPG options. Decide which of the two is better based on the size information down here and the image quality that you can see in the preview window. Decide on whether you want to go with GIF or JPG, and then move to the Four-up view, select the first image, set that to either a GIF or JPG flavor, and then proceed through until each of the four images is different, and then use those images to select which of the presets is going to give you the best results. Let me now go through each of the presets in detail starting with GIF Web 216. This forces all colors to be Web-safe color. The Color Palette contains up to 216 colors. Next, Web Snap 256 converts non-Web safe colors to their closest Web-safe color. The Color Palette contains up to a maximum of 256 colors. Next, Web Snap 128 converts non-Web safe colors to their closest Web safe color, however, the color palette contains only 128 colors. Next is GIF Adaptive 256. This is a Color Palette that contains only actual colors that are used in the graphic. The Color Palette contains up to a maximum of 256 colors. Oftentimes this one will be the largest GIF image, but it will also, in some cases, give you the best image quality. Next we come to the JPG settings. JPG Better Quality sets quality to 80 and Smoothing to zero resulting in a high-quality, but larger graphic. JPG Smaller File sets the quality to 60 and the smoothing, notice to 2, resulting in a graphic that is less than half the size of better quality JPG, but with reduced quality, so if you're going to go with a JPG see if maybe you can get away with a JPG smaller file setting if the quality is good, then you could stick with that preset. And the last preset, Animated GIF Web Snap 128 sets the file format to animated GIF and converts non-Web safe colors to their closest Web safe color. This Color Palette will contain up to 128 colors only. Now if you find that for a specified collection of images, none of the presets are really doing what you need them to do, you can specify custom optimization settings. To do this, in the Optimize Panel, select an option from the Export File Format pop-down menu. That's this one here. Let's say that you want to set up a JPG Custom Optimization setting. Set that to JPG and then adjust the quality. Let's take this down to, for example, 50, and let's say that smoothing of 5. That seems to work pretty well. Let me go ahead and type in 50 here. So, a quality of 50 and smoothing 5, which is a customized setting, I don't have that in a drop-down, and then from the contextual menu in the upper right-hand corner, choose save settings. It gives us a descriptive name. Let's call this JPG 50S5 for smoothing set to 5. click OK. And now, notice that this is going to be found in the drop-down menu for your presets here. So you have a new preset. And now you can just apply this preset to all the existing files, in perhaps your project or folder. You can also set up GIF presets. Let's go ahead and change my file format to GIF in the drop down, change this one to GIF Adaptive 256. Let's set a dither value here of 25, let's say for example that you found that dithering at 25 works really well with 256 colors, and you want to do a variety of images with the same preset, choose Save Settings, again, give it a descriptive name, GIF dither 25. Again, descriptive names will be important so when you see it in the drop-down you'll know what the preset is. There's my GIF dither 25 and my JPG 5, or 50 and 5 smoothing. Let me now move on to the next movie and demonstrate some more specific details for optimizing GIFs, PNGS, TIFs, BMPs and PIC files and then follow that up with similar specific recommendations for JPG files.
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