Tuesday, 9 April 2013

TASK 1 - TECHNICAL GLOSSARY

Pixel and resolution, vector and raster images, and file formats/uses


Compression
Compressing files is something done in order to reduce a file size. This could be improtant for things such as making a file small enough to email, or freeing up space on a hard drive. Zipping files are the most common way of doing this. It involves getting rid of unnessesairy information, by reusing old information that can be recalled. A program such as Winrar or Winzip can expand a file back to it's original size, which, if done correctly, should make it identical to the original file again.

Compressing files is also a much more efficient and easier way to share multiple files. As you can compress files together, as well as compressing an individual file, this means that they can be transfered and moved as a group, rather than having to do each file individually.

Image capture devices
This could include things such as digital cameras, video phones, scanners, webcams etc. The most popular and professional equipment in the graphic design industry would be digital cameras and scanners, as they generally have the highest resolution and highest quality outcome. They are used to capture a real life image for digital viewing where it may then be displayed or edited.
Artists might use a scanner to upload traditional work, while a photographer might take a picture using a digital or manual camera with which they could then upload using an SD card or other removable device.

Optimising
Verb
  1. Make the best or most effective use of (a situation, opportunity, or resource).
  2. Rearrange or rewrite (data) to improve efficiency of retrieval or processing.
Optimising in this form, ties in heavily with compressing files. Compressing a file is one form of optimisation, however optimisation could also refer to improving the quality of something as well as reducing file size.

For example, in graphics, it's important to make sure the graphic in question is the correct size in it's raw state on the editing program for it's intended output or display size. Ignoring this important factor could make the difference between a blurry or stretched file.

As for size, as well as just compressing, there are other things you can do. In animated gif files, there is something you can do to reduce overall file size known as 'optimisation'. This trick can be done in programs such as photoshop, gimp and a few others. It works by combining layers, rather than replacing them; it only uses what it needs to, and deletes the pixels from each layer that don't change from layer to layer, the pixels that are not needed as they will not make a difference anyway.

Any images file size can be reduced by making it smaller, reducing colours, changing the dithering pattern etc. While these may reduce file size however, quality might have to be a comprimise.

Storage and asset management
Managing of assets and storing them correctly is very important , especially if you're working with commissions. Incorrect or unorganised management of files may result in losing work, sending the wrong thing to the wrong person, time wasting looking for files. etc.

Managing resources is important in both the long term and the short term;

For example, having a lot of windows open at once is not an efficient way to manage assets while you are working on them. You might end up crossing things off you needed, losing work, or your computer might not be able to handle it and become unresponsive. A nice, clean to the point work area where everything is in it's place is the best way to manage on screen assets. There are shortcuts to make this easier such as ctrl alt tab which allows you to switch from window to window very easily, also task manager which is installed on any windows computer allows you to easily and swiftly manage assets.

In the long term, it's important that files are stored correctly. Creating a liabry of folders and subfolders with corresponding and relevent titles is a great way to make sure you know where everything is. Just spending a few minutes organising and managing assets makes a big difference in the long run. As well as filing things, it may also be beneficial to add comments to files, doing this would allow you to quickly see what a file contains at a glance without having to actually open it.

A backup system whereby regular backups are made is important incase assets are accidently lost, deleted or even stolen. Backups should be titled and dated so it's clear how old they are. After a period of time, old backups that are no longer of any use can then be deleted to make room.

Making new files all the time can make things get very messy, making things difficult to find. So it's essensial that just a few minutes are spent cleaning things up, deleting files no longer required, and moving things into the right place. It's a bad habbit to leave things lying around on the desktop for example; while they might be easy to access from there, they could quickly build up and get very messy, besides which, it's just as easy to make a shortcut to a more remote file for easier access.

Info:
http://computer.howstuffworks.com/file-compression.htm
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-gb/windows-vista/compress-and-uncompress-files-zip-files
http://www.techterms.com/definition/file_compression
http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/compressing-files-to-ease-emailing.html
http://www.macworld.com/article/1143001/imagecapture_tricks.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camera
http://www.thefreedictionary.com/optimising
http://www.assetbank.co.uk/digital-asset-management-software/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_asset_management

Images:
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_D3wLgtxAeOs/TCtPs_5tS0I/AAAAAAAAABM/NPtML33pkLw/s1600/Grand-Theft-Auto-San-Andreas-875.jpg

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